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.

  • 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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  • Prayer in Therapy: A Dialogue

    Jun 20, 2011
    I was delighted to see Ryan Neace [ACA Blog ‘Prayer in Therapy an Ethical Primer] reply so carefully and thoughtfully to my proposition that prayer should never be used in therapy (unless it is in the context of a specific faith community). One of the opportunities of the ACA blog is to engage in dialogue with fellow counselors. Ryan’s response gives me an opportunity to understand another point of view and clarify further points I have not presented clearly enough.
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  • Should I Ever Pray With My Client?

    May 31, 2011
    No, Never. According to the ACA Code of Ethics, there are some activities a counselor must never engage in with a client—especially sexual activities. There are some activities that are allowed but only very carefully—such as dual relationships. And there are some activities that are required for being an effective counselor—such as caring and empathy.
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  • Spirituality in Counseling: How Can We Know the Unknowable?

    May 16, 2011
    So, if a client says ‘Yes, of course, I believe in God,’ how do I as a counselor respond? First, I must be clear that I do not know what significance the word ‘God’ has for him or her. I do find it useful to consider the word ‘God’ as a hypothetical construct that gets its meaning from the faith community that uses it. For a counselor (who is not a pastoral counselor), it can only be defined operationally in the client’s life; that is, it can only be dealt with in a counseling situation by determining what effect belief in God has on the client—note that this neither affirms nor denies the reality of something called ‘God’.
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