Solution-Focused Pastoral Counseling: An Effective short-term Approach for Getting People Back on Track

Overview

This groundbreaking book, now updated and expanded, furthers its original, effective, time-saving approach that benefits pastors overtaxed by counseling demands.

Dr. Charles Kollar presents a departure in pastoral counseling, showing that counseling need not be long-term or depend on psychological manipulation to produce dramatic results.

In most cases, the solution lies with the counselees themselves.

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Solution-Focused Pastoral Counseling: An Effective short-term Approach for Getting People Back on Track

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Overview

This groundbreaking book, now updated and expanded, furthers its original, effective, time-saving approach that benefits pastors overtaxed by counseling demands.

Dr. Charles Kollar presents a departure in pastoral counseling, showing that counseling need not be long-term or depend on psychological manipulation to produce dramatic results.

In most cases, the solution lies with the counselees themselves.

Using the tested methods found in Solution-Focused Pastoral Counseling, pastors, apart from counselors, will be well equipped to help their counselees discover a solution and put it in motion speedily and productively.

SFPC is short-term—typically one to five sessions, in which the counselor seeks to create solutions with—not for—the counselee. The focus is on the possibility of life without the problem through an understanding of what is different when the problem does not occur or is less intrusive. The goal is healthy change, sooner rather than later, by helping the counselee see and work on the solution with God's activity already present in his or her life.

The solution-focused approach does not require the counselor to be a highly trained psychological expert. It requires biblically based sensitivity and common sense. Yet this approach also recognizes its limitations and understands that there are situations in which other professional and/or medical help is required.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310213468
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 6/1/1997
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Charles Allen Kollar is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Certified Relationship Specialist, and the lead pastor at Innovation Church in Cresco, PA

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Individual Paradigms: A Question of Focus

The mind is a lot like an umbrella--it works best when it is open. - Anonymous

If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed. - Ancient Chinese Proverb

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have. - Emile Chartier

I have often wondered what it is that prevents us from seeing and acting on new ideas. It is important to understand this because it is probably the same thing that hinders a counselee from seeing new options, possibilities, and solutions. Something blinds our vision when we are in the midst of a crisis or problem-saturated life situation. We assume that the future is only an extension of the past. Yet when it comes to problems, one assumption is clear: If you keep doing what you have always been doing, you will keep getting what you have always been getting.

We all have self-imposed rules and regulations that establish our personal boundaries. We learn how to be successful within these boundaries. These perimeters are our individual paradigms. They filter all incoming information, filtering out whatever does not fit. Jesus commented on humanity's inability to see beyond its paradigms when He taught about the kingdom of God. What He said was unlike anything His listeners had ever heard before. It did not fit their rules and regulations. To many of them it was as if they were entirely deaf. Of such Jesus said, "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear" (Mark 4: 23).

Because of our fixed paradigms we often miss out on discovering future possibilities. Unexpected information is ignored or twisted to fit old notions. Sometimes it seems invisible. We are blind to creative solutions. Our paradigms have the power to keep us from hearing and seeing what could happen. This results in personal limitations, a kind of intellectual myopia.

My son Nathan recently did a school report on Galileo. I think I learned as much as he did through his presentation. I was reminded of the religious and civic leaders that Galileo had to contend with. They were unable to see or hear his observations regarding the earth's orbiting the sun. These observations simply did not fit their personal paradigms. Everyone "knew" that the sun revolved around the earth! Although seeing, they did not see. Hearing, they did not hear. Of course history has revealed their shortsightedness. We would never be as blind and deaf as they, or would we? We would, and we often are--usually without knowing it.

Consider the devastating lesson the Swiss watch manufacturers learned. Just thirty years ago Swiss watches were the standard of excellence throughout the world. Nearly 80 percent of all watches sold were made by Swiss watchmakers. Today fewer then 10 percent are made by the Swiss. Thousands of expert craftsmen lost their jobs. How did this happen?

In one sense they were blinded by the incredible achievement and all the successes of their old paradigm. Even a prosperous past can blind us to future possibilities. It was a Swiss technician who created the quartz watch. He had managed to reach beyond the paradigm that watches must have gears and springs. His superiors, however, still blinded by their paradigm, declared, "Who ever heard of such a thing! Watches must have gears and springs!" They were so sure of their convictions that they did not bother to protect their ownership of the technician's design. Some years later the quartz watch was displayed at a world's fair. Representatives from two young companies were very much interested in it. One representative was from Seiko and the other from Texas Instruments. The rest is history.

As counselors within the local church, have we fallen into a similar trap regarding counseling? It must be done a certain way or it just is not counseling. One thing we are all convinced of is that we need to understand and deal with the problem. It has been said that to define a problem is to begin to solve it. We must explore the problem and perhaps discover how the counselee is thinking, feeling, or behaving. There must be a reason. Why is it happening? What is maintaining it?

Whether the counselor uses psychological theories and methods or the approach of admonishing from the authority of Scripture, either way the paradigm is centered squarely on the problem. This is what I call a problem-focused paradigm. This is the very reason the counselee has come for counseling. He is so focused on his problem that it is affecting him negatively. So what do we do as counselors? We usually focus squarely on the problem! We are going to help him get to the root of his problem no matter how hard it is or how long it takes! Is there a better way? Perhaps it just takes a little imagination to discover a better way.

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Table of Contents

Preface Introduction Acknowledgments PART 1
Theory
1. Individual Paradigms: A Question of Focus
2. Christian Faith: A Story of Change
3. Deficiency Language: The World of Mental Health
4. Hidden Presuppositions: Old Wineskins
5. Meaning Is Perception: The Constructs That Bind Us
6. Identity Formation: The Unfolding of God's Grace
7. Guiding Assumptions: A Way of Thinking
8. Personal Integrity: Ethical Guidelines PART 2
Practice
9. The Counseling Interview: Suggesting a Framework for Change
10. Attentive Listening: A Search for Clues
11. Track Options: Highlighting Change As Meaningful
12. Vision Clarification: A Description of Life Without the Problem
13. Supportive Feedback: Promoting and Supporting Change
14. Second and Later Sessions: Consolidating Change
15. Bringing It All Together: A Case Example
16. Questions and Answers: Some Final Considerations References Index

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First Chapter

CHAPTER ONE Individual Paradigms: A Question of Focus The mind is a lot like an umbrella—it works best when it is open. - Anonymous If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed. - Ancient Chinese Proverb Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have. - Emile Chartier

I have often wondered what it is that prevents us from seeing and acting on new ideas. It is important to understand this because it is probably the same thing that hinders a counselee from seeing new options, possibilities, and solutions. Something blinds our vision when we are in the midst of a crisis or problem-saturated life situation. We assume that the future is only an extension of the past. Yet when it comes to problems, one assumption is clear: If you keep doing what you have always been doing, you will keep getting what you have always been getting.
We all have self-imposed rules and regulations that establish our personal boundaries. We learn how to be successful within these boundaries. These perimeters are our individual paradigms. They filter all incoming information, filtering out whatever does not fit. Jesus commented on humanity's inability to see beyond its paradigms when He taught about the kingdom of God. What He said was unlike anything His listeners had ever heard before. It did not fit their rules and regulations. To many of them it was as if they were entirely deaf. Of such Jesus said, 'If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear' (Mark 4:23).
Because of our fixed paradigms we often miss out on discovering future possibilities. Unexpected information is ignored or twisted to fit old notions. Sometimes it seems invisible. We are blind to creative solutions. Our paradigms have the power to keep us from hearing and seeing what could happen. This results in personal limitations, a kind of intellectual myopia.
My son Nathan recently did a school report on Galileo. I think I learned as much as he did through his presentation. I was reminded of the religious and civic leaders that Galileo had to contend with. They were unable to see or hear his observations regarding the earth's orbiting the sun. These observations simply did not fit their personal paradigms. Everyone 'knew' that the sun revolved around the earth! Although seeing, they did not see. Hearing, they did not hear. Of course history has revealed their shortsightedness. We would never be as blind and deaf as they, or would we? We would, and we often are—usually without knowing it.
Consider the devastating lesson the Swiss watch manufacturers learned. Just thirty years ago Swiss watches were the standard of excellence throughout the world. Nearly 80 percent of all watches sold were made by Swiss watchmakers. Today fewer then 10 percent are made by the Swiss. Thousands of expert craftsmen lost their jobs. How did this happen?
In one sense they were blinded by the incredible achievement and all the successes of their old paradigm. Even a prosperous past can blind us to future possibilities. It was a Swiss technician who created the quartz watch. He had managed to reach beyond the paradigm that watches must have gears and springs. His superiors, however, still blinded by their paradigm, declared, 'Who ever heard of such a thing! Watches must have gears and springs!' They were so sure of their convictions that they did not bother to protect their ownership of the technician's design. Some years later the quartz watch was displayed at a world's fair. Representatives from two young companies were very much interested in it. One representative was from Seiko and the other from Texas Instruments. The rest is history.
As counselors within the local church, have we fallen into a similar trap regarding counseling? It must be done a certain way or it just is not counseling. One thing we are all convinced of is that we need to understand and deal with the problem. It has been said that to define a problem is to begin to solve it. We must explore the problem and perhaps discover how the counselee is thinking, feeling, or behaving. There must be a reason. Why is it happening? What is maintaining it?
Whether the counselor uses psychological theories and methods or the approach of admonishing from the authority of Scripture, either way the paradigm is centered squarely on the problem. This is what I call a problem-focused paradigm. This is the very reason the counselee has come for counseling. He is so focused on his problem that it is affecting him negatively. So what do we do as counselors? We usually focus squarely on the problem! We are going to help him get to the root of his problem no matter how hard it is or how long it takes! Is there a better way? Perhaps it just takes a little imagination to discover a better way.

Read More Show Less

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    A great resource

    I have not completed the book at this time but have already found it to be enlightening and a handy resource.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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