The case of Mary is one that needs to be handled with extreme care and caution. Mary has suffered some extreme trauma in her life, and this needs to be considered when providing care to her. It is important to ask Mary for clarity on her desire for the use of scripture and prayer in the counseling sessions (Tang, 2007).
I would use private prayer for Mary outside and inside the session. This type of prayer helps me as a counselor through the difficult work of helping Mary with her trauma (McMinn, 2011). It does not risk offending the client that would likely have confused views of religion and spirituality. If Mary seemed to respond well to the use of prayer, I would consider using devotional prayer and meditation during the sessions. This technique can help the client calm themselves and regulate during a session (McMinn, 2011).
I would be very cautious with the use of scripture in the counseling sessions with Mary because of the way her father twisted the scriptures to abuse her. Again if she seemed intent on using scriptures, I would likely spend some time using the theoeducational model. I would seek to help correct some of the false views of scripture that Mary had heard in her life (Garzon, 2005). If Mary was responsive, I would seek to use some scripture in relation to Christian Cognitive Behavioral therapy (Tang, 2007). This model seeks to apply the truth of scripture in the client’s lives to overcome false narratives they may be believing.
- As I mentioned above, I would seek to incorporate Christian Cognitive Behavior Therapy. This practice has its foundation in psychology and applies Christian principles to the technique (Tang, 2007). I would also look for other techniques that have proven effective in treating people with trauma like Mary. My answers to the first two questions mesh perfectly with my answer to the third question. I believe they mesh so well because theology and psychology are allies and are not at odds. When prayer and scripture are in line with the clients’ beliefs and desires, it can mesh perfectly with psychology practices.
Garzon, F. (2005). Interventions that Apply Scripture in Psychotherapy. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 33(2), 113-121.
Tang, S. Y. (2007). Use of Prayer and Scripture in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 26(2), 101-111.