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Comparison of Crabb and Hawkins’ Models of Integration



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    A Comparison of Crabb and Hawkins’ Models of Integration

    There is a continued debate in the Christian community on the topic of integration or multi-tasking as (Hawkins, n.d.) prefers to call it.  There are many takes on the notion of whether a Christian counselor should apply the process of integration to their particular model of counseling or strictly stick to the use of the bible.  Dr. Lawrence Crabb and Dr. Ron Hawkins are authors whose works have been of great contribution to the integration of biblical counseling process to those who seek to use these methods in their counseling practice.  A comparison of each approach will help in giving a better understanding of how they can be applied to Christian counseling and how each model may differ.

    Crabb’s Model of Integration: Spoiling the Egyptians

                In his book, Effective Biblical Counseling, Crabb termed his approach to integration as “Spoiling the Egyptians” (1977, p. 47).  In this approach both psychology and theology are being combined to give the counselor more tools to use in the counseling process.  He is sure to make it clear that when psychology and theology are combined, then the Scripture would always be used as the source of higher truth.  Psychology will never be placed above the Scriptures.  This is not something that one just decides to do on a whim; it takes careful diligence along with a vast knowledge of the Scriptures to screen the different processes of psychology that one wishes to integrate, so as to ensure that they are compatible with Christian beliefs and are not contrary to the words of God (Crabb, 1977).  Crabb urges counselors to figure out what it is they are trying to do when counseling a client.  Counselors need to have a goal, Crabb believes that “The goal of biblical counseling is to promote Christian maturity, to help people enter into a richer experience of worship and a more effective life of service” (Crabb, 1977, p. 29).  He also emphasizes what it is that causes people to be in need of counseling and what counselors need to know about people in order to effectively counsel them.  The decision making process of people are driven by their, personal needs, motivation and their personality structure, and when these faucets of the human life is not in line with God’s plan people end up seeking counseling to get their lives back on track as God intended.

                Crabb’s approach to multi-tasking has a very firm biblical foundation.  His approach consisted of psychological methods that were not only proven but were also consistently aligned with Scriptures.  Throughout his book Dr. Crabb carefully outlines the assumptions and basic ideas of various psychological schools of thought, he did not dismiss their ideas but he either show where they were mistaken in their views or how they could be adjusted to be integrated for use by Christian counselors.  Dr. Crabb is correct in his belief that a person’s significance is attained by their understanding of who they are in Christ.  However, a person’s understanding of who they are in Christ is not sufficient enough to bring about lasting change.  In order for change to become permanent in a counselee’s life, the counselee has to experience a real and personal relationship with God.  It is rather confusing when Crabb uses phrases such as “”unconscious thinking in the unconscious mind” (p. 97).  It would have been helpful if had offered a definition for thinking that might help to support such phrases.

                Crabb does present an effective tool for helping the Christian counselor develop a framework for working with counselees from a cognitive behavioral perspective.  It would have been helpful if Crabb would have outlined the process for implementing his model in the context of working with a counselee.  Although written in 1977, his book still holds valuable truths to Christian counselors today.  His ideas are biblically based with explanations for each intervention, step, and level of counseling.  His concrete theories allows the reader to explore them and chose what may be the best method for each reader along with the pro’s and con’s of each theory.

    Hawkins’s Comprehensive Counseling Theory

    Hawkins’ model of multi-tasking focuses on nine elements or forces which influences or shapes a person personality and operative attention must be given to these elements in order to counsel effectively (Hawkins’, n.d.).  Dr. Hawkins believes that a theory should “reflect the ability to multi-task.  The theory should integrate responsibly insights from theology, psychology, and spirituality giving preference to scriptural/theological truths as foundational for resolving what appear to be contradictions between scripture and psychology” (Hawkins, n.d.).  Dr. Hawkins’ model is centered on concentric circles demonstrating how the person is at the center of the circle while family, relatives, friends, neighbors and acquaintances circles the person.  Through the illustration of the circle Dr. Hawkins attempts to enlighten the reader as to how the client interacts with the world around them and where Christ may be in this circle.  He further explains that the Christian counselors need a firm theological base in order to discriminate between truths and untruths.  Hawkins additionally explores the need for Christian counselors to be able to provide care to God’s people in such a way that also shows the love of Christ.  His model is quiet easy to follow because it flows in a logical and consistent manner, it is also aligned with the teachings of the bible.

    Comparison of Crabbs and Hawkins Models

    Contrary to Crabb, Hawkins places more emphasis on working with the client to build a strategy for change and then engaging the client in taking ownership of the strategy and the process of personal change.  Hawkins identifies the first step as gaining an understanding of the real problem. Then, he moves on to reality testing.  From there, a plan of action is formulated and the client is engaged in taking ownership of this plan of action and responsibility for its outcome.

    Finally, the counselor is active in helping to build support and accountability into the process of change regarding the client.  Crabb and Hawkins’ models both agree on the counselor aiding the client in reaching maturity within Christ, providing support in a caring way which reflects the love of Christ.  Hawkins’ model however, builds more on the counselor’s view on theology and their worldview, while Crabb was able to give several examples of integration of Christianity and psychology.  Each model demonstrated how it could best suit the Christian counselor according to their view.  Overall, both models possesses their own strengths when it comes to multi-tasking and a combination of both model’s strengths could help to develop a more comprehensive integrative counseling approach for Christian counselors.


    Crabb, L. J. (1977). Effective biblical counseling. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

    Hawkins, R. E. (Speaker). (n.d.). Introduction of multi-tasking. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty University.

    Hawkins, R. E. (Speaker). (n.d.). Model for guiding the counseling process. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty University.


    COUN 507/PACO 600 Theology and Spirituality in Counseling

    The following represents an additive template for grading. Instead of beginning with 100 and losing points for errors, you begin with a 0 and earn points for your work in determining your grade, three questions will be asked.


    HOW DID IT RUN THE COURSE?                                     Question Value:  35 Points
    Submitted with correct cover sheet located on Blackboard and                           Score: 5 points
    Grading Guideline for Theory Critiques pasted correctly?

    Evidence of proof reading?                                                                        Score: 15 points
    (Minimal typographical, grammatical, punctuation errors, no

    unnecessary pages, paragraphing/sentence structure is proper and

    without awkwardness, body length is not more than 4 pages)

    Followed current APA Guidelines (headers, margins, spacing,                            Score: 15 points
    numbering, font, referencing titles correctly with initials, italics,

    and appropriate use of lower case letters, etc.)?

    HOW DID IT HANDLE THE SOURCE(S)?                         Question Value: 15 Points
    Citations are properly referenced?  (A minimum of 4                                Score: 10 points
    appropriate citations per author under review)

    APA Reference list?                                                                                               Score: 5 points
    DOES THE WRITING HAVE FORCE?                               Question Value: 50 Points
    Content reveals an organized interaction that specifically                         Score: 30 points
    addresses the assignment with clarity and coherency?

    Clear, insightful, rich interaction with subject matter?                               Score: 10 points
    Conclusion reveals thoughtful summarization and application?               Score: 10 points
    Grade: ____________


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