[featured-image link=”null” link_single=”inherit” single_newwindow=”false” alt=”christian counseling”]123rf.com[/featured-image] I recently completed an interview for several of my graduate students about my perspectives on the integration of faith and counseling. I think my answer to one of the questions is something some of my readers might appreciate. Question: How do you distinguish between secular counseling, Christian counseling, pastoral counseling, and biblical counse
123rf.com Therapy may often feel ineffective When you go to counseling, chances are good you will expect it to be something other than it is. Some people expect very little to happen. Others expect it to “fix” their problems. Many people think therapy is about getting “advice.” But therapy is unique. It’s not like talking to your mother-in-law, or seeing a doctor who will fix you. You go into therapy with certain beliefs about who you are and how the world works, or should wo
image courtesy of 123rf.com I have written posts previously about counseling myths, how to spot a bad counselor, and my “full immersion” approach to counseling (as a client). In this post I want to help you get through the first few weeks of counseling. 1. Celebrate what you have done, and keep at it Once you have taken that step and called to make your first appointment, realize how far you have already come. Think how unwilling you probably were not long ago to even conside
Marriage research has come a long way in the last twenty years. Therapists used to try to save marriages by helping couples improve their communication and conflict resolution skills. Indeed, this is still what many therapists are doing to help marriages improve. The problem is, we now know that this is not effective. While we know that couples in happy marriages usually communicate and resolve conflict well, it turns out that is not why their marriages are happy. Their marri
Keeping a marriage healthy isn’t that difficult. Counselors get paid a lot of money to help you do this, but there are many things couples can do for free or very low cost that will make a big difference. Here are my top three. 1. Buy John Gottman’s book, The Seven Principles for Making Your Marriage Work. Gottman is one of the most respected and credible authorities on marriage in the country. This book contains a lot of fun and healthy things you can do together that will d
Today I want to give you the last five of ten questions and issues you may end up considering in counseling that is deeply transformational. 6. Where is God in the darkest, nastiest places in your life? We know God is with us, so wherever you are, God is there too. But what is God speaking to you in those places? Certainly those are the places that are rich with opportunity for growth, and for opening up to love and joy. “The people living in darkness have seen a great light!
I have a group of fellow pastors I meet with once a month for breakfast. We socialize and talk shop, but mostly we just hang out. That’s right. We hang out. It’s not usually very “spiritual.” It’s not usually what a person might expect from a group of pastors hanging out together. No one brings a Bible. There’s no “devotional,” and we’re not working our way through some heady book. We eat breakfast, get caught up on what each of us is doing, and most of us drink too m