4-MAT Review: Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling
By Mark R. McMinn, Ph.D.
Angelique Lawhenore, Student ID 130818
August 6, 2009
Author: Mark R. McMinn
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, IL
This book was written by McMinn (1996) to directly address “two secret places in counselors’ lives.” The first place is in the counseling office and the second place is the spiritual life of the Christian counselor (p. xi). The main issue, or challenge, at hand for the Christian counselor is to learn how to integrate not only psychology and theology, but to also include the aspect of spiritual formation in the counseling process. McMinn uses helpful illustrations throughout this book to help the reader understand his concepts and ideas more fully. He also addresses additional challenges faced by the counselor who is attempting to integrate these three aspects of health including blurred professional-personal distinctions, expanded definitions of trainings, confronting the dominant views, establishing a scientific base, and defining relevant ethical standards.
The author makes the point that, “the value of counseling interventions is found less in one’s technical training and theoretical orientation than in one’s character (p. xi). He describes the counselor as being a “healing agent—one whose spiritual life spills over in interactions with everyone, including clients” (p. 13). In the second chapter, he introduces a detailed map to reaching mental health. He clarifies his position that, “spiritual and psychological health require a confident (but not inflated) sense of self, an awareness of human need and limitations, and confiding interpersonal relationships with God and others. Effective Christian counseling strengthens all three of these areas” (p. 59).
The balance of his book then addresses...