Cognitive Therapy Techniques in Christian Counseling


McMinn, M. R. (2008). Cognitive therapy techniques in christian counseling. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers. 

In recent decades, cognitive therapy theoretical approaches and techniques have gained the attention of psychologists, including Christian counselors. Cognitive therapy has been proved to be effective when applied to many of the mental disorders prevalent in our days. Anxiety disorder, depression, anger control, stress management, are good examples of mental disorders that can be treated with cognitive therapy and its techniques.

Cognitive Therapy Techniques in Christian Counseling, by Mark R. McMinn (Wipf and Stock Publishers) is a one of those books every Christian counselor appreciates.  McMinn is a well know therapist and author among Christian counselor, and his works are used in many counseling training programs. In his book Cognitive Therapy Techniques in Christian Counseling McMinn provides a very insightful perspective concerning the application of cognitive therapy techniques from a Christian perspective.

The book is divided into three main parts. The first division, Concepts of Cognitive Therapy (chapters 1-3), deals with theory and concepts every cognitive Christian counselor should be familiar with. Chapter 3 is especially integrative. In this chapter, McMinn provides real examples of therapeutic interventions and biblical scriptures related to them. These three introductory chapters stablish the foundation for the rest of the book.

In the second division, The Process of Cognitive Therapy (chapters 4-9) McMinn presents the basics of cognitive techniques and interventions from a Christian perspective. He does do by using real cases and conversations between the client and the counselor. Chapter 4 is particularly important as McMinn addresses the importance of the first interview. He focuses on ways counselors can us to gather necessary information and how to stablish a healthy and helpful therapeutic relationship for the client. Then he moves to how to work with clients’ thoughts and beliefs.

The third and last division, Applying Cognitive Therapy (chapters 10-13) is devoted to the application of cognitive techniques to depression (chapter 10), anxiety (chapter 11), stress and anger (chapter 12), and other applications (chapter 13). This last chapter presents an overview of how to apply cognitive therapy to eating disorders and couples therapy. Counselors will find this section especially helpful as it presents practical issues and techniques applied to particular disorders.

This book has many remarkable points regarding practical issues. I found very useful the figures used in this book to illustrate ideas and techniques. Conversations between the client and the counselor are always appreciated as they bring theory to the real world. New counselors may find orientation and new ideas by learning from these conversations. There are two appendixes at the end of the book that might be a good resource for new counselors. The firs one (appendix A) is an example of client information form. The second one (appendix B) contains homework forms that can be used with clients from a cognitive theoretical approach.

Thought this book is written from a professional perspective, I would recommend this book to both beginners as well as to consolidated Christian counselors. Even more, I recommend this book to every pastor, as it can help you to assists people in your congregations who might be dealing with emotions, depression and other issues.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


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