Christian Client’s Preferences Regarding Prayers as a Counseling Intervention
Matters of faith such as divine intervention, miracle treatment, and especially prayers are extremely important to Christians. Consequently, there has been a steady increase in the use of prayers by therapists in counseling. Nonetheless, very little research has been conducted on this subject. Notably, Christian patients are the primary consumers of therapies that are done using prayers. Essentially, a review of a paper on this topic will facilitate in the development of critical and informative ideas on this subject and whether this form of therapy is beneficial.
Generally, there have always been mutually exclusive treatments of psychology and religion in mental therapy. Notably, recent studies show that psychologists have continuously increased the use of prayers in counseling sessions. Nevertheless, ethical, multiculturalism, and clients varied developments challenge therapist on the best way to use prayers in therapy. Consequently, there have been a lot of researches on the relevance of prayer to psychology.
Evidently, research indicates that prayer has a positive relationship to the improvement of mental health of the patient. According to Weld & Eriksen (2007), most Christians expect prayers in their therapy. Correspondingly, most therapists are always willing to share them with these believers. Nevertheless, the distribution of Christians who expect loud prayers depend on their Christian beliefs. Particularly, conservatives interpret the Bible more literally and are more likely to abide by its principles. On the contrast, non-denominational, Baptists, and Pentecostals would desire more prayer interventions than Catholics because they are more religiously conservative.
Notably, most clients who participated in the research by Weld & Eriksen (2007) indicated they either often or occasionally expected prayers during the session. Generally, this conclusion supports the use of prayers in therapy. On the contrary, it poses a challenge for the secular therapists. Similarly, most patients may not want treatment from a physician who they are of different religion.
Further, according to Weld & Eriksen (2007), therapists should be careful on the extent of use of audible prayer. Basically, most clients voted against the use of audible prayers. On the contrary, however, they supported for intervention through prayers by physicians outside the therapy session. In light of this, the patients indicated that therapists should be careful on the extent of use of prayer. Moreover, clients who used prayers in their daily life would expect a lot of prayer in the therapy session.
Importantly, clients stated that they expected therapists to introduce the subject of prayer. Similarly, physicians supported this therapy since it gave them an opportunity to acknowledge the patients’ of their interest in the clients’ spiritual wellbeing. Consequently, these results showed therapists the importance of conducting an overall assessment of the client before starting therapy.
Demographically, the importance of prayer reduced depending on the age of the client. Accordingly, Weld & Eriksen (2007) concluded that therapists should have special consideration on prayers for elderly individuals since they are the ones who indicated the highest interest. Similarly, women demonstrated greater value for prayers in the therapy session as compared to men. Subsequently, Weld & Eriksen (2007) found that women are more spiritually sensitive as compared to men. Collaboratively, Weld & Eriksen (2007) noted that past research such as the one conducted by Barna group in 2004 had shown similar results.
Generally, this study showed a case of an in-depth and scientific approach to addressing therapeutic issues. Importantly, the researchers used scientific methods when evaluating the data. Principally, Weld & Eriksen (2007) used Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA), Pearson correlation, and Bonferroni post hoc correction method. Consequently, this method eliminated the probable risk of bias caused by human error. Further still, the conclusions arrived were collaborated by results from past researchers. For example, the demographic research by Weld & Eriksen (2007) showed that women are more religious than men. Essentially, this conclusion is similar to conclusions given by Barna Group (2004).
On the contrary, however, the research had a limitation of scope. Correspondingly, results from the study cannot be applied in all cases. Essentiality, the research was conducted among Christian patients and therapists. Additionally, only 52% of all the questionnaires and interviews were completed. Worse still, the study did not represent the religious and cultural diversity in the country. As a result, data from this research can only be used among the groups who were present during its formulation. Further, the use of localized data rather than a sample collected through random sampling weakened the results of this research.
Nevertheless, the two researchers were able to shed light on the importance of prayers on health care. In addition to this, their research used both the patient and the therapists’ perspective; as a result, it provides a guide for future research. Importantly, it also gives a guide on areas that researchers should focus. Consequently, Weld & Eriksen (2007) performed a good job in creating interest on this subject.
Generally, the information from this study is relevant and applicable to all forms of therapy. Importantly, the knowledge gathered from reading this paper may be used in a crisis recovery. Basically, Christianity is a religion based on hope, faith and love. Consequently, this method is applicable where the therapist assures the patient things will get better.
Accordingly, a therapist may use this therapy when consulting a family that has a sick family member. Undoubtedly, people take loved ones to a hospital with the hope that they will recover from their ailments. Unfortunately, it is common for the health of the patient to deteriorate during treatment. Consequently, this method is applicable where the therapist uses prayers a tool to give hope to the desperate family.
Finally, this method can be used when counseling families whose members are engaged in dangerous national duty. Generally, these operations involve deployment to a high-risk area such as war zones for the army, or areas with epidemics such as Ebola disease for medical officers. Importantly, there is the need to assure such an individual’s family that he/she will be safe. As a result, the use of prayers when counseling such a family with an aim of giving them faith in his/her safety is important.
Conclusively, Weld & Eriksen (2007) journal on Christian clients’ preferences regarding prayer as a counseling intervention sheds important aspects that physicians should consider when using this method. Notably, it shows the patient’s expectations and the benefits of using this method. Consequently, as a guide for the development of future research on the benefits of prayer in therapy, it is appropriate. Nonetheless, it is unconvincing and insufficient for providing a permanent framework for the use of prayer in therapy due to its limitation of scope.
Weld & Eriksen (2007). Christian client’s preference regarding prayers as a counseling intervention. Journal of psychology and theology, 35(4), 328-341.