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Counseling and Psychotherapy, 2nd Edition

A Christian Perspective

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This substantially revised and updated edition of a widely used textbook covers the major approaches to counseling and psychotherapy from a Christian perspective, with hypothetical transcripts of interventions for each major approach and the latest empirical or research findings on their effectiveness. The second edition covers therapies and techniques that are increasing in use and includes a discussion of lay counseling. The book presents a Christian approach to counseling and psychotherapy that is Christ-centered, biblically based, and Spirit-filled.


Part 1: Basic Issues in the Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy
1. Overview of Counseling and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice
2. The Person of the Counselor
3. Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling and Psychotherapy
Part 2: Major Counseling and Psychotherapy Theories and Techniques
4. Psychoanalytic Therapy
5. Adlerian Therapy
6. Jungian Therapy
7. Existential Therapy
8. Person-Centered Therapy
9. Gestalt Therapy
10. Reality Therapy
11. Behavior Therapy
12. Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
13. Mindfulness and Acceptance-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies: DBT, MBSR, MBCT, and ACT
14. Constructivist Therapies: Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and Narrative Therapy
15. Integrative Therapies and Positive Psychotherapy
16. Marital and Family Therapy
Part 3: A Christian Approach to Counseling and Psychotherapy
17. Christian Theology in Christian Counseling: A Biblical Perspective on Human Nature and Effective Counseling and Psychotherapy
18. Christian Faith in Clinical Practice: Implicit and Explicit Integration
19. The Holy Spirit and Christian Spirituality in Counseling and Psychotherapy
20. Legal and Ethical Issues in Christian Counseling and Psychotherapy
Appendix: Is Psychotherapy Effective?


"Tan's Counseling and Psychotherapy has been a foundational text in Christian counseling for good reason: its accessibility and depth of engagement into both the broad psychological literature as well as the Christian faith is unparalleled. It is rigorous and thorough scholarship written from a pastor's heart. With updates to include recent research findings, more contemporary approaches to psychotherapy such as mindfulness and acceptance-based therapies, along with a final section on a Christian approach to counseling and psychotherapy--which draws on decades of wisdom, experience, and faithful ministry--this text is well-positioned to continue its role as a foundational resource for future generations of Christian counselors."

David Wang, associate professor of psychology, Biola University; editor, Journal of Psychology and Theology

"An already great textbook has been made better! Like many books on the major models of secular counseling and psychotherapy of the twentieth century, the first edition provided a useful summary of each, including its empirical support. What set the book apart was the thorough Christian critique of each model; a focus on the self-care of the therapist; a discussion of legal and ethical issues in the field, including those peculiar to Christian therapy; and, most importantly, its authoritative exposition of the distinct dynamics of Christian therapy. In addition to updated original chapters, the second edition has new chapters on cognitive-behavioral therapies, constructivist therapies, and integrative therapies, including coverage of narrative and positive psychotherapy. All in all, the comprehensiveness, erudition, and Christian convictions and practices evidenced throughout make this book one of the most impressive examples of integrative scholarship in this or any contemporary discipline."

Eric L. Johnson, professor of Christian psychology, Houston Baptist University

"The updates and substantial additional material contained in this second edition of Counseling and Psychotherapy make an already excellent textbook even better. Tan's inclusion of more contemporary approaches such as mindfulness and acceptance-based cognitive behavioral therapies, constructivist therapies, and integrative therapies is timely and necessary. What is of greatest value, however, is the retention of the sections on a biblical perspective for each theory, as well as the chapters devoted to a Christian approach to counseling and psychotherapy. Tan's passion for Christian integration is contagious and is what makes this book unique."

Heather Davediuk Gingrich, professor of counseling, Denver Seminary

"With decades of wisdom and experience, Siang-Yang Tan applies his keen psychological and theological insights to both Western psychology literature and orthodox Christianity to help the reader navigate the twenty-first-century terrain of professional counseling and psychotherapy. Although many Christian psychologists have written on a faith-based interpretation of secular counseling and clinical practice, as a professor, researcher, clinician, pastor, and devout follower of Jesus Christ, Tan is uniquely positioned to survey this vast territory with confidence. Given his deep knowledge of the present-day discipline of scientific psychology and unwavering fidelity to a biblical worldview, I cannot think of a more qualified guide for those who wish to begin the arduous journey to compassionately understand and respond to psychological suffering in contemporary society. With updated content on mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches to psychological treatment, among others, the Christian reader is exceptionally prepared to explore the sizable counseling and clinical literatures with conviction, knowing that Tan is trekking with them each step of the way."

Joshua J. Knabb, professor of psychology and director of the PsyD program, California Baptist University; editor, Journal of Psychology and Christianity

"The 'go-to' Christian resource on counseling theories and techniques. A brilliant guide for practitioners and students in the field."

Tim Clinton, president, American Association of Christian Counselors

Praise for the First Edition

"Encyclopedic in scope, Counseling and Psychotherapy provides a comprehensive survey of the major approaches in psychological treatment. The book presents up-to-date discussions of treatment effectiveness and is filled with examples of clinical interaction that bring the theories to life. However, its most outstanding feature is the commentary and critique of each model from a Christian perspective. Tan has written a lucid and incisive text that advances the field of Christian psychology."

Edward P. Shafranske, Pepperdine University

"Tan has written a readable text, hugely informative to both students and professionals. It displays encyclopedic knowledge of major theories, is the most complete summary and Christian-oriented analysis of theories of counseling and psychotherapy existing, and (unlike most theories of psychotherapy) provides ample attention to both cases and technical methods of counseling. Tan's own reflections on integrated Christian, biblically oriented, Holy Spirit-led counseling are alone worth the price of the book."

Everett L. Worthington Jr., author of Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling and Forgiving and Reconciling

"This landmark book is 'typical Tan': vastly comprehensive, impressively researched, accessibly written, biblically controlled, God-honoring, and spiritually sensitive. I don't know a better introductory text for aspiring Christian counselors and therapists or a more mature overview text for provoking solid Christian thinking about counseling and psychotherapy. Tan's love for Christ, his Word, and his people breathes uncommon life into a textbook."

Larry Crabb†, author, 66 Love Letters; founder and director, NewWay Ministries

The Author

  1. Siang-Yang Tan

    Siang-Yang Tan

    Siang-Yang Tan (PhD, McGill University) is senior professor of clinical psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, senior pastor emeritus of First Evangelical Church Glendale in Southern California, and the author of numerous books, including Lay...

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