Prayer In Counseling

1219 Words 5 Pages
The incorporation of spirituality as a counseling intervention has increasingly been recognized as important. At one time spirituality and psychology were considered incompatible. However, the number of studies evaluating the links between religion, spirituality and positive therapy outcomes is increasing. Secular mental health providers still do not consider prayer or spirituality to be important to the counseling process, yet will sometimes incorporate it into the treatment plans of those that consider religion important. While the recognition of spirituality and prayer has increased there are often ethical considerations for its use. Two particular ethical concerns are the use of in-session prayer and the ability of secular counselors …show more content…
That a counselor must avoid transference is something that is stressed even in undergraduate courses about counseling theories and techniques. As Christians, we are expected to fulfil the edicts of the great commission. Attempting to do so while wielding the power and influence of a counselor or therapist is not just unethical according to ACA guidelines, it could be unethical according to Biblical guidelines. 1 Peter 4:01-11 (NKJV) tells us: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” The Christian counselor, or counselor who is a Christian, should speak as the oracle of God. God will give them the wisdom to apply to the situation at hand. The wisdom given by Him will allow the counselor to help the client without violating ethical guidelines and avoiding transference and countertransference. It is not the counselor’s job to change a client; it is the counselor’s job to assist a client in changing themselves. In Romans 12:2 (NKJV) the …show more content…
While research shows that this integration can lead to more positive outcomes for patients who consider their faith important, it can also be detrimental if the counselor does not take several different aspects into account. Prior to reading the article, I primarily thought that you integrated prayer and spirituality for the religious who desired its inclusion, and did not for those who do not consider it important. I now understand better the implications of improper integration and the ways that it could potentially be harmful. Carlson et al. (2002) as referenced by Weld and Ericksen (2007) state that: “only 68% believed that it was appropriate for therapists to ask clients about their spirituality…” Could asking a client about their spirituality negatively impact a therapist’s attempt to build rapport? If that is a possibility, then would it be better to allow the client to bring up spirituality and religion? Allowing the client to address the topic during the initial assessment without specific prompts or questions from the provider seems as if it could lead to a more honest discussion. Specific questions from the therapist could lead a client to answer how they believe the therapists wants them to answer, rather than how they truly feel or believe. Spirituality is a topic where one must tread carefully. The concept that I will implement will be specific questions regarding the client’s

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