PCC 513 The Art of Counseling I

Faculty: Michael Brock, PhD, Psy.D. (Profile)


For all of us in ministry, clerical or laical, a familiarity with the fundamentals of counseling—the how of counseling—is essential. Those working directly in the field as licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, clinical psychologists, et. al., know that counseling is an art, an interpersonal art, one that, thankfully far more often than not, inspires both personal and interpersonal growth. Even more thankfully, it can result in spiritual growth.

The good news for all of us, trained therapists or otherwise, is that the how of counseling has been studied extensively and that it can be learned—and that how is the foundation of this course. In the selected readings, the student will learn the essential ingredients of effective counseling—not tricks and gimmicks, but the true foundations as laid out by the two practitioners who invented and perfected the art, Carl Rogers and Rollo May. In a reference to the counseling approach developed by Rogers, the eminent existentialist psychiatrist Irvin Yalom has written that it is “so right, so self-evident, and so buttressed by decades of psychological research” and that, together with that of May, it is destined “to play a significant role in the birth of clinical psychology.” (From the introduction to Rogers’ A Way of Being.)

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