Image of God: Overview
HB351- Assessment 3 – Essay This essay will explore my own practice perspective as a Christian counsellor; I will look at my own views and approaches to Christian counselling in particular in relation to human nature, abnormality/dysfunction, health, recovery, the therapeutic relationship, the therapeutic process and any essential counselling skills. How different counselling models impact my own Christian worldview, together with an integration of my own personal, scriptural, psychological and multicultural perspective will be included.
Human Nature I have chosen in life to see the best in people the positive that we are made in the image of God and therefore if God make us so unique and special than all humans should be valued and respected. As it is said in the scriptures Genesis 1:27: “So God created ‘man’ in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female, he created them. (NIV Study Bible) I am not naive enough to believe that all people see the world in this light , but living in a fallen world and reflecting of the life of Christ who always was seen with the marginalised and the shunned, for me to work with all different people and see the diversity of God’s creation is a privilege and unique experience. In integrating my positive beliefs in human nature, working with the counselling model of Person Centred Therapy which helps people realise their potential and they are able to grow and change in a positive manner.
In working in the person centred approach the therapeutic relationship is vital where unconditional positive regard, genuineness empathic understanding by the counsellor are very important. The counsellor needs to be there for people through their struggles as a positive influence for change and what the future holds, the person is contained and held to enable the growth towards a place of healing and realisation of their full potential (Prochaska, J. O. 2009. pp. 29-137) As Christ worked with the marginalised and everyone was the important no matter their status in life, journeying with a person should enable a person to see they are worthwhile and their opinions are significant. PCT is non-directive so therefore enables the counsellor to work cross culturally. PCT is a modality that stands out for me as it adheres for me to my own worldview, where everyone has the ability to reach there God given freedom and potential.
From a Christian perspective PCT in their journey with God gives them the freedom to reach their potential and that they are truly a gift from God. Health Holistically people are whole beings made up of mind (social learning), body (biologically) and soul (choice-spiritual issues) to form the whole person (Class notes – HB351 – Week 7). Often in a situation can be spiritualised by a Christian counsellor but the whole person needs to be considered even Christ as shown in Luke 2:52 learnt and grew: Luke 2:52 “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and men”. NIV Study Bible) In the terms of all the aspects of stature- physician, wisdom – psychology, socially and favour with God spiritually in this scripture although Jesus is God he grew and attained knowledge like any other boy. However in considering the whole person and all the aspects one needs to consider their limitations and in living with the imperfections from being fallen, acceptance and grace are vital in any healing process.
My own worldview had been challenged in relation to the need for medication when someone is suffering from depression; I was very wary and did not accept the decision made by a doctor to give medication to my mother who was suffering from depression. This came from my experience with my aunt who had been medicated for depression and hospitalised constantly for 5 years prior to her death. However in coming to Christian Heritage College my view has changed and so seeing the person from a holistic view is very important, as an underlying medical condition may be overlooked if this is not considered when a person comes to counselling.
Abnormality/Dysfunction Often if an abnormality or dysfunction is apparent in a person it can stem from a long held belief that can be either true or false. In class we spoke of 3 different types of irrational belief and this seemed clearer to me those that are too general and always true, too personalised and all about me and permanent and never going to change, As our actions have led to consequences that can be repeated over and over, action then the belief and consequence which is the feeling or behaviour that is repeated (Class Notes – HB351 – Week 6).
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is an approach that I can see be helpful with the irrational thoughts that may be unrealistic and unhelpful, form the persons cognitions assumptions and beliefs (Class Notes – HB351 – Week 6). A CBT therapist would work with these irrational thoughts and there foundation and work with coping skills and techniques to form new feelings and behaviours, often basic as change is good and evitable in everyone’s life. Prochaska, J. O. 2009 pp. 479-480). The use of Cognitive Behaviour therapy could be helpful therefore to integrate into practice to use with other modalities.
From a Christian perspective being transformed and renewing of one’s mind can be integrated with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy as in: Rom 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. They you will be able to rest and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. ”(NIV Study Bible) Being transformed in Christ is an ongoing processes not a singular event, transforming of the mind where the mind and thoughts in this context relate to morality.
One spiritual transformation has taken place through God’s will, ultimately God is wanting good from and for the person, leading to our spiritual and moral growth which God is wanting for us, but not perfect by our standards, by the will of God cannot be improved on. By Christ dying for our sin we can be transformed in Christ, and if there is dysfunction we can live in grace with our imperfections. Recovery In walking with others in their journey to recovery there are a number of different modalities that can be integrated with my view of recovery.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can be used to renew the mind and giving the skills to help the person on their journey as discussed in the previous section. As well as from a Psychodynamic perspective someone recovery can be through their learning and growth that can happen for the person by understanding and acknowledging that most emotional problems originate from childhood experiences, and that all experience have a subsequent subconscious effect on the person (Prochaska, J.
O. 2009 p . 26). Helping a person to identify subconscious thoughts, and how to understand these thoughts affect behaviour, is part of the building and restoration of relationship with others and God. Recovery through renewing of the mind, repentance, forgiveness and restoration of broken relationships releases healing and a redemptive process as humans we do not want to suffer but Jesus suffered and died on the cross for us.
Often through suffering healing can be found as in the bible: Rom 5: 1-5 “ Therefore we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by our faith into his grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character, hope.
And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. ”(NIV Study Bible) In these scriptures Paul does not have a dark view of live but one of positiveness of life, Christians are able to rejoice in our sufferings as we know that it is not without meaning, purpose of which is produce character into the children of God. In the hope of God we are reassured that the love of God dwells within us which by the death of Christ on the cross has been revealed to us. Relationship
Our relationships with God and others is the basis for our existence and for counsellors the therapeutic relationship needs to be built in a safe contained place where we need to be authentic in our relationship with the other person. Building on the therapeutic relationship with the use of counselling modalities such as in Narrative Therapy helping the client finds their own capacity to heal and open up the possibility of a new story by looking at any dominant or alternative stories that link to events in the past which have ongoing consequences.
Assisting the person to move away from the thin stories and negative, which direct the outcomes in their lives, and helping the person and separate themselves from the problem that they were experiencing? (Morgan, A. 2000). From my Christian to explore the best possible outcome with a person and to look at all the possibilities for their life towards wholeness and well-being, would be an amazing journey. As in the bible relationships are central part of a person’s journey and being able to grow and learn from our relationship with others, God and ourselves. Process
As I journey through my own process of learning and formulating which counselling modalities I can identify with and seeing how the process works, it has become evident how the process forms the understanding of what is happening and why it was so. Looking for the ‘golden threads’ or key elements of what the person is saying, not getting so bogged down in the basic counselling skills which are essential but looking past to what else is being said. Observing the total person, their expression, body language and being able to observe myself as the counsellor and the person simultaneously (Class notes – HB261).
Meta skills although something fairly new to me using the process of CURE to connect, understand, respond and engage others and evaluate has shown me how important it is to find out what is happening for the person in their journey and why it is happening. This process and way of understanding fits with my own worldview of the person being a whole person, made up of body, emotions, intellect, psychological and spiritual aspects and keeping aware and observing all these aspects as best as possible you are more able to help the person to wholeness.
While keeping all facets of the person in mind a major part or area for concern for them may come out in your interaction with them as you talk (Class Notes – HB261). Specific skills In the area of specific skills, all of the basis counselling skills are very important and something with practice I am sure will be more heightened and I will be more equipped to be more comfortable to work in different areas (Ivey and Ivey 2009). From my point of view a number of modalities come out when I speak to a person, that of person centred therapy to join and journey with the person where they are at.
Also in Psychodynamic, where the concept of childhood being the arena where the issue has started and now manifested in the person in different ways, finding the source of the issue would be very exciting ((Prochaska, J. O. 2009 p . 26). Narrative therapy also fits with my thinking and I could see myself developing in this area more as separating the person from the problem and helping them to change the dominant story that controls them (Morgan, A. 2000). Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to help stem irrational thinking, aid by helping the person to attain skills for growth and learning (Prochaska, J. O. 009 pp. 479-480) As well as continuing my learning into sand play therapy (Kalff, 2003) and gestalt therapy (Prochaska, J. O. 2009 p . 160) which I could see would be very beneficial for the person under certain circumstances, as I have only touched on these, however this aligns with my world view of people being able to find the right path given the right tools. In conclusion challenging my beliefs and where they came from is important and an ongoing process to me, as the presuppositions which have been constructed by my experience about Christianity and every other part of our life (Collins, G. 007). Being open to growth but also being open to others beliefs so I can be more able to engage with a client, not to let my presuppositions overtake, where I can become judgemental, I need to be open for to have a client believe in themselves I need to believe in them. Knowing that God made us in his image and ordained us to be born and we are all here for a purpose, what we believe in a person we need to see what God can do in their lives.
In asking ourselves what does God say about this person and bring this into the therapeutic relationship, and ourselves be authentic as counsellors and in our interactions create a safe place for the client to be open to see their own values and beliefs and reflect upon them. References Class Notes – HB351 – Week 6 Class Notes – HB351 – Week 7 Class Notes – HB261(Processes and strategies in counselling). Collins, G. (2007). Christian counselling: a comprehensive guide. (3rd edn). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Ivey, A. E. , Ivey, M. B. , & Zalaquett, C.
P. (2009). Intentional Interviewing and counselling: Facilitating Development in a multicultural society. 7th ed. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks Cole. Kalff, D. M. (2003). Sandplay: A Psychotherapeutic Approach to the Psych. Chicago, USA: Temenos Press Morgan, A. (2000). What is NarrativeTherapy? An easy-to-read introduction. Adeliade,SA: Dulwich Centre Publications NIV Study Bible. (2002). Grand Rapid, Michigan, USA: Zondervan Prochaska, J. O. (2009). Systems of psychotherapy: A transtheioretical analysis. (7 ed. ). Belmont, CA: Brooks Cole.