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

  • The ACA Code of Ethics Mixes Metaphors

    Feb 14, 2011
    In my last blog, I described the 3 metaphors that are most often used in discussions of morals and ethics. Unfortunately these are usually used without any awareness of their being used. When I first read the ACA Code of Ethics, I was confused. Now I know why. It uses a mixture of these 3 metaphors seemingly without any awareness of their implications. I hope by sharing my ‘aha’ experiences with this code, you too can get a clearer understanding of what its various section imply.
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  • What’s Your Moral Metaphor?

    Feb 07, 2011
    All moral decisions use some metaphor to explain and justify those decisions. That is, all discussions of morality use a particular guiding ‘metaphor’ to make sense of what’s happing and how to respond responsibly to what’s happening. One aspect of human behavior is used to explain moral decisions (a kind of synecdoche). The ‘the Thou shalts’ and ‘Thou shalt nots’ are embedded in a particular context determined by that metaphor. The metaphor you choose determines the course of your discussion. These metaphors both offer opportunities for understanding behavior but also can create a kind of prison—a prison that can be escaped only by choosing a different metaphor.
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  • Heinz is Subversive!

    Jan 28, 2011
    Whenever I read discussions of moral development or research results on stages of moral judgment in the counseling literature, I feel like I’m reading the curriculum for a Sunday School or a Sabbath School or even an assignment for an elementary school class in moral development in a parochial school! Certainly, moral consciousness/judgment as well as morality itself are critical topics for counselors. Behaviors as well as thinking and feelings are affected by what an individual judges what they should or should not be doing—this is true both of our clients and ourselves as counselors. It is also an essential element in any religion.
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  • Don’t Mess With The Finger Pointing To The Moon

    Jan 18, 2011
    My last blog offered a definition of spirituality which I feel could bring some clarity to our discussions in the counseling field. Certainly it won’t work for all uses of the word ‘spirit’—bare chested men at a playoff game or a manic bipolar on a shopping spree all are examples of ‘spirit’. But in the area of religion and spirituality, especially for counselors, I think spirit identifies an essentially reality—a powerful process. I suggested this functional definition for our use as counselors: “Anything human can be considered spiritual for an individual if in the belief of that individual it connects him or her to that which is beyond.”
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  • Now, What About ‘Spirituality’?

    Jan 10, 2011
    I’ve spent the past 8 blogs trying to identify and clarify issues involved in defining religion and spirituality for counselors. I hope they have been helpful in moving the discussions forward. Now with the start of the New Year, it’s time for me offer a definition of spirituality which I find useful. I hope I can get some good feedback from others to further clarify what we are talking about. At this point, as I mentioned earlier, spirituality is used by so many different people in so many different ways that more often than not, I have no idea what the author or researcher mean in their presentations.
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