Marriages are in trouble today. That is clear. Effective mothods of combating this trend are less evident. Counselors, pastors and social workers need more than mere theories or mere moralizing. They need a practical and comprehensive model for understanding couples and their problems. They need a throughly Christian perspective that is biblical, compassionate and human.
Everett Worthington provides this in an integrated, biblically based theory of marriage and marriage therapy with analysis at three levels: the individual, the couple and the family. The model he has constructed, with techniques drawn from the major psychological schools, is standard enough to guide counselors in actual interventions and powerful enough to produce change.
A thoroughgoing overview of the assessment process includes practical, workable guidelines for: creating realistic, mutually-agreeable goals for counselor and clients; estimating the number of sessions needed to reach those goals; and planning the actual assessment, intervention and termination sessions.
Next Worthington offers specific techniques for enhancing cooperative change, intimacy, communication, conflict resolution and forgiveness within the marriage. But keeping couples from slipping back into old patterns is one of the counselor's most difficult tasks. So Worthington concludes with suggestions for solidifying change and effectively concluding the counseling relationship.
Here is a text that will be a standard for counselors, pastors and mental health professionals in the years to come.
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About the Author
Worthington has studied forgiveness since the 1980s and has published more than two hundred articles and papers on forgiveness, marriage and family, psychotherapy and virtue in a wide variety of journals and magazines. He was the founding editor of Marriage and Family: A Christian Journal and sits on the editorial boards of several professional journals. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN and The 700 Club and been featured in award-winning documentary movies on forgiveness such as The Power of Forgiveness and The Big Question. He is the author of seventeen books including Handbook of Forgiveness, Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling and Forgiving and Reconciling.
Table of ContentsList of Figures
List of Tables
AcknowledgmentsPart 1: Introduction
1. The Need for Marriage Counseling by and for ChristiansPart 2: Understanding Marriage
2. Individuals and Their Coupling
3. Principles of Marriage within the Family
4. The Marriage throughout the Family Life CyclePart 3: Early Phase of Counseling Troubled Marriages
5. Overview of Counseling: Assessment, Invtervention and Termination
6. Joining the Marriage
7. Assessing the Marriage
8. Setting Goals
9. Conducting Assessment and Feedback SessionsPart 4: Changing Troubled Marriages
10. Promoting Change Through Counseling
11. Changing Intimacy
12. Changing Communication
13. Changing Conflict
14. Changing Hurt, Blame and SinPart 5: Promoting Commitment
15. Consolitdating Changes
17. Commitment of the Counselor
Appendix: Current Theories of Marriage Counseling