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The online lectures and McMinn suggested some “cautions” or possible negative
impacts when using prayer and Scripture in counseling. While suggesting these
cautions in Christian counseling may appear superfluous, consider the most important
therapeutic uses of Scripture and prayer in counseling by indicating how you would
address treatment in the case below. Be aware that the case is very similar to an actual
case encountered by one of our professors in his private practice. Make sure to
adequately integrate class materials as you thoughtfully consider your approach.
Case Study:
Mary is a 28-year-old young woman. She was referred for counseling as part of her
discharge plan from a local psychiatric facility to which she was admitted as a result of a
non-fatal suicide attempt. She was diagnosed with major depression. There was also
suspicion that she might have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Mary’s father
sexually molested her throughout her childhood. He was a pastor during the daytime
and a member of the occult at night. While raping Mary, her father would often quote
from the Bible; for example, he would use the 5th Commandment and tell her to: “Honor
your father and mother” (Exodus 20:12). At one point, Mary became pregnant by her
father who then made her sacrifice her child on an altar during a satanic ritual. Mary
was forced to watch this sacrifice. Her father is currently serving a life sentence in
prison. Mary grew up in the church. She reads her Bible regularly. However, she
questions why God would allow her father to do what he did to her. During counseling,
she told the therapist that she was still a believer, but that there was a great distance
between her and God.

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