Christian Counseling and Marriage Coaching

Christian Counseling 

Have you and your spouse become that couple that you promised yourself you would never become before you were married and became one?  That couple that’s always bickering.  That couple that no matter what they do, they just cannot seem to find peace.  The kind where it’s completely apparent that they’re always frustrated with one another. The flame is out and the spark that was once there is gone.
 
It's unfortunate, but this type of relationship is more common than we'd like to admit.  As Christians, our divorce rate is above 50% which is the same or higher than that of non-christians.  For the first time in the history of our country we have more single parent families than families where there is both a mother and a father in the home.

So what's really wrong? Why are we still facing an epidemic of divorce in the Christian church when there are all these books, sermons, programs who knows what else all promising to teach you how to make your marriage succeed?  

 

Let us become the ones to make a difference in our society and work to put an end to this vicious cycle.  Christian Counseling through Belief Therapy can be the answer to the challenges you are currently facing in your marriage. To fully understand Christian Counseling we must first understand that God is our counselor, Jesus is the wonderful counselor and the Holy Spirit is our counselor. Mature Christians are exhorted to encourage others, warn the idle and help the weak. (1 Thess. 5:11;14). Most Christians who counsel believe that God is the author of all truth and that the Bible is the authoritative guide in the counseling process. Sound psychology is used to promote change and wholeness in the counseling relationship when it supports scripture, such as holding people responsible for their behavior and helping people change their thinking and behavior to coincide with truth. Christian counseling evaluates and considers the mental, physical and spiritual needs of people using a process in which the Bible is the authoritative guide. 

 

As Christian counselors we recognize our work as redemptive and restorative in character. We bring the entire counseling enterprise under the lordship of Christ.  The core issues addressed in helping your marriage are: 
exploring personal problems, purpose, significance and longings 
establishing meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ and with others 
developing biblical self-worth, thinking, choices and behavior experiencing a wholesome emotional state.


Christian Counseling - The Differences
As a general rule, both Christian counseling and secular counseling share the same desire to help people overcome their problems, find meaning and joy in life, and become healthy and well-adjusted individuals, both mentally and emotionally. Most counselors have graduate degrees and have spent years learning their craft. The word "counseling" can have multiple meanings, including offering advice and encouragement, sharing wisdom and skills, setting goals, resolving conflict, etc. Counselors usually probe the past (whether the problem happened a week ago or during childhood) in an attempt to repair the present. Sometimes they explore possible affects of physical and chemical imbalances that can cause physiological problems. A major part of counseling is resolving and restoring conflicts between people. 

 

The C.A.R.E. Technique of Counseling                                      
There are as many various techniques of counseling as there are counseling theories.  Each technique emphasizes whatever a counselor theory is trying to achieve with a client.  In the case of Belief Therapy the emphasis is on what one believes and doesn’t believe.  As Certified Belief Therapists we find the C.A.R.E.  technique to be most effective.  It’s fundamental objective is to assist a client to change what they are believing that is keeping them from finding the “peace of God, which passes all understanding”  (Phil 4:7), believing the LIE.  to believing the TRUTH that sets them free (John 8:32) from the bondage of the LIE.  All problems in life  become bondage to a person as long as that person believes the lies of Satan concerning themselves, others and God.  Therefore, Belief Therapy assists a client to learn and appropriate the TRUTH found only in Jesus Christ.  C.A.R.E. is the implementation of this process.  People do what they do because they believe what they believe.

  • Clarification
  • Assessment
  • Resolution
  • Experience


Christian Counseling - The Foundation
Christian counseling is distinct from secular counseling. Christian counseling rises to another dimension. "In contrast to psychologically-integrated systems, Biblical counseling seeks to carefully discover those areas in which a Christian may be disobedient to the principles and commands of Scripture and to help him learn how to lovingly submit to God's will," reports the International Association of Biblical Counselors. 

 

Christian counselors are able to do that because they have an absolute standard by which to measure their objectives and evaluate their counselee's lifestyle. They see the Bible as the source of all truth. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." The secular counselor has no such standard, but instead, they use the latest psychological findings or societal norm, both of which change with the winds of time. Therefore, a secular counselor has no absolutes with which to judge morals and the choices people make. Christian counselors understand that the Bible has a lot of practical wisdom about human nature, marriage and family, human suffering, and so much more. By using biblical concepts in counseling, they can instruct people in the way they should go and also hold them accountable. Psalm 119:24 says, "Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors." 

 

Although Christian counselors often use skills from the field of secular psychology and counseling, they recognize that the Bible, not psychology, is the final authority. "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3). A Christian counselor's major strategy is to help their clients substitute biblical truth for error as they go about their day-to-day lives. They know that the truth, when known, believed, and obeyed, sets people free. When people are set free, they are fulfilling their true calling. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). 


Marriage Coaching 
We believe that most marriages have a good foundation! After all, you did fall in love with each other! You married your spouse because you were in love and knew that nothing would ever separate you.  Many times it is not so much about going back to discover what it was like when you first met but just fine tuning the basic core principles of relationships.   Marriage Coaching helps you rediscover each other and what drew you to each other in the first place.  It also helps you to learn, or perfect, the skills you need to keep the love you have for each other alive and growing!


Marriage Coaching is a professional client-focused service where the couple is assumed to be healthy, powerful, and able to achieve relationship goals with effective support, information and guidance.  As Marriage Coaches, we don’t give advice!  We come along side of you in a purposeful manner, which helps you to see difficulties in a different light. We provide the support, encouragement, and accountability to help you accomplish the goals you set for your marriage! 

Our coaching process is a faith-centered approach that helps you to live God's plan for a joy-filled marriage while developing practical skills to keep your marriage relationship strong.  You and your spouse will be coached as a couple. We help you to identify, set and achieve your personal goals for your marriage.  We come to you with an Apostolic approach helping to set things in order. Our plan is to lead your marriage to the final victory. We will even share practical insights from our marriage when beneficial. You should expect to receive the following from us:

  • Structure: Goals, actions, covenant, clear expectation 
  • Relationship: Change comes through people not programs
  • Peer: Not an authority relationship but a friendship
  • Coaching Approach: Drawing out of you instead of telling you or giving advice
  • Growth: A strategic relationship with a purpose to grow


We will help you to:

  • Obtain a Christian vision about marriage
  • Learn practical tools to build and strengthen your marriage
  • View problems as opportunities to serve your spouse
  • Communicate effectively and manage conflict
  • Negotiate hurdles that keep you stuck
  • Build or restore trust
  • Renew appreciation and affection
  • Release and heal old baggage
  • Learn to forgive as God forgives
  • Build a strong foundation for your marriage

We know marriage is supposed to be full of love through better or worse, richer and poorer and till death do us part. However, most of us don't know how to live this through the realities of everyday life.  We are here to help you develop a marriage that will fulfill you for the rest of your life!  In a simple and relaxed setting, you are able to focus on how to move ahead rather than dwell on the past. You are able to develop a plan to keep growing personally and together as a couple through honoring, supporting and loving one another.


COMMON QUESTIONS
What is the difference between coaching and counseling?
Marriage coaching can revolutionize the way you do growth-centered relationships, because the coaching approach offers some unique dynamics that are missing from the way we usually walk with each other.  For example, a counselor can take the things in your life that needs to change and tell you how to change them.  Instead of depending on advice-giving, the coaching approach uses intuitive listening and powerful questions to draw others into a dialog with God.  In the world of sports a coach is constantly pushing you to maximize your potential by drawing out of you what is already inside of you. When you decide something in your life needs to change, a coach pushes you to take responsibility for your situation, look to God for insight, and take action.   Marriage Coaching assumes that you want to train to be the best at understanding yourself, your mate and the keys to a great marriage.  Coaches are not counselors, but someone who will find out what your current skill level is and help you to develop those skills to a championship level. 


Therapy focuses on the past and unresolved issues. Coaching, on the other hand, begins with the present and assists clients in setting very clear and specific goals that they want to achieve in the future. While the past may be discussed on occasion, it is addressed only in the context of discovering what is blocking the client from moving forward. The focus is always on movement and taking action, not on insight or understanding.
What does the marriage coaching process consist of?


We ask that a couple meet with us bi-weekly for 8 weeks and we re-evaluate the status of their marriage at that time.  While some issues can be resolved quickly, others may take more time and effort.  Each session lasts about an hour.

 

Do both spouses have to meet?
We believe that both mates will eventually have to change but we also believe that if just one of the couple will begin to work on his or her role and perspectives, the marriage can be radically changed!  Both spouses must be willing to work on the marriage.  We often receive calls where only one is interested in wanting to work on the marriage, and unfortunately there is not much we can do for you - other than to pray.


What if I we are just dating and seriously considering marriage?
Research shows that premarital counseling helps to build a stronger, long lasting marriage.  Numerous premarital counseling effectiveness studies found that couples who participate in pre marriage preparation report on average a 30% stronger marriage than couples who did not participate in pre marriage counseling and, "the best marriage-education programs focus on essential marriage skills, like communication and conflict resolution". Premarital counseling helps partners improve their ability to communicate, set realistic expectations for marriage and develop conflict-resolution skills.  Early intervention is important because the risk of divorce is highest early in marriage.  

 

You are planning the wedding . . . but have you done anything to plan for the marriage?  Pre-Marital Coaching takes a look into marriage and relationships.  We will guide you through the transition from the wedding to married life.   We have found that most of the problems occur in a marriage because the couple has never defined expectations prior to marriage.  Keep in mind that you bring your own values, opinions and history into a relationship, and they might not always match your partner's. In addition, many people go into marriage believing it will fulfill their social, financial, sexual and emotional needs — and that's not always the case. By discussing differences and expectations before marriage, you and your partner can better understand and support each other during marriage.   It is desirable to begin the coaching 6-12 months prior to the wedding, but it can be done closer to the wedding date.  Topics addressed include:

  • Expectations 
  • Building Oneness 
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Communication and Conflict Resolution 
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Sexuality 
  • Financial Issues 
  • Readiness for Marriage 

How much does marriage coaching cost?
As part of our mission, we offer our Christian Coaching/counseling based on an affordable sliding scale. We charge an initial evaluation fee of $125, then our fees range from $30 – 85 per session for remaining visits, based on upon your combined annual household income and the number of people in your family.  Documentation will be required to verify income.  We do not take insurance but many of our clients find that our fees are at or below the typical insurance co-pay required at other counseling offices who do accept insurance.  We accept, cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express payments.  
There is a flat fee of $150/couple for pre-marital coaching in a group setting or $250/couple for an individual couple, this includes your material and 5 sessions.


What if the marriage has some big issues?
There are ways to change and restore the most broken of marriages. Through love, understanding and respect, God will heal, maximize and wonderfully restore the shakiest of marriages.  Coaching has brought couples back from the brink of divorce with new hope and renewed commitments. Issues are addressed in a confidential, non-judgmental manner that focuses on resolving difficulties through improved understanding and mutual problem solving. Participation is entirely voluntary and a couple can decide to leave at any time.

 

The coaching is supplemented with applied exercises in effective assertiveness, listening, causes of marriage problems, problem solving, understanding anger, bitterness, forgiveness, intimacy, and growth.  This process takes 2-3 months to complete.  Coaching is not recommended for couples who have drug or alcohol problems or on-going affairs.

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