Thursday, June 28, 2012



I go back for a minute and describe how I successfully introduced Christian psychotherapeutic praxis into my classes. I had always taught my class entitled Theories of Personality by allowing students to form groups and choose which theorist they wanted to study. Because I knew that some would go on to graduate school, in order to start them toward excellence, I actually used the format of the exam for psychotherapist excellence of the American Board of Professional Psychology. I hoped that some day they might all go for that highest standard in our field.

The Board exam was given in the following way. While being taped and watched through a one way mirror, the candidate conducted a session with a patient using his or her chosen theoretical approach. Afterwards, the psychologist met with four board certified psychologists, and explained what was done and why. Being able to do praxis, that is applying and explaining at an exceptional level, was the criteria of excellence.

In my classes, the students repeated the above format, role playing a simulated session before the class, then following with the class members grilling them on what they did and why. Just as in the Board exam, grades were given for their ability to articulate the theoretical position they had chosen.

Because my articles on Christian theorists followed the model of what makes a good theory, each term, there was always a group of Christian students who chose one or the other of the two Christian theorists I had written about. The only rule for them was that they were to follow the same model as the others in class, with no proselytizing allowed. The approach worked like a charm and over the years, many Christian psychology students were able to feel their Christian theory held its own with the other more well known theories of psychotherapy. Thus, their faith was not undermined by exposure to competing theories.


Anonymous said...

Hi all
my name is Tom and im completely new to this forum.

I hope that I'll learn and share a lot of interesting things.

Waiting your reply..