RE: Discussion Board 2
In preparation for this discussion question, make sure you have read the course materials for Modules/Weeks 1–2: Hawkins & Clinton chapters 1–8, and the lectures for weeks 1–2) PART 1: Write in 400 words About: The lectures talked about the value of integrating psychology and our Christian faith in counseling. When you think of the area of human services counseling, per se, what do you think are the most important points made in the lecture that would encourage you to look for ways to use both psychology and theology/Christian spirituality in your human services counseling? Even if you work in a secular setting (such as a community mental health center) how can you utilize some of the elements of a “Christian” counseling approach (as defined in the lecture) in all human services counseling settings? Put another way, how could you argue that in answering the question “what is the solution to our problems” we should draw from both psychology and theology/spirituality, rather than just one worldview perspective? In your answer, demonstrate that you are reflecting on solid concepts from the lectures; cite the lectures correctly as directed in the discussion board instructions document. PART 2: Reply in 200 each to the two students below: ELIMINATE simple “I agree” statements. Where do you think your classmates’ posts made strong points and where could their posts have been strengthened? Student #1 Hannah McCartney Every human being has different experiences and different avenues to healing. Counseling is a good opportunity for someone to make steps towards healing. However, the relationships outside of counseling are the ones that shape and mold you the most. Our text states that we were made for connections and I believe that the most important one is that of a relationship with Jesus Christ (Clinton & Hawkins, 2015). As I think about a relationship with God, aside from Jesus’ relationship with his father, Adam and Eve had the closest relationship. The Bible talks about them walking with God and God looking for them. If every person is to benefit from relationships with those around us, wouldn’t we benefit that much more from a relationship with our Creator? Secondly, in the text, it discusses being intentional about our observations of the client and the way they display behavior. If a client acts before thinking, has a wealth of feelings after action, or is methodical in their thinking and doesn’t act without it, we have to adapt our counseling (Clinton & Hawkins, 2015). This is one of the most helpful concepts of the text so far has been the concept of intentional adaptation. Many times, in counseling, the desire is to have the client make behavioral change but being aware that it doesn’t always happen the way we want it to makes all the difference in relating to the client in a positive way. The next concept that I saw in the text is that of bridging the gap (Clinton & Hawkins, 2015). Understanding what it is that the client is missing and how to get them over a bridge that isn’t there, is a challenge. Yet, that is our job. It’s our job to help them build that bridge so that they can have their needs met. Clinton and Hawkins say this in the context that complete freedom from suffering isn’t attainable in this lifetime. However, bridging the gap between what we have here now and the ultimate goal of meeting Jesus, there is a way to find peace. Scenario The first thing I would do is help Jamie bridge her own gap to peace found through Christ. This can be done in many ways but I would have several questions for assessment first. I would be assessing if Jamie is aware of what is causing her suffering. Many times, suffering is caused from a root cause and not the surface cause of the divorce she has faced. Certainly, the divorce was traumatic. However, was it the loss of connection that she is struggling with the most? Is Jamie aware of this? Furthermore, I would be making assessments as to her relationships with others around her beyond the divorce. Does she have familial relationships or relationships with her community? The most important relationship is with Jesus and I would want to assess what her connection with God is like. I would ultimately point her back to the ultimate healing found in Jesus and encourage her to connect to him through those around her. References: Hawkins, R. E., & Clinton, T. E. (2015). The new Christian counselor. Eugene, OR: Harvest House., Student #2 Jordan Green Suffering is an intense emotion and one of the most difficult emotions to put an end to. It is important for one to know that suffering doesn’t last forever and there are ways to cope with our hurt and pain.The new Christian counselor: A fresh biblical and transformational approach by Hawkins and Clinton shares a great number of concepts to aid a client through their suffering. Be sensitive to the clients need: Hawkins and Clinton (2015) reveal that change is much more complicated for those who have been deeply hurt, isolated, or entangled in difficult relationships, or who are enduring ongoing relational strains or suffering from depression and anxiety. Once a client experiences a momentous healing or perhaps new insight, change may then occur. God is at work even when it doesn’t go away: “God is at work whether we realize it or not. If we don’t trust him to be at work behind the scenes, we’ll worry and complain, and we’ll manipulate people to get what we want from them so we’ll feel more secure. But if we trust that God is always at work, we can relax” (Hawkins & Clinton, 2015, pg. 281). As a Christian counselor we should remind our clients that some things are beyond our control and we must allow God to take the wheel. Prayer for ourselves and our clients: As a Christian counselor it is important that we pray for both ourselves and our clients. “We ask God to cleanse our hearts, to help us see our clients the way he sees them, and to let the love of Christ overflow from us into the lives of those we counsel” (Hawkins & Clinton, 2015, pg. 328). Hawkins and Clinton also suggest offering silent prayer while in the counseling session to ask God for insight and clarity. When dealing with a client, especially one who is carrying a heavy heart, it is important that we ask for God’s help and his strength. As a counselor we want to help in the best way possible. Journaling and storytelling: Allowing the client to actually articulate their thoughts and write them on paper can help to clarify their thinking, bring buried thoughts up to the surface, and rekindle feelings they tried so hard to avoid. Hawkins and Clinton (2015) suggest having the client to write out a timeline of their life which includes major life events such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces, moves, successes, failures, traumas and other things they may feel is important. “When they share the timeline with you, they often realize they forgot a number of important events- even seminal events that shaped their lives in extraordinary ways (Hawkins & Clinton, 2015, pg. 335). The authors go on to include that taking possession of the soul frequently includes the discovery of items that have been long buried in the mind that are adding to the client’s present negative emotions and interpersonal challenges. Meditation: “Meditation is an invitation to think, pray, and use the imagination to enrich our relationship with ourselves and with our God” (Hawkins & Clinton, 2015, pg. 338). Meditation may help to clear the client’s mind when worry and doubt are taking over. In the case of Jamie, I would want her to know that her suffering isn’t needless at all. Suffering is not the result, but the transition. Jamie’s suffering is a part of the grieving process and there is no time limit on that. Although everyone at some point feels tired and exhausted, it is important to know that God is in control and ultimately will heal her broken heart. Jamie most likely feels not only extremely hurt but awkward as well. When going through a divorce, there are many changes that take place. I would suggest that Jaime begins journaling- writing down her thoughts, frustrations, current changes, as well as some positive things that may be occurring in her life or any goals that she may have. I also suggest that she meditate- clear her mind, focus on scripture, and talk to God. In times where we may feel alone, God is always there. Romans 5:3-5 says “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”. Reference Hawkins, R., & Clinton, T. (2015). The new Christian counselor: A fresh biblical and transformational approach. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers.