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Sample GDB Post (Forum #2)
Dr. Campbell, 2016



When my client enters the room, the first thing I will do is to make sure that he has completed an informed consent (McMinn, 1996, p. 24) and that he understands my approach to counseling.  I will identify alternative forms of treatment and have him sign a written consent form (McMinn, 1996, p. 24).  Then I will listen carefully to the client’s presenting problem(s) and empathize with him, if appropriate, as he recounts his story of pain and suffering.  I will show sensitivity (McMinn, 1996, p. 48) and develop an atmosphere where the client is able to tell his personal story (McMinn, 1996, p. 48).  Most importantly, during the first session, I will try to give him a sense of hope and the feeling that, no matter what his pain and suffering may be, Christ is able to restore broken lives (McMinn, 1996, p. 20). 

As part of the first session, I will begin evaluating underlying irrational beliefs or lies that may be associated with the client’s suffering, as well as associated unhealthy thinking, emotions, and behavior (Campbell, n.d. “Take Captive Every Thought”).  I will begin to define treatment goals (McMinn, 1996, p. 61), identify my theoretical orientation, and choose techniques that will be utilized to help bring about change.  These techniques may include “prayer, religiously oriented homework, Scripture, and faith-related discussions” (McMinn, 1996, p 22).  Through this process, I hope to help clarify the “truth” about suffering as revealed in God’s Holy Word (Campbell, 2010), with the conviction that the truth will ultimately set the person free (Campbell, n.d. “Take Captive Every Thought”).

In subsequent sessions, I will attempt to develop a close, trusting relationship with the client (McMinn, 1996, p. 51) so that he can honestly admit his faults and begin to challenge his underlying faulty beliefs and to begin to change his thinking, emotions, and behavior(Campbell, n.d. “Take Captive Every Thought”).  As part of this process, I will attempt to create a “nurturing, safe relationship” (McMinn, 1996) in which the client, where appropriate, can openly acknowledge and discuss his sin or brokenness (McMinn, 1996, p. 51).

As therapy progresses, depending upon the nature of the client’s suffering, I may need to help him develop a plan to confront parents, past abusers, or others (McMinn, 1996, p. 56).  Alternatively, it may be necessary to help the client forgive (rather than confront) past abusers (McMinn, 1996, p. 63).  When considering whether to help the client confront or forgive, I will keep in mind that successful therapy may require “a careful balance of support and confrontation” (McMinn, 1996, p. 56).

When considering treatment options, I will consider whether my therapeutic techniques will help the client develop a “healthy sense of self,” a “healthy sense of need,” and whether these techniques help the client “establish a healing relationship” with others (McMinn, 1996, p. 66).  I do not feel that my job as a clinician will necessarily be that of helping the client remove all pain and suffering.  I will keep in mind McMinn’s (1996) statement that, “Throughout Scripture and throughout the history of the Christian church, God has used pain and suffering to bring people to maturity” (p. 47).

 

References

 

Campbell, B. (2010). Godly counsel: Scriptures for today's world. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

 

Campbell, B. (n.d.). Take Captive Every Thought [Video file]. Retrieved from:  http://counseling4christians.com/Videos/IntegrationCCBT.html

 

McMinn, M. (1996). Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publications.