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By Michael Vincent Paddy Student I.D. 22282275
Presented to Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Charles Nathan Davidson BS; M.Div.; D.Min. In partial fulfillment of the requirements of Pastoral Counseling PACO 698
Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary Lynchburg, VA December 15, 2010
Table of Contents Introduction «««««««««««««««««««««««««««««««« 3 Brief Summary ««««««««««««««««««««««««««««««... 4 Attempt at a Striking Influence «««««««««««««««««««««««« 6 Part 1: 21st Century Christian Counseling ««««««««««««««««.. 6 Part 2: Counseling for Personal and Emotional Issues «««««««««««.. 8 Part 3: Addictions and Impulse Control Problems«..«««««««««««.. 9 Part 4: Grief and Trauma.......................................................................................«...10 Appendices«««««««««««««««««««««««««««««..11 Conclusion ««««««««««««««««««««..«««««««««««« 11 References «««««««««««««««««««««««««««««««««12
Introduction Caring for People God¶s Way1is a book written to help those who by profession, practice and desire want to help people in need. No matter if those needs are emotional, addictive, and/or trauma related, this reference guide can be seen as a welcome addition to any care giver¶s resource library. The psychological and emotional health of people, especially Christians, seems to be the 21st Century equivalent to the persecution, trials and tribulations of past centuries. After all, hasn¶t the amount of knowledge we have today into the human psyche increased exponentially even over the past decade? Doesn¶t it seem to go hand in hand then that we as a caring community need to be honing our soul care gifts, talents and abilities to keep up with both the knowledge and the need? Caring for People might be such a book and even though from this writer¶s perspective, the amount of books out there are numerous and seemingly repetitive, the perspective and skill set of every soul care reader demands that we not only keep up to date with healthy ways to help, but also speak to each soul that needsand provides care according to their background, culture, education, skill-set, and experience.
Tim Clinton, Archibald Hart, & George Ohlschlager, eds., Caring for People God¶s Way (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005). 3
Brief Summary ³Denoted as Volume 1A«We intend this to become the Christian Counseling Practice Library for the 21st Century«´2 This book was written to make a generous and successful addition to any counselor¶s library, ³Christ centered, research savvy, and user friendly.´3 The book was intended to be a bridge between the highly successful Competent Christian Counseling4 which was written as a reference guide to equip counselors, pastors and church leaders, and caregivers for an effective ministry of soul care. But like all things in the 21st Century, knowledge and understanding in any field seems to grow exponentially, sometimes faster than the plans for just such a series of books. No follow up volumes have been written or printed to date. However other volumes have come, giving specialized attention to the intended volumes written by the same authors.5 That does not mean that this book is not helpful, even worth reading and using. On the contrary, any knowledge and wisdom given out by some of the most experienced people in the field of soul care is most welcome. Volume 1A introduces and reacquaints us with the field of Christian Counseling for the 21st Century and then has three sections covering Personal and Emotional Issues, Addictions and Impulse Control Problems, and finishes off with its final section, Counseling for Grief and
Ibid. ix. Ibid., xix
Tim Clinton & George Ohlschlager, eds., Competent Christian Counseling, Volume One: Foundations and Practice of Compassionate Soul Care, (Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press, 2002). To see a list of such volumes contact the American Association of Christian Counselors¶ website, http://www.aacc.net 4
Trauma. The authors are both contributors and editor. These are some of the finest people in thefield of understanding in Christian Counseling who have contributed to this book. Caring for People seems to be written from a philosophy of brief, solution based model of counseling and therapy6. This means that the time spent with those in need may be relevantly short, but it does not need to be inadequate or a simple spiritual fix for the problem. It makes sure that the reader understands that the counselor be very self-aware knowing their own limitations and the complexity of the problem they are trying to address. But can this book simply be viewed as a do it yourself guide to counseling? Does the book generate opportunities for misconstruing both the psychological and spiritual need of the care seeker? What about long term discipleship and care, how does Caring for People actually help people care for people God¶s way?
For a more through reading on this writer¶s understanding of this philosophy, please read, Solution-Blessed Brief Pastoral Counseling Project, http://www.scribd.com/doc/39681283/Final-Research-Paper-PACO-500-Intro-to-PastoralCounseling. 5
Attempt at a Striking Influence7 Part 1: 21st-Century Christian Counseling This first section is written not so much as a warning label like one would find on a dangerous chemical or a bottle of medicine but as a look at what the authors and contributors feel are the incredible needs and challenges of both the care giver and care seeker at that present time.It also serves to help the care giver as needs evolve into incredible opportunities for Christians to serve and help others in the Church.8 Colossians 2:28, opens the book to show the reader that as disciple, care givers, there is a responsibility of ³presenting every man [and woman], complete in Christ.´9 The conclusion given to us that as we disciple, as we help people in need, we are in its very essence responsible for the one we care for in bringing about a sense of conclusion, completeness in our counseling and care. ³Our pressing concern at the inception of the 21st century is that people are hurting and searching frantically for hope and new life. If there is ever a time for godly leadership, servanthood, and biblical counsel, it is now.´10 The statistics speak for themselves in showing how though the challenges to people today are not new. They have become increasingly large, complex, and overwhelming.11What the
Term was used in my Introduction to Pastoral Counseling Class and pertains to writing not so much with a critical eye, but attempting to cause the reader to think about and to be influenced by the subject matter because of your writing. My definition of church is not limited to a building, denomination, or religion, but is primarily the group of ³called out ones´ who make up the Body of Christ, the universal Church. Colossians 2:28, with the bracketed portion added it would seem for gender clarification by the author.
10 9 8
Clinton & Ohlschlager, p.4 6
authors seem to be saying from the offset is not the newness of the problems but the amount of knowledge we have concerning the source and instigation of the problems, concerns, and cares. Not only this,but the 21st century technological advances have made these concerns a global event.12 Simple cares, concerns and stressors are not the limited source of anxiety and pain, true mental disorders are now seen all over by the minute by minute news making events around the earth which can be accessed immediately by most people right from their own home or office. The idea is also to construct a model for counseling that has its foundations in Scripture, seasoned with credible writers on the subject of spiritual formation and pastoral care, integrate the aforementioned advances in technology and research, and a meta-model for Christian counseling that is as the authors say, ³counselor friendly´.13 Part 1 succeeds in bringing all this to the reader¶s attention and creates the opportunity for a self-evaluation of the potential for the counselor not only to become more adept at counseling but to help the counselor become more self-aware. This constructs a counselorfriendly environment by creating a healthy ego by which the counselor can explore others issues without transferring his or her own challenges into the counseling setting.
Ibid. pp. 4 ± 7. Ibid. p. 8 Ibid. p.22 7
Part 2: Counseling for Personal and Emotional Issues ³I have never ceased to be amazed at thepoints of agreement between spiritual and emotional principles that facilitate health.´14 This type of quote and statement could be repeated by any other volume concerning the counseling and soul care of people. More and more understanding as stated in the introduction to Caring for People is seen every day by pastoral, lay and professional counselors. Emotional instability whether by nature or nurture invades the lives of people sometimes causing such extreme paralysis of emotion that a simple prayer and/or blessing by a religious professional falls short of coming to grips with the issues and solutions necessary to bring some sense of health and comfort to those who suffer the same.15 ³When someone had relational problems or emotional issues, I applied every spiritual remedy I knew. Unfortunately, many people remained sick and some even ³died´ under my leadership.´16 Caring for People, breaks down some of the most common emotional issues both biological and habitual in nature. The articles written in this section seem to help those less familiar with some of what most counselors would say are common and to the professional,
Mark W. Baker, Jesus the Greatest Therapist Who Ever Lived, (NY: Harper One, 2007), xiii
Henry Cloud, Changes that Heal, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 12. Peter Scazzero, The Emotionally Healthy Church, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010), 8
gives clarity and direction in their counseling using DSM17 definitions to the potential disorders encountered in counseling. Part 3: Addictions and Impulse Control Problems ³Addictions are a very common scourge, the desperate expression of life in a sin-sick world.´18Alcoholics Anonymous says that the nature of one in an addiction is that of a ³desperate man drowning in a sea.´19 As in Part 2, Part 3 builds from a working definition and observance of one in an addictive position to clarifying types and severities of addiction. Going from there the writers then go on to complete assessment,diagnosis, and treatment of the individual types of addiction.What encouraged me was the attitude of the writers that the goal is not just control or to stop the addictive behaviors of the care seeker, but that a spiritual transformation take place which in the end has both eternal value and long term success. Suicide Intervention is the concluding chapter of Part 3 which challenged me. The very nature of suicide has always seemed to me to be a very drastic and irreversible symptom of both emotional/personality disorder issues, even guilt/shame based outcomes of an addictive personality. To include suicide intervention in the impulse control section made me try to evaluate how suicide becomes the options of many in trapped conditions of anxiety.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States.http://www.psych.org/mainmenu/research/dsmiv.aspx. Mark Laaser, George Ohschlager, & Tim Clinton, Addictions in Caring for People God¶s Way, Tim Clinton and George Ohlschlager, eds.(Nashville: ThomasNelson Inc., 2005), 248. Alcoholics Anonymous, The Nature of the Alcoholics Disease and Allergy. (NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, 1976), 2 9
As of this writing, a short 45 days ago, I entered into a suicide scenario which ended with the person taking his own life. Because of my inadequate understanding of the personality of the victim as well as the long term, ongoing threats by the person making me unaware of the imminent actions that were taking place in the mind of the victim I was mislead to believe that his threat was not real. My relationship too was one of a personal nature with the family and might have contributed to me being lulled into a false sense of denial that any such outcome might take place. This has caused me many sleepless nights, prayers filled with tears, even anger. Now as I write this I have come to understand how Caring for People is a help to me personally in seeing trauma in a new light. To simply say someone who habitually and continually uses the threat of taking their own life as a boy crying wolf situation, is a very dangerous place for a counselor to find himself. ³The dynamics of suicide are highly complex; simplistic reasons to explain it and easy solutions to prevent it are nonexistent.´20 Caring for People helps with the encouragement of ³General Policy Guidelines´21 which I believe should always be followed whether there is a real and imminent sense of suicide or even the long term threats of taking one¶s life. Part 4: Grief and Trauma ³This chapter challenges the Christian counselor to broaden their understanding of bereavement counseling by placing the bereaved in a holistic context that emphasizes the systemic nature of attachment.´22
Clinton & Ohlschlager, 335 Ibid., 344
Sharon Hart May, Loss and Grief at Workin Caring for People God¶s Way, Tim Clinton and George Ohlschlager, eds. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005), 361 10
This section is a personally important topic to this writer. I was surprised to see little written on the subjects of grief and trauma but equally surprised to see a depth to the writings included in this section. With insight and experience the writers of the chapters in Part 4, explore the nature of the emotions of grief and trauma, helping the counselor as in other sections assess, diagnose and treat persons effected by these events. Individual chapters on possible areas of grief and trauma help the counselor become more proficient at seeing certain patterns of behavior and how they might be linked to recent and very distant loss and trauma events to help the care seeker move towards some wholeness spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. As in a few other illustrations and the writing of Caring for People, 9-11 is used to give examples of the problems care seekers might be encountering whether they are personally affected by loss or because of the national relationship of the terroristic attack. One insight that is very helpful is the idea of making sure the victim, care seeker, is fully aware of their trauma, not minimalizing or justifying the actions taken against them either voluntarily or involuntarily.23 Appendices Caring for People closes with appendices that can be very helpful to counselors and counseling centers. Templates for intake, case management, the treatment of minors, and many others are included to make the counselor aware of the need as well as provide some help in documentation and guidance through the quagmire of our litigious society. Conclusion
Diane Langberg, Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse: Trauma, Treatment, and Living in the Truth, in Caring for People God¶s Way, Tim Clinton and George Ohlschlager, eds. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005), 424 ± 425. 11
As stated in my introduction,Caring for People is a volume that helps, help helps! The insight gained by this writer even recently from Caring for People, proves its worthiness as a book to be kept on the shelf close to the care giver. The plethora of knowledge, help and experience of the many contributors can be found to be an encouragement beyond measure as one navigates him or herself through the simple to complex world of those soul care seekers looking not just for answers, but for healing, hope, and wholeness.
References Alcoholics Anonymous, 1976.The Nature of the Alcoholics Disease and Allergy. NY: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. Baker, Mark W. 2007. Jesus the Greatest Therapist Who Ever Lived.NY, NY: Harper One. Clinton, Tim, Archibald Hart, & George Ohlschlager, eds., 2005. Caring for People God¶s WayNashville: Thomas Nelson Inc. Clinton, Tim& George Ohlschlager, eds., 2002. Competent Christian Counseling, Volume One: Foundations and Practice of Compassionate Soul Care. Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press. Cloud, Henry, 1992. Changes that Heal. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Laaser, Mark, George Ohschlager, & Tim Clinton, 2005. Addictions in Caring for People God¶s Way, Tim Clinton and George Ohlschlager, eds. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Inc. Langberg, Diane, Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse: Trauma, Treatment, and Living in the Truth, in Caring for People God¶s Way, 2005. Tim Clinton and George Ohlschlager, eds. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Inc. May, Sharon Hart, Loss and Grief at Workin Caring for People God¶s Way, 2005. Tim Clinton and George Ohlschlager, eds. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Inc.