At one time, Virginia Todd Holeman "Toddy" thought being biblically literate was all she needed and had little interest in what real theologians talked about. But in her counseling she found that clients pressed her for more.
They didn't just want what she had gained through training in the best theories and practices available for counseling. They asked hard theological questions often related to their suffering. As she describes it, they experienced a kind of "theological disequilibrium . . . which left them discouraged, disoriented and often distraught."
Holeman shows how deep and clear theological reflection can make a major difference in counseling practice. Not only can it shape who we are, it can also bring into greater alignment our theological commitments, our therapeutic practices and our professional ethics. All the while it can have the most practical effect on our counseling sessions.
In this volume Holeman guides counseling students, pastoral counselors and licensed mental health professionals into becoming as well-formed theologically as they are trained clinically.
“The final two levels, professional theology and academic theology, are more indicative of individuals whose life work is theological writing and teaching. Professional and academic theologians serve the church by providing the kind of resources that Christian counselors will use to increase their capacities to think theologically and to live a more Christ-centered life.” (Pages 25–26)
“Grenz and Roger Olson define theology in this way: ‘Christian theology is reflecting on and articulating the God-centered life and beliefs that Christians share as followers of Jesus Christ, and it is done in order that God may be glorified in all Christians are and do.’” (Page 21)
“In the broadest sense, theology shapes who we are and how we live by helping us to better understand who God is and how we can live together as members of God’s family in this world that God created and loves.” (Page 22)
“Yet I was far more interested in practical and concrete application than systematic and philosophical theology” (Page 10)
The great risk of twenty-first-century Christian counseling is becoming uprooted, neglecting the theological essence of our work. Dr. Holeman's book Theology for Better Counseling is an important corrective. She weaves theological insight and clinical wisdom together in this readable and practical book. I commend it to you.
—Mark R. McMinn, author, Sin and Grace in Christian Counseling and coauthor, Integrative Psychotherapy
Going well beyond the questions of when and how to make use of explicit spiritual resources in counseling, Holeman's model of theologically reflective counseling provides a practical, user-friendly, integration tool for use by Christian counselors with both Christian and non-Christian clients--that is, not dependent upon particular theological or theoretical persuasions.
—Heather Gingrich, associate professor of counseling, Denver Seminary
In Theology for Better Counseling, Holeman provides a bridge linking the languages of theology and psychology, demonstrating a theologically reflective model to integrate faith and counseling. Through case examples, jargon-free explanations and clear applications, this book provides a valuable tool for all who consider themselves Christian counselors.
—Judith A. Schwanz, Ph.D., professor of pastoral care and counseling, Nazarene Theological Seminary
Dr. Virginia Todd Toddy Holeman is professor of Counseling. She has taught at Asbury Theological Seminary since 1995. Dr. Holeman received a Ph.D. at Kent State University. At Asbury Seminary, she has served as associate dean of the School of Theology (1999-2004); acting dean (2004-2005); and is presently the chair of the Counseling and Pastoral Care Department. She was the 2003-2004 recipient of the seminary’s Excellence in Distance Learning Teaching Award. Dr. Holeman is the past president of the Kentucky Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a licensed psychologist in Ohio and a licensed marriage and family therapist and licensed professional counselor in Kentucky. She has earned several grant awards, including a $42,020 grant titled Making the Grade: Enhancing Learning Through Evaluation from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theological Education. Dr. Holeman was also a member of the Wabash Center Teaching and Learning Colloquy for Mid-Career Theological Faculty (2007-2008) and a Wabash Workshop Teaching Scholar (1998). She has published several books, including her most recent, Inside the Leader’s Head (Abingon, 2008). Dr. Holeman’s research interests include interpersonal forgiveness, repentance and reconciliation, and integration of psychology and theology.