Abstract As the main goal of Christian counseling is to facilitate change in order to help clients achieve emotional wholeness and prosper in the direction of spiritual maturity, the intent of this author is to outline the development of a personal counseling theory which will assist clients in meeting that goal. This theory utilizes aspects from the disciplines of psychology and spirituality, as well as integrates biblical concepts and theology without discounting the relevance of each.
The work includes an examination of what is important for understanding human personality, such as motivation, human development, and individual differences. An investigation into where problems tend to develop is presented with conceptualizations of health and wellness, and psychological and spiritual illness.
Additionally, the role of integration is discussed. Finally, the way in which the worldview of the author impacts her theory, along with her approach to integration of ideas and techniques from various authors and theories is presented. As believers in Christ, individuals are promised an abundant life John To that end, the purpose of this writing is to provide a framework of Christian counseling which will assist clients in facilitating change in order to defeat the enemy and succeed in achieving emotional wholeness.
Personality Development and Structure Personality is a conglomeration of all beliefs, actions, temperament, and attitudes of the heart which make up the whole person. Crabb describes the structure of the personality as consisting of the conscious and unconscious mind, the basic direction or heart of a person, the will, and the emotions; all of which work together as a unit — an indivisible whole.
Hawkins a delineates the personality as a series of concentric circles which shape the total person; beginning with the core self, followed by the soul, the body, temporal systems or outside influences , and finally supernatural systems.
Additionally, in order to better understand the inner workings of personality, one must seek to comprehend the ways clients are motivated to make core changes. Avoiding the humanistic approach which would describe the personality as something which cannot be altered, this author remains convinced the basic personality is capable of change through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Many Christians refuse to accept a problem exists. All legitimate forms of counseling should be based on scripture for in its pure form therein lies no need for improvement Adams, This author would agree the assessment of counseling theories and practices should be held to a high biblical standard.
Counselees should be encouraged to please God and not adopt the aforementioned post-modern mentality which permits one to behave in whichever way feels good at the time. Such behavior can only lead to emotional turmoil.
Backus and Chapian admonish if individuals are serious about pleasing God, their behavior will be the exact opposite of what is expected. There is no need to go along with the deception brought about by the enemy which causes upheaval in the lives of those who choose to follow his lead. Freedom from the bondage which enslaves the minds of individuals can only be brought about by encountering the truth of the Word of God Anderson, Every individual possesses an understanding of the world and it is by this understanding a basis for autonomy within the world is sought after and developed.
The process of development involves maturing along the journey and cultivating good spiritual habits. Recognition of the importance of first becoming a complete individual is critical in order for the healthy interdependence to occur.
Therefore, by allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to direct the life-shaping choices throughout the process of development, a better sense of emotional and spiritual health may be achieved: The job of a counselor is to assist the client in progressing toward a healthy, mature balance of emotional and spiritual health.
Where are Problems Developed? Health and Wellness Two scriptures which come to mind when considering health and wellness include: Problems begin when clients neglect to heed the teachings in the Word of God. Changing thought processes and taking time to care for the physical body through rest, not only will benefit the mind and body, but also impacts relationships and spirituality Hart, Likewise, Backus and Chapian posit changing thoughts will change the biochemistry of the brain; the actual chemical composition of the cells within the brain and central nervous system.
The goal of counseling would be to insure clients achieve good health; not just physically, but emotionally. And not just for themselves, but for others with whom they are involved relationally. Wilson stressed the importance of recognizing the way in which unhealed hurts affect how one responds to others; hurt people will hurt people. Illness may be characterized by disorder, weakness, unsoundness, lacking strength, fragile infrastructure, abnormal functioning, harmful development, and finally, bondage or oppression of the body or mind.
Illness does not just involve the body. The state of the mind lends itself to influence the physical body. Counselors are primarily concerned with how illness may relate to and influence the state of the mind. Hart discusses several practical approaches to promote a state of well-being and reduce stress and anxiety: In fact, the least of which is medication. Hart cites an Australian study listing the percentage of people successfully treated for anxiety disorders.
Some treatment options included self-awareness, meditation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation, psychotherapy, and medication. In other words, often our physical and mental state is a product of our thoughts. Psychological and spiritual illness. In fact, Backus and Chapian give an example of a client who spent considerable time exhibiting signs of physical illness, yet the reason for her illness was not caused by anything physiological.
Her problem involved the psychological and spiritual. An entire chapter of The Anxiety Cure is devoted to the connection between anxiety and depression Hart, Anderson describes those who suffer not just with physical sickness but with psychological conditions as a result of satanic bondage; stating when one lives in a constant state of anxiety, a person is unable to concentrate on anything other than all-consuming fear.
There remains no provision in the physical, mental, or emotional realm to focus on anything else. Similarly, Hawkins a is thorough in his explanation of concentric circles to include the supernatural realm.
When counseling clients living in spiritual bondage, the words of Isaiah may be of tremendous comfort: Counselees may be encouraged to cease sinful practices which cause the enemy to obtain a foothold in their lives. Correspondingly, the spiritual health which may be proclaimed by some is partial and relative when measured by the absolute standard of what is seen in the Word of God Wilson, Therefore, encouraging clients to trust in God and conform to the principles found in the Bible will produce a life less plagued by psychological and spiritual illness.
Role of Integration and Multitasking. As a Christian counselor, learning to integrate psychological, spiritual, and theological methods in the counseling arena is imperative. Separate but Equal a method of keeping psychology and theology completely separate , Tossed Salad a method of blending them together , Nothing Buttery, the complete disregard of psychology , and Spoiling the Egyptians the method of profiting from psychology by carefully screening concepts to insure the compatibility with Christian presuppositions.
Additionally, Paul wrote to Titus, In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
I will be found by you, says the Lord Daily Nugget "For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
Reflections on the Psalms By C. Lewis - Book Re Personal Theory Paper Forgiveness: In developing a Biblical theory of counseling it is important to have a foundation that is built on Christian principles as well as multitasking.
This model will be formed from the assumption that God is constantly and actively pursuing absolute freedom within the life of every human being. It will utilize theories that are based on Scripture as well as theories from secular psychology to form a model that will line up with this assumption. The most important influences in any approach to Christian counseling should be theology, psychology, and Scripture. Utilizing these three with priority being given to Scripture along with multitasking will insure that the client will receive the best care possible.
This paper will attempt to lay out an approach to Christian counseling that will encompass the following: The structure of personality is important in understanding how to help the client. Crabb states the human personality is best described as being composed of two parts, the physical or material and the personal or non-material.
He proposes the personality is made up of the core self, the connected self, the covered self, the constrained self, and the cycling self all of which are influenced by inside and outside factors.
Some of these factors include: All of these factors play an important role in shaping personality and perceptions of reality, while at the same time present an understanding the sourcing of human problems. Beliefs, thoughts, experiences all play a part in directing and motivating human behavior.
There are many schools of thought that give depth to this argument and however effective they may be individually, the counselor who is able to incorporate all of them within a counseling model will be ready for anything. All throughout his book Crabb emphasizes significance and security in relationships and how every problem a counselor might encounter could be boiled down to one of these two concepts.
She believes the experiences individuals have encountered in the past as well as daily experiences create unseen wounding. Wilson supposes that the root of these unseen wounds are the result of the conviction that human beings should be able to take whatever comes their way without feeling anything. It is this belief that leads one to the assumption that they are flawed if they cannot handle situations in this manner, and it is the shame of being different that results in motivation. It is this belief that is the driving force of the world and lends to their spiritual bondage to the kingdom of darkness.
He states man is born into the world physically alive but spiritually dead according to Ephesians 2: This separation from God has caused man to seek to make a name for himself in an attempt to have purpose. Through pride, self-exaltation, and independence from God, man proclaims himself god over his own life, thereby agreeing with and giving control to the kingdom of darkness.
During the s Freud introduced his concept of the infantile, latency, genital, and maturity stages of personality development. He believes humanistic theories of development are lacking in that they paint a picture of development apart from God and stresses that psychology and anthropology must be enlighten by theology.
Sometimes this change can be good leading to normal development and growth. At other times however, experiences in life can be traumatic and hurtful leading to abnormal development and destructive behavior. As we develop we learn destructive behaviors from our parents who learned from their parents and so on. There must be a goal to work toward within every counseling model. For the Christian counselor the overarching goal must be to bring the client to a place where they become the image bearer of God, as was intended in the first place.
In order to achieve this goal a strategy of intervention must be implemented. Hawkins clearly defines his strategy of intervention within his grid for tracking progress. They are the areas of the Spiritual, the thoughts, the decision, the feelings, the relationships system and the body. Cloud and Townsend, in Boundaries in Marriage, state that a person who is healthy displays certain characteristics: There are many theories on mental illness and its parameters.
Many theorists consider illness to be anxiety, compulsive disorders, personality disorders, psychological disorders, behavioral disorders, and the list can go on and on. Both Christian and secular psychologists agree illness is a break from the socialistic norms that are in place. Alfred Adler spent the majority of his early career writing almost exclusively on the inadequate personality.
He formulated a theory which suggested that an underdeveloped social interest was the cause of all maladjustments in personality. Illness has many causes; as noted earlier Wilson emphasizes outside influences as well as hereditary make up, while Hart singles out personality type and drive that cause burnout. Cloud and Townsend contend illness stems from a lack of boundaries, while Backus and Chapian hold to thoughts and beliefs to which the individual agrees. All of these theories have their place and are valid expression of causes, however as a Christian I must fall back to the beginning when sin entered the garden and Adam and Eve were deceived.
Whether illness is a result of reaping from our own sin or the sin of others, it still originates from sin. Elements in a Comprehensive Theory of Cure. He proposes each part of the self is in need of a cure and must be included in any comprehensive model of counseling. Starting with the core self he advises a spiritual strategy of restoring the image of God within the individual. Next working with the connected self one must think soulically, making sure spiritual disciplines are in place.
Following this the covered self must be addressed by thinking somatically.
Running head: PERSONAL COUNSELING THEORY 1 Personal Counseling Theory Paper Valeria D. Cantore B.S. Troy University Author Note This paper corresponds to the Personal Counseling Theory Paper published in Live Text for CP Theories of Counseling on July of
theory is valid and there are ideas and techniques that I would use out of each of them. However, there are some theories more than others that I would use to guide me in my daily school counseling.
When developing a personal integrated theory there are three things that should be implemented and based upon. An effective Christian counseling theory should possess Spirituality, Theology and psychology/5(1). Some amount personal history should be taken, but mostly as it applies to the clients main concerns (example: If a client is in therapy to address a relationship issue, a history of past relationships would be necessary).
COUNSELING*THEORY*PAPER* * 6* of change will also be based on each individual’s situation. For example, when I need a quick solution to a problem, I will use solution-focused techniques. If I have a student who needs long-term counseling, I would be using more person-centered or rational emotive behavioral therapy. Personal Theory Paper Introduction As believers in Christ, individuals are promised an abundant life (John ), peace beyond comprehension (Philippians ), never-ending unconditional love (Jeremiah ), and victory over the enemy (1 Corinthians ).