Thursday, January 8, 2015

Counseling the Hard Cases

A new mother imagining throwing her baby against the wall.  A man terrified of driving on odd-numbered streets.  A woman with dissociative identity disorder running down the middle of the street in the rain, barefoot.  Is the Bible sufficient to help people like these?  What about the woman who goes into hysterical shrieking when she enters the kitchen due to flashbacks of childhood abuse?  We tend to think that people with severe problems like these need treatment deeper than the Bible discusses.

The book Counseling the Hard Cases is a wonderfully encouraging demonstration that God is not dead, and His Word is not inadequate.  It contains ten true stories of people with all of the above problems, and many more, who found hope, peace, life, and lasting change through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  The ten stories are told by ten different biblical counselors, who explain in detail the problems the people had, and how the Bible spoke to each of them.

I have taken over 60 hours of training in biblical counseling and have read a number of books on it, including three by Jay Adams.   But I can honestly say that this book was more helpful to me than any of them.  It is detailed enough that when you're done you feel like you could help someone with similar problems, yet non-technical enough that you don't get bored or brain-fogged.

More than filling your head with knowledge of counseling, this book repeatedly points you toward worship as you see how God rescues people even from the most horrible problems you can imagine.

Every pastor and church elder should own and read this book (why not bless yours by giving them copies?).  I also would recommend it for any layperson who has psychological problems or who wants to help someone who does.  The printed book is rather expensive but the Kindle version is reasonable.

I got this book for free, but as a gift from a friend, not the publisher. 

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