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  • Writer's pictureSam Alvis

What is "Theological Integration"?

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

Although it might sound like another phrase belonging to the jargon of Christianity, the notion of "theological integration" is more of a movement or school of thought amongst counselors, therapists, psychologists and spiritual counselors that recognize the benefits of a relationship between sound Christian theology and sound psychology. (I'll spare you the academic explanation, but if you want to learn more, check out these two links.) Theological integration, or Christian-spirituality based counseling, as I verbosely refer to it in my practice, is the heart behind my work with my clients. Rather than giving you a thesis explaining all the nuances of what this means, I've decided to simplify it into two broad categories:


What "Theological Integration" Is and Isn't


Is:

  • An opportunity for you to bring your whole self into the counseling room, including your spiritual beliefs and experiences.

  • A place for you to bring your questions, doubts, and anger, as well as your hope, faith, and longing.

  • The freedom and relief to acknowledge that neither you nor I are the healers: rather, we get to invite and lean into the reality of God as the ultimate Healer, Comforter, and Counselor. Phew, glad we both get to embrace our humanity, rather than try to “play God.”

Is Not:


  • ​A disregarding of your experience by shaming, “over-spiritualizing,” or “spiritual by-passing” your pain, doubts, or perceptions by reciting Scripture or theological truths.

  • A way to get all of your questions answered.

  • A cookie-cutter approach: some clients identify as Christians, but do not want to explicitly talk about their spirituality, while others want to view all of their experiences, symptoms, values etc. through their spiritual lens. Let's talk about what does and doesn’t work for you.

You might find that this explanation leaves you with more questions than answers. If that's the case, take advantage of my free 20-minute consultation and see if this "theological integration" might be exactly what your weary soul needs in its search for a more congruent life.

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