Family counseling

Bowen Family Systems Theory and Christian ministry: an appraisal and application

Author
J. Wesley White D.Min.
Abstract
The thesis question of this project is, “Is differentiation of self a helpful concept for Christian ministry?” The project begins with a careful explanation of what differentiation of self means in the context of Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST), explaining that it primarily relates to distinguishing the emotional from the intellectual process and developing the ability to act deliberately in terms of reason and principle as well as feeling.
The project examines various passages of Scripture to seek a parallel between the teaching of Scripture and the understanding of differentiation of self in BFST. This investigation demonstrates that while the words are not present, the concept is extremely important in Scripture. The project then considers parallels to differentiation of self in church history, particularly noting the parallels with a variety of explanations of virtue ethics. The project then provides a summary of modern scholarship on this issue. It concludes that writers on these topics find the concept of differentiation of self to be helpful to ministry while also critiquing the secular concept of differentiation of self in BFST as needing the purpose of God’s kingdom and the grace of God for implementation.
Finally, a model for ministry is developed in an outline and explanation of a seminar. This seminar is designed to introduce ministers and ministry leaders to the concept of differentiation of self in ministry and show its utility for a variety of ministry contexts when placed in the context of Christian theological concerns and spiritual development.

Research on the change of parents' attitude toward child-rearing through faith community

Author
Sunhee Lee
Abstract
This project explored the change of parents’ attitude toward child-rearing through the faith community. For this goal, I created and developed a curriculum in which parents are educated through five factors in the faith community: Koinonia, Didache, Leiturgia, Kerygma, and Diaconia. The analysis of the survey on parent education demonstrates that parents can change their rearing attitude for children through parents’ education conducted in the faith community. The five factors that only the faith community has can have positive effects on both parents’ faith and parents’ attitude toward child-rearing. Furthermore, this project proved that education for parents in the faith community can have positive effects on people outside of the church who don’t have faith.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Understanding the Transformative Effect Suffering has on the Health of Marital Commitment in Devout Christian Marriages

Author
Patrick S. Lovejoy D.Min.
Abstract
This phenomenological study assessed, retrospectively, the transformative effect suffering has on the strength of marital commitment in devout Christian marriages. The study yielded a shared experience of suffering being viewed as instrumental in the development of strong intimate ties and shared sacred history within the marriages of the participants. Couples agreed that various forms of suffering refined their marital commitment towards one another and helped supply a lasting shared intimacy with the marriage. Many marriages equate suffering to evidence of failure and flee relationships preventing the birth of the resiliency necessary to navigate the transitions that come from enduring suffering.

Researching step-parenting skills to create a counseling manual for counselors and ministers to parents of clended families in central Georgia

Author
Jennifer Lauren Ransom
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to research family systems for the most effective parenting techniques in blended families in order to develop a manual for counselors to parents of blended families in Central Georgia. This project culminated in the creation of a training manual for Christian counselors who counsel parents of blended families to help them with blended family skills. The project director researched a wide range of sources including books, articles, and commentaries to gain an understanding of step-parenting skills that parents can implement as counselors to help them practice. the final stage of this project was the completion of the counseling manual that the other counselors and ministers an use when counseling blended families.

Developing a therapy handbook in marriage and family counseling for Sewell Mill Baptist Church, Marietta, Georgia

Author
David B Watson
Abstract
The project director felt that brief therapy models should be adapted to the unique counseling needs of local pastors and that local pastors would benefit from a counseling handbook designed to provide a history of Brief Therapy, a therapy notation system, and prepared intervention models. It was also theorized that local pastors required a vetting system for the establishment of a referral network. Brief Therapy models, Christian coaching techniques, and conflict resolution methodologies were researched, and a handbook was created. Local Christian counselors were surveys to establish criteria for vetting potential therapists for referral' a vetting questionnaire was created.

Equipping selected couples of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Cochran, Georgia, in Marital Communication Skills

Author
Larry Collins
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip a selected group of couples of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Cochran, Georgia, in marital communication skills. Equipping married couples in developing healthy communication skills through the use of cognitive, affective and psychomotor activities was the overarching goal of this project. The communicative growth made by each couple was manifested through the successful results revealed by their own admission as well as external evaluation. The project methodology showed that marital communication skills can be affected positively through practical teaching, personal examination, and purposeful training. Examination of individual pretest and posttest data was also instrumental in determining the overall success of the project.

The prodigal daughter: pastoral counseling of a traditional family of a lesbian daughter

Author
Robert W Samsel
Abstract
Traditional Christians are struggling to hold fast to a biblical perspective on the issue of homosexuality. The situation is complicated as individuals come to know, through work or school, people who display homosexual behaviors. The struggle comes as the result of two conflicting ideas: the biblical teachings opposing homosexual activity and the relational experiences connecting people together. As a result, severe stress comes when a member of a traditional Christian family announces they are homosexual. This thesis seeks to demonstrate an approach to counseling families in distress that is both biblically sound and psychologically effective. The approach will be integrative, applying a theologically supported, structural relations oriented approach looking at the context of the family. It will also apply a psychoeducational approach to help the family reframe their situation from a biblical/theological perspective and an attachment theory approach in helping the family to balance their need for attachment and individuation.

Bioethical mediation: a reconciling pathway to healing

Author
Victoria McKay Kumorowski
Abstract
I have created a resource, entitled Bioethical Mediation: A Reconciling Pathway to Healing, in order to effectively demonstrate the healing benefits of using bioethical mediation. The resource described bioethical mediation as a new form of healthcare ministry that helps to resolve misunderstandings, issues, and conflicts among and between healthcare professionals, patients, and family members. The resource was evaluated by ten experts. The experts agreed that the resource clearly demonstrates that a non-confrontational process is needed to address the profound issues raised by advances in medical technology, and that the resource clearly describes how bioethical mediation facilitates open communication among all participants.

Where is God? stories of chronic illness and implications for pastoral care

Author
Karen Pershall Harvester
Abstract
This project evoloved from the question: "Where is God in the experience of chronic illness?" It was based on pastoral visits with five families of the chronically ill and the illness of the author's husband. The hypothesis was that the chronically ill and their families face unique challenges and needs for pastoral care not observed in acute or terminal illness due to the "ongoingness" of the chronic disease or injury. A Family Systems approach and theological reflection were used to analyze the experiences. The hypothesis was proven correct. New insights and implications for pastoral care were gleaned from the project.
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