Biblical Integration and Counseling Practices Abstract
The integration of biblical practices and counseling has been discussed for decades. There is an increased interest in spiritual and emotional health, among Christian counselors and with secular therapists as well. Understanding the differences between implicit and explicit integration practices in therapy help a therapist to decide which techniques should be used appropriately in therapy. There are critics who claim there is no way to properly integrate psychotherapy and biblical practices; however there is a growing interest in religion and clinical practice in American today. The use of prayer and Scripture play a role in the mental health field because clergy
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Even if clients indicate they are Christian, it does not mean they will share the same values and beliefs of the therapists. Counselors can become confused about the best way to integrate religious values with psychological techniques to help “clients with both spiritual and emotional growth” (McMinn, 2011, p. 5). Even though many critics oppose integration of theology and psychology, several practices can be responsibly applied in the counseling process to show respect for Christian values, understand emotional pain, and lead to healing. There are two approaches, implicit and explicit integration, in a clinical practice with counseling and religion. Implicit integration refers to a practice when the therapist does not discuss religion or use spiritual resources like prayer or scripture. Explicit integration works with a person’s spiritual or religious issues in therapy and will use prayer and Scripture as effective techniques in therapy. Even though some therapists are eager to implement Christian counseling and psychotherapy techniques, they should consider their own worldview, assumptions, and views of healing. This attempt begins with the therapist understanding their own attitudes and beliefs and how to bring religion in to a therapy session.
Attitudes and Beliefs A properly trained therapist wishing to integrate biblical concepts and psychology should