Praying the Scriptures Within Cognitive/Behavioral/Systems Therapy
What would it mean for Christian counseling and pastoral care to take seriously the idea that God intervenes in the world? What would it look like for therapists and pastors to see themselves as opening the door to a miraculous divine encounter? How would counseling change if the intervention of God was not merely a theoretical idea but a lived experience?
This essay by George Ohlschlager was originally published as chapter 14 in the book Transformative Encounters, edited by David W. Appleby and George Ohlschlager. Ohlschlager describes how he developed a Christ-centered approach to change by praying client-chosen and image-rich Bible verses with clients to enhance inner healing and godly intimacy, with supporting research from cognitive/behavior/systems therapy.
Like the other essays in the full-length volume, Ohlschlager builds on Gary Collins's classic work, The Rebuilding of Psychology, to explore what a God-centered model of Christian counseling or pastoral care would look like. He shares the conviction that God is able to bring about lasting psycho-spiritual change here and now. And he seeks to encourage and aid counselors, pastors, church staff, clinical practitioners, academics and students in developing this kind of God-encountering, Christ-centered ministry of miraculous change.
Developing a Transformative Spiritual/Clinical Process
Transformative Spiritual Intervention
Choosing Christ as the Caring Shepherd
Seeking Consent, First and Foremost
Beginning Prayer Together
Unmerited Love Poured Out
Heaven Comes Alive in the Consulting Room
Love Facilitating Forgiveness
Lessons Learned as a Therapist and Ethicist
Keys to Beginning the Process
Throwing Off a Crushing Load via Forgiveness
Doing Spiritual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Truth, a Transformed Mind and New Emotions
Successfully Battling the Enemy
References and Recommended Resources