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Integrating Christian and secular counseling theories

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Delineation of personality structure.
  3. Explanation of motivation.
  4. Theory of human development.
  5. Accounting for individual differences.
  6. Definition of health.
  7. Definition of illness.
  8. Development of techniques.
  9. Demonstration of effectiveness.
  10. Relation of theory to a comprehensive worldview.

An integrated and flexible counseling approach is outlined, which calls for competency in a number of techniques in order to serve a number of clients. Personality structure, motivation, and human development are discussed, addressing biological and environmental differences that account for individual differences. Health and illness are defined, with reference to spiritual need and a relationship with God. Illness is defined as possibly coming from a variety of sources, manifesting in a variety of ways, requiring a wide selection of appropriate interventions which can be used with or without spiritual elements. Effectiveness is established through empirical research and case studies. This flexible counseling approach fits with a worldview that understand the diversity that exists among people and their problems. Secular counseling can be a great help to non-Christian and Christian clients. Adding a spiritual dynamic to counseling can give more depth and understanding to the process for Christian clients as well as non-Christian clients, if the counselor has the skills in determining the appropriate amount of integrating psychological theories with Biblical and spiritual dynamics.

[...] person, namely personality, motivation, development, mental health and illness, among other. can gain knowledge about the nature and functioning of human beings both from scripture and from science? (Entwistle p. 135). Delineation of Personality Structure Personality can be shaped by many environmental factors, such as family, socioeconomic status, and even biological factors. As a living being with a soul, however, some elements of personality are inherent and resistant to change, if not unchangeable. Hawkins' concentric circles model illustrates the many systems that surround and influence a person, including personality, which is represented by the innermost circle. [...]

[...] Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers. Garzon, Fernando. (2005). Interventions that Apply Scripture in Pychotherapy. Journal of Psychology and Theology 113-121. Garzon, F., and Burkett, L. (2002). Healing of memories: models, research, and future directions. Journal of Psychology and Christianity 42-49. Hart. A. D. (1999). The Anxiety Cure. Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group. Hawkins, R. E. (Speaker). (2006). Model for guiding the counseling process. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty University. McMinn, M. R. (1996). [...]

[...] A Christian client can be helped by identifying and changing motivations, which may serendipitously lead to a motivation to find a form of spirituality. A Christian client can be helped to find that Christ can assist in righteous motivation and righteous action, leading to true fulfillment and happiness. Theory of Human Development As evident by the differing temperaments of infants, parts of one's personality are determined biologically, but this does not necessarily mean they are unchangeable. If, perhaps, a person with a personality that lends to using a lot of humor is discouraged from exhibiting this trait by family or friends, that part of the personality is likely to change in order to protect oneself from criticism or ridicule. [...]

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