Spring 2015 Syllabus: “Counseling Problematic Emotions” Graduate or Undergraduate Credit

Do the emotions of anxiety, depression, anger, or grief ever interfere with your ability to enjoy life, relate to others, or be productive in your daily tasks? Do you have friends who come to you seeking guidance in these areas? Do you struggle to live consistently with the confidence and security that your identity in Christ ought to provide? Do you want to be able to communicate more clearly the difference Christ can make for the way we navigate difficult emotional experiences?

If you answer “yes” to one or more of these questions, then the Spring 2015 intensive on a Christian approach to difficult emotions would be an excellent experience for you. This series of seminars will be held March 2-6.

A CHRISTIAN APPROACH TO DIFFICULT EMOTIONS INTENSIVE

Monday, March 2 – Depression
Tuesday, March 3 – Anxiety
Wednesday, March 4 – Grief
Thursday, March 5 – Anger
Friday, March 6 – Identity in Christ

Time: 6:30 to 9:00 pm
Location: The Summit Church, North Raleigh Campus
Address: 5808 Departure Drive; Raleigh, NC 27616
Cost: Free
Credit Available (learn more here)

For those interested in academic credit, several options are available through our collaboration with Southeastern Seminary (SEBTS).

  • Sample Syllabus for Certificate Credit – 2015_spr_bco0655_hambrick_syllabus
  • For questions about certificate credit please contact Eli Byrd at SEBTS at 919.761.2281.
  • Sample Graduate or Undergraduate Credit – 2015_spr_bco6551_hambrick_syllabus
  • For questions about graduate or undergraduate credit please contact Shannon Battles at SEBTS at 919.761.2280.
  • Note: Either syllabus is subject to revision, but gives a representation of the workload and expectations associated with each option.

Students from schools other than SEBTS can check with their school’s registrar office about how to transfer these credits. For those seeking to take this course for undergraduate credit, this form is needed to take a masters level course for undergraduate credits.

Please remember everyone is welcome to attend all of our seminars for free. These credit are merely additional ways that you can benefit from these trainings. If you are only interested in one topic, it if fine to just attend one of the evening seminars.

For those seeking certificate credit it is required that that you:

  • Attend  seminars on all 5 evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 pm
  • Complete the reading and writing assignments in the syllabus above
  • Note: The certificate is offered by SEBTS, not Summit, so their Registrar’s office would be the contact point for questions regarding the other courses necessary for this certificate.

For those seeking graduate or undergraduate credit it is required that you

  • Attend  seminars on all 5 evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 pm
  • Attend supplemental lectures each day from 1:00 to 5:00 pm
  • Listen to the supplemental lectures listed in the syllabus above
  • Complete the reading and writing assignments in the syllabus above

If you want certificate, undergraduate, or graduate credit there is a cost of $236 for each credit and a one-time application fee of $30. These fees are paid to SEBTS for enrollment and course credit. You would begin the process earning a certificate by applying for admission at SEBTS.

Our desire for these events is to provide:

  • An excellent learning experience for anyone wanting to learn to manage their emotions in a God-honoring way
  • Resources that can be used in one’s personal ministry whether or not you pursue any formal credits
  • A certificate option for lay people who want to study counseling without pursuing a degree
  • Undergraduate credits for college students exploring the option of studying biblical counseling in seminary
  • Graduate credits for seminary students that will allow them to complete a course like this with viable ministry models they can utilize in the local churches they serve

Please pass along this post to anyone you believe would be interested in these learning experiences.

 

Table of Contents for the New “Scripture and Counseling” Book from the BCC

516835I had the privilege of contributing chapter 15 to a newly released book Scripture and Counseling: God’s Word for Life in a Broken World with the publisher Zondervan. The contributors to this book are member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition.

In order to introduce you to this book, I thought I would post the table of contents so you can see the topics covered and the authors for each chapter. I hope you will order a copy and be encouraged about how the Bible speaks to breadth of challenges we face in our day-to-day lives.

PART 1: HOW WE VIEW THE BIBLE FOR LIFE IN A BROKEN WORLD

Introduction: The Preacher, the Counselor,  and the Congregation by Kevin DeYoung and Pat Quinn

1 The Richness and Relevance of God’s Word by Kevin Carson

2 Sufficient for Life and Godliness by  Paul Tautges and Steve Viars

3 Where Do We Find Truth? by Jeffery Forrey

4 What Is Psychology? by Jeffery Forrey

5 Scripture Is Sufficient, but to Do What? by Jeremy Pierre

6 The Christ-Centeredness of Biblical Counseling by Robert Jones

7 A Counseling Primer from the Great Cloud of Witnesses by Bob Kellemen

8 What about the Body? by Sam Williams

9 Caution: Counseling Systems Are Belief Systems by Ernie Baker and Howard Eyrich

10 The Bible Is Relevant for That? by Bob Kellemen

PART 2: HOW WE USE THE BIBLE FOR LIFE IN A BROKEN WORLD

11 The Rich Relevance of God’s Word by Bob Kellemen

12 The Practicality of the Bible for Becoming a Church  of Biblical Counseling by Garrett Higbee

13 Uncommon Community: Biblical Counseling in Small Groups by Garrett Higbee

14 Speaking the Truth in Love by Jonathan Holmes and Lilly Park

15 The Competency of the Biblical Counselor by Brad Hambrick

16 Relating Truth to Life: Gospel-Centered Counseling for Depression by Jeremy Lelek

17 Using Biblical Narrative in the Personal Ministry of the Word by John Henderson

18 Using Wisdom Literature in the Personal Ministry of the Word by Deepak Reju

19 Using the Gospels in the Personal Ministry of the Word by Rob Green

20 Using the Epistles in the Personal Ministry of the Word by Heath Lambert

Conclusion: Lessons Learned through Counseling Experience by Randy Patten

Appendix A: The Mission, Vision, and Passion Statement  of the Biblical Counseling Coalition

Appendix B: The Confessional Statement of the Biblical Counseling Coalition

Appendix C: The Doctrinal Statement of the Biblical Counseling Coalition

Tweets of the Week 11.18.14

There is great value in saying something in a memorable, concise manner. Twitter has caused us to make this a near spiritual discipline. For my own growth (as a generally verbose individual… that’s a long way of saying “wordy”) and for the benefit of others, I highlight tweets each week that deliver a big message in a few words.

Video: Overcoming Depression-Anxiety, A Suffering Paradigm (Step 5)

Below is a video from the presentation of “Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Suffering Paradigm.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.

The complementing studies  Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Responsibility Paradigm and Towards a Christian Perspective of Mental Illness will also available in a video format after their presentation

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. Summit members can pick up a copy of the notebook in the church office. For those outside the Summit family, you can request a copy from Amy LaBarr (alabarr@summitrdu.com), office administrator over counseling.

“God, Can We Rest on this Journey?”
MOURN the wrongness of what happened and receive God’s comfort.

Depression-Anxiety Suffering Paradigm Part 5 from The Sam James Institute on Vimeo.

Memorize: Isaiah 14:3-4 (ESV), “When the Lord has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: ‘How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased!’” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Given you rest” – Rest is a gift that God wants to give you. Taking time to mourn is not wasting God’s time.
  • “From pain… turmoil” – God takes time to list the types of challenges we face; that add to our need for rest.
  • “Made to serve” – God is acknowledging that this suffering was forced upon his people; they did not choose it.
  • “King of Babylon” – Often pre-figures Satan’s role in the life of New Testament believers.
  • “Oppressor has ceased” – There will be a time when we get to say this about Satan’s tool of depression-anxiety.

Teaching Notes

“Any time a difficult experience has some longevity in our lives, we can gradually derive some personal identity from it (p. 261).” Ed Welch in Depression, A Stubborn Darkness

“The general rule is that those who listen most and speak least will be the most useful to sufferers (p. 6).” David Murray in Christians Get Depressed Too

“The most helpful thing for me was the meals, the offers to do a load of laundry or take the children for the afternoon. Even though I did not accept these offers because of a misplaced sense of pride, which depression can foster, knowing that someone cared enough to offer was a source of encouragement (p. 34).” Kathryn Greene-McCreight in Darkness Is My Only Companion

“The recovery ministries are not right for most people with mental illness. The idea of recovery reinforces the message that we want to help you ‘get over’ your problem so you can be a normal, fully functioning member of the community… This approach is appropriate for issues that truly lend themselves to recovery, but it’s not appropriate for most mental illness (p. 117).” Amy Simpson in Troubled Minds

“Satan is attracted to the inward-turning instincts of depression. Satan can use times of depression as an opportunity for an all-out assault on our faith and confidence in God. He can use the ‘dark night of the soul’ to cast doubt on the goodness and love of God (p. 138).” Brian Borgman in Feelings and Faith

“All sufferers are tempted to believe that their suffering is unique. This lie immediately renders all counsel irrelevant because no one understands and no advice applies. The result is that the aloneness you already experience is now an established fact, and you are given ever more permission to despair (p. 69).” Ed Welch in Depression, A Stubborn Darkness

Videos: Guidance for Blended Families

Below is a video from the presentation of “Guidance for Blended Families” presented at The Summit Church on November 15, 2014. For the various counseling options available from this material visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.

Here is the listening guide for this seminar: Guidance for Blended Families Notes

This seminar is intended to be a topical supplement to the Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series, but can also serve as a free-standing resource to assist blended families.

NOTE: The videos for this presentation are not yet available. This post was made live to ensure that all link referenced in the seminar notebook are active for those seeking follow up resources from the live presentation. If you are wanting to watch the seminar via video, please save this page to your favorites so you can reference it later. It usually takes 2-3 weeks after the live presentation for the video edition of a seminar to be ready.

Hour One:
Who Are We (People & Hurts)?

Video from hour one will be posted here. Thank you for your patience.

Hour Two:
Unity in a Blended Marriage

Video from hour two will be posted here. Thank you for your patience.

Hour Three:
Unity in a Blended Family

Video from hour three will be posted here. Thank you for your patience.

Article: How to Make a Family Code

Assessment Tool: Parental Discipline Assessment

 

Counseling In Your Local Church: Understanding the Liabilities and Possibilities — Workshop Schedule

We want you to know the scope of what we hope to accomplish in this workshop. Divergent expectations are a primary contributor to the dissatisfaction that sometimes exists with counseling-related resources (i.e., books, conferences, or personal counseling). We want to model the level of informed consent that should be present in a counseling ministry not only by “what” we say, but “how” we present-promote this workshop.

COUNSELING IN YOUR LOCAL CHURCH:
Understanding the Liabilities & Possibilities of Lay Care Ministries
Date: Friday January 23, 2015
Time: 9am to 5pm
Location: The Summit Church, Brier Creek Campus
Address: 2335 Presidential Drive; Durham, NC 27703
Cost: $99 / person (lunch provided)
RSVP and Find More Information Here

At the end of this event you should…

… be able to identify the functional differences between counseling and discipleship
… understand the advantages and disadvantages that emerge across a spectrum from informal one-another care to formal counseling
… be able to assess your church’s, leadership’s, and communities’ readiness to launch / receive a counseling ministry
… know the kind of leadership and supervision necessary to care well for lay counseling leaders
… grasp how to structure components of lay-led counseling ministries in a way that

1. is liability safe,
2. allows for growth into a more robust counseling ministry, and
3. cooperates well with other resources in your community

This event will not attempt to…

… teach you how to re-create the counseling ministries that exist at The Summit Church (your context likely calls for something different)
… how to create a formal lay counseling ministry utilizing certified lay counselors (this can be good, but it outside the focus of this workshop)
… how to create a parachurch counseling ministry (this would require more time than a one-day conference)

Here is our intended schedule.

9:00 to 9:30
What Is Counseling? Helping Relationships from Discipleship to Counseling

Counseling and discipleship overlap significantly and, any church-based counseling ministry that serves a church well, should have a strong discipleship ministry as its long-term care outlet. Otherwise you would be creating something that was long-term unsustainable and privatized discipleship in a way that detracts from the community life of your church.

In order to determine if your church wants a formal counseling ministry and, if so, how to best develop one, there must be an agreed upon definition of “counseling.” If counseling is simply “every helping conversation” then your church already has a counseling ministry.

In this session you will receive key markers to differentiate the changes in relationship and liability that occur across the spectrum from discipleship to counseling.

9:30 to 10:30
Who Does Counseling? Competency from Friends to Professionals

What level of training is necessary to warrant calling a given interaction counseling? What liabilities and responsibilities emerge as these more formal and artificial relationships facilitated by a church? What advantages and disadvantages emerge as counseling becomes more formal?

How can the early stages of an informal, lay counseling ministry be developed in such a way that (a) it does not create undue liability for the church, and (b) allows for growth into more formal aspects, if those aspects are desirable latter?

In this session we will define five levels of counseling competence across a spectrum from informal to formal counseling that allows you to answer these kinds of questions. The remainder of this event will prepare you to maximally launch and utilize the first two levels on this spectrum.

11:00 to 11:30
Why Wouldn’t Our Church Want This?  

What are the challenges that having a formal counseling ministry presents? What are the character qualities needed in our pastors, congregation, and community in order for a counseling ministry to thrive?

What are common things a church wants from a counseling ministry that are not possible which result in a sense of disappointment about initiating this type of ministry? Conversely, what are the advantages of having a formal counseling ministry which make it “worth it” to face these challenges?

11:30 to 1:00
Lunch // Q&A About Morning Topics

1:00 to 1:50
How to build a church-based counseling ministry from the bottom up?

Based on the definitions and models being presented, how would a church (pastoral team) or individual within a church (lay initiative) begin to develop a counseling ministry?

What existing programs and resources are there and how do they fit within the framework that has been presented?

What supervisory considerations should a church provide for a lay counseling ministry even in its earliest stages of development?

2:00 to 2:50
Understanding the Interface of Different Kinds of Helping Relationships

Not all helping relationships are created equal, nor should they be; one size does not fit all. Consider the differences you experience in your relationships with a friend, pastor, doctor, mentor, coach, professor, or personal trainer. Each plays by a different set of rules and each, when those principles are followed, is good. In this session we want to help you identify how locating a given helping relationship on three spectrums can ensure you help effectively and ethically: (1) formality, (2) expertise, and (3) authority.

3:00 to 3:50
Ethical Issues in Church-Based Counseling Ministry

Counseling ethics are not just about avoiding lawsuits. Too often this is the unintentionally low bar for how churches think about counseling ethics. The purpose of counseling ethics is to ensure that we can care well for people; that is, to ensure that how we care (i.e., method) does not detract from the care we want to provide (i.e., intentions).

There two realities that will help us think more clearly about the material in this section:

  1. Ethics are not a set of abstract principles; ethics are wise decisions in difficult situations.
  2. Counseling is a concentrated collection of difficult situations where various moral-relational priorities are, or at least appear to be, at odds with one another.

4:00 to 5:00
Q&A about Afternoon Topics

COUNSELING IN YOUR LOCAL CHURCH:
Understanding the Liabilities & Possibilities of Lay Care Ministries
Date: Friday January 23, 2015
Time: 9am to 5pm
Location: The Summit Church, Brier Creek Campus
Address: 2335 Presidential Drive; Durham, NC 27703
Cost: $99 / person (lunch provided)
RSVP and Find More Information Here

Guest Post by J.D. Greear: “But I Can’t Feel God”

9780310337768The following is an excerpt from Jesus, Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside You Is Better Than Jesus Beside You.

If you think being filled by the Holy Spirit means an endless series of miracles, burning bushes, still, small voices, warm fuzzies, and sensations of peace that pass all understanding, then you are going to be disappointed.

The greatest (and most honest) saints have always confessed that they had to walk through many valleys with no sense of God’s presence. Sometimes they nearly went deaf from the heavenly silence. Often they stumbled helplessly in what felt like total darkness. C. S. Lewis wrote that during one of the most painful times of his life, he cried out to God and got:

…a door slammed in [my] face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become.[1]

Somehow, these honest words seldom make it into anyone’s list of “favorite C. S. Lewis quotes.”

Have you ever felt this way?

Just because God feels absent doesn’t mean that he actually is. Just because you can’t track his footprints doesn’t mean he’s not walking beside you. If you’re a believer, that feeling of being alone is always an illusion. Here’s how I know:

Right before Jesus died, Jesus experienced true aloneness, true abandonment—and he did it so that you would never have to experience it. He had come to the garden of Gethsemane to commune with the Father and found instead an eternal coffin gaping open before him. The crucifixion, you see, started long before the nails pierced Jesus’ hands. In the garden, God already had begun to turn his face away.

Why is this good news? The essence of the cross was substitution. Jesus faced our aloneness—the utter abandonment we had brought upon ourselves through our sin—so that you and I would never have to. The Father turned his face away from his Son so that the Father would never have to turn his face away from us.

So when we feel abandoned—that’s all it is, a feeling. A lying, deceptive feeling. It has to be. Jesus faced the full measure of our aloneness in our place and put it away forever. By his death, he reconciled us to God, so that we can know he will never leave us or forsake us. In some strange way we can never hope to comprehend, he was abandoned . . . for us.

The Father turned his face away from his Son so we could boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence. Because of Gethsemane, we can know he feels our every pain, hears our every petition, and never takes his affectionate eye off of us. We are literally “engraved on the palms of his hands” (Isa. 49:16). Because Jesus prayed, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” we can cry with confidence, “Abba, Father” (that is, “My Daddy”)!

So what do you do when you feel alone?

Simply: walk by faith, not by sight. You must re-believe the gospel, that God has removed the full extent of the curse—all that could ever separate you from him—and has given you Christ’s complete righteousness in its place. You must re-believe that in his finished work you couldn’t be closer to him than you are right now, regardless of how you feel. And you must reclaim the promises of God, almost all of which are made to us for times in which God appears distant.

The gospel declares to us that God has made himself close to us in Christ, holding us even tighter than a mother holds a newborn child (Isa. 49:15). When our feelings tell us that is not true, we must defy those feelings with faith in God’s promise.

So when you can’t “feel” God, be assured, he’s there. The cross assures you that he is. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Nothing can ever separate you from his love. He has united himself, through his Spirit, inextricably to you. And just as with David, and Esther, and Moses, and Joseph, and Paul, the Holy Spirit is likely doing his best work in you in those dark times.

[1] C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1961), 17.

Tweets of the Week 11.11.14

There is great value in saying something in a memorable, concise manner. Twitter has caused us to make this a near spiritual discipline. For my own growth (as a generally verbose individual… that’s a long way of saying “wordy”) and for the benefit of others, I highlight tweets each week that deliver a big message in a few words.

Video: Overcoming Depression-Anxiety, A Suffering Paradigm (Step 4)

Below is a video from the presentation of “Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Suffering Paradigm.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.

The complementing studies  Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Responsibility Paradigm and Towards a Christian Perspective of Mental Illness will also available in a video format after their presentation

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. Summit members can pick up a copy of the notebook in the church office. For those outside the Summit family, you can request a copy from Amy LaBarr (alabarr@summitrdu.com), office administrator over counseling.

I Can Feel My Depression-Anxiety Becoming ‘Who I Am’
LEARN MY SUFFERING STORY which I use to make sense of my experience.

Depression-Anxiety Suffering Paradigm Part 4 from The Sam James Institute on Vimeo.

Memorize: Psalm 88:13-18 (ESV), “But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. O Lord, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me? Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless. Your wrath has swept over me; your dreadful assaults destroy me. They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in on me together. You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • Psalm 88 – This is the darkest of all the psalms. God knew we would need words like this and he gives them to us.
  • “I cry to you” – It was not for lack of prayer or faith that the psalmist was experiencing deep despair.
  • “From my youth up” – Whether this was factually accurate or not, this a sense of abandonment was strong.
  • “Surround me like a flood” – This person felt like they were drowning in their emotions which were getting worse.
  • “Companions have become darkness” – There was a looming sense that no one did or even could understand.

Teaching Notes

“From a theological perspective, the most dangerous thing about mental illness is that it can lock us in ourselves, convincing us that we are indeed our own, and completely on our own, isolated in our distress (p. 116)… Ultimately, though, I think the despair of mental illness itself has no meaning… Mental illness is the lack of meaning, just as evil is the lack or privation of good (p. 110-111).” Kathryn Greene-McCreight in Darkness Is My Only Companion

“To begin the process of learning how to be a happier person, we must see the deception of our internal storyline and replace it with the truth (p. 32)… It’s interesting how our internal beliefs shape what we ‘see’ and don’t ‘see’ (p. 100).” Leslie Vernick in Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy

“Meaning-making is at the heart of human experience… Narrative theory assumes that people make meaning in their lives through stories—in other words, we provide narrative links between events in our lives (storying them) in order to make sense of them… Yet only a small percentage of our life experiences get storied. Most get lost or obscured by the more dominant storylines of our lives… Nonproductive anxiety is generated when the meaning we make out of the events in our lives creates a sense of threat inherent in our future… Other, nonthreatening storylines have been obscured by the anxiety story line… People who struggle with various kinds of troubling anxiety tend to make meaning along the storyline that predicts more trouble, a loss of control, or grave risk (p. 49-50).” Robert Albers, William Meller, and Steven Thurber in Ministry with Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families

“If I imagine the worst, I will be more prepared for it. Worry is looking for control… Going one step further to track this message back to its origins, there is an entire worldview implicit in some worry. It cries out about an ultimate aloneness. There is no one who can really help. No one can rescue. No one is really looking out for you. You are an orphan in a chaotic universe that operates according to chance. Who wouldn’t be worried given such a view of reality (p. 53)?… When we don’t know the true God, we assume that he is like ourselves, which is a terrifying thought (p. 103).” Ed Welch in Running Scared

“One of the most common tendencies for those with depression is to focus on feelings and to base beliefs and conclusions on these feelings… We should encourage the depressed person to move away from the realm of the subjective and to instead take on the objective truths of Christianity, things that are true regardless of our feelings: justification, adoption, the atonement, the attributes of God, and heaven, for example (p. 97).” David Murray in Christians Get Depressed Too

SEND North America Interview on “Mental Health, Counseling, and the Local Church”

Mental Health, Counseling, and the Local Church from North American Mission Board on Vimeo.

In this interview Ryan West with SEND North America and I discuss the following questions:

  • What is the role of the local church when it comes to providing counseling?
  • What does it look like for a church to be meaningfully involved in counseling when a referral is beneficial or desired?
  • How would a church wanting to start a counseling ministry do to get started in a way that is  liability safe?
  • What is the difference between “formal counseling” and “everyday, helpful conversations”?
  • What are the key concerns a church’s leadership needs to be aware of to effectively oversee a counseling ministry?

More information to help your church mobilize an effective counseling ministry will be available at the following conference:

COUNSELING IN YOUR LOCAL CHURCH:
Understanding the Liabilities & Possibilities of Lay Care Ministries
Date: Friday January 23, 2015
Time: 9am to 5pm
Location: The Summit Church, Brier Creek Campus
Address: 2335 Presidential Drive; Durham, NC 27703
Cost: $99 / person (lunch provided)
RSVP and Find More Information Here

 

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