Family forms the most important part of an individual’s life. Any kind of tension in the family ties leads to depression and sorrow. Due to constantly increasing workloads and pressures to prove oneself, individuals hardly get time to spend with their family members. This leads to gap in communication and eventual fights. This is where the counseling service in Alberta can help solve various emotional conflicts within the family.
Out of the several issues, marriage is the most prominent, which requires delicate and skillful handling. The essentials of a good and sound marriage are love, communication, faith, trust, and commitment towards each other. The problems faced by the couples are better resolved when they are within the context of the couples’ relationship. A couple which is undergoing emotional turmoil seeks advice and help of professionals to smooth things between them. This kind of advice is called counseling.
When couples apply for counseling sessions, the counselor first tries to locate the problem. The counselors then try to mediate between the husband and the wife to bring out their opinions and points of difference. The counseling sessions provide the couples with the apt platform to talk about their views openly. This in turn facilitates them in understanding what the other was thinking and feeling all this while. The communication gap that was present at the starting of the counseling lessens with each successive session.
Marriage And Family Counseling in Alberta
Are there different types of Christian counselors?
Yes, There are many different types of Christian counselors. Gary Collins wrote the first article on the different types. When he first wrote his article he identified five basic categories which are still, for the most part recognized today.
Main Stream Counselors: These counselors receive training known as CPE or Clinical pastoral Education training. These individuals are educated as pastors receiving a complete theological education. When they decide to become counselors they go through a secular training program. Because they have a religious background they are able to integrate the drastically different secular education into their previous religious education
Main Stream Counselors have been criticized for being too liberal. They often negatively view conservative evangelical theologians. They believe that the conservative counselors cause people to steer away from Christian counseling due to the fear that they will be judged and condemned for their behavior. Main Stream Counselors want people to feel that it is OK to be imperfect and that we are all humans, what matters most is that we try to live our lives for God and recognize when we fail. Rather then be condemned for failing they believe that being supportive can help the person avoid failure later on.
Evangelical Pastoral Counselors: These counselors use a counseling theory outlines that the bible is the only foundation of all counseling. These counselors are confrontational, that is, they are very blunt, to the point, and have no problem pointing out when you are at fault for your problems. They take an educational approach to counseling, by the time you are finished with counseling you will have a greater scriptural knowledge to guide your future decisions.
Christian Professionals: The father of Christian counseling Clyde Narramore falls into this category. As does James Dobson, founder of focus on the family, and an outstanding author. These individuals have received a purely secular education and generally, possess state credentials or licensure. These individuals choose to keep their roots in biblical evangelical theology despite their secular background. These counselors have to find ways for integrating their psychological knowledge and skills with biblical truth.
Theoretician Researchers: This group is comprised primarily of university professors. They take a scholarly, scientific approach. As the name implies they work extensively on researching, developing and testing new theories and techniques. These counselors do not necessarily "work in the field" unless their research requires them to do so. Their education is almost always secular, unless they are university professors at a private religious university.
Evangelical Popularizers: This is the set of Christian counselors, who use their education to write self-help books, put together marriage seminars, help youth leaders develop action plans to help troubled youth etc. These counselors aim to help ordinary people who want to help themselves.
The five categories of counselors were identified in 1975 and are still recognized to this day. There have been some changes within each category. For example the evangelical counselors have started to move away from clinical pastoral education in favor of a secular education.
Within the last decade the evangelical pastoral counseling and Christian professional counseling approach has been widely adapted by seminaries. The seminaries have started many masters and doctoral programs that provide an equal mix of theology combined with counseling, therapy, psychology, and marriage and family therapy.
There is a massive and heated debate over the mingling of Christian theory with psychology. One side argues that Christianity and psychology are not compatible at all while others argue that they are completely compatible. Some counselors are somewhere in the middle, and the number of individuals in this category seems to be growing substantially each year.
Counseling Exists For Same Sex Marriages
In our Marriage Counseling Practice we often see couples whose In-Laws are causing problems in the marriage. Whether it is too close, or not close enough, In-Laws can turn into Out-Laws very quickly.
The problems don't always begin the same way. Sometimes there has been no "individuation" (becoming separate) on the part of the adult children. The Bible instructs couples to leave and cleave in order to become one flesh. This is not possible if the adult children do not separate in a healthy way from their parents. The parents may or may not be trying to hang on, but the results can be the same.
When adult children maintain a dependence on their parents after marriage, it interferes with the husband wife relationship. Even when it is disguised as asking for advice from a parent it can cause a division between the couple. If the wife looks to her father for help in making decisions, the husband can feel totally disrespected. He may feel that he (the husband) is not the primary male figure in the marriage.
Likewise if the husband is overly close with his mother the wife is unable to assume the role of nurturer and the number one woman in his life. This is especially true if the couple is living with the parents. This keeps them still in the role of a child.
When adult children receive money from their parents the help often comes with some sort of "strings" attached. This may be overt or covert. Maybe nothing is even said about it.
When parents disapprove of the "in-law "adult child, it puts their child in the middle between the parents and their spouse. The adult child's allegiance should always be to their spouse; number one after the Lord.
A case in point would be when Mary's parents are speaking disrespectfully about Mary's husband Tom behind his back. Rather than defending Tom, Mary should explain to her parents that it's not ok to talk about Tom that way. If Mary's parents continue, Mary should walk away.
If Mary's parents are disrespecting Tom in front of him Mary should get between her parents and Tom and boldly say, "If you continue talking about Tom this way, we will leave."
It is important for couples to keep their "marriage business" private. They should not be discussing their marital issues with their parents, family or friends.
These discussions should be limited to their Pastor, Christian Counselor, or one trusted friend that both spouses' agree on.
We recommend the book "Boundaries in Marriage" by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
As the Bible says in Genesis 2:24, therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Of course this applies for women as well.
In our Marriage Counseling practice, Marriage Rescue Associates, we regularly see couples who need help restructuring the family dynamic in order to "leave and cleave".
God's Blessing on your marriage. Let it be healthy and happy.
About Marriage Rescue Associates | Christian Marriage Counseling
With over 23 years of experience, Marriage Rescue Associates have discovered many effective methods for helping couples restore their family and marriages. As Christian Marriage Counselors, Marriage Rescue Associates can help construct solutions to rekindle love and rebuild trust that has been torn down by endless conflict, indifference, and unmet needs.
Don't let your marriage or family become another statistic when you can actually do something to change it.
Seek out Marriage Counseling from an experienced Marriage Counselor that understands your situation and makes you feel comfortable with them.
To learn more about Marriage Rescue Associates, visit us online at www.marriagerescue.org
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