Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Journal of Psychology and Christianity 4


trained, not interested, or not available (due to having too many other pastoral duties) to meet the needs for pastoral counseling. Still others simply may trust lay people, whom they know, more than a therapist, whom they do not know. In addition, the training itself may benefit the lay counselors spiritually and emotionally.

As lay counseling has proliferated, many have attended lay counseling training seminars in their own or neighboring churches. Even people who do not intend to do supervised lay counseling may attend out of a desire to benefit personally. Exposure to lay counseling appears widespread. Hence we suggest a working hypothesis. When many Christians do attend therapy, they might not enter as naïve participants. Instead, they might have received lay counseling training themselves or have been in congregations where such training has been offered. To the extent that this may occur, they might bring strong beliefs about what proper, true, Christian, or biblical therapy should consist of. As a result, a curious paradox can emerge. For Christian mental health professionals, surprisingly, the lay counseling movement can create resistance to the extent that the professional therapy differs from the person’s implicit theory of Christian counseling.

This hypothesis has not been scientifically investigated, but we believe it is reasonable and deserves empirical scrutiny. While such empiri- cal studies might develop (which can require years of effort until publication), we believe it is prudent for professional therapists to consider how lay counseling might be affecting their practice. The present essay and review is offered with the intent of helping therapists

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.
Lay Christian Counseling and Client Expectations for Integration in Therapy Fernando Garzon Everett L. Worthington, Jr. Siang-Yang Tan Liberty University Virginia Commonwealth University Fuller Theological Seminary

R. Kirby Worthington Richmond, VA

The integration of psychology and theology has matured since early writings of the 1960s (e.g., Tournier, 1962). It has become a move- ment with journals, professional organizations, and written ethical guidelines. Those practicing from an integration paradigm are also likely familiar with three other movements exploring the relationship between psychology and theol- ogy. These include Nouthetic biblical counseling (Adams, 1970), Christian psychology (Johnson, 2007), and historic Christian soul care (Moon & Benner, 2004).

Journal of Psychology and Christianity4

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