McMinn is a doctor of philosophy. Most of his work concentrates on Christian counseling. Mark McMinn is interested in Christian counseling and the nature of life outside Christian counseling. In other words, the author is describing the life of a Christian counselor, the nature of his job and what his job entails.
The very first stages of Mark McMinn’s book start with an emphasis on the fact that the use of Christian faith in counseling was a noble idea; the incorporation of the modern day challenges with the virtues taught by the holy book was a perfect combination of paraphernalia to offer counsel according to Mark McMinn. He attempts to create an intersection between psychology and theology. The author is aware of the challenges that the use of religion could cause at the counseling session and proposes how to deal with such challenges should they arise. The use of Christian counseling within the book is used to evaluate a person’s life, a person’s personal relationship with God, that person’s awareness of human nature and its limitations.
In chapter six, the author talks about confession as the key to humility. Through the act of confession, a human being is in a better position to discover his/her dependence on God and whether that person is leading a life free of sin. Confession is a prerequisite for forgiveness. As the author rightly puts it, a good counselor should encourage confession to facilitate the whole process of forgiveness.
In chapter seven, together with Katheryn Meek, the author addresses forgiveness as the surest way for one to achieve a healthy relationship with other people and above all, God. Forgiveness in its whole sense brings relief to a person spiritually, emotionally and even psychologically. In the last chapter, the author talks of redemption as yet another important aspect the author addresses. Redemption is vital for all Christians regardless of whether they are patients or counselors. Redemption requires that you master and take in to consideration all the topics the author has addressed in this book.
As the author concludes his book, he urges a typical counselor to use the book’s lessons as a guideline of treating his/her clients. A counselor should also establish an intersection between theology and psychology, ultimately, depending on God as the universal solution for all counselors .
Concrete Responses: Be vulnerable
When I read this book, I experienced an amazing recurrence of some of the things I had experienced during my life. Personally, I had a strong belief that I could not be counseled; I believed I knew what all psychologists would say in a counseling session. I took it as if counselors always premeditated the lessons or counsel they gave to their clients irrespective of what their client’s problems were. The reason why I believed this was because all psychologists had some key words in their opening statements during a counseling session
Things were not working well from for me; from school to my home to my church. My performance in school was deteriorating and the pressure from both parents and teachers was tremendous. I seemed to make enemies on an hourly basis and this was seriously getting out of hand. I felt like everyone else was to slow to understand me. After reading Mark McMinn’s book, I decided to visit a counselor after all. I would be lying if I said there was any optimism in me, but since I did have a better option I went on to visit the counselor.
The session with the counselor barely lasted 45minutes but getting of his office, I felt way better and rejuvenated. The counselor rightly diagnosed by problem. I was consumed by arrogance and hate. I had a habit of transferring my anger to easy targets thus the reason why I felt that way. He advised me the need to be humble, prayerful and the need to ask for forgiveness. My guess is that I received redemption that day and I realized that counselors are not boring after all .
The work of the book’s author is impressive, in that there is a clear idea of understanding the important connection between psychology, spirituality and theology. The author cannot be criticized to a great extent given the fact the he has attempted to exhaustively address all the aspects of life and counseling by giving each aspect of life broad subtopics. However, the book can only be understood by a religious person, preferably a Christian or a person who is mature and well educated. The book shows no account for non Christians, teenagers and semi illiterate people,
Teenagers, for example, are inexperienced in life and have little understanding of life itself and the challenges. What I cannot really figure out is how the author would have proposed using his principles to guide a fourteen year old teenager. You probably cannot talk of redemption, forgiveness and prayer to a teenager who is asking questions about sex when they already have preconceived ideas about it.
Children are the most psychologically affected class of people due to their inability to withstand the social and psychological pressure of life. In addition, most children have very little spiritual knowledge. The author does not mention anything to do with the children despite their desperate need for counseling and direction since their lives are crowded by uncertainty and vulnerability. The big question for McMinn is; are the children an acceptable loss? Does the fact that the author’s omission of guidelines that could be used to counsel children mean they are collateral damage? Children have been denied what they need the most i.e. a means through which they can be able to get good answers for the pertinent questions that face them in their daily lives .
My opinion concerning the book is that it comprehensively addresses the needs of those people in need of spiritual, social or psychological turmoil. It exhaustively gives guidance and steps towards a better spiritual life. The book also stresses the idea of prayer as the surest solution for all problems; this is a very true proposition. I would recommend counselors and spiritual leaders to purchase this book.
My approach to counseling will involve devising unique algorithms for every client. I would devise methods that are client-specific. People have different problems and personalities, and, therefore, a unique approach to their situations is imperative. The introduction of the children’s wing will be next course of action. Considering the fact that children are the most vulnerable group in the society; socially, psychologically or even spiritually. I will also ensure that I acquire the necessary expertise to help me address the issue of children, from their spiritual needs to their daily psychological challenges.
McMinn, M. R. (1996). Psychology, Theology and Spirituality. In christian counseling. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.