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

  • A Diagnosis and Treatment Plan after 5 Minutes. Warning: This Blog Contains Some Highly Technical Information

    Apr 18, 2011
    Last week I blogged about how the DSM axis II so-called personality disorders could be understood as the most negative aspects of those personality adaptations which we all learn in the first few years of life in order to survive this strange, new world. I find them fascinating and extremely useful. Research indicates they are real. But their real benefit comes from the fact that they can be used to rapidly diagnose a client and develop a precise treatment plan. Rapidly means 3 to 5 minutes after meeting a client, a counselor can pretty well know what issues a client is dealing with that keeps that client from making the changes they need to make to resolve their problems.
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  • A Strength-Based Approach to Axis II Diagnoses

    Apr 12, 2011
    More than once I have heard counselors cringe at working with clients showing Axis II disorders. My hunch is that they dislike the fact that so-called Adjustment Disorders are, by definition, ‘enduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself.’ Thus to try and change them would be almost impossible. But if you can’t change them, join them!
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  • Everyone Must Have At Least One ‘Secure Base’

    Mar 31, 2011
    When a psychotherapist claims to be 95% effective, he gets my attention. When I further learn that that ‘effectiveness’ is not merely an increase in scores on some survey or ‘paper and pencil’ measure but in lives saved, I read further. George Kohlrieser is 95% effective in getting hostage takers to release their hostages alive. He does this through ‘counseling’ the hostage taker to change! This is truly short-term, strategic therapy in its most effective form. In his book, Hostage at the Table, he distills out the basic, powerful techniques he has developed as a hostage negotiator and presents them for us all to use. Although the cover mentions the book is for leaders and managers, I would, if I could, require every counselor to read it.
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  • Listen Carefully and You Will be Heard

    Mar 09, 2011
    Last week I had my annual physical. I went to a doctor I hadn’t seen before. He was one of the best doctors I have ever encountered. Two aspects of his manner are especially relevant to counselors: 1. He listened to me and took me seriously, but 2. He was not interested in ‘archeology’ but present conditions and concerns. Both of these were so surprising to me, so helpful and so ‘on target’ that I trusted the feedback and recommendations he gave me. I felt he understood me; not some medical model of a typical patient. So when he suggested I might follow-up on this or that condition, I took him seriously and will follow-up.
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  • Are Males and Females Different Morally?

    Feb 24, 2011
    No wonder the clash between Lawrence Kohlberg and Carol Gilligan is so confusing. Each seems to be using a different metaphor in their moral thinking. (See my blog 2 weeks ago or, better yet, H. Richard Niebuhr’s The Responsible Self’.) For the most part, Kohlberg uses ‘man-the-lawmaker’ to guide his description of the development of moral consciousness—justice and the order of community are two of his driving ideas. This metaphor requires answers to these three questions: 1. What is the law governing this situation? 2. What authority requires obedience to this law? and 3. What is the punishment for disobeying this law? Even in stage 3 when he talks about good motives and intentions, man-the-lawmaker is being followed because these are an important part of determining punishment in any court of law. This stage and further stages note that it is human beings who make and enforce the rules and that human beings are not as rigid as the legalist morals might imply. Justice has a human side.
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