All posts in Counseling Reflection

Has Your Marriage Been Impacted by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses: Video Tandem 8 of 9

When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through). The False Love and True Betrayal series are meant to provide couples with guidance for these difficult times.

These two, complementing seminars are each comprised of 9 steps and are meant to supplement a mentoring or counseling relationship. The presentation material is longer for the earlier steps than it is for the latter steps for two reasons. First, the early steps are the time of greatest confusion and, therefore, require more guidance. Second, once a solid foundation is laid for restoration the latter steps become more self-evident.

These materials are meant to guide a couple through the marital restoration phase — taking a marriage that is broken or in crisis and getting back to basic working order.

The Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series is meant to guide a couple through the marital enrichment phase — taking a marriage that is in basic working order and refining it to be increasingly, mutually satisfying. Often it is a misunderstanding between restoration and enrichment that derails a couples sincere efforts at marital reconciliation after the discovery of sexual sin.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

True Betrayal – Step Eight

True Betrayal: Step 8 from Equip on Vimeo.

False Love- Step Eight

False Love: Step 8 from Equip on Vimeo.

Has Your Marriage Been Impacted by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses: Video Tandem 7 of 9

When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through). The False Love and True Betrayal series are meant to provide couples with guidance for these difficult times.

These two, complementing seminars are each comprised of 9 steps and are meant to supplement a mentoring or counseling relationship. The presentation material is longer for the earlier steps than it is for the latter steps for two reasons. First, the early steps are the time of greatest confusion and, therefore, require more guidance. Second, once a solid foundation is laid for restoration the latter steps become more self-evident.

These materials are meant to guide a couple through the marital restoration phase — taking a marriage that is broken or in crisis and getting back to basic working order.

The Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series is meant to guide a couple through the marital enrichment phase — taking a marriage that is in basic working order and refining it to be increasingly, mutually satisfying. Often it is a misunderstanding between restoration and enrichment that derails a couples sincere efforts at marital reconciliation after the discovery of sexual sin.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

True Betrayal – Step Seven

True Betrayal: Step 7 from Equip on Vimeo.

False Love – Step Seven

False Love: Step 7 from Equip on Vimeo.

For the “Implementation Evaluation Tool” click here: Sexual Sin Plan Eval Form

Has Your Marriage Been Impacted by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses: Video Tandem 6 of 9

When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through). The False Love and True Betrayal series are meant to provide couples with guidance for these difficult times.

These two, complementing seminars are each comprised of 9 steps and are meant to supplement a mentoring or counseling relationship. The presentation material is longer for the earlier steps than it is for the latter steps for two reasons. First, the early steps are the time of greatest confusion and, therefore, require more guidance. Second, once a solid foundation is laid for restoration the latter steps become more self-evident.

These materials are meant to guide a couple through the marital restoration phase — taking a marriage that is broken or in crisis and getting back to basic working order.

The Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series is meant to guide a couple through the marital enrichment phase — taking a marriage that is in basic working order and refining it to be increasingly, mutually satisfying. Often it is a misunderstanding between restoration and enrichment that derails a couples sincere efforts at marital reconciliation after the discovery of sexual sin.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

True Betrayal – Step Six

True Betrayal: Step 6 from Equip on Vimeo.

False Love – Step Six

False Love: Step 6 from Equip on Vimeo.

Has Your Marriage Been Impacted by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses: Video Tandem 5 of 9

When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through). The False Love and True Betrayal series are meant to provide couples with guidance for these difficult times.

These two, complementing seminars are each comprised of 9 steps and are meant to supplement a mentoring or counseling relationship. The presentation material is longer for the earlier steps than it is for the latter steps for two reasons. First, the early steps are the time of greatest confusion and, therefore, require more guidance. Second, once a solid foundation is laid for restoration the latter steps become more self-evident.

These materials are meant to guide a couple through the marital restoration phase — taking a marriage that is broken or in crisis and getting back to basic working order.

The Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series is meant to guide a couple through the marital enrichment phase — taking a marriage that is in basic working order and refining it to be increasingly, mutually satisfying. Often it is a misunderstanding between restoration and enrichment that derails a couples sincere efforts at marital reconciliation after the discovery of sexual sin.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

True Betrayal – Step Five

True Betrayal: Step 5 from Equip on Vimeo.

False Love – Step Five

False Love: Step 5 from Equip on Vimeo.

For the “Sexual Sin Confession Guide” click here: Confession Guide for Sexual Sin

Has Your Marriage Been Impacted by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses: Video Tandem 4 of 9

When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through). The False Love and True Betrayal series are meant to provide couples with guidance for these difficult times.

These two, complementing seminars are each comprised of 9 steps and are meant to supplement a mentoring or counseling relationship. The presentation material is longer for the earlier steps than it is for the latter steps for two reasons. First, the early steps are the time of greatest confusion and, therefore, require more guidance. Second, once a solid foundation is laid for restoration the latter steps become more self-evident.

These materials are meant to guide a couple through the marital restoration phase — taking a marriage that is broken or in crisis and getting back to basic working order.

The Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series is meant to guide a couple through the marital enrichment phase — taking a marriage that is in basic working order and refining it to be increasingly, mutually satisfying. Often it is a misunderstanding between restoration and enrichment that derails a couples sincere efforts at marital reconciliation after the discovery of sexual sin.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

True Betrayal – Step Four

True Betrayal: Step 4 from Equip on Vimeo.

False Love – Step Four

False Love: Step 4 from Equip on Vimeo.

Marriage Impacted by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses: Video Tandem 3 of 9

When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through). The False Love and True Betrayal series are meant to provide couples with guidance for these difficult times.

These two, complementing seminars are each comprised of 9 steps and are meant to supplement a mentoring or counseling relationship. The presentation material is longer for the earlier steps than it is for the latter steps for two reasons. First, the early steps are the time of greatest confusion and, therefore, require more guidance. Second, once a solid foundation is laid for restoration the latter steps become more self-evident.

These materials are meant to guide a couple through the marital restoration phase — taking a marriage that is broken or in crisis and getting back to basic working order.

The Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series is meant to guide a couple through the marital enrichment phase — taking a marriage that is in basic working order and refining it to be increasingly, mutually satisfying. Often it is a misunderstanding between restoration and enrichment that derails a couples sincere efforts at marital reconciliation after the discovery of sexual sin.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

True Betrayal – Step Three

True Betrayal: Step 3 from Equip on Vimeo.

False Love – Step Three

False Love: Step 3 from Equip on Vimeo.

For the “Sexual Sin Journal” from click here: Sexual Sin Journal

Follow Up Resources for a Sermon on Headship and Submission

This post is meant to offer guidance to common “what now” or “but what about” questions that could emerge from Pastor J.D.’s sermon “God’s Laboratories: Ephesians 5:21-6:9,” preached at The Summit Church Saturday-Sunday March 18-19, 2017.

In this post, I want to provide resources that address three subjects that are often points of confusion or concern based on the teaching of Ephesians 5:21-33:

  1. Christian Marriage is More Than Gender Roles
  2. “How” Is More Important than “Who” in Marital Decision Making
  3. How to Address the Abuse of Gender Roles

love-incorruptible-series-header

Christian Marriage is More Than Gender Roles

In the Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Foundations seminar, I provide a job description for a Christian husband (PDF) and wife (PDF). When you compare these two job descriptions what should jump out at you is that 3 of the 4 sections are exactly the same, with the exception of the gender pronouns; only the fourth section is unique between husband and wife. Here is the outline for these job descriptions.

1. Character: Qualities required of every Christian which provide the foundation for a flourishing marriage. This section allows both husband and wife to examine how they are evidencing a balanced expression of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-24), cautioning against both the aggressive and passive distortion of each character quality.

  • Big Idea: We all have weaknesses and shortcomings. Either we will be pro-actively honest about these with our spouse or re-actively defensive when our spouse is hurt or disappointed by them.

2. Friendship: Expectations of a Christian in all relationships. This section takes 10 “one another” commands of the New Testament and asks both husband and wife to consider their strength, their weakness, and what is most important to their spouse for each one.

  • Big Idea: Marriage should be the example, not the exception, to the marks of Christian friendship.

3. Functionality: Mutual responsibilities of a husband and wife towards one another in marriage. This would look at the paragraph that introduces Paul’s most famous writing on marriage roles – Ephesians 5:15-21 – which concludes with the description “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” These responsibilities of the job description look at the components of married life that are shared and do not contain any biblical precedent for gender preference.

  • Big Idea: Most of the functional responsibilities that make a marriage work should be delegated based upon the skills, interests, and availability of each spouse; meaning there is no biblical “his” and “hers” list of household chores.

4. Gender Specific: Unique roles of husband and wife. This section looks at the unique roles that God assigns to the husband and wife in marriage.

  • Big Idea: The more faithfully and skillfully a husband and wife are fulfilling their shared roles in sections 1-3, the better they will know one another and the more they will enjoy the unique roles of section 4.

Video segments 4-6 in the Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Foundations seminar walk through these job descriptions.

“How” Is More Important than “Who” in Marital Decision Making

Too often the debate over headship causes us to miss more functionally-important questions like: (a) How do we do a better job of cultivating consensus so that headship is needed less often? and (b) When headship is needed in the decision making of a family, how is it utilized so that trust increases, instead of decreases, in the marriage?

In the Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Decision Making seminar, I provide guidelines for how to approach consensus decision making (PDF) and headship-submission decision making (PDF) in marriage.

The focus in each of these resources is to help couples identify the values and lifestyle that allow for good decision making. Too often we neglect the lifestyle practices of good decision making and allow too many important decisions to be made in crunch-time moments. Whether a couple adheres to biblical gender roles or not, allowing too many decisions to be time-pressed will result in a low level of marital satisfaction.

  • Big Idea: Obedience in the area of gender roles does not make up for obedience in the area of life management.

Video segments 4 and 5 in the Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Decision Making seminar walk through these two decision making processes.

Husbands – lead your families well by initiating important conversations about how you will approach important decisions and the life systems that need to be in place in order to make big decisions well.

  • Big Idea: Leadership doesn’t mean having all the answers. It does mean initiating the important conversations.

How to Address the Abuse of Gender Roles

Every good thing God created gets affected and distorted by sin. Marriage and gender roles are no different. The Christian response to these distortions is not to abandon God’s teaching, but to seek to restore what God intended (material above) and respond wisely when those distortions are damaging to ourselves or those we love (material below).

Below is a list of resources that address different aspects of how to respond to abusive relationships.

For the various counseling options available from these materials visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.

If this is an area you want to grow, I would invite you to attend one or more of the upcoming Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminars. Dates, times, location, and RSVP are provided at this link.

If this post was beneficial for you, then consider reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Marriage” post which address other facets of this subject.

Marriage Impact by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses: Video Tandem 2 of 9

When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through). The False Love and True Betrayal series are meant to provide couples with guidance for these difficult times.

These two, complementing seminars are each comprised of 9 steps and are meant to supplement a mentoring or counseling relationship. The presentation material is longer for the earlier steps than it is for the latter steps for two reasons. First, the early steps are the time of greatest confusion and, therefore, require more guidance. Second, once a solid foundation is laid for restoration the latter steps become more self-evident.

These materials are meant to guide a couple through the marital restoration phase — taking a marriage that is broken or in crisis and getting back to basic working order.

The Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series is meant to guide a couple through the marital enrichment phase — taking a marriage that is in basic working order and refining it to be increasingly, mutually satisfying. Often it is a misunderstanding between restoration and enrichment that derails a couples sincere efforts at marital reconciliation after the discovery of sexual sin.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

True Betrayal – Step Two

True Betrayal: Step 2 from Equip on Vimeo.

For the “Evaluation – Condition of Marriage Before Sexual Sin” assessment click here: Evaluation – Condition of Marriage Before Sexual Sin

False Love – Step Two

False Love: Step 2 from Equip on Vimeo.

For the “How to Talk to Children When Sexual Sin Affects the Family” appendix click here: Appendix Talking to Children When Sexual Sin Affects the Family

5 Types of Mental Health Professionals: Title, Education, and Purpose

mentalhealthprofessional-300x281The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) recognizes at least five areas of independent professional practice for the diagnosis and treatment of Mental Health issues. While NAMI’s recognition of professional Mental Health Practitioners may not be exhaustive, it is perhaps the most concise and descriptive of Mental Health services provided by different disciplines. It can be helpful for churches to be aware of the education and primary purposes of each type of mental health professional.

  1. Psychiatrist – Psychiatrists are physicians with either a doctor of medicine (M.D.) degree or doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) degree, who also has at least four additional years of specialized study and training in psychiatry. Psychiatrists are licensed as physicians to practice medicine by individual states. “Board Certified” psychiatrists have passed the national examination administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Psychiatrists provide medical and psychiatric evaluations, treat psychiatric disorders, provide psychotherapy (in some cases) and prescribe and monitor medications. There are several subspecialty boards in psychiatry including child and adolescent, forensic, and addictions.
  2. Psychologist Psychologists have has a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D.) in clinical, counseling, or Health Psychology/Behavioral Medicine. Psychologists are also licensed by individual states to practice psychology, and in many states, are licensed as Health Service Providers. They can provide psychological testing, diagnostic evaluations, treat emotional and behavioral problems and mental disorders, and provide a variety of psychotherapeutic techniques. Psychologists usually attend a four or five year graduate program with a year of internship followed by a one year postdoctoral period of supervision prior to licensure. There is also a National Board/Council of Health Service Providers in Psychology that requires psychologists to provide two years of documented supervision post-licensure in particular areas of specialty.
  3. Social Worker – Social workers have either a bachelor’s degree (B.A., B.S. or B.S.W.), a master’s degree (M.A., M.S., M.S.W. or M.S.S.W), or doctoral degree (D.S.W. or Ph.D.). In most states, social workers take an examination to be licensed to practice social work (L.C.S.W. or L.I.C.S.W.), and the type of license depends on their level of education and practice experience. Social workers provide a range of services based on their level of training and certification. Typically a bachelor’s level social worker provides case management, inpatient discharge planning services, placement services and a variety of other daily living needs services for individuals. Master’s level social workers can provide this level of services but are also able to provide assessment and treatment of psychiatric illnesses including psychotherapy.
  4. Licensed Professional Counselors – Licensed professional counselors have a master’s degree (M.A. or M.S.) in psychology, counseling or other mental health related fields (some may hold doctorates) and typically have two years of supervised post-graduate experience. They may provide services that include assessment and diagnosis of mental health conditions as well as providing individual, family or group therapy. They are licensed by individual states and may also be certified by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
  5. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) – The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy is a professional association of therapists who conduct marriage and family therapy. A graduate degree plus post graduate supervision by an approved supervisor is required for licensure. LMFT’s are licensed by individual states.

Many individuals choose to seek pastoral counseling from a local church or parachurch ministries. Individuals in these ministry settings may or may not carry the credentials listed above; often they will have training from a seminary or a certification in a ministry-based counseling model. This would be the type of counseling I provide and is represented by the resources from this site. It is important for you to know the credentials your counselor does or does not carry and the implications this may have for the care you receive. Here are several FAQ’s about…

  1. How would the counseling provided by a formal pastoral counselor compare to a licensed counselor?
  2. How do I find a good match in a counselor for my needs?
  3. How do I find a good counselor in [name of city]?
  4. How do I know if my life struggle merits counseling?
  5. What can I do to place myself in the best position to benefit from counseling?

If this post was beneficial for you, then consider reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Mental Illness and Medication” or “Favorite Posts on the Church and Counseling” posts which address other facets of this subject.

Marriage Impact by Pornography or Adultery? Help for Both Spouses: Video Tandem 1 of 9

When sexual sin impacts a marriage there is often a great deal of confusion exacerbated by shame. A couple is not sure what to do and is embarrassed to ask for help. The result is often either passivity (pretending everything is okay or that things will get better without help) or reactivity (taking a bold action with little sense of purpose or intent to follow through). The False Love and True Betrayal series are meant to provide couples with guidance for these difficult times.

These two, complementing seminars are each comprised of 9 steps and are meant to supplement a mentoring or counseling relationship. The presentation material is longer for the earlier steps than it is for the latter steps for two reasons. First, the early steps are the time of greatest confusion and, therefore, require more guidance. Second, once a solid foundation is laid for restoration the latter steps become more self-evident.

These materials are meant to guide a couple through the marital restoration phase — taking a marriage that is broken or in crisis and getting back to basic working order.

The Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage seminar series is meant to guide a couple through the marital enrichment phase — taking a marriage that is in basic working order and refining it to be increasingly, mutually satisfying. Often it is a misunderstanding between restoration and enrichment that derails a couples sincere efforts at marital reconciliation after the discovery of sexual sin.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

True Betrayal – Step One

True Betrayal: Step 1 from Equip on Vimeo.

For the “How to Talk to Children When Sexual Sin Affects the Family” appendix click here: Appendix Talking to Children When Sexual Sin Affects the Family

False Love – Step One

False Love: Step 1 from Equip on Vimeo.

For the “Sexual Sin Evaluation” assessment click here: SEXUAL SIN EVALUATION

For the “Pride vs. Brokenness” appendix click here: PRIDE_DeMoss

Blog post “How to End an Extra-Marital Relationship