Ray McKinnis

Ray McKinnis

Ray McKinnis is a Counselor in Wheaton, IL specializing in anonymous substance abuse and LGBT populations. He can be reached at dreamsampm@aol.com.

  • Watch Your Pronouns

    Mar 05, 2012
    One thing I find so refreshing about reading these ACA blogs is the use of pronouns. The most prominent pronouns used are the pronouns ‘I’ or ‘we’ referring to us as counselors. This makes sense because as counselors, our major subject is relationships and pronouns are the ‘bones’ of those relationships. Pronouns not only express relationships, they create them and hold them in place. For a person to change, they must ‘change their pronouns’.
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  • A Spirituality is Critical for a Counselor

    Jan 17, 2012
    [I realize last year I wrote my ‘Last Blog’. But because Rebecca Daniel-Burke left the door open for me to offer an occasional blog and several readers responded so encouragingly to that ‘last’ blog, I have decided to use the ACA blog as a way to clear out ideas that continue to make their home in my mind--ideas that could be useful to us a counselors.] Andrew Harvey in his amazingly personally honest book, The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism, describes the dangers of being morally sensitive without a sense of some dimension the ‘beyond’. I would like to assert quite absolutely that it is (almost—I’m hedging) impossible for a counselor to be available to many clients honestly and accurately without some sense of a ‘spiritual’ dimension. Individuals in this world experience unimaginable brutality, cruelty, pain and suffering. We as counselors must deal with such individuals. To do so we strength and resources equal to the task in order to listen carefully, acknowledge their experiences and help clean up the mess of such, truly, unimaginable, indeed transcendent cruelty. If we don’t have that strength, we can easily either become overwhelmed, depressed or worse; or just as bad, numb ourselves and ignore the brutality that some of our clients have had to face. Psychological theories are based rational observation supported by evidence carefully collected—the cruelty I am talking about is irrational.
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  • My Final ACA Blog

    Dec 12, 2011
    I have had the privilege of having a blog posted on the ACA blog site for about a year now. This opportunity has motivated me to clarify and articulate many ideas that have been bouncing around in my brain for a long time. I hope they have helped others who have read them. Now, however, every time I get a brilliant new idea or insight into some aspect of counseling, I realize I had that same brilliant idea several months ago and have already written about it. So I’m thinking it is time to summarize those ideas that seem most important as a way of finishing.
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  • Three Metaphors All Counselors Use: The Third One—The Dialogue

    Nov 07, 2011
    Much of my interest in counseling came many years ago from reading the works of Eric Berne and Milton Erickson. The skills and writings of these geniuses and their followers presented such powerful ways of helping individuals change—no matter what the client was dealing with—and personally, they changed my life. But when I went through graduate school a few years ago, these two pioneers were hardly even mentioned. Rarely did any of my textbooks even refer to them although most of the issues we were dealing with had already been dealt with quite powerfully by them.
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  • Three Metaphors All Counselors Use...The Second Metaphor—The Counselor as Artisan

    Oct 26, 2011
    My last blog explored the first metaphor that is used by counselors—counseling as a legal process. It is my least favorite and my hunch is that it is the least favorite of most counselors since it takes the power away from the counselor and places it in the authority that makes the rules and that disciplines those who do not follow them. Under the legal metaphor, there are only two stances: you obey or you do not—and you get no kudos for obeying.
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