The online lectures suggested some “cautions” or possible negative impacts when using prayer and Scripture in counseling. The importance of those cautions may be better understood in seeking to apply prayer and scripture with a client. Read the case study below and respond to the following:
What would you consider the most therapeutic use of prayer with this client? Why?
What would you consider to be the most therapeutic use of Scripture with this client? Why?
As you consider the integration of psychology and theology, discuss how you would integrate theology into this case. What aspects from psychology would you bring into this case?
How do your responses to the first two questions mesh with your response to the third? Do they integrate?
Chichima is a 20-year old single woman who is the child of Nigerian immigrants. She was referred for counseling because of a recent suicide attempt in which she ingested some pills and then called a friend when she started experiencing some symptoms of the medication. She was hospitalized for two weeks in her local hospital’s psychiatric unit, and upon her release, she was referred to a local secular counselor. Because of her Christian faith, she received a referral to the agency from her pastor. While in the hospital, she was prescribed an antidepressant and will follow up regularly with her psychiatrist.
In her third counseling session with you, she divulges that 7 months ago, she found that she was pregnant and decided to end the pregnancy through an abortion without telling anyone. The due date for the baby was roughly the same time that she attempted suicide.
From your first two sessions with her, she shared that she is a Christian, but about five months ago she pulled away from church attendance, much to the concern of her Nigerian parents who do not know about her pregnancy and abortion. She felt that she could not pray anymore because she felt that she had committed a terrible sin. She also reports feeling very uncomfortable praying because of the shame she is carrying. She admits that she chose this agency because of their Christian worldview. She knows that in order to heal, she will eventually have to work through the pregnancy and abortion, but the thought of participating in any Christian practice scares her.
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