Christian Counseling Certification

The Biblical Basis of Christian Counseling for People Helpers
By Gary R. Collins, PHD.

In Living Color: An Intercultural Approach to Pastoral Counseling
By: Emmanuel Y. Lartey

Competent Christian Counseling: Foundations and Practice of Compassionate Soul Care
By: Dr. Timothy Clinton and Dr. George Ohlschlager

The Biblical Basis of Christian Counseling for People Helpers
By: Gary R Collins, PHD.

This book preceded to discuss several different topics of interest that are commonly asked questions of clients regarding Christianity. These questions prefaced include: Who Christ is and what he did for us to enjoy a life with him both in heaven and on earth, correct and thorough interpretation of the Bible, How God is incorporated into counseling, Human nature and how it is used to illustrate a working comprehension of God, Sin, Guilt and forgiveness in counseling, The Holy Spirit, Supernatural agents, The church in unity with counselors as the Body of Christ, New Age Counseling, and Spirituality, and Counseling. As supplementation to these topics, how the world view of a counselor effects clients and the different ways that we assess other people and apply this learned knowledge are discussed.

Our world view in counseling affects how we interpret and process information, our techniques used, and even our emotions. Different methods are discussed in detail such as medications, past experiences (The subconscious drives and desires), Family and Systems theoretical basis, and the physiology of the human body pertaining to treatment. Different points of view are needed to form an eclectic or prescriptive form of treatment for clients. “It is popular to assume that using a variety of approaches is healthy. Since no two counselors, clients, or problem situations are identical, shouldn’t we develop an assortment of techniques that can be pulled out and adapted to each unique counseling situation? (Collins, G; pp. 13-14).

How to test and choose a world view are imperative in how we counsel our patients. There are 5 different methods that are discussed which include using, reason, contemplating past experiences, checking/ comparing with other people, looking at the data, and testing it out. This process can aid in the transformation of our world view and identity as Christian counselors. “Christian counselors need a basic understanding of what they believe and why they believe” (Collins, G; pp. 19).

The Bible was discussed in its relevance and application to counseling in conjunction with how we observe the world around us in chapters 2 and 3. There were two types of revelation that form the basis for God’s counsel. General revelation which is how God communicates through what we observe in the world and universe. Special revelation is another type that are words of God recorded in the Bible. Through- out the book, Collins interprets how counselors can use the words of scripture simultaneously with what we observe in nature about God. The verification of the Bible is discussed in detail regarding the manuscript evidence, the internal 家庭輔導員 evidence, and the external evidence. One of the discoveries marked by a non-Christian Archaeologist asserts that there is no evidence that contradicts of disputes the statements of the bible and that an impressive body of literature supports the accuracy of Biblical statements (Collins, G, pp. 38-39).

In summary, theorizing the basic premise of this book, The Holy spirit and the role of the church are discussed as many Christians discount the role or even comprehend who the Holy Spirit is in the Trinity. How we are to use and interpret our observations in nature and human behavior in conjunction with the living word of God via the Bible are described in expansive detail through-out the book. The role of counselors and how we test and verify information to form our world view is addressed.

Reactionary Essay

In my opinion, this book is relevant to my world view and the way I will counsel my clients. An excellent point that I will ascribe to is using various methods of Christian theology in conjunction with the counseling methods such as Rogerian, Adlerian, and Cognitive Behavioral Theories. I agree that these theories are can be integrated along with the Holy words of God through- out the scriptures. Although many of the theories are not Christian based, I believe that they hold some “Surface level” truths that are vital to our understanding and application of counseling. For instance, even non- Christians recognize the beauty and splendor of God’s creation by observing the splendor of the stars and nature itself even if they do not ascribe to the one who is creator overall.

In addition to how eclecticism was described, I enjoyed how the author discussed we often establish referral connections and community resources. This is the same principle that should be applied as Christian counselors to use the Church as a source of exhortation and support in both our personal lives and our professional lives as counselors. The importance of the church and its role in counseling. As a Christian counselor it appears that the author does have a balanced view of how the Gifts of the Spirit and the natural/ supernatural all are integral parts of our relationship with God; however, I do not agree that the gifts of the Spirit and supernatural experiences are limited as referenced by this author in page 243 “Discernment is important so that we distinguish between the unusual experiences that are genuinely from God and those that are not. The real essence of spirituality is living a Christ- pleasing life in the midst of our activities, far removed from thoughts of ecstasy and excitement (Collins, G. p. 244). Although I do not believe we should rely solely on the gifts of the Spirit or supernatural experiences, nor knowledge alone; I believe that supernatural experiences should not be feared nor limited as we cannot keep God in a box. It depends upon how open we are to his presence and to the discretion of the Holy Spirit as to what gifts he bestows upon each of us.

In Living Color: An Intercultural Approach to Pastoral Counseling
By: Emmanuel Y. Lartey

Lartey details how we can use an integrationist method pertaining to different cultures (A group of people that celebrate similar traditions/ customs and have similar belief/ value systems) in conjunction with our own personal beliefs. Interculturality is the heart of the text as it combines the basic principles: Contextuality, multiple perspectives, and authentic participation (Lartey, E, p. 33). Lartey discusses the definitions and roles of pastoral counseling and how these are related/ create today’s pastoral care in the context of counseling as a profession.

Lartey discusses the various definitions of pastoral care which have included such definitions as “Consisting of helping acts done by representative Christian persons, directed toward the healing, sustaining, and guiding and reconciling of troubled persons, whose troubles have arisen in the context of ultimate meanings and concerns” (Lartey, E. p.21) as referenced by Clebsch and Jaekle 1967. Transcendence is discussed in the context of characterizing pastoral caregivers and how we view the world. Transcendence is defined as “More to life than what meets the eye” (Lartey, E. p. 26).

Interculturality is the perspective that the author asserts as vital to using in our counseling practices. This view point contends that there are three principles known as contextuality, multiple perspectives, and authentic participation. Contextuality explains how we take into consideration that every piece of behavior and every belief must be observed within the framework within which it takes place (Lartey, E. p. 33). Multiple perspectives asserts that we may observe the same issue and still have varying opinions on a particular issue per our individual experiences. Authentic participation observes and respects the view- points of other people and recognizes both the strengths and weaknesses in every approach.

In Chapter 3, different models of pastoral care are discussed. Different models include pastoral care as therapy, ministry, social action, empowerment, and social interaction. The implications of pastoral care in therapy are of improper functioning in the bodies, minds, and spirits of people and how we as counselors aid in the removal or correction of suffering and dysfunctionality of people’s live. (Lartey, E. p. 55).

Pastoral care in ministry is discussed in context of acts of service in the forms of communication skills and sacramental rites put into action to direct and guide individuals. Pastoral care carried out in the form of liberation theology is another model of pastoral care. This model of study engages in the core belief of the poor and needs being oppressed by social systems. Liberation theology is a socially active vehicle that is used to liberate the oppressed. “The theologian first commits him or herself to being in a particular place and engaging with others in a particular place and engaging with others in work that aims at liberating the oppressed” (Lartey, E. p. 114).

This book discusses the various roles of pastoral counseling such as ministry, social action, therapy, and empowerment. The different roles that we play as counselors including healing, sustaining, guiding, reconciling, nurturing, liberating, and empowering in the context of an intercultural approach are of great resource for the counselor today. Lartey summarizes how the needs of the oppressed and needy are important; however, this must be evaluated in the context of one’s personal beliefs, their culture, and other implications of other societies influence upon those cultures.

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