G1 Forum 4 (Module 8)
In Part 1 read case study and answer question below in 400 words using the reference McMinn, M. R. (2011). Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling (Rev. ed.). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House. : PART 1: First, discuss what would be the challenges (based on the lectures) of confronting clearly wrong behavior/ “sin” in the life of your client if you were working in a secular human services setting? Draw in concepts from the lecture to support your position. How might the approach from psychology make it difficult to confront clearly wrong behavior (worldview and perspective on attribution, for instance)? Second, assume that you counseled in a human services setting in which you could integrate spirituality and a Christian worldview. Review the following brief “case” and answer the following questions: Based on the lectures and McMinn, why can’t a sensitive Christian counselor just automatically and quickly confront obvious sin in the life of the counselee? Of the cautions mentioned by the course materials, which ones do you think counselors most often overlook? From what you learned from the lectures/McMinn, how would you best address the clearly sinful behavior of this client? CASE STUDY Jim is a client in your counseling center, who you have seen for about 8 months. He has been cycled through several other counselors and one described him as a “basket case.” Jim has several children, each with a different mother. He casually mentions that he rarely sees them, and since he can’t hold down a job, he provides no financial support. Some of his children are now in foster care. He engages in unprotected sex on a weekly basis. Typical of many of your clients, Jim drinks heavily and abuses street drugs. He comes to counseling only because it is required for him to receive the tangible support services of your agency. You are at the point in your counseling with Jim that you’d like to “let him have it” but your counseling training did not include that as a valid counseling technique. There is obviously much more to Jim’s story but suffice it to say that he is repeating many of the behaviors he learned from his parents' dysfunctional parenting. PART 2: Reply to the 2 students below in 200 words each: STUDENT 1: JORDAN GREEN Jim is a father to several children that he is unable to provide for. He is also unable to maintain work as well as suffering from substance and alcohol abuse which further encourage his degenerative spiral. “If you want to be an effective counselor, you need to learn to establish good relationships with your clients, and if you want to establish good relationships, you need to become an expert at empathy” (McMinn, 2011, Pg.192). Counseling and morality go hand in hand. As a Christian counselor, I believe that it would be unethical to confront Jim of his sinning. One must remember that we are all God’s children; we have all sinned, and will most likely sin again in some form or fashion. This week’s lecture points out one question that I should ask myself when helping clients like Jim is ‘Beyond conviction for sinfulness, am I guiding this client toward redemption and restoration in their relationship with God, self, and others?’ (Liberty University Online, n.d.) as that is my real goal, not pointing out the sins of others. From the brief description provided in this case study, it is clear that Jim has not only experienced some hardships and trauma, but is currently in the midst of it as well. Jim is not receiving counseling because he feels as though it is time to break the chains of his trauma but because it is court appointed. Jim either does not see the error of his ways, or he is not yet ready to face it. My first goal as Jim’s counselor is to help him to want more for himself; he needs to be able to recognize his own value. I believe if Jim would be interested in repairing his relationship with the Lord, he would find the self-love needed to help him grow. The first challenge Christian counselor’s face is carrying the image of Christ and at the same time remaining professional in honoring their duties. “Christian counselors face several significant challenges as they bring religion into their counseling office. Religious interventions require us to understand spiritual formation, place priority on personal spiritual training as well as professional development, challenge prevailing models of mental health, work towards a strong scientific base, and sensitively recognize ethical issues” (McMinn, 2011, Pg.26). Every Christian counselor is a representative of Christ and His love. As such, we should imitate how Christ deals with those who have sinned by demonstrating love and kindness while showing them the path of correcting their errors. As Jim’s Christian counselor I will first begin to pray for him before and after our sessions. The lecture suggests that prayer supports clients and goes against the spiritual bondage and attack that may be over their life (Liberty University Online, n.d.). As we begin to establish a solid client/counselor relationship, and with Jim’s approval, I will slowly bring spiritual solutions such as prayer and scripture into the counseling sessions as well as other psychological tactics to help Jim in his treatment. References: Liberty University Online. (Producer). (n.d.). Presentation: Counseling methods related to confrontation and confession [Powerpoint]. Lynchburg VA: Liberty University Online. Liberty University Online. (Producer). (n.d.). Presentation: Sin, confession, and redemption in counseling [Powerpoint]. Lynchburg VA: Liberty University Online. McMinn, M. R. (2011). Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling (Rev. ed.). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House. STUDENT 2: LASHUNDRA RUFFIN Jim is a client who is clearly suffering from his past childhood issues that has effected his adult life tremendously. Opposed to the challenges that he faced as a child helping him to better his life, he has actually lost interest some where along the way. Jim has several children whom have different mothers, some of his children are in the custody of foster care as well. Jim grew up in a dysfunctional environment where his parents were portrayed behaviors that were not suitable. Jim has been in the program for eight months and during this time he has had several counselors and none were thrilled about counseling him. Jim is now my client and through our sessions I have learned that Jim has some very risky behaviors that needs to be addressed. He has a tendency of being sexually active with different partners and does not use protection. Jim cannot hold a steady job, which in return is an issue of his lifestyle, along with him not being able to support his children. I have also gained knowledge that Jim drinks on a regular basis and uses street drugs which he is exposing himself to different diseases as well. I have monitored the behavior of Jim during our sessions and I see that he does not apply himself or strive to change and he is only participating so that he can continue receiving services. As his counselor I have to be empathic with Jim and consider his situation and the things he was exposed to in early years, however Jim needs to understand the truth of the path he is taking and I can convey through our sessions in a professional manner. There are methods that can be used in order for me to understand his values of right and wrong (McMinn,2011). As the counselor it is my job to provide understanding to Jim that will highlight his behaviors with intentions to correct his behaviors (McMinn,2011). Christian counselors will always have barriers between them and the client in which they will have to do break with intentions of helping the client. Christians try to approach things in a more Biblical manner however, as a Christian counselor it would be best to meet the client where they are and build from there introducing the bible and techniques slowly as a manner to guide the client to Christ and belief. As sessions go on and the client sees that the counselor imitates Christ and what Christ's behavior is the client will begin to see that there is more to their situation and they will be more willing to begin to believe and practice better behaviors. Considering Jim is so far into what he is doing, I would have to approach the situation with delicacy by implementing slowly different Christian aspects, texts, and solutions. Once Jim starts to understand what is going on he will then be able to grow and do better but until then it is my job as the counselor to build that relationship and don't stop my routine as his counselor along with maintaining my expectations from him as a client. McMinn, M.R.(2011),Psychology,theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling (Rev.ed.). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House.