The New Christian Counselor: A Fresh Biblical and Transformational Approach

Published: 2021-07-06 06:41:33
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SummaryThe New Christian Counselor: A Fresh Biblical and Transformational Approach by Hawkins and Clinton (2015) offers a modern approach to religion and counseling. The book seeks to embolden and equip those who have a spiritual awareness but lack the knowledge and confidence to declare their position on the role of faith in emotional and psychological healing. Based on the proposition that all individuals on earth seek to experience peace, the volume focuses on the Christian approach to therapy and its role in an increasingly troubled society. The book emphasizes on modelling the future by creating new ways that Christ can play a role in one’s life by inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives through prayers and following the word of God. In simpler words, counseling based on love, living according to God’s commandments and being honest to ourselves enables individuals to attain peace of heart and contentment in life.Essentially, there are two interdependent viewpoints that the authors are pushing through in their piece: professional psychotherapy skills and the word of God. Therapists are recognized for their work in restoring the proper functioning of a client’s mind. Similarly, God is recognized for his ability to reward or even punish people on earth. There are certain expectations that God has made to his creation as noted in the Bible in the same way that therapists have a prescribed theoretical and scientific view of the proper functioning of the mind.Although the religious and scientific views are based on very different premises, Hawkins and Clinton (2015) try to marry these two concepts by borrowing from both. The authors employ the scientific perspectives to ensure the proper functioning of the human mind and also bring in the spiritual dimension to bring clients to full humanity. The book asserts that although ordinary scientific therapy is capable of restoring the human mind, lasting change only comes from the Holy Spirit. Such Godly change is transformational in nature and has a deeper impact on the lives of individuals.To drive the point further home, the book employs the case study approach to demonstrate ways in which the people take control of the thinking self, the feeling self, the decision-making self, the physical self, and the relational self. This comprehensive plan also shows how the Holy Spirit cam intervene in different spheres and levels in life to attain transformational change.AnalysisIntegration approach employed by the authors seeks to marry science and religion. While these two worldviews are inherently different and even oppose one another in some core areas such as the origins of life, the authors have picked the less-contentious issues for integration.Christ of culture perspective perceives that Christian beliefs are completely and totally assimilated into culture. According to the Unit Slide, these people live in a parallel universe in such a way that they look to assimilate one culture to another without fully assimilating. The slide offers the example of psychologists who get to live in the psychological worldview and but predominantly borrow material from the Christian world that is has been accused by the scientists of failing to account for facts and reality. However, those who prescribe to the “Christ of culture” perspective have assimilated Christ to some scientific aspects by incorporating religion and Christian beliefs into their practice. Clinton and Hawkings (2015) have perfected the blending of science and religion in their book by handpicking what they judge to be acceptable in counseling to their clients who are facing challenges. Ideally, the book ignores some critical aspects of the Bible that seek to justify any problems that clients maybe facing in their lives to the hands of God.As per their arguments in the book, the authors recognize the existence of psychological issues that are separate from spiritual issues. However, they acknowledge that spiritual issues can be used to address psychological issues which is the whole point to this discipline. This is because the authors do not practice as preachers of the word of God in the first place but as psychologists who invoke the word of God as a strategy in addressing psychological issues facing their clients.The authors employ all major psychological and scientific theories in their approach. First of all, these authors are well trained in psychology and licensed to practice. Thus, they have a good grasp of all the psychological theories developed over the years by all the main contributors in the field. In fact, the authors discuss various psychological theories such as attachment theory and cognitive theory and even contributions of major theorists such as Sigmund Freud and how their views impact current spiritual lens in psychology.ApplicationTake the case of young couple facing challenges in upholding their premarital vows. In a modern world where nearly everything in mainstream media is highly sexualized, the young has been immense temptations. Furthermore, their friends have been taunting them for not engaging in sex despite being in stable relationship. As a result, the relationship is on the verge of breaking up due to unnecessary pressure. To save the relationship and keep to their Christian vows, the couple seeks counselling on the way forward to gain the mental strength to go through the unfolding events.The couple’s essential worry at the beginning was just with “should we do it?” The couple’s non-verbal communication should offer a more detailed look at the type of relationship that they have and the level of respect between the partners. Before anything else, the counsellor should allow the couple to freely express what issues they are facing and what makes them believe that they need the services of counselor. This is very important to as to keep in check the clients expectations. In some cases, some clients may have too high expectations n about what a counselor can help them achieve without realizing that counsellors only act as facilitators and do not make decisions for clients.As the clients express their issues, counsellors need to be observant and collecting data. In such a case, the counsellor should be more acquainted in reading couples and assessing the type of relationship that coupes have as indicated by their body language. The second step would be to recognize and appreciate that the couple had presumed that they were developed enough to go up against the societal obligations of relationships and acknowledge their search for the guidance and protection by a Christian counsellor who understands the values of sexual abstinence before marriage.The other step would to appreciate and acknowledge their current sufferings. The twentieth century has seen a broad disintegration of the Christian esteems related with marriage and the family. This has happened with regards to a move far from the prior thought of a “Christian culture” toward present day secularism. There are numerous verses in the bible that talk of people undergoing temptations and overcoming through prayer. In fact, the counsellors should compare the couple’s tribulations to the temptations Jesus endured before he was crucified on the cross and resurrected. For others like Joseph and Job, there were many temptations and overcoming them they rewarded handsomely.ReferencesHarvest House Publishers.

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