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.

  • Think: Religion—Community/Sociology; Spirituality—Individual/Psychology

    May 09, 2011
    The more I have been reading and thinking about how to include religion and spirituality into our counseling, the more I have been drawn to the critical need to sharply distinguish religion from spirituality and that difference is the difference between dealing with a faith community and dealing with an individual’s own psychological processes.
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  • Stress is Not the Problem

    Apr 25, 2011
    Last week I heard one of my favorite radio talk show hosts say ‘Stress will kill you!’ I thought that cannot be true. If it were true, every serious athletic would be either sick or dead! The whole idea of training to get stronger is to expose oneself to stress beyond what is normal, whether it be physical, mental or emotional. In order to get stronger, one must experience stress. And then, and this is the other hand clapping, and then let the body or mind or emotions have down time to respond to that stress. It’s like the body saying, ‘If you are going to make me run 400 meters that fast, I’d better get stronger so that it won’t be stressful.’
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  • 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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