Throughout the various discussions and lectures in class we have talked about the importance of the immaterial and material of a person and its influences in the realm of counseling, its approaches to the integration of psychology and Theology. We have concluded that the material approach is the secular approach to counseling, focusing on the on the self, i.e. self improvement plans, centering on what makes the counselee desire to feel better about themselves; simply a surface level approach. Essentially, from the perspective of the material approach to counseling, it could be interrupted as putting a band-aid over a deep-rooted issue that the counselee may be facing. As Christian counselors we are called to not only look at the material of a person, but also the immaterial. Meaning that as Christian counselors we should be using the Word of God as a guiding strength when treating the counselee. In terms of an analogy treating the inner core of the counselee as well as treating the external forces. Not just a temporary fix or band-aid type of solution. Rather a call to conviction and to live their life at a higher calling and purpose; essentially a call as a Christian counselor to disciple. At same time balancing the understanding as a Christian Counselor of where to integrate God’s holy Word, and delicately with the assistance of the Holy Spirit apply conviction to the counselee. http://www.gotquestions.org/psychology-Christian-counseling.html
When looking at this topic of the immaterial and the material of a person, it is important as the Christian Counselor to rely on the Holy Spirit as the driving force in your counseling session. Also, having the understanding that even though you’ve advertised yourself as a Christian counselor, having the decrement of knowing when and where to integrate theology and conviction into your counseling session. Having the understanding that as a counselor the immaterial is a very time sensitive integration and process; yet at the same time it is crucial for any development in the counselee’s resolution they may desire. At the same time clearly communicating to your counselee that you are there to shred light onto conviction and sin, to provide wisdom and strength from God as well as, to provide encouragement and strength through the scriptures. From a practical understanding of this delicate balance and the standard of the Christian counselor, the counselor should operate under the assumption that the bible is always sufficient in providing wisdom and strength to the counselee; but should be delivered in a time that would be best absorbed by the counselee at the most efficient time in the therapeutic process. Having the understanding as the Christian Counselor at times it may be most beneficial to the client to focus on the material first, and slowly through the understanding of the counselee’s emotions and processing of events, the counselor can begin to focus on the deeper issue, the conviction and spirituality of the client; concluding on the immaterial to promote conviction and further discipleship.
Throughout the class discussion, lectures, and personal research I have come to the understanding and conclusion that as a Christian counselor it is a vital to focus on the immaterial, but also have the awareness that the material of a person may present itself in my counseling session. With this understanding that I need to not neglect the material of a person, rather as a Christian counselor I need to focus on the needs of the material and immaterial of my client. That at times focusing on the material may be the key into the client understanding the immaterial. Also, as a Christian counselor having the discernment of knowing when and where to integrate conviction and wisdom from the scriptures with my counselee; that as a Christian counselors have a calling to present these immaterial topics, but knowing when it would be the most efficient time in the therapeutic process is the most crucial.