Embodying Integration
Intermediate

Embodying Integration

A Fresh Look at Christianity in the Therapy Room

Christian Association for Psychological Studies Books

by Megan Anna Neff and Mark R. McMinn

Embodying Integration
paperback
  • Length: 280 pages
  • Published: March 31, 2020
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-2867-8
  • Item Code: 2867
  • Case Quantity: 48

Discussing spirituality and religion in the therapy room is increasingly accepted, some even forgetting that integration of psychology and Christianity was once a rare thing. Yet even as the decades-long integration movement has been so effective, the counselor's lived context in which integration happens grows increasingly complex, and the movement has reached a new turning point. Christian practitioners need a fresh look at integration in a postmodern world.

In Embodying Integration, Megan Anna Neff and Mark McMinn provide an essential guide to becoming integrators today. Representing two generations of counselor education and practice, they model how to engage hard questions and consider how different theological views, gendered perspectives, and cultures integrate with psychology and counseling. "Many students," they write, "don't want models and views that tend to simplify complexity into categories. They are looking for conversation that helps them dive into the complexity, to ponder the nuances and messiness of integration." More than focusing on resolving issues, Neff and McMinn help situate wisdom through personally engaging, diverse views and narratives.

Arising from conversations between an up-and-coming practitioner and her veteran integrator father, this book considers practical implications for the day-to-day realities of counseling and psychotherapy. Personal stories, dialogues between the coauthors, and discussion questions throughout help students, teachers, mental health professionals, and anyone interested in psychology and faith to enter—and continue—the conversation.

"Embodying Integration is, bar none, the most exciting innovation in integration since the pioneer days, fifty years ago. Instead of creating tightly reasoned relationships between psychology and theology, Megan Anna Neff and Mark R. McMinn have an extended daughter-father conversation. And that conversation transforms integration into a living, embodied, conversational quest for wisdom and connection—between psychotherapists and patients, among professionals, and between ourselves and God. This book will be the new standard textbook for integration courses."

Everett L. Worthington Jr., coauthor of Forgiveness and Spirituality in Psychotherapy: A Relational Approach

"The world of the integration of Christianity and psychology is ripe for a shift. Although they have served an important function in their time, classical texts on integration were largely predicated on models that were both theoretical and abstract. Furthermore, these models were assumed to transcend context, being equally applicable to individuals of varying dimensions of identity. Indeed, while our faith identity represents the starting point and central facet of who we are, it does not negate the many other facets that also reflect God's handiwork in creating us as uniquely—us. This is perhaps most evident when I teach integration in other parts of the world. I am realizing more and more that what I have learned about integration is not integration par excellence but rather Western psychology and Western theology, integrated in a Western way. And while this is still helpful, it does not represent all there is to say about integration. A new conversation needs to be started that offers a fresh look on the topic, taking local context seriously. Embodying Integration, written out of a posture of humility and life that has been lived, represents such a text, and I am happy to offer it my wholehearted endorsement."

David C. Wang, associate professor of psychology at the Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University

"I expected a great book from Neff and McMinn, but I didn't expect to be so moved, and challenged, and changed. This book wrestles with the ultimate questions of living, not just for my patients or students but for me. The authors share personal stories and experiences that literally put flesh on a totally new way of integrating faith and psychology. God is doing something new here."

Jennifer Ripley, Hughes Endowed Chair of Christian Thought in Mental Health Practice, Regent University

"As Megan Anna and Mark state, this is a 'novel and somewhat messy approach to integration'—one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and welcome to my classroom. I have long been a fan of Mark McMinn's writings and use them frequently in my teaching and writing. He taught me the field of integration from afar, for which I am grateful. In this volume, however, they go a step further. I've known for quite some time that we need to have deeper conversations about integration as it emerges in the counseling office. I've felt this from my students and have tried to accommodate. Mark and Megan Anna did not give the formula, but they modeled how it can be done with biblical and theological wisdom, psychological refinement, and academic depth. Thank you for taking us a big step further along in the integration journey."

Fred Gingrich, professor of counseling at Denver Seminary, coauthor of Skills for Effective Counseling and Treating Trauma in Christian Counseling
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CONTENTS

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Reflections on Contemporary Integration

Part 1: Facing Difficulty
1. Lament: How Do We Make Sense of the Deep Aches in Life?
2. Uncertainty, Meaning, and Enjoyment: Does Anything Make Sense When the World is Such a Mess?
Facing Difficulty: Final Conversation

Part 2: Pondering God
3. Imaging God: What Does my View of God Have to Do with my Work as a Counselor or Psychotherapist?
4. Considering Atonement: From What are We Being Saved?
Pondering God: Final Conversation

Part 3: God in the World
5. Mission of God: What is God Up to in the World?
6. God with Us: Where is God Amid the Deep Uncertainties of Life?
God in the World: Final Conversation

Epilogue
References
Name and Subject Index

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Megan Anna Neff

Megan Anna Neff (MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary) is currently pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology at George Fox University. She has also done research and worked with nonprofits and churches in Malawi and Ghana.

BY Megan Anna Neff

Mark R. McMinn

Mark R. McMinn (PhD, Vanderbilt University) is professor of psychology at George Fox University, where he serves as the director of faith integration in the Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology. His books include Integrative Psychotherapy, Sin and Grace in Christian Counseling, Care for the Soul, and Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling.

McMinn is a licensed clinical psychologist in Oregon, board certified with the American Board of Professional Psychology. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and a past president of the APA’s Psychology of Religion division. He has received teacher-of-the-year awards both at George Fox and at Wheaton College, where he taught from 1993 to 2006. Much of his recent research and clinical work has focused on clergy health and finding effective ways for mental health professionals and clergy to work together well.

Mark is married to Lisa Graham McMinn, a sociologist, speaker, and writer. Together they run a small Community Supported Agriculture farm in Oregon where they use sustainable farming practices to grow fruit and vegetables, tend chickens, and keep honeybees.

BY Mark R. McMinn

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