Ray McKinnis

Ray McKinnis

Ray McKinnis is a counselor with special interest in 'spirituality beyond religion' and veterans 'beyond PTSD'.  He is now on staff with New Hope Clinical Services, LLC. nhclinicalservices.com

  • What Does Experience Have to Do With It?

    Sep 23, 2011
    I suspect almost every counselor has dealt with the question: ‘Do you have to have experienced it to be an effective counselor?’ Do you have to be married to be an effective marriage counselor? Do you have to have kids to effectively counsel parents having problems with their children? Do you have to have experienced unemployment to counsel those who have lost their job?
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  • How Can I Be Ethical When I Don’t Know What I’m Doing?

    Aug 22, 2011
    In my last blog, I was strongly advocating, rather evangelizing, counselors to first of all to DO NO HARM. This is especially a danger when dealing with religious and spiritual issues. As Nietzsche said, ’Those who were seen dancing were considered insane by those who could not hear the music.’ On the other hand, again especially in the area of religious and spiritual issues, so many advocates are like cowboys with ‘all hat and no cattle’—claiming faith and religion because of the effect it has on others but with no person experience. As counselors we should be able to distinguish between those who actually are hearing the music and those who are trying to get us to dance because of the silence in their lives. In either case, DO NO HARM.
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  • The First & Last Counselor Rule: Do No Harm

    Aug 10, 2011
    ‘The first three to four months after he was born he was a girl. Then he became a boy,’ my mother revealed toward the end of her life. She was talking about my brother, Ralph, who was 1 year and 8 days older than I. It is the sad story behind this blog, ‘DO NO HARM’. Ralph was brilliant. An IQ measured above 150 in high school. (I don’t know exactly what it was because back in those days, it was believed that high school counselors shouldn’t reveal to parents or students their IQ test results.) For 30 years he tried to figure out who he was. Throughout junior high and high school he was interested in girls only to find out what they were like—how did they know how to dress, what where they interested in, what did they do, etc. It was his troubling secret. Clearly he had a male body—6 foot 5, broad shoulders, sang tenor in the church choir, shoe size 15. The only anomaly was he had no facial hair. He had the XY chromosomes.
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  • Evidence-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Wrestles with Spirituality

    Jul 26, 2011
    Evidence-Based (EB) and Cognitive-Behavioral (CB) are two terms that have wormed their way into contemporary counseling jargon. Their major motivation is to help put counseling on a more firm=scientific base. They do have their merit. But they are completely incompatible with spirituality as I define it: spirituality essentially refers to that which is ultimately beyond—especially beyond evidence and cannot be captured with rational thinking. That, I believe, is the heart of the challenge we counselors face when want to include a spiritual dimension into our practice. And it faces all counselors when they counsel a client for whom spirituality is an important part of their lives.
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  • An Amazing Epiphany—Why Many Graduate Courses Didn’t Help My Counseling

    Jul 06, 2011
    After finishing my last blog in which I discussed how the metaphor we choose to guide our ethical thinking affects how we decide what to do, I was struck with an epiphany. Much became clear. Maybe I’m just a little slow and others already realized it, but I’m using the opportunity of this blog to think through some of the implications of this insight.
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