Essay: New Counseling Paradigm Focusing

Pages: 8 (2711 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] This model is also echoed in the Bible, where in Philippians 4:8 it is written, "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you" (New American Standard Bible). In short, by emphasizing rationality and examining ourselves completely, God will help those individuals achieve meaningful peace.

Lastly, Cognitive Theory must be discussed as it takes a unique direction on a healthy client's goals and behavioral processing. The person thinking healthily will achieve their goals more effectively by having less distorted thinking. Scripture highlights the danger of warped thought processes in 2 Peter 3:16-18, "…in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..." (New American Standard Bible). In conclusion, it is essential that in a healthy person a balance of all these theories be counseled.

Model of Abnormality

According to the model put forth in this paper, mental abnormality can be reduced to the counterpoint to a healthy client's psychology. To be more direct, the model can be analyzed according to the various counseling theories it draws from. Existential Theory posits that mental pathology is centered on human anxiety. This anxiety has various etiologies, though certain key causes can be seen as death, personal tension and unhappiness in life. Also, a driving source of anxiety can be seen in a lack of control over life events and an individual having no idea of a higher existential purpose for their life. This can result in selfishness and lack of sociality in peoples' thoughts, as can be seen in Philippians 2:2-4 where it is written, "make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others" (New American Standard Bible).

Another theory of importance is Behavior Theory which argues similarly that anxiety is the wellspring of mental pathology. Yet in this model, mental dysfunction is derived from learning bad thought processes to deal with anxiety which often amplify it. Murdock (2009) states dysfunction is "…a result of faulty conditioning" In a similar vein, the Bible posits in Proverbs 22:24-25, "do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself" (New American Standard Bible). The Christian counselor must recognize that it is often challenging for a client to escape their childhood experiences, yet it is critical that upon growing up that the individual learn to focus on who and why they spend time with certain people and what they are learning from them.

In a completely different direction, Cognitive Theory states that psychopathology is due to a warped conception of reality. This means that humans construct their own reality and that dysfunction arises from their world not matching up with objective facts. Why this occurs can be due to a variety of factors as Cognitive Theory states that "…psychological distress is ultimately caused by many innate, biological, developmental and environmental factors interacting with one another, and so there is no single 'cause' of psychopathology" (Murdock, 2009). In short, when an assortment of factors helps an individual define reality and how they integrate with it. By mixing these theories the counselor can provide a useful, balanced model of abnormality.

Model of Psychotherapy

Therapy is where counseling theory is put to the test. By mixing counseling theories, the model herein presented gains effectiveness. When evaluating a client's mental processes and which form of psychotherapy to provide, it is critical to recognize that a number of these models can be used alone or in combination based on the difficulties the patient is facing. Integrating Behavioral Theory in which actual behaviors are evaluated with Rational Emotive Behavior Theory in which the client's thought processes are dissected along with Cognitive Theory where evaluation of life problems is the goal and ultimately evaluating the client through Existential Theory can help the counselor reach a more complete perspective on their client and optimize treatment to allow for a healthy client to emerge. Jones and Butman (1991) argue for the utility of mixing theories as not doing so in a sense leaves the client not fully realized in the counselor's mind (Jones & Butman, 1991). In mixing these counseling theories a useful counseling process can emerge. When choosing which theories to utilize the key step is recognizing the client's pressing life problems. After this it is useful to appreciate the client's behaviors which resulted in this significant counseling-worthy issue. Only then can the counselor dissect the client's thought processes and beliefs with a purpose and begin the transition towards a healthier psychological profile. The counselor's job is to help direct a client to question their own past decisions and thoughts with the idea that unhealthy or irrational beliefs be self-evident and how the client to adjust their behaviors (Jones & Butman, 1991).

Discussion and Conclusions

In conclusion, the model presented in this paper seeks to synthesize religious belief with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. This process exposed a variety of critical learning points. The most important, however is that it is essential for the counselor to appreciate their own thought processes and beliefs when seeking to understand their patients and change them for the better. As the APA asserts, the best counseling therapy recognizes that full human psychological profile by allowing those beliefs to exist in the therapy setting. In a recent work detailing how to best synthesize spirituality with counseling, it is stated that, "Counselors who ignore or avoid this essential dimension of human experience can miss opportunities for supporting and fostering psychological growth" (Curtis and Davis, 1999). In summary, the counselor who does not seek to understand their clients' spiritual and religious beliefs does their client a disservice as these thoughts are critical in shaping their cultural norms and values.


Curtis, R., & Davis, K.M. (1999). Spirituality and Multimodal Therapy: A Practical Approach to Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling. Counseling & Values, 43(3), 199. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Johanson, G.J. (2010). Response to: "Existential Theory and our Search for Spirituality" by Eliason, Samide, Williams and Lepore. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 12(2), 112-117. doi:10.1080/19349631003730100

Jones, S.L. & Butman, R.E. (1991). Modern Psychotherapies. InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL 60515

Murdock, N.L. (2009). Theories of counseling and psychotherapy. Pearson Education Inc.: Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Siang-Yang, T. (2007). Use of Prayer and Scripture in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. Journal of Psychology & Christianity, 26(2),… [END OF PREVIEW]

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New Counseling Paradigm Focusing.  (2012, March 6).  Retrieved May 21, 2019, from

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"New Counseling Paradigm Focusing."  6 March 2012.  Web.  21 May 2019. <>.

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"New Counseling Paradigm Focusing."  March 6, 2012.  Accessed May 21, 2019.