Lay Christian Counseling and Client Expectations for Integration in Therapy

Garzon, Fernando; Worthington Jr., Everett L.; Siang-Yang Tan; Worthington, R. Kirby
June 2009
Journal of Psychology & Christianity;Summer2009, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p113
Academic Journal
As lay approaches to Christian counseling have multiplied and become increasingly sophisticated, we hypothesize that these might affect expectations of conservative Christian clients for professional integrative psychotherapy. Accordingly, we review several models of lay counseling, broadly categorizing them into active listening, cognitive & solution-focused approaches, inner healing, and mixed models. We consider how client expectations for psychotherapy may be altered through their experiences with these approaches. Subsequently, we make recommendations for clinicians who deal with lay-counseling-experienced clients. These include doing a more detailed assessment of client lay counseling experiences and considering ethical aspects of treatment (informed consent and competency to treat).


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