Posts Tagged ‘christian counseling services’

Five Principles of Resolving Christian Marriage Issues

Sometimes the problems in a Christian marriage are so severe that the best thing that the couple can do is to seek out Christian counseling services. Other times, a couple may just need a few ideas to help them move things back in a positive direction. So often, couples continue to do the same thing that is not working over and over again because it is the only way they know.

But it is foolish to continue to do something if it is not working. As the TV personality Dr. Phil often asks, “And how is that working for you?” He already knows the answer – that it is not working well for them otherwise they would not be seeking help.

In this article, we will look at several thoughts on how Christian couples can successfully deal with their marriage conflicts. These things are not difficult to do but can make a big difference in one’s marriage.

One, marriages that last a long time and are happy to boot, are marriages where both the husband and wife are willing to make personal changes. It is true that we cannot change another person, and shouldn’t try to. But we can make adjustments in ourselves and this is a requirement to have a good marriage. Another word for this is adaptability. Said more simply, it is the ability to not only take in a marriage but also to give.

Couples can respond to a conflict in one of two ways. One way is to stubbornly insist on one’s own way which easily descends into anger and heated arguments. The other way, is to look outside of oneself and consider the interests of the other person. This approach can lead to compromise or in some cases even one partner giving in to the way of the other.

Of course, in a good marriage it is not the same person who is the one always giving in to the other. If a couple chooses to be adaptable they communicate respect to each other and both husband and wife will be more inclined to work out issues agreeably.

Second, do not try to squelch disagreements. All marriages have them and the good ones acknowledge that and deal with them appropriately. If either the husband or the wife pushes conflict down within it simply grows over time. It does not do away with the disagreement but only hides it temporarily. The danger is that repressed conflicts will grow into bitterness and resentment. Once it has reached that stage, it can be much more difficult to resolve the problems.

As an example, let’s say that a wife is trying to discuss a problem with her husband. But he simply does not want to deal with it and remains quiet. He thinks that by not talking about it further that the whole issue will simply go away. It won’t. It may anger his wife and she will continue to bring it up in the future trying to get some response from her husband. Eventually he is likely not to respond, but to react. And the reaction will be negative. He is frustrated and she is frustrated. They both may become angry and the whole thing easily degenerates into a fight.

There are other ways that couples may try to avoid conflict. Some will make a joke about it and refuse to become serious over what is truly bothersome to the other. One may avoid conflict by beginning to talk about something else or even walking out of the room. You can imagine how frustrating that would be to a husband or a wife who felt strongly that an issue needed to be dealt with. Good marriages are not marriages that never have any problems. They are marriages that recognize problems when they arise and deal with them as quickly as possible.

Third, while we have stressed the necessity of dealing with conflicts, it is essential to keep the focus on resolving the conflict rather than the conflict itself. Certainly, the issue at hand needs to be clearly understood but once it is, the couple’s efforts should center around coming up with workable solutions. Instead of attacking the problem, husbands and wives began attacking each other. They only see good in themselves and bad in their partner.

As they attack and counter attack everything begins to spiral downward. Here is some of what begins to take place. He accuses her of something and so she reacts by blaming him for something else. He asks a question that is hostile in nature and so she returns with a threat of some sort against him. He puts her down and so she calls him a name.

A couple must recognize if these tactics have entered into the conflict and turn away from them to focus on the problem. Each person should try to look more at how they contribute to the problem and what they can do to help fix it. The other approach will never solve the problem and in fact will make it much worse.

Fourth, avoid piling on past grievances on your partner during an argument. Some call this gunnysacking. A farmer uses a gunnysack or burlap bag to hold vegetables or other items. These sacks are large and deep. As we go through marriage, we can figuratively carry around a gunnysack and whenever our partner says something or does something that we interpret negatively, we place that in our gunnysack. Then when an argument comes about on most anything we reach into our gunnysack and start pulling out things from the past to pile on to her mate.

It is a weapon that is used to either try to win an argument or even to hurt the other person. If a mate is being gunnysacked against, it is difficult to respond to so many grievances that wants. And so, their reaction usually is to pull out their own gunnysack and use the same tactic. If not that, then it produces in them resentments that damages the relationship beyond the immediate problem.

Fifth, avoid passive aggressive behaviors. People who do this generally are those who have difficulty handling conflict directly. This is a sneaky way of trying to get one’s own way. Instead of an overt thing said or done, this is some indirect action in which the person can claim that they had no ill intent. For example, a wife may ask her husband to do something that he really doesn’t want to do. And while he agrees to do it, he in some way messes things up in the hope that she will not ask him to ever do it again. She might think that he messed up on purpose but he would deny it. You can see how this can create distrust in the relationship.

These are just a few principles that can help Christian marriages in handling inevitable conflicts. As mentioned in the beginning of the article, a couple may find that they need to seek additional Christian marriage counseling help.

How to Find Good Christian Counseling Services

If you are looking for Christian counseling services, you are doing so because you believe that there is an inherent value in Biblical counseling. You want a Christian counselor because you want the person who is seeking to help you to believe in the value of the Scriptures in helping people overcome their problems.

Christian people have the same problems that anyone else has. Being a Christian does not make you immune to facing life’s challenges. Christians and Christian families deal with addictions and substance abuse, mental health problems, financial debt, depression, and any other counseling issue that people have.

While a secular counselor may be able to provide assistance, they may not have the same values as a Christian and do not believe or rely upon biblical insights and offering directives to the person who is seeking help.

When going to a Christian counseling Center a person would expect the counselors found there to include in the helping process prayer, faith, and teachings from the Bible. And further they would not need to worry that the counselor would suggest to them doing anything that is contrary to the principles found within the Bible.

Seeking Christian counseling does not mean that the person wants simplistic or pat answers to complex problems. And they likely recognize that they can benefit from someone who is familiar with various counseling theories.

They just don’t want anyone to offer any kind of help that conflicts with their values as a Christian. And they do want someone who is able to offer spiritual guidance as well. In other words they want the best of both worlds. That is to benefit from the understandings of the human mind and behavior from secular research and to gain strength and power from religious faith.

Specifically what kind of Christian counseling are you looking for? One of the benefits of modern specialization is that you can find Christian counseling centers that focus on particular problems that people face. For instance, there are family Christian counseling centers. Here you can find Christian marriage counselors.

They are counselors who can assist families and marriages in crisis. They do Christian couples counseling. They do premarital Christian counseling. They do Christian debt counseling. They do Christian substance abuse counseling. They do Christian anger counseling. They do Christian singles counseling. Again, what ever problem Christians might experience and their families that anyone else experiences whether Christian or not, a good Christian counseling Center will have someone professionally trained to help.

Where do you find Christian counseling centers? Some of them are stand-alone entities. You could find one in your city by checking your local Yellow Pages or doing some searches online. Also many large churches now have counseling centers. If your church is a smaller church and does not have one you could begin by asking the minister at your congregation for some suggestions of churches with counseling centers nearby.

Many of these church counseling centers have several counselors on staff. Most often they do meet the state’s licensing sing requirements for doing professional counseling. But you would want to do your due diligence and researching the experience, reputation, and qualifications of the counselor. You might want to know for example if the counselor you are speaking with God to bear Christian counseling degree online. That might be okay, you just want to know.

With a larger Christian counseling Center with multiple counselors on staff it is likely that each one of the counselors specializes in one or more areas. For instance, one of the counselors may help families facing a sudden crisis. Another may focus on marriage preparation for an engaged couples. Another may specialize in Christian mental health issues.

How much does Christian counseling cost? There is no simple answer to that question. It can vary even depending on the part of the country that you live in. There can also be a difference between the counseling fees that a standalone Christian counseling Center charges and what a local church might charge. The reason for this is because the services that the churches offer are in effect subsidized by the church.

One thing that you can check into it is to find out if the counseling center has a sliding scale arrangement for their counseling fees. This means that the cost of Christian counseling sessions can be dependent on your income. Obviously you would be asked to show proof of your weekly or monthly income. You may even be able to find free Christian counseling services.

An alternative to actually visiting in person with a Christian counselor is to look into online Christian counseling. The Internet has certainly changed our world in many respects. Not all of them good. But on the positive side it has made available resources to people who might not otherwise be able to avail themselves of those resources.

There are a number of reasons why you might consider Christian Internet counseling. One is cost. Someone offering Christian counseling services online does not have the overhead expenses that someone with a bricks and mortar counseling business has. And for that reason does not have to charge as much.

Getting help online might also be beneficial to those who do not live near a city that has any or very much in the way of counseling help.

When you do seek Christian counseling online you typically have several options including the use of communication through e-mail, phone counseling, and even video counseling.
As with any kind of counseling help that you seek it is important that you do your research and know exactly who it is that is helping you and how they can help you.

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We're William and Helen, and we are continuously adding articles to this site. Some are written by us and others are added by various guest authors. We believe you will find something of interest here as we have articles on every imaginable subject and some that aren't.