Issue no. 68 Autumn 2010
Magazine for the Association of Christian Counsellors
accord Profile of a Shepherd Counsellor - Diane Langberg Addiction - Frans Koopmans Exploring the roots of psychological disturbance - John L Threadgold Mindfulness - Sarah Plum and Paul Hebblethwaite
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Plus Regulation Update
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Issue 68 Autumn 2010 Profile of a Shepherd Counsellor – Diane Langberg 4-7
Regulation Update 8 ACC News 8-11
Addiction -Frans Koopmans 12-16
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Exploring the roots of psychological disturbance - John L Threadgold 20-23
Mindfulness - Sarah Plum and Paul Hebblethwaite 24-29
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Book Reviews 33-34
In Touch 37-39
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Editorial n By Greta Randle Welcome to the biggest edition of accord that we have produced to date! The staff at ACC are dealing with quite a number of different changes and unforeseen life circumstances at the present time. It brings to mind the following lines from a celebrated Scots poet: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft a-gley.” (Robert Burns)
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The anglicised version would read “The best made plans of mice and men often go awry.” We seem to be going through one of those times in life where lots of things are happening that were not meant to be like this. ‘The plan’ was supposed to be the reality, but then along comes a different reality. This calls for us all to be adaptable and cope with change. There are times when change is easier to handle than at other times. Much depends on what else in life is going on and personal capacity, which varies widely. If someone already has their plate so full that nothing more can be added, there is no room for manoeuvre or the unexpected. When difficulties come along then it can bring people to breaking point. In addition, what is a big load to one, is more manageable to another. We are all at different stages and experience things in a very different way one from another. Counsellors are skilled at listening to people and taking clients forward through periods of change. Often we may want to shy away from anything different, we like where we are and feel settled, but there is an inevitability about change. Philip Crosby was a business man who contributed to management theory and identified that ‘…change is certain.’ We will all face it, we need to be able to manage it, and without it we cannot move forward into new experiences, broader vistas and expanding horizons. But for Christians, there is a far more re-assuring certainty, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Here in the office we are trying not just to ‘deal’ with it, but to welcome and embrace change…with God’s help.
Within these pages we are able to introduce you to several of the conference speakers. Dr. Diane Langberg, from America, will be with us throughout the training event and conference; John Threadgold will be presenting a workshop over the weekend; Dr.Paul Hebblethwaite has a long association with ACC and will be back again this year with more on CBT while his co-author, Sarah Plum, will be presenting a workshop on the subject of their article in this edition. Each speaker has a small biography and a write up giving the essence of their training or workshop on the website; click ‘2011 Conference Information’ on the left of the home page. This takes you to a listing of speakers; click on their name, where there are further details. Conference gives members an opportunity to network together, benefit from the wisdom and experience of a variety trainers, and also a bonus of taking some time to be quiet and pray. You will be able to purchase books and resources to enhance your knowledge and visit stands in the exhibition hall offering a range of services. The programme seeks to address many areas, but you have to be there to enjoy it. You may never have been to the conference. Take a look at what is on offer and decide to come along! Counselling Counselling is a frightening process Talking to a stranger about myself Thinking about my life, my family What will I say, how will I feel? Counselling is an interesting process Some weeks I talk non stop for one hour Some weeks I remain silent and still What can I say, how do I feel? Counselling is a thoughtful process I go home and consider what has been said I see myself in a new light What could I say, how should I feel? Counselling is a challenging process I protect myself with a brick wall But each week it comes down brick by brick, What did I say, how did I feel? Counselling is a healing process Slowly I am feeling restored And little by little I am surviving What have I said, how have I felt? Anon
Profile of a Shepherd - Counsellor Lessons Learned from the Good Shepherd n By Diane Langberg I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.... l am the good shepherd; l know my sheep and my sheep know me. —John 10. 11,14
Knowing Christ and caring for others have been inextricably woven together for me ever since I can remember. I came to Christ at the age of eleven through the teaching of my parents. It was not long afterward that I began to truly see the needs of others. Called to Care My father was a U.S. Air Force colonel. As I was growing up, I did not need a degree in psychology to see that most of my friends’ mothers were alcoholics. They liked to come to my house after school because my mother was sober—and kind. I told my friends about Jesus and, at the age of twelve, began teaching a small group of girls from Scripture. I remember going home with one of those girls one day on the way to my house. We found her mother still in bed in a filthy night gown. She was drunk and hanging tightly onto a bottle of something. It gave me a glimpse into the pain and horror of my friend’s life, and I wanted to help. Little did I know where the eyes to see people’s hurts and the heartfelt desire to help them would take me, or how like God it is to use the broken lives I saw to bear fruit in the lives of others. Many years have passed since I was twelve, and I still have eyes that see and a heartfelt desire to help. Those two traits, plus a few degrees and some training, have given me access to many people whose lives are not unlike those of my young friends and their parents. I have witnessed a great deal of pain and horror and, I believe, I have been called by God to tend those whose lives have been so marked.
I have nurtured women who, as little girls, were repeatedly raped by a man called Daddy. I have come alongside men who, as little boys, were repeatedly molested by a woman called Mummy. I have sat with women whose shattered, black-andblue faces testified to a twisted form of husbanding yet who were confused as to who was responsible. I have sat with parents who had tended dying children and who desperately needed tending themselves. I have walked with those whose lives were slowly being destroyed by cancer or other diseases. Missionaries who had been raped and robbed or kidnapped and tortured have come for help and healing. Pastors, weary and broken by divisive and persecuting churches, have needed pastoring themselves. And there has been another kind of tending, one that I never anticipated when I first began counselling others. I tend not only the women whose faces are black and blue, but also those who batter them. I care for missionaries who leave the United States to proclaim the gospel, but who have to come home because they molested those they went to help. I walk with pastors who were called to shepherd, but who ended up feeding on their sheep. I care for those whose marriages are ravaged because they cannot get their faces out of pornography. And so l find myself tending those who are damaged by others as well as those who do the damaging. Sometimes, of course, these people are one and the same. All of us who help others are shepherds. We shepherd in various arenas. Many of us do so as pastoral carers and counsellors; some as teachers, managers, writers, and parents. I did not think of myself as a shepherd so many years ago. Now, however, I realize that this is what I am. Also, having seen the damage done by some unfit shepherds, I have realized that competent Christian counselling—shepherding—is a serious and awesome task.
Unfit Shepherds It is far too easy to be an unfit shepherd. One of the things I do during the course of a week is supervise several other therapists. I hear myself again and again trying to impress upon them the significance they have in the lives of their clients and the power they have to help or to harm them. Whenever you as a therapist enter the broken life of another person, you become extremely important. Many people’s lives are so destroyed and barren that you are the only significant relationship they have, and so they live from one session to the next. They count the days until their next appointment with you. As you know, some people cannot even make it a week between appointments, so they call or text or write letters or request more frequent sessions. People come wanting wisdom about their marriages or their parenting. They come confused and in need of truth. They come in bondage to sin and needing freedom. They come unable to discern right from wrong. To walk into a broken life, a life with needs of this magnitude, obviously gives the shepherd significant influence. And such potential for help also means great potential for harm. Being an unfit shepherd begins when you abuse the power you have in the life you’ve been called to care for, using that power for your own benefit instead of for the good of the client or parishioner. We find this negative model in Ezekiel 34 where the shepherds of Israel are described as feeding on their flocks. Those commissioned by God to care for his people instead used his people for their own benefit. They drank the milk of the sheep, wore their wool, and ate their flesh. In other words, they took whatever the sheep had to offer and used it for themselves. In counselling, the most obvious example of such abuse of power is the use a client for the therapist’s own sexual gratification. Unfortunately, it is also the most common example—and the most damaging to clients. I refer not only to suicide committed by 1% of sexually abused clients, but also to the inflamed trauma, mistrust of others, destroyed marriages, and shattered lives experienced by nearly every client who has been sexually victimized by self-serving shepherds.
We can abuse our position in more subtle ways as well. For instance, it is easy to feed off others emotionally in order to help ourselves feel loved, important or wise. We may ask questions in order to titillate our curiosity or to hear information about a third party. Anytime we orchestrate a session so as to feed some appetite or need in ourselves, we behave as unfit shepherds. Another common abuse of power is encouraging clients to look only to us for help and healing. Certainly, the weak need our strength, the foolish need our wisdom, the despairing need our hope, the blind need our sight, and the doubters need our faith. These are good and right things to give. However, such work can also be seductive to the caregiver, for we may begin to think that we alone are able to give such things adequately. Somehow the healthy nurturing that comes from other people—such as the client’s spouse, circle of friends, or church community—begins to pale in comparison to our care giving, and we wrongly help our clients buy into the lie that we alone are what they need. There is a fine line between believing we are important to others and believing we are necessary to them. When we begin to think and teach, even by implication, that we are necessary, we take the place of the One we have been called to honour and follow.
We are never to steal the hearts of others for ourselves. Rather, as Christian counsellors, we are commanded to hand our charges over to God. Our clients come to us hungry for love, truth, hope, and faith. We cannot ultimately fulfil such needs. But we can, by our lives, give them tastes of the One who is using us to draw them to himself. We are servants of the Good Shepherd. We are unfit servants if we become so inflated with our own importance that we fail to utilize the gifting of the body of Christ or fail to point our clients away from us and ultimately to the satisfaction that resides in the Good Shepherd. Perhaps overarching all abuses, we are unfit shepherds at any point that we misrepresent the Good Shepherd. If our compassion leads us to condone sin, if our abhorrence of evil leads to harshness, if we demand justice without mercy; if our appearance of obedience cloaks hidden disobedience—we are unfit. If we abandon or fail to seek after those who have wandered away, if we rule by power rather than by love, if we leave our clients vulnerable to attack because we fail to speak truth to them—we are unfit. In John 10, Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd, contrasting himself with those perfect examples of unfit shepherding, the Pharisees. His clear message to those unfit shepherds was “Woe...,” a word used primarily as an expression of grief. Anytime you and I hurt, damage, or mislead one of the least of God’s sheep, we bring great grief to the heart of our Lord. The Fit Shepherd If it is true that those who seek us out are broken, needy, and vulnerable, and if it is true that you and I are called by God to shepherd such people, then we must learn how to shepherd fitly. Furthermore, if it is true that such a task is so serious and awesome because of its potential impact for good or evil in the lives of others, and if it is also true that shepherding selfishly and unfitly grieves the God who has called us, then we had better learn to counsel according to the Master’s own heart. Oswald Chambers wasn’t inaccurate when he wrote, “The sheep are many, and the shepherds few, for the fatigue is staggering, the heights are giddy, and the sights are awful” (p. 52). Some
job description—but how true it is! Given the challenge, what does it mean to be a fit shepherd? I believe the answer to that question takes us on a journey into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings and to the Cross. It is no coincidence that the birth of the Good Shepherd was announced to shepherds. These men were rejected, and they led isolated lives outside the camp. Unable to observe the ritual washings, they were considered unclean. So, on the outskirts of Bethlehem, they tended flocks of sheep that were set aside for temple sacrifices. These shepherds so identified with their sheep that they entered their lives and took on their filth. They smelled like their sheep. They lived outside the camp with their sheep. They were set apart because they had stepped in the muck and mire of those they tended. All the aspects of Jesus’ good shepherding, and ours as well, are foreshadowed in this scene. Here we see the thread of sacrifice: The shepherds sacrificed in order to tend the sheep, and the sheep were intended for sacrifice. We also see the threads of tending, protecting, and being ever-watchful day and night, for that is what shepherds do. But we have another, unusual thread: the glory of God manifested in the heavens, brought down into the muck and mire. Thirty years later the Son of God entered the scene again as John the Baptist announced, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, NKJV). Our threads are all here. Behold the Lamb—the sacrifice, the unblemished One. He takes away the sin of the world. He stepped into the muck and mire of this world and was made so unclean by it that he had to go outside the camp to die. If you and I are to learn from the Good Shepherd, we must begin here. We must first behold the Lamb. We need to seek him, to search him out. When John called his followers to behold the Lamb, he also called them to repentance. To truly behold the glory of God in the flesh is to see our own lives more dearly. So, before we can serve our clients, we must be fully aware of the fact that we are sheep our selves, in need of the sacrificial Lamb of God and his death for our sins.
We dare not move into shepherding others if we fail to deal with our own lives. If we do not learn to behold the Lamb and repent of our sin, we will catch the soul diseases of those with whom we work. If we do not behold and repent, we will feed on the flock we have been called to feed. If we do not behold and repent, we will confuse ourselves with the Lamb and lead others to follow us rather than him. If we do not behold and repent, we will misrepresent the Good Shepherd and others will believe lies about him, thinking we are representing him accurately. You and I are fit to tend sheep only to the degree to which we ourselves have learned to follow the Good Shepherd. If Jesus tended us by first becoming a lamb, who are we to do otherwise? All good shepherds are, first and foremost, lambs. The shepherd who is not first a lamb will be arrogant and proud and will damage those he or she has been called to tend. So we begin by beholding the Lamb of God, asking him to search us out and repenting of anything in our lives that displeases him. As a result, we are empowered to bring his life and influence into every relationship. If we fail to begin here, then we, like the Pharisees, may have the appearance of obedience, but in actuality we will be unfit shepherds in feeding the flock of God. We must also begin in the same way that the announcement to the shepherds and from John the Baptist began: Behold the Lamb! The Lamb of God, the supreme sacrifice, is the world’s only hope. Yet we tend to proclaim, “Behold a new theory!”
“Behold these new methods!” “Behold our training and credentials!” “Behold this new opportunity!” “Behold our human skills!” Such things may be good and helpful, but they do not bring life. Any time we forget to declare Behold the Lamb of God we lift up that which cannot bring life and healing to those we serve. Any shepherd who subordinates the life, death, and resurrection of the Good Shepherd to his or her own credentials, tools, or skills will fail. The second part of this article “Lessons learned from the Good Shepherd” will be in the next issue of accord. Dr. Diane Langberg, who is the key note speaker at the ACC Conference in January, is a practicing psychologist whose clinical expertise includes 35 years of working with trauma survivors and clergy. She speaks internationally on topics related to women, trauma, ministry and the Christian life. She is the director of Diane Langberg, Ph.D. & Associates, a group practice in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, staffed by Christian psychologists, social workers and counsellors. Dr. Langberg is Chair of the Executive Board of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), serves on the boards of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment), the Society of Christian Psychology, and World Reformed Fellowship. She is also founder of The Place of Refuge, an inner-city, non-profit trauma and training centre. Diane Langberg is married and has two sons.
ACC News Regulation Update - John Nightingale writes:
Staff Changes at Head Office - Greta Randle writes:
The discussions regarding government regulation are about to start again – the next six months could prove to be a critical time for all counsellors and psychotherapists.
Two staff have reached retirement!
Following a brief Professional Liaison Group (PLG) meeting in May 2010 a schedule was agreed to facilitate progress. There will be 5 PLG meetings – 30th September, 19th October, 15th November, 15th December and 2nd February 2011 – which will include various presentations and discussions covering the outstanding issues. There will be 4 public stakeholder meetings in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the same period. The intention is that following those meetings, the Health Professions Council (HPC) Executive will produce a conclusive report for presentation to the HPC Council in May 2011. If approved, the Section 60 Order will then be prepared, consulted on, presented to parliament for debate, approved and then implemented - the timescale however is still hard to predict. The main discussion paper at the May meeting outlined some questions that still need to be explored and resolved if progress is to be made. The four main issues are :• the differentiation of titles between counsellors and psychotherapists • should there be child specific registration • the standards of proficiency for both titles • the standards of education required for entry to the register ACC has been asked to present its thoughts at the PLG meeting in October - we have been given half an hour to put forward views on differentiation and education entry points amongst other things. Greta and I will be preparing for this event over the next few weeks. It is probable that we will request information to support our discussion paper and if you receive such a request please help us by responding swiftly. I have also booked to attend all the PLG meetings and will inform our members of how things are going via the web site and accord. As soon as we know the dates and venues for the regional stakeholder meetings we will post them on the web site too. I anticipate that numbers will be limited but I do believe we should have a presence at each event.
Office Manager In March 2004 ACC was very fortunate in securing their first Office Manager, Evelyn Banks. The original shortlist did not produce the right person at interview, so Eve was interviewed as a late applicant. Almost instantly, the panel decided that she was the right person for the job, and her referees could not speak of her highly enough. The panel and referees were right! ACC has benefited enormously from the warmth and capabilities Eve has displayed in her role. Eve developed this new role within ACC during the time that David Depledge was CEO who says he “particularly valued… care for the members… help and encouragement for the other staff… support for my role. More personally Eve (and the other staff ) were very supportive to me in my mother’s long final illness and in my own ill health that led to me leaving the Chief Executive’s role.” Eve has ably supported her staff in their development and has trained them in the various aspects of their role as new people have been added to the team. She has been very aware of how Eve Banks overwhelming new things can be and has given each one the support they have needed. In times when someone in the staff team has been faced with personal difficulties or illness, she has found the time to talk or visit and offer the appropriate help. In addition to managing the administrative team, Eve has been very involved with members of the Executive and the Board of Trustees. She has been a wealth of information, frequently supporting discussions with the appropriate information about policies and processes, helping to clarify various details. On her own admission, Eve has found ACC work to be busy and challenging. She has had the opportunity to develop new skills and new areas of work, gaining competence and efficiency in all that has been required. Both David and I have always been confident of Eve’s ability to ‘look after’ ACC business
during periods of CEO absence from the office. I will miss her greatly, the office staff have expressed their reluctance to let her go, and her colleagues on the executive and board are also sorry to see her leave. However, we all join to wish her well in a very busy retirement! Already Eve has volunteered for three different organisations, so she has not retired, but re-tyred for the next season in her life. Membership Secretary As June closed, Sylvia Swingler left the office staff team. Sylvia had been with ACC for over four years and was a valued member not only for her work contribution but for her gentle personality and listening ear. Members had close contact with Sylvia through renewing membership and other related tasks. In all she did Sylvia was conscientious and given to great detail. As a part time member of the team, Sylvia liked to ‘catch up’ with her colleagues on what had been happening, and also was quick to keep up to speed with any new ACC information and changes. Sylvia brought other aspects to her role. She had a great understanding of counselling and was herself a member of ACC. She also contributed greatly to the staff devotions, sharing insight as we prayed together. Retirement age was purely academic as Sylvia worked beyond that. However due to the increasing frailty of her very aged mother, she left work to be able to care for her. We miss Sylvia very much, however she has been succeeded by Ian Macnair, who was already in post with ACC working three days a week. Ian now works full time and has taken over all the membership tasks and statistical information for the CEO and Board.
administrative experience. Most recently she has worked as a special educational needs co-ordinator in a secondary school. Hansa is looking forward to her new role and supporting the work of ACC. A legal challenge In the last edition of accord we published a piece about a legal decision taken in respect of a counsellor who refused to counsel same sex couples and his subsequent sacking by Relate. We also included some reaction from a member to our comments in ACC E-News. In the July E News we included the reply from Greta Randle. This a response to that:I wholeheartedly concur with the response that you have made with respect to Gary McFarlane. I do believe that that with God’s Grace and Love in us we are normally able to behave towards our clients in the appropriate way, respecting their autonomy and beliefs however any counsellor should be able to withdrew from counselling clients when the counsellor realises that they are not the person to help that client. Surely this must always be a choice for us when we are not able to distance our feelings and beliefs from that client. Also we must be able to have that choice when we realise that the client is engaged in deliberate actions that will not be healthy, in our opinion, to them. In particular when counselling anyone as a member of ACC the ethics and practice guidelines are my support which surely allow me to endeavour to consider any issue from what I believe is God’s point of view. Many of these issues seem to come to the very simple question that ‘is the client loving God with all their heart mind and strength?’ during the actions or thoughts they are pursuing. These are very difficult times as you well know and I pray that you will have much wisdom and that you do not compromise as the days become darker.
And one has come to join us… We are very pleased to welcome Hansa Amanna to our Head Office Team. Hansa will be taking over from Eve Banks as Office Manager at the end of October. Over the next few weeks Eve and Hansa will be working together to help Hansa settle in to all the office procedures and variety of work. Hansa has a wide range of
Warmest regards Ian Pomeroy
ACC CEO speaking at Mind & Soul Conference - Where is Faith in Mental Health? Greta Randle is giving the fourth keynote address at the PREMIER MIND & SOUL CONFERENCE on Friday 22 October 2010 at The International Centre, Saint Quentin Gate, Telford, Shropshire TF3 4JH. Her subject will be The Challenge of Forgiveness. Jonathan Clark, who is on the ACC Board, will be tackling the subject of Self Harm and one of our members, Louise Morse, is speaking in the afternoon on Dementia. For more details see www.mindandsoul.info UK Directory of Christian Counselling and Care The next issue of the UK Directory is to be published in the Autumn and it is going to be a bigger and improved publication. Counsellor members wishing their name and details to appear in the Directory can download the application form from the Members Area or contact Head Office. It is now also possible to register your details online. All forms must reach us along with the £10 admin charge payment BEFORE 30th October 2010 to be included in the directory. Independent Safeguarding Authority on hold In the last issue of accord we told you about the new ISA scheme however now the government have decided to halt the launch of the new ISA registration. The Government has announced their intention to remodel the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) back to “proportionate, common sense levels”. As a result, the ISA registration phase of the scheme has now been stopped and therefore did not launch on 26 July 2010. This means that you CANNOT apply for ISA registration until further notice although all applications for CRB enhanced checks will still need to be on the NEW ISA application forms. Out and About with the CEO Visit to the North East The CEO, Greta Randle, always enjoys the opportunity to be doing things outside of the office and most of all, meeting members is one of her delights. Amanda Georgiou arranged for Greta to visit the NE in the early summer. Apart from drizzle the first day and torrential rain the second, it was a good time being with Amanda and also meeting members and committee personnel. It was arranged so that there were both formal and informal meetings and also a surprise visit to some elderly Christians and a significant field in the district of Sheffield. It was a joy for Greta to visit The Spurriergate Centre, which is affiliated to ACC. She was greatly inspired,
learning about the range of ways the centre reaches out to people and also the number of counselling sessions that are delivered.
There were discussions on several matters including regulation, ACC complaints procedure, and the ethical framework. Included in the group of counsellors was one of the Philippi Guernsey trustees and it was a delight to be with each of the group members.
It was good to be with the committee and hear the work that Amanda Georgiou they are doing especially in terms of CPD for members, and non-members in the area. This was greatly encouraging and thanks are due for the invitation to Greta from the committee.
The venue was a church ‘barn’ that had been renovated and it also houses the Philippi office.
At lunchtime on Saturday, there was a picnic eaten whilst enjoying the sunshine before the final session. Greta was fortunate to be able to stay over and enjoy a service on Sunday morning at one of the local churches.
ACC National Conference 2011
ACC National Conference 2011 “Crossing the Causeway”
Counselling and Pastoral“Crossing Care
Eating always features in the visits acrossAthe UK range wide and the North East was no different. With an Italian evening meal, a hotel breakfast, mid-morning refreshments with friends and a garden centre lunch, there was much work to be done on arriving home to ameliorate the effect of the intake of calories!
of topics from basic to advanced levels Counselling and Pastoral Care
Friday evening and Saturday the emphasis of the visit changed and it was a time exclusively for the Philippi counsellors. (Philippi train and deliver counselling in several different places in the UK including the North West and South West of the country.)
ays Training D th January 8 2 d n a h t 27
ays Training D January h t 8 2 d n a 27th
e Conferenc J a n u a ry 28th - 30th
e Conferenc nuary a J h t 0 3 28th
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“Crossing the Causeway” Counselling and Pastoral Care
After a cancelled flight earlier in the year, several weeks later Greta arrived in Guernsey to torrential rain and mist. It appeared that she was not destined to see the island at all! However, the next morning, following a dull start the sun appeared and bathed the island so its beauty could be seen in all its glory. Margaret Ogier hosted the visit and she spent most of the day showing Greta the sights and giving lots of historical information about many of the places of interest.
ACCbasic National Conference A wide range of topics from to advanced levels 2011
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Addiction: sin, disease or matter of choice (2) n By Frans Koopmans, MA De Hoop Foundation, Dordrecht, The Netherlands In the article in the previous edition of accord, we discussed the nature of addiction and presented two present-day explanatory models for addiction. In this article we will discuss an alternative model. Also, we will try to answer the question what should be the attitude of the Christian towards mind-altering substances. A moral view of addiction is quite unpopular today, being seen as outmoded and even stigmatizing for the addict. The disease model of addiction,for its part, seems to escape the notion of moral culpability. A case can however be made for a view of addiction that surpasses a purely naturalistic (i.e. reductionist, here: biomedical) point of view of the phenomenon. That is to say, for its explanation and treatment there is legitimate room to include other relevant perspectives (e.g. a moral one) on addiction. Based on 35 years of treatment experience, we would hold that addiction is also, and perhaps even first and foremost, an existential problem (Koopmans 1999, 2002); that in order to arrive at an adequate treatment and, broader, adequate drug policy, one has to take into account all relevant aspects including the spiritual aspects of the addiction problem. An impetus to this has been given by Christopher Cook (Cook 2006), who developed a ‘theological disorder model of addiction’. The theological disorder model recognises, on the one hand, the sometimes unhelpful emphases and diverse interpretations of the moral model (‘just telling other people not to do it’). On the other hand Cook deems it unfortunate that the notion of a moral model has become so unpopular in relation to a contemporary social problem which has enormous ethical implications. He pleads for a more sophisticated ethical analysis of the addiction problem: ‘A theological model of addiction is not at all the same thing as the old moral model – but it certainly does offer an important contribution to moral and ethical debate’. The theological model purports to serve as a correction of the
pragmatic atheism of contemporary discourse, and the unnecessary scientific tendency at times towards reductionism and determinism. ‘Theology certainly appears to me to offer a more positive ethical framework than either this moral or the harm reduction philosophy of the prevailing clinical and policy culture.’ There is a long Christian tradition recognising addiction as sin. There are parallels between addiction and sin, with a focus upon subjective experience. Cook points to the example of Paul in Romans 7 and that of the Church Father Augustine in the Confessions that can shed light on the presentday problem of addiction. The first one suffers from a divided self, the second one from a divided (captive, incomplete) will, both characteristics that one can find in the case of addicts. In order to defeat addiction something more is needed than medication or behavioural change. The divided self, the divided will, need to be overcome. Cook: ‘We thus come, at last, to the acknowledgement of both Paul and of Augustine that only the grace of God provides a way out of the inner conflict of the division of self and will.’ The theological model recognizes that either a pure biomedical approach or a moral approach of addiction constrains this phenomenon within a deterministic universe or explains it on the basis of the exercise of complete freedom of will. Addiction is a theological disorder, says Cook. And therefore, addiction should, within this view, be seen as an aspect of what it is to be human, not so much as a medical disorder but as a ‘disease of the will’. Freedom from addiction is more than using one’s own willpower. Cook argues for ‘normalizing’ addiction as something that is inherent in the human experience of personhood, as a phenomenon that is just an example of the many and varied ways in which different human beings struggle with a sense of wishing to be something other (or rather better). Within this perspective addiction is just one of the personal struggles for the supreme good, the summum bonum. A struggle for the highest, the supreme good is necessarily also a religious, or at least spiritual, matter and not a purely scientific one. As Cook writes: ‘[T]he nature of the struggle implicitly recognises the need for grace as the means of finding
freedom and wholeness.’ Therefore the goals of treatment and policy should also be regarded within that context, and not be reduced to harm reduction and the public good. The latter should, at best, be seen as intermediate and temporal objectives rather than the ultimate goal or telos. According to Cook, then, a theological model is able to address the subjective compulsion of the dependence syndrome in such a way ‘that it neither unhelpfully reinforces any perception of the total inability of addicts to choose the path to recovery nor becomes overoptimistic about their ability to recover through their own efforts.’ The above implies, in our opinion, that an exclusive biomedical approach of addiction doesn’t do justice to the nature of the problem; it provides an overall technocratic, reductionist, even deterministic view of addiction. Neither does it provide an encompassing view for the treatment of and the policy regarding drugs and addiction. The theological model as presented above, at least indicates that aspects as spirituality and morality should form an integral part of our view of addiction. It points to the conviction that alongside biomedical aspects of addiction, one should also consider other aspects, like there are the social, the economic, the judicial, the moral and the faith aspects. For example, an ethical analysis of the addiction problem is one that is concerned with the tension between freedom and personal morality on the one hand, and the public good on the other. As addiction is primarily not a sickness - although sickness aspects to addiction can be distinguished and as addiction is in the first place characterized by moral considerations, particularly at the beginning stage, then is there also room to qualify addiction as a sin. Addiction is considered as that situation that is not in agreement with God’s thoughts. To be brought outside yourself, to have no control over yourself, is fundamentally wrong, is sinful behaviour. A Christian can be, however, ‘under the influence’, but not of those ‘substances’ who influence negatively the senses or the capacity to think. The Christian must always be accountable for what he does and says. The Bible shows people as accountable beings, as accountable to oneself, to one’s family, to one’s surroundings and, not least, to God. To be controlled by substances cannot exist in the light of the Scriptures: ‘All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything’ (NAS 1 Corinthians 6:12)
The Christian and the use of substances Is this everything that can be said on this subject? Addiction is a sin. In the last part of my paper I would like to address the question of the relationship of the Christian and the use of mind-altering substances. One might qualify this relationship as ‘strained’. A Christian is not immune for that what happens in the world. The hedonism that is prevalent in the Western world is something that also the Christian recognizes. Is he different in this from the non Christian? The relationship of the Christian with the use of substances is one of affection and aversion. Affection where those substances are used in a responsible way, where one ‘enjoys’ what one uses. But aversion where the use of substances is done in an irresponsible way and where enjoyments is subverted into self-indulgence, in pleasure-seeking. Looking back at Church history, we do not find anything concerning the substances we are familiar with today: heroin, cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy, etc. However, alcohol and, from the end of the 16th century, tobacco were known. With respect to tobacco one sees a general attitude of rejection. At best one turned a blind eye to it. Gisbertus Voetius, a Dutch reformed preacher and as from 1634 professor in Utrecht, was saddened because of the fact that many of his students smoked. In his inaugural lecture he called this `infernal fume, which rise up to the sky as so many Sodoms and Gomorra’s’. Later also the preacher Udemans (1640) expressed his anxiety concerning the use of tobacco by Christians: ‘ There are thousands of people , who are called Christian, but who are so fond of this filthy smoke as children are fond of sugar.’ In general, however, ecclesiastical protests were weak. And then alcohol. In the middle ages in Europe men and women consumed alcoholic drinks prepared from
honey, beers and, particularly since the eleventh century, (fruit) wines. That happened not only as thirst-quencher but also as food. There was for example beer soup. Also, alcohol could play a role as a medicine or it was used for the suppression of physical fatigue. From 1100 onwards, distilled alcohol became increasingly popular. In the time of plague epidemics distilled alcohol acted as a medicine. At the end of the 15th century the recreational use of distilled alcohol started playing an increasingly greater role. Alcohol consumption itself was permitted, but only with moderation. Intoxication and debauchery were rejected absolutely by the church. Scuffles and intoxications were the most important reasons to keep someone from Communion. As for example one Cornelis de Jong, who according to annals of the church of Sommelsdijk, was not permitted to partake of the Communion. He had returned home drunk, had smashed everything into pieces, so that his children had escaped the house shouting: ‘Daddy wants to cut of Mummy’s neck.’ And in Haarlem, the Dutch pastor Souterius sighed that if he paid members of his flock a visit, normal conversations no longer were possible. ‘It is only pour in, and drain.’ Alcohol and the Scriptures For many Christians the question whether a Christian can drink alcohol is in fact totally out of order. Of course a Christian can drink alcohol! The bible doesn’t prohibit it, does it? But I give you a quote from a book on alcohol:‘The bible warns against drinking alcohol. The historical facts prove that it is detrimental up till death. And my heart says that it is sinful! My inner deposition says me that Jesus has come to free from such evil and not to encourage the use of it. Did Jesus make fermented wine? Did Paul recommend the use of it? Not in a million year! The Holy Ghost in me confirms the conviction of my heart. Now I have the testimony of the Word of God, the proof of science and the conviction of my inner self. More proofs I do not need.’ These rather absolute sounding words are from David Wilkerson, the American preacher, author of the well-known book ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’ and founder of Teen Challenge. Years ago he wrote the booklet ‘Cheers Christian’, in
which he pleads vehemently for Christian abstention from alcohol. The questions he addresses are still current today: as a Christian, are you really able to use alcohol? And did wine contain alcohol in the Old Testament? In the booklet, not only the alcoholics but also those Christians who use alcohol with moderation, are criticized by him. His argument comes down to this: where the Scriptures speak positively about wine, it concerns the unfermented wine. Where there is a negative view on wine and alcoholic beverage, there it concerns the fermented wine. Additional arguments centre around the abuse of alcohol and the negative impact that it has. Which data does the Bible offer with respect to alcohol? The attitude with respect to alcohol of positivity with respect to normal use, negativity against excessive use - has a long tradition. Also the Scriptures clearly exhibit the knowledge of the positive and negative aspects of wine: much wine is seen as a picture of abundance (Gen. 49:11 12; 1 Chron. 12:40; Ezek. 27:18). In some places there one reads about the increase of the feelings (for example joy) through the use of wine: Zach. 10:7; 2 Sam. 13:28; Est. 1:10; Ps. 104:15; Eccl. 9:7; 10:19; Is. 55:1). Wine is also used in a symbolic way for the spirits which mixes wisdom (Prov. 9:2,5) and for love (SoS 1:2; 4:10). However, the Scriptures also point to the less positive aspects of (the use of ) wine. Wine is mentioned in the framework of the wrath of God. (Jer. 25:15 ff ), with adversity (Ps. 60:3), the judgement of Babylon (Jer. 51:7) and violence (Prov. 4:17). For priests, wine was forbidden during their service (compare Nadab and Abihu! ; Lev. 10:1 7); The Nazireens and the mother of Samson didn’t drink wine or alcoholic beverage; the Israelites drank no wine and ate no bread during their wanderings in the desert (Deut. 29:6). Kings had to have a clear head (Prov. 31:4 5). Solomon warns for the effects of the wine (Prov. 23:30,31): The Bible warns for the intoxicating effects of alcohol (Prov. 20:1; 23:29 35). In order to prevent the sin of intoxication, wine was mixed with water. Rabbis in NT times even specifically prescribed this. In OT times wine was not mixed, because that was considered undesirable, even being symbolic for mental adultery (Is. 1:22). In Roman times, however, the wine was sometimes mixed with water
because some believed that the quality of the wine would be improved thereby. Apart from the use of wine as something to enjoy, it was also used for medical purposes: against fatigue (2 Sam. 16:2), as a sedative (Prov. 31:6), in the case of disorder of the stomach (1 Tim. 5:23) and in the case of wounds (Luke 10:34). The biblical data make clear that the wine was fermented, the use of it was appreciated positively, abuse however disapproved. Probably a conclusion expected by many. The crux of the question is not whether wine/alcohol is inherently wrong or even sinful, but whether the Christian deals with it in a God honouring way – i.e. moderately – and can thank God for that. Those who now heave a sigh of relief, still have to consider why they drink and how much they drink. Unfortunately, including among Christians, there is frequent abuse of alcohol. Those who cannot control their alcohol use should abstain from it. And that applies as well when in the environment there would be persons that cannot deal with alcohol and would become in trouble because of our freedom to drink alcohol (See Romans 14). And what about Bible and narcotics? Concerning tobacco the bible does not say anything. And that probably will not surprise us. But possibly to surprise of the reader the Scriptures do have to say something concerning the use of narcotics, but in a way that is perhaps not so observable. In the New Testament a number of times the Greek word pharmakeia is used (Gal. 5:20; Rev. 9:21; 18:23). We recognise the word ‘pharmacy’ and ‘pharmaceutical’. The word pharmakeia is translated with idolatry. Primarily however the term indicated the use of medicines and enchantments, subsequently poisonings and from that: idolatry. The last book of the Bible also speaks about the pharmakos, translated with ‘sorcerer’ (Rev. 21:8; 22:15). Narcotics stand here in a clearly negative light and even have a close link with occultism. Although the Bible clearly is negative about excessive use of alcohol and the use of drugs, one may not conclude that the Bible is adamantly against enjoyment. Ecclesiastes says in the book which carries his name (5: 18): ‘Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labour under the sun during the few days of life God has given him--for this is his lot’. And a couple of chapters further on he writes (9: 9): ‘Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun--all your meaningless days.
For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labour under the sun’. In the New Testament the apostle Paul writes to Timothy (1 Tim. 6:17): ‘Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.’ So, enjoying oneself is perfectly all right. God provides Christians, so we read, with everything for our enjoyment. We only get off track when our enjoyment is replaced by an addiction to joy. Paul write to the same Timothy (2 Tim. 3:4) concerning people who are ‘treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God’. And to Titus (3: 3) Paul writes: ‘At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.’ Enjoyment therefore must happen in a way that is God honouring. True enjoyment never puts God out of the picture: ‘So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God’ (1 Corinthians 10:31). Enjoyment is allowed, enjoyment is possible. For many people Christians are an-hedonic, people that can never enjoy themselves, who restrict themselves and deny themselves the pleasures of life. This short-sighted view does not do justice to reality. But the question then is, of course, what we understand about enjoyment, about pleasures of life. Enjoyment presupposes self control. Otherwise a man is mastered by that which he does or uses. Christians are only allowed those enjoyments that
make it possible for them to exercise self control. Using narcotics like heroin, cocaine, hashish, or ecstasy is quite contrary to that.
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Christians are called to honour God with their body. The body of a Christian is a temple of the Holy Ghost. The Christian does not have the right to decide for himself what and what not to enjoy. For his life is dedicated to the honour of God. A hedonistic life style is at right angles with the life of a Christian. As in all things, also the things that we enjoy should be ‘to the glory of God’.
Losing control is rejected categorically in the bible. Ephesians 5:18 states: ‘Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.’ That is the adage for the Christian. So, Christians can be ‘under the influence’, but with the exclusion of those substances that cause a stupor of the senses or of the possibility to think clearly. At any time the Christian must be accountable for what he does and says. The bible shows people as responsible beings, responsible to himself, to his family, his environment and, not least, to God. Being controlled by something outside of God, is something that the Scriptures do not condone (1 Cor. 6:12): ‘Everything is permissible for me’--but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’--but I will not be mastered by anything.
Start helping yourself today Dr Kate Middleton
First Steps out of
Anxiety Dr Kate Middleton & Dr Jane Smith
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References American Psychiatric Association (APA) (1994), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV, Washington Brink, W. van den (2005), ‘Verslaving, een chronisch recidiverende hersenziekte’, in: Verslaving, vol. 1 3-14 Cheung, Y.W. (2000), ‘Substance abuse and developments in harm reduction’, in: Canadian Medical Association Journal, vol. 162/12, 1697-1700 Cook, C.C.H. (2006), Alcohol, Addiction and Christian Ethics, Cambridge University Press (new studies in Christian ethics), Cambridge Dalrymple, T. (2006), Romancing the opiates: pharmacological lies and the addiction bureaucracy, New York Heyman, G.M. (2009), Addiction: A Disorder of Choice, Harvard University Press
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Koopmans, F.S.L. (1999), Vraagbaak bij verslavingen, Heerenveen Koopmans, F.S.L., Velema, W.H. & Jans J. (2002), Mateloos, over verslavingsproblematiek, Heerenveen Leshner, A.I. (1997), ‘Addiction is a brain disease, and it matters’, in: Science, vol. 278/5335, 45-47 Frans Koopmans, MA (1963), is communication manager and works at the Health Care and Philosophy department of De Hoop Foundation, a Christian mental health care organization. He graduated from Leiden University (Hebrew Languages and Cultures, 1987) and from the Free University Amsterdam (Philosophy, 2010).
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There is such a thing as a free lunch n Carolyn Spring, interviews Deborah Briggs Deborah Briggs is an unlikely candidate as a counsellor. She settles back with the menu at a stylish Italian restaurant in rural Leicestershire. “I’m a farmer,” she announces cheekily, “and” – she adds, to reassure me that I’m interviewing the right person – “a counsellor”. This is my free lunch, my opportunity to fire off questions at Deborah about her ‘free lunch networking initiative’. Deborah is a volunteer counsellor at The Bower House, a Christian-run free counselling service in Market Harborough supported by all the churches in the town. They have 34 volunteer counsellors, see 150 clients per year. Deborah is part way through a Counselling and Psychotherapy degree at the Sherwood Institute of Psychotherapy in Nottingham, in order improve her qualifications ahead of upcoming regulation. But her training is already impressively varied and detailed: a lot on trauma, and Deborah is a recent graduate of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute having completed the Level 1 Trauma training and Advanced Trauma Training. Deborah generally has 10-15 clients but is by preference a specialist: “I take the kinds of cases that scare other counsellors.” She grins cheekily again: “Nothing much fazes me. I am getting used to believing the unbelievable.” She laughs heartily at the idea of having become a counsellor: “I thought there was no way. I thought I would scare people off. But actually it works.” Deborah is frank, down-to-earth and immensely likeable. She is the type who gets things done with no messing. Perhaps this is why she seems to know all sorts of people in the therapeutic community. “We’ve been having ACC training days at Hothorpe Hall in Leicestershire,” she enthuses. “They’ve been brilliant. We had Carolyn Bramhall from ‘Heart for Truth’, author of Am I a Good Girl Yet? She’s a DID survivor of Satanic Ritual Abuse and came and told her story of recovery. She was brilliant. “Then we had Valerie Sinason from the Clinic for Dissociative Studies in London. She spoke about ‘God’s Lost Property’, about our attitudes to the people society doesn’t want to touch – the elderly, the disabled, the traumatised, even the sexual offender. She describes herself as an ‘agnostic Jew’; the compassion that pours out of her is profound, and moving. Then at the end of June her colleague at the
Clinic, Adah Sachs, came and did a wonderful session on Trauma and Attachment. Brilliant. “And a few months back I was delighted to have Rosemary Langford-Bellaby speak on ‘Shame’ – a topic of great interest to me. What a powerful emotion! And Sue Parker Hall did a great morning on ‘Anger, Rage and Relationship’, based on her theory of an empathic response to what is called by some ‘anger management’.” The purpose of these events is two-fold. First, and most obvious, is to provide high-quality training in the Midlands and East Anglia region. “Often this kind or calibre of speaker only appears in London or the South East, so they are just not accessible. We wanted to provide something in this area.” But that’s not all. Any profit from the event goes towards Deborah’s other big idea. “My idea came from the thought: what would make being a member of the ACC better? I’m privileged because I work in a place with 34 counsellors. I can walk in and say, “I’m having a tough day, will someone pray for me?” If I were working in private practice on my own, I wouldn’t necessarily have contact with any other Christians in the field. “In my role on the Midlands and East Anglia Committee, I had a list of all the members. But members don’t necessarily know members in the same town, or even in the same street. It would be a beautiful thing, I thought, to network people. But I didn’t want to limit it to just ACC members because I thought it needed to be a bit more open. Some people have joined another organisation like BACP because maybe it feels a bit safer to be part of something secular and larger. Others are adamant they are only going to be members of a Christian organisation. I wanted a bit of an overlap. “First of all I got some funding from the training days at Hothorpe, and I put to the Committee the idea of using that to fund meals for networking. They approved it.” Based on people that she met at the Regional Conference earlier this year, Deborah arranged the first meal for The Purple Rooms, a renowned curry house in Birmingham. She then invited people on
the ACC membership list for Birmingham, and also asked them to invite others. “People were first of all surprised to get a call from ACC but they quite liked the idea. Then some of them said they’d love to come but couldn’t get a lift, so I got them to email each other to see who could offer a lift, and some of them discovered they lived in the same street. It was unreal! But then, how would you know? They were over the moon to find fellow Christian counsellors living so close by.” The first networking meal took place on 20 June 2009. “We sat around a table and I went first. It wasn’t compulsory but I suggested we share a little bit about our background and what work we do. And I found it fascinating. There were questions I had which had been raised at my centre, for example one on a client’s use of alcohol. And I discovered there was one lady at the meal who had worked for many years in an Alcohol Centre. So I loved that – being able to lean on someone else’s experience. “Two days before the meal I’d had an email from someone who had seen the advert for the ‘Attachment and Trauma’ training day at Hothorpe but hadn’t been able to come. They asked me if I knew a counsellor in that field in Birmingham. So I went to the meal thinking, I wonder who will be suitable? And I found somebody whose speciality it was, someone who lived locally and was in private practice – all the right criteria – and I was able to put them in touch. “The meal was well received. Some of them had let their ACC membership lapse and I said, “It doesn’t matter – you’re still invited.” And I think that quite moved them. Other have since considered joining, but I didn’t push it. People say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but this wasn’t about flogging someone something, this was about networking.” Deborah’s plans for the future are already in place. “My next one might be Lincoln. I’ve got 4 or 5 people there already, but I want about 10. Or Nuneaton. There are certain areas where ACC is stronger, such as Bedford – there are lots of members there, so I think
it’s fair to do a meal to support that. But I want to connect up the ones and twos as well. Ideally I’d like people to do it themselves, to start thinking about networking themselves, to think maybe they can’t wait for one to be run in their town or area, so get on with organising it themselves.” I ask her whom she would invite. “Counsellors, obviously, but ‘pastoral carers’ as well: known Christians who are working in a certain area, perhaps people who are a bit isolated or who would benefit from networking. Supporting people who are going through difficulties in their life, whether pastorally or as a counsellor, is isolating enough as it is – it’s not something you can to talk to friends and family about. Knowing other Christians who can support you, who know what you do because they do the same, feeling part of something bigger – that’s what the networking meals are all about.” Deborah’s enthusiasm, her belief in what she is doing, is infectious. “Being a member of ACC has got to mean something. It means that we’re all in this together, and we can help each other if we get to know each other. The training days at Hothorpe Hall provide a tiny measure of that, but the networking meals can do so much more.” For more information about the networking meals or Hothorpe Hall training days, please email : email@example.com. About the author Carolyn Spring is a freelance writer and trainer, and a Trustee and Publications Editor for TAG (the Trauma and Abuse Group, www.tag-uk.net.) She runs TASC (Trauma and Abuse Support Centre) – the website www.tasc-online.org.uk is a resource for adult survivors of child sexual abuse. Her husband, Rob, runs the support organisation ‘Partners of Dissociative Survivors’ (PODS), www.pods-online. org.uk.
Focusing and Experiential Psychotherapy Exploring the roots of psychological disturbance n By John L Threadgold In my first article (accord Summer 2008), I explored in a broad way, the roots of Focusing Oriented therapy, and how successful clients use therapy in ways that resulted in them feeling better about themselves, and making constructive changes to their lives. In my second article (accord Autumn 2008) I examined this in greater depth by exploring the process of change for clients. In this third article, I am exploring some of the ways that we, as human beings experience psychological disturbance, since this can further inform our approach to counselling and psychotherapy. No clients are personally identifiable in this article. Attitudes to suffering Sometimes we can be hurting or in pain, and this can be a natural reaction to our life circumstances. I recall a client, who was wondering why she was feeling so depressed hurt and upset. Somehow she did not feel that she ‘ought’ to be this way. She was after all a ‘victorious christian’ who should be able to rise above these feelings. As the story emerged, we discovered that she had lost several significant relationships in a relatively short period of time. Due to changes in life circumstances she had never allowed herself to grieve for her losses. I recall the story of how Jesus, knowing that he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, allowed himself to fully experience the pain and separation and loss of his friend. Jesus wept. (John 11:35-36) Our avoidance of natural pain often leads to worse forms of psychological disturbance. A client has never allowed herself to grieve for her stillborn son, and this fuels depression and drug addiction. A man has buried his angry feelings against his abusive father, because he ‘ought; to honour his Father and Mother’, and wonders why he feels down, depressed, self hateful and suicidal. Another person feeling depressed, is in a relationship where she is being emotionally abused, yet somehow blames herself for her feelings as she ‘ought’ to love her husband and not feel this way. Our attempt to suppress, to avoid, and resist our natural pain later on causes us even greater
emotional distress and disturbance later on. M Scott Peck describes it in this way ‘I have said that the attempt to avoid legitimate suffering, is the root of all emotional illness ( M Scott Peck (1978) P 142). A Brief exploration of our life journey Our life journey explicitly starts off at the point of our conception. The living sperm of our father and the living egg of our mother, fuse together to produce a new unique life. We are also profoundly interconnected with our mother, and what she does and experiences has an impact on us right from the start. For example some babies are born with heroin addiction because their mothers had been using this drug during pregnancy. Our body records and reacts to all our life situations. We are physiological beings, and, as a baby, we are one physiological system with our mother. The baby is prepared for the mother’s breast and her breast prepared for her baby. (Gendlin (1999 p.280) The relationship between experiencing feelings emotions and thinking. A baby knows in an experiential way, so much in just being. A baby does not need to learn how to suck a breast for milk, or crawl, or recoil from unpleasant odours, or cry when she is distressed, or imitate a smile, or express gurgles of pleasure when she is being played with. Felt needs, feelings and emotions Our experience of emotions and feelings spring from our felt needs. For example, a baby is hungry and needs feeding. Her experience of hunger and her lack of feeding lead her to experience distress, expressed through crying. This can turn to rage if her need is not fulfilled. Her mother has to guess what the need is,
since the baby is not able to use conceptual language to communicate her needs.
from experience and ends with it’(A, Einstein’. P. Poldolsky. N. Rosen. Cited by E. Spinelli, (1989) p 1).
When the mother offers her breast, her baby sucks for milk and experiences the felt need being fulfilled. The baby also knows in an experiential way, when she is full, and can stop sucking. The baby experiences feelings and emotions of contentment and wellbeing.
A further development in babies is the use of language, the ability to think, to conceptualise and carry forward a felt need. ‘I am hungry and I want some milk’. It is at this point that she can also express a conceptualised need, without that need being directly experienced. A child can say ‘I am hungry and want milk’, when he is not hungry. This ability to use and manipulate language is also a source of humour.
There are other needs; the need to be hugged, played with, comforting warmth, affection, challenge, stimulation and being talked to. These are the source of our emotions and feelings, both when our felt needs are fulfilled, and also when they are not fulfilled or even denied. Gradually a baby will also learn how to think and conceptualise from experience using the process of thinking associated with the neo cortex part of our brain. Feral children raised by animals, deprived of human interaction often fail to develop their capacity to think. This raises the question, what is thinking? The elements of the thinking process There are number of inter-related factors involved with our ability to think. For example: 1) As humans we have the ability to experience and to be aware of our experiences. This awareness differentiates us from the other parts of the animal kingdom. 2) Memory gives us a sense of continuity. Our body remembers, and direct access to and awareness of our body brings the memories into our consciousness. 3) We can be aware of our experiences, and have the ability to synthesise our primary experiencing, (both of external information through the five senses, as well as the sensing in our body, our emotions, sensations, felt needs etc,) with our ability to use language and logic 4) From the synthesis of awareness, experiencing (of inner feelings and emotions and the outer world), interacting with language and logic, comes our thinking process, formulation of concepts, intellectual understanding, and core beliefs. 5) If you strip out experience from language, then language will cease to be meaningful 6) You can have experience without meaning, (as perhaps the animals do) but you cannot have meaning, without experience. Einstein and others wrote: ‘Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world; all knowledge of reality starts
A child can also learn about pre-existing concepts, without having to directly experience them. He does however have to relate those concepts in some way to his own experience, for them to be meaningful to him. We can also misunderstand our basic needs, so that we try and fulfil our needs in the wrong way. A child may feel lonely, be in need of companionship, but try and satisfy that need through eating, or perhaps deny that the need is legitimate. A need may be rationalised as, ‘I should not be lonely, I do not need anyone else’. Such a false conceptualisation, does not negate the basic need, and can even lead to suppressing, rather than experiencing that need. This process can be a future source of emotional disturbance. We learn such false concepts and false ways of working with our felt needs from the people around, our family and other significant adults and children. The media and the wider culture are also significant. As the Hebrew scriptures state, the sins of the fathers are passed on to the son’s to the third and fourth generation. In a sense this is true of patterns of experience passed down the generations. (Exodus 20:5) Fight, Flight, and Freeze We also share with the animals God given instincts that protect us. For example when we sense that we are threatened, we have a built in fight, flight and freeze mechanism. Our whole body sensing danger, floods us with the chemicals that give a huge surge of energy that can be used to fight and protect ourselves, or flee to a place of safety. If the attack looks certain to succeed, then the freeze mechanism cuts in. This can lead to reduced pain if we are killed, or may even lead to escaping. If the predator is distracted and we come out of the freeze we may escape. Peter Levine in his excellent book on Trauma, Waking the Tiger, also shows that animals having escaped from a predator, shake and tremble to discharge their surplus energy.
Human beings are more complex than animals, and often we do not follow through and allow the natural God given healing mechanisms to operate. For example, people who have experienced trauma, often find themselves beginning to shake and tremble. This is parallel to animals, having escaped a predator, discharging their surplus energy (P. Levine 1997 p.20) We need to accompany people through this healing process but instead we have developed powerful drugs to suppress these reactions. In reality these shaking and trembling reactions represent the Body’s natural capacity to heal, through the discharge of the surplus energy stored in our body, and caused through our blocked energy generated from our flight, flight and freeze mechanisms. More about emotional disturbance How then does emotional distress arise? As I have already argued, some forms of emotional distress are simply natural or legitimate reactions to events that have happened. For example, I lost my mother in 2003. I felt bereaved and I grieved for her. This is a natural process. What I needed, and indeed received, was gentle unconditional acceptance, empathy, and the presence of another human being to accompany me on this natural but also painful journey. I recognise, of course, that grief can be more complex and may be associated with guilt, anger, sadness and a sense of unfinished business. Other issues are less straightforward. Physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuses are traumatic, and have lasting impact on the way that we
a bit clumsy or broke something, and in particular his Dad would say to him ‘You are useless and stupid’ • He experienced physical bullying at school • Joseph experienced a complex series of reactions. His first reaction is always a physiological (or bodily) reaction to being bullied at school, or at home • Feeling threatened, his brain would mobilise his fight and flight mechanism, his body would be filled with energy, to fuel his fight or flight • Instead of fighting, or learning to work through these processes, he suppressed and blocked them internalising his mother’s message that it is wrong to fight. • Associated with this, Joseph also internalised his Fathers message of being useless and stupid, this was reinforced at school with his problems with reading and being dyslexic, and also through bullying. • Useless and stupid was the ‘cognitive’ element that was used to conceptualise his experience of any mistakes that he latter made. • A further cognitive element from his mother was that fighting was wrong. He therefore suppressed his anger, and internalised it against himself. He was wrong to want to defend himself. This again blocked and distorted the energy that his body mobilised to defend himself. • At times he would also freeze, another mechanism identified by Peter Levine (P Levine (1997) p 20 ) • The suppressed and blocked energy became part of what Eugene Gendlin calls a structure bound process that operates as an automatic response, involving blocked energy, feelings sensations and thinking and behaviour patterns. (Gendlin (1964) p 461 -462)_
experience and cope with our lives. Let us imagine a client called Joseph. He was constantly told by his father that he was ‘useless and stupid’ and was devalued as a boy, he is dyslexic, and experienced physical bullying at school. The process can be illustrated as follows. • Joseph’s father shouted at him whenever he was
• These structure bound processes can be triggered by external circumstances, (people who remind him of his father), (Gendlin ibid) triggered every time he makes a mistake, and could also be triggered by low mood swings. (Segal et el (2002) p 144) • Joseph therefore presents as depressed, and also at times simply freezes for no apparent reason. In focusing and experiential psychotherapy, there is a recognition that at the root of our emotional problems lie a complex series of blocked physiological
experiences, combined with distorted thinking patterns and ways of behaving. This blocked energy gives fuel and provides the power and substance that underlie his distorted thinking and behaviour patterns. Joseph would be encouraged into bodily awareness. By directly experiencing himself in his body, he is able to make contact with the pre–articulate and blocked energy that are at the roots of his experience of psychological disturbance. As he works in an experiential way, releasing the energy, his distorted thinking and behaviour patterns begin to lose their power and change. He eventually begins to experience an unblocking and a release of energy that underscores this structure bound process and he begins to recover. On a personal note, this was indeed my own experience of being in therapy. Initially I had strong patterns of suicidal thinking underpinned by distressing emotional symptoms. As I worked in the emotions, so the thinking patterns lost their power, and my behaviour also changed. A way of representing this is that negative thinking and behaviour patterns are like the leaves on a tree. As autumn approaches, the tree conserves its energy and denies the leaves sap, the leaves loose their vitality, eventually falling to the ground. Distorted thinking and behaviour patterns deprived of their experiential roots eventually lose their vitality, and fall away like the autumn leaves. Of course, unlike the tree, I have a body memory and sometimes thinking patterns do re-emerge for me, but without their former power. I now welcome this as they are my body’s way of telling me that I am not in some way looking after myself. They spur me on to look at my life and challenge me to ask how I am loving and caring for myself, an essential element in fulfilling Jesus command, to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. (Matthew 22 v 37-40) This phenomena of thinking patterns acting as an advanced warning of (and not the cause of ) emotional disturbance, has also been recognised by Segal and others (Segal et el 2002 p. 28). Focusing and experiential psychotherapy starts off with body awareness. Our bodies remember our experience and it is in our bodies that we find real and deep healing as Campbell and McMahonon so clearly observe: ‘much of every day’s experiencing is lived almost exclusively in our heads. Such rejection of bodily knowing eventually takes its toll. We suffer and break down physically and emotionally. As someone once
said, mental illness is brought on not because we have “gone out of our minds’, but because we are “too much in them” (Campbell and McMahonon E. M. 1985 p. 5) I am offering a workshop at the ACC conference in January 2011, and look forward to seeing you there. References: Campbell, P. A. McMahon E. M. (1985) Bio Spirituality Focusing as a way to Grow Chicago: Loyola Press Dyrness, W. D. (1979) Themes in Old Testament Theology Exeter Paternoster Press Gendlin, E. T. (1964) A theory of personality change Downloaded from www.focusing.org Gendlin E. T. (1996) Focusing Oriented Therapy. A Manual of the Experiential Method New York: Guildford Press Levine, P. (1997) Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma California: North Atlantic Books Peck, M. S. (1978) The Road Less Travelled London Arrow Books Spinelli, E. (1989) The Interpreted World. London: Sage Segal, Z. V. Williams, J. M. G. Teasdale, J.D. (2002) Mindfulness based cognitive therapy for Depression London Guildford Press. John Threadgold runs a private counselling practise called New Focus Therapy. He is recognised by the Focusing Institute as a Focusing Trainer, and Focusing Oriented Psychotherapist. John is also a Drugs counsellor at Merton Adult Crack Service. (MACS). He runs focusing courses for therapists and the public. You can find out more at www.newfocustherapy.co.uk
The ëthird waveí of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Can it be integrated into a Christian context? Part 1 - Mindfulness. n BySarah Plum and Paul Hebblethwaite The theme of next year’s Association of Christian Counsellors conference in January 2011 is crossing the causeway and how counselling is changing and evolving. Throughout our lives we are constantly changing and developing as we encounter new experiences. Change is therefore not something to be feared but rather embraced. Indeed counselling is all about facilitating the client in change. The aim of the article is to look at the possibility using Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy as a tool for treating depression and some forms of anxiety and how this may be compatible with Biblical teaching. We appreciate that some individuals may find this technique not compatible with their Christian faith, but we are not asking or expecting individuals to change their fundamental Christian beliefs or to participate in any practice that would contradict their faith but rather to look at how this tool can be used for the benefit of their clients. This article should be useful even to those that could not embrace this technique as it will at least give some useful insight. The First and Second Waves of CBT After the Second World War the first wave of the empirically based cognitive behavioural therapies was developed, to help combat the anxiety and depression following the war: this was termed behavioural therapy. In the 1950’s Ellis introduced the first approaches to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in his development of Relational Emotive Therapy, which was followed in the 1960’s by the empirical study of how thoughts (cognitions) effected emotion and behaviour. This was referred to as the ‘second wave’ or the ‘cognitive revolution’. This second wave was largely developed by A. T. Beck, and initially this approach was mainly applied to depression (Beck 1967), but was later developed to encompass anxiety in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and in the 1990’s taken further to cover couples work, personality disorders and substance abuse (Wills 2009). The second wave was also strengthened by Beck’s team, who helped to conceptualise and model therapy for a large number of disorders (see Wells 1997, and many others). A further development of the
second wave was the introduction of Schema Focused Therapy (Young et al. 2003) in the 1990’s. The Third Wave The most recent change in CBT has been the introduction of the ‘third wave’, which examines whether trying to control our thoughts or emotions is part of the solution, or actually, part of the problem. This has led to the development of a process whereby we don’t just try to change what we think, but how we think. Many of the third wave therapies have a decreased emphasis on controlling our thoughts and emotions, and rather an acceptance of how they are, and changing how we react to them. The main third wave therapies include: Acceptance and Commitment Theory (ACT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Behavioural Activation (BA), Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), Cognitive Behavioural Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP), and Integrative Couple Therapy (ICT). This article will concentrate on Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, some of the other approaches may be tackled in future articles. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) MBCT involves accepting thoughts and feelings without judgement rather than trying to push them out of consciousness, with a goal of correcting cognitive distortions (Segal et al 2002). Wills (2009) states that such a way of thinking stresses acceptance of the idea that thoughts and beliefs are mental events and processes rather than reflections of objective truths. It is recognised that some more fundamental Christians may feel uneasy with this later statement, as it may suggest that all thoughts
and beliefs are transitory reflections that do not have any definite relationship with objective truth. For fundamentalists God’s Word is the objective truth and it is the Christian’s duty to submit all thoughts and feelings to it. Nevertheless, these ideas have been used highly successfully in the development of MBCT to prevent relapse of depression in clients and Christians will need to carefully evaluate their stance. In doing so the reader might consider that this form of therapy is utilised to try to combat recurring and paralysing sentiments and thoughts, and to reinforce the process of repentance, recognising that it is usually a process rather than an instant change. A further aspect of MBCT is the inclusion of our body as well as our emotions and thoughts. Williams et al (2009) point out that one area we often take for granted, whether depressed on not, is the body itself and the sensations within the body. Yet these sensations give us immediate feedback on our emotional and mental state and are therefore important to look at. The Bible informs us to look after our body as a temple for God and the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:1 and 1 Corinthians 6:19). So by attending to our body as well as our mind we will be honouring God. Recent research is looking at treating patients who have recovered from 3 or more bouts of depression to see whether utilising mindfulness will help prevent relapse. In programmes devised in the Stay Well Programme (http://www.staying-well.org/ and http://stayingwell.bangor.ac.uk), patients learn the practice of mindfulness meditation and develop an awareness of the present moment, including getting in touch with moment-to-moment changes in the mind and the body. They also include basic education about depression and suicidal thoughts, and several exercises from cognitive therapy that show the links between thinking and feeling and how best to look after yourself when your moods threaten to overwhelm you. These programmes usually consist of eight-weekly two hour classes with weekly assignments to be done outside of the sessions. This acceptance of our thoughts and emotions can be perceived as incompatible with the Christian faith as it appears to stem from the eastern traditions and religions (mainly Buddhism), but within the Christian tradition this could be referred to as living in the present moment and paying attention. This article examines whether it is possible to be mindful and pay attention in our day to day lives and counselling practice in a Christian context. On closer examination of mindfulness it can be
seen to be based on living in the present moment, and not in the past or the future, but in the here and now, (Kabat-Zinn 2009) and this could be seen to be in line with much of the teaching within the Bible. In Matthew 6: 34 we are instructed by Jesus to ‘Give your attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes’ (The Message). Consistent and complementary with this is the fact that the Bible encourages us to recognise the need for a decisive break with the past and to live in the light of who we are now in Christ with an eye on the end goal which is to be transformed into the likeness of his son. Mindful Meditation Much of mindfulness practice is based on meditation, and awareness of oneself (body, mind and spirit) and of the surrounding environment. The bible has many references to people meditating and meditation. However, there may be further difficulties for some Christians as Christian meditation is mainly centred on God, Christ, creation and scripture and rarely centred on self. The meaning and content of these Bible verses varies and includes our ultimate hope in God, His justice, love, righteousness, sustaining, wonders and works, the word, personal involvement with creation and the brevity of life. Psalm 143:5 states, ‘I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done’. Most of these examples are about filling the mind with good things including the truth about God, ourselves, his grace and purposes especially as they relate to his active involvement in our lives. The Apostle Paul sums this up in Philippians 4:8, ‘Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.’ The self awareness part perhaps can be more easily accepted as it is a closer biblical concept to mindfulness than meditation. Many verses in Scripture talk about the Lords examination of us (see Psalm 139). Self awareness can be about understanding how God thinks about us as he examines us and also as he moves out in grace towards us based on what Christ has done for us. Another way of viewing meditation is that it is paying attention; this is often misunderstood as being self-centred or creating your own private spirituality. But by paying attention to your deepest self you are paying attention to God and you are paying attention to your neighbour (Freeman 2001).
Healing What are the characteristics of mindfulness which enable healing to take place? Part of what is required is accepting that we are not in control and allowing things to be as they are. More specifically, you are admitting that things may need to change but that you are allowing God to change things in his own time. Far too often we try to control all aspects of our life. In mindfulness as well as in our Christian lives we have to learn to relinquish control. In our life as Christians this means observing and accepting things as they are and not constantly trying to change things to be as we would want. However, we need to guard against fatalism (what will be will be) as opposed to accepting God’s sovereignty but seeking to cooperate actively with God in response to his sovereign ordering of our lives such that we are best able to glorify him in our thoughts, feelings and actions. Fatalism leads to passivity with respect to our thoughts, feelings and actions but a healthy doctrine of God’s sovereignty leads to active partnership in seeking to move forward together with God according to His purposes. We are seeking in partnership with God to change things not as we want but as He wills (Romans 12:1). The Major Pillars There are seven attitudinal factors that constitute the major pillars of mindfulness (Kabat-Zinn 2009): non-judging, patience, a beginners mind, trust, nonstriving, acceptance and letting-go. These pillars can also be seen as a good way to develop our Christian faith and by practising these (making every effort, Philippians 3:12-16; Colossians 1:29) we would not only be aiding our healing through mindfulness, but we could also draw closer to God. 1. Non-judging The first of the pillars is to be non-judging. In mindfulness the aim is develop a stance of impartial witness to our experiences, and then to learn not to judge them but to accept them as they are. For it is when we make judgements that we cause stress within ourselves; for example by labelling someone or something as good or bad, interesting or boring, its working or not working. When we look at the Bible (Luke 6:36-38), it tells us that only God can judge us or others, and therefore the practice of being non-judging has a Biblical grounding. But Biblical counsellors may argue that the first role of a counsellor is to directly confront obvious or confessed transgression and it is accepted that this may be necessary in some cases (see Matthew 5:27-30).
For instance someone battling with pornography should not accept it non-judgementally and utilise MBCT to avoid true guilt and Christian counsellors should not recommend they do so. MBCT is not recommended as a cure to sinful behaviour but for long term depression and some anxiety disorders that are not necessarily related to sinful behaviour. We need to be mindful that being sinful is not part of God’s plan for us and there needs to be a balanced Biblical awareness of this (Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 6:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:21) as there is a significant difference between being judging and making mature judgements about ourselves and sometimes others.
in this moment, we will be able to better respond to them and reflect some of God’s love onto them. This does not mean that we cannot accept that their past experiences may have moulded how they are in the present. Accepting them in the moment may enable them to trust us with their past. Part of the beginners mind is how we can appreciate Gods creation; the sky, stars, oceans, mountains, trees, and flowers as they are. If our mind is not focused on the here and now but worrying about the past or the future then we will not be able to do this effectively. Maybe Jesus’ command to be as little children fits well into this concept.
2. Patience Secondly, patience is developed in mindfulness and demonstrates to us that we need to understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time. As Christians we will often find ourselves wanting to rush God along to get to where we want to get to, but the Bible clearly teaches that we should wait on Gods timing and have patience (James 5:7, 9-11). I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord (Psalm 40:1-3). Kabat-Zinn (2009) likens patience and wisdom to waiting for a butterfly to emerge from its chrysalis in its own good time and that if we rush through life always striving for the next ‘better’ step we will miss the here and now. Indeed if we rush through life not living in the present we will undoubtedly miss many opportunities to serve God, by being too busy to notice the small things happening around us now. An example of this is the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42. Patience means accepting that God has a plan and it will, like the butterfly, unfold in its own time. Understanding God’s patience with us can be a great help in understanding the need to be patient with ourselves.
4. Trust Learning to trust yourself and your feelings is also a part of the practice of mindfulness, particularly when God gives Biblical instinct to you as a believer. Fundamentalists may counter this by referring to Jeremiah 17: 1-9. However, this is not to say that we should only trust in ourselves, ultimately as Christians we trust in God (Proverbs 3:4-6; 4:5; 28:25-27). But God created us the way we are and with all our perceived faults and failings, He knows all our thoughts (Psalm 139) so learning to trust ourselves and God run hand in hand. When we practice meditation as Christians our aim is to develop a closer relationship with God. As we make this journey we will need to trust that we are hearing God correctly and to trust our faith in the presence of God that we are developing in these quiet times. As Christians we are testing everything we feel and not necessarily trusting everything we feel (Thessalonians 5: 21).
3. Beginner’s mind The third attribute is the beginner’s mind. This is about experiencing the richness of the present moment as it is, too often we take for granted the ordinary and fail to grasp the extraordinariness of the ordinary (Kabat-Zinn 2009). If we develop our sense of seeing everything as if for the first time we will truly be living and seeing Gods creation in all its glory. With our friends and neighbours we all too often don’t see them as they truly are, but by taking time to see them properly and how they are
5. Non-striving The fifth attribute is that of non-striving which can be a difficult issue. Some Christian teachers urge non-striving, (therefore ‘let go and let God or don’t wrestle, just nestle’) while others reject it. Paul says, ‘Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (Philippians 3:12)’ and often uses analogies of the spiritual athlete. It is necessary, therefore, to draw a strong line between non-striving and spiritual apathy. If God is the aim, then a good case can be made for the later attitude. In life we tend to always do things for a reason, to reach a goal. But in meditation there are no goals except to be you and as Christians to be ourselves with God, and that we may have to rely totally on God to achieve this (2 Corinthians 3:18). Sometimes it will be hard to relax and just be with God, but we should learn to accept ourselves
as we are as God accepts us by faith and not works (Ephesians 2:8). So if we are worried or anxious when we meditate we should accept that is how we are at that moment and give our concerns and worries to God, to accept them and not judge them. God wants us to cast our anxiety on him whether it is sinful or healthy anxiety (1 Peter 5:7). 6. Acceptance Acceptance of ourselves, our situations and others means seeing things as they are in the present. All too often in today’s society we wish we were thinner, taller, richer, more assertive and we spend time condemning ourselves for not being as we would wish. But by accepting yourself as you are now is acknowledging that this is how God sees you and that he loves you as you are. When you accept yourself as you truly are then you will be able to make choices and changes. By cultivating acceptance you create the preconditions for healing (Kabat-Zinn, 2009). By accepting who and where we are in our lives and the things around us, doesn’t mean that you should not try to change things or that you should throw away your morals and standards. It just puts you in a true place from which to make changes and grow. This in Christian terms means that we can build on where we are and change things in order to move closer to God and grow more in the likeness of Christ. 7. Letting go The final pillar of mindfulness practice is that of letting go (this can include forgiveness). Often we find it difficult to ‘just let go’ of certain thoughts, feelings or situations. With meditation and acceptance we practice seeing things as they are and develop the skill of just watching our thoughts whether good or bad and letting go of them. As Christians we need to learn through meditation and acceptance to identify these thoughts and concerns and then we can take them to God in prayerful meditation and put them at the foot of the cross. In Matthew 6:25-36 we are told to not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Furthermore, forgiveness is very much part of the Christian faith (Ephesians 4: 32; Matthew 6: 12; Luke 11:14; Mark 11:25) and Jesus tells us that, ‘if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6: 14-15).’
A Model for Mindfulness What does it actually mean to live in the present moment and how does this affect our moods and lives? If a life situation occurs that results in a significant change in emotion (affect) the client can prevent this spiralling into anxiety or depression by first becoming aware of what has happened and how they are reacting. Often in our busy doing problem solving mode of living that has evolved to try to escape from difficult situations we work on automatic pilot (Williams et al 2007). But unfortunately this problem solving mode often doesn’t work for our internal emotional issues. By paying mindful attention to thoughts and emotions we are able to see the affect that the situation has had on us and then in full awareness we can make one of the following two choices about how to react to them (Fig. 1). 1. Let them be, i.e. notice the thoughts and accept them as just thoughts. 2. Choose to act and change the thoughts and/or care for self.
Fig 1. Schematic representation of how we can deal mindfully with situations; where blue is the normal process and pink represents a change in the way of doing things. Reflections It will be up to individuals to look at MBCT and reflect how they use this approach, if indeed they use this approach at all. But utilising it as a tool to help clients overcome their depression or anxieties has been shown to be effective and we suggest closer examination by Christian counsellors. As with all things in today’s world there may be perceived conflicts with our already busy lives as practicing mindfulness will take commitment and self discipline. But as Christian counsellors we could choose to learn these new skills, not just to help our clients but to benefit our health, and more importantly as a way of developing a closer relationship with God , our neighbours and our clients.
We would greatly value your opinions (positive and negative) and any experiences you may have of MBCT, so please email any comments and thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sarah will be leading a workshop at the next ACC conference in January 2011 with the title: The ‘third wave’ of CBT – can it be integrated into a Christian context?
Beck, A.T. 1967. Depression; clinical, experimental and theoretical aspects. New York, Harper & Row.
Freeman, L. 2001. Excerpts from talk in Singapore. The World Community for Christian Meditation. Kabat-Zinn, J. 2009. Full catastrophe living. Piatkus Books Ltd. Segal, Z., Teasdale, J., Williams, M. 2002. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression. New York: Guilford Press.
The Authors Sarah Plum is a Trainee Cognitive Behavioural Therapist with special interest in the 3rd Wave. Paul Hebblethwaite is a Christian Cognitive Behavioural Therapist with over 20 years of counselling training and experience. Acknowledgements
Wells, A. 1997. Cognitive therapy of anxiety. A practical guide. Chichester: Wiley. Williams, M., Teasdale, J., Segal, Z., Kabat-Zinn, J. 2007. The Mindful way through depression. Guilford Press. Wills, F. 2009. Beck’s cognitive therapy. Routledge.
The authors would like to acknowledge the help and constructive criticisms on this article from Dr John Hebblethwaite, the Rev. Peter Cousins, Harry Harmens and Judy Stammers, some of which has been incorporated in the final version.
Young, J., Klosko, S., Weishaar, M. 2003. Schema therapy – A practitioner’s guide. London: Guilford Press.
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Dialogue Cards: Making Difficult Conversations Possible n By Richard Lahey-James & Irene Samuel As couple and family therapists we have often seen people whose interactions seem stuck, super-glued almost, in repetitive patterns. However we join with them, reframe their situation, and use the tools and strategies we have learned - the same patterns are repeated week after week. It was in working with such a situation that one of us (IS) developed an idea of such elegance, simplicity and fun that we couldn’t wait to share it with our colleagues, and which led to the publication of this article. Here we describe some work with our clients. In Part 1, Irene Samuel explains the initial idea. In Part 2 Richard LaheyJames explains how he first used the cards and Part 3 illustrates the theory behind the cards and describes more ways in which we have developed the concept. Part 1 Let’s start with a clinical vignette: Jean came to see me in the Voluntary Agency where I work, suffering depression and panicky feelings. She is in her late sixties and used to run her own cake-making business, but arthritis in her hands has meant she has to give this up. Her two sons have grown up and are living abroad, so she is retired, at home with her husband Jack. Jack, a retired printer, is busy: he is heavily involved with his work as an organist in the local church. He also looks after his mother and several aged aunts, all in their nineties. He works long hours on the computer, managing all their finances, as well as doing the church accounts. At the first session, Jean was asked if she thought it would be useful for Jack to attend the next session. She accepted this idea, and for the next few sessions they came together. The following weeks saw a repetition of the same situation. Jean would do the housework and wait for some time with her husband, only to be told he was “too busy” looking after things. If Jean suggested a way of helping, or another way of doing things, she was told by him kindly that he knew best. By the end of each day she was bored, frustrated and felt neglected. Jack’s reaction to this was to explain kindly that if she only did what he suggested and stopped worrying, she wouldn’t get so upset.
After getting to know this couple I suggested an experiment. I offered another view of their day to day life. This was that Jack had been a wonderful, caring father to their sons and was a considerate and selfless son to his aged mother and her sisters. Perhaps however, he was so bound up with all this ‘looking after’ and ‘taking care of’, that his wife was losing her voice in their marriage. I asked them if they would agree to try an experimental game. Both of them were keen to do this, so, on the spur of the moment, I gave them each four pieces of paper, on which I had written the following phrases:
Would you like to ...
Perhaps we could ...
I wonder if we could ...
What I would really like to do is ...
I suggested that they might use the cards to help them plan how they could spend the following afternoon together. They were to have a conversation, starting alternately, and using one of the phrases on their piece of paper. After using it (like a card game), they had ‘played their card’, and would place it on the table. They continued like this until all their ‘cards’ had been ‘played’. Using this model, their inner individual dialogues became a real dialogue between them. This resulted in a completely different way for Jean and Jack to hold a conversation. They both entered into the spirit of the experiment. Their feedback was that it was not only different, but also fun! They would stick to the arrangements made in this ‘structured conversation’ and they were happy to take the cards away to use them at home.
Returning, several weeks later, they reported using the cards whenever they could feel themselves drifting back into the old pattern of Jack ‘looking after’ everything, telling Jean what was best for her and making all the decisions. Perhaps the way in which the interactions helped them to structure their conversation, gave them a feeling of safety, and externalised the discussion process. Repetition allowed this to become part of their new dialogue. That experimental session marked a turning point in our work. Jack was now able to collaborate with his wife in planning their time together. Jean was able to see the advantages of having such a responsible and caring husband, and also to regain her voice in the marriage. I bought some blank playing cards and wrote out the same words in italic script for them to take home. Jean became more and more confident and her depression lessened. At a six month follow-up, Jean came to a session alone and reported that her life was “transformed”. She smiled when she explained that she had her cards safely tucked away, a reminder as to how to redress the balance when necessary. It seemed that Jean, an only child who had always had to fight for attention from her mother, had taken on the role of a child in the marriage. Jack, after many years of parenting two (now grown-up) sons, was ‘stuck’ in the role of devoted father and of a dutiful son. The model of therapy we use in the agency is systemic. I was working alone without the benefit of a reflecting team. My observations and hypotheses did not seem to shift the couple’s perspective. In searching for new strategies I used the teaching concept of scaffolding written about by Bruner (1983) and Vygotsky (1978). These theorists emphasise the centrality of social interaction in developing understanding and addressing problems. From a second-order cybernetic view it seems that in my work with Jack and Jean, we all managed to coconstruct a description of what was going on in this family, and then to introduce a new type of conversation which was just different enough to enable the dissolution of the problem (Jones,1993).
Part 2 While working with a couple, Paul and Mary, who had been through considerable difficulties resulting in a break down of trust between them, the couple and I (RL-J) were becalmed in the therapeutic doldrums. Conversation was more or less stagnant; none of us ventured out of our comfort zones in the sessions. Consequently minimal progress was being made. Someone needed to take a risk and being aware of Irene’s idea of using statement openers written on cards, I ventured, at the close of one especially dull session, that I might have a tool which could help facilitate richer conversations. At the next session Mary asked if I had “that thing” that would help them with their conversations, as she desperately needed to be able to talk and they were still in a non-talking place. I had, as it happened, in true Blue Peter fashion, already prepared a few such cards. I offered Paul and Mary a fan of a dozen or so cards, as if I was about to perform a magic trick, and asked them to choose three cards each. Looking slightly bemused, they chose their cards. They were invited to look at their cards and consider how they might like to use them; they could play their cards in any order, at any time during the session. Mary began by playing her first card using the opening semi-structured statement to initiate a conversation, “One thing I would like to understand is …” and continuing with her own area of interest. Paul responded to the invitation and a fluid conversation developed. Eventually Paul decided it was time for his turn. Playing down a card he read: “One thing I need help with is …”. This got a few laughs, as he was able to indicate an area he still struggled with in spite of having already spent a few sessions working on it. His vulnerability and playfulness made what had previously been a difficult conversation much easier. For forty five minutes the couple conversed and played their cards with ease, while I observed and listened. Eventually they had each played their three cards and the conversation came to a natural close. They had spoken easily about some complex and difficult issues.
I randomly choose a card from the remaining pack and, playing by the same rules, offered: “One thing I would like to know is … what was it like using the cards today?” Both enthused about how safe the conversation felt and how it had opened things up for them in a natural, playful and useful way. Previously, Paul and Mary’s conversations had seemed guarded and hesitant, often closing down prematurely. As we debriefed at the end of the session they exhibited a lightness, indicating they might try opening future conversations in the way the cards had allowed. Mary asked for the pack of cards to take away for their own use. I (R L-J) was amazed to see how useful this simple tool was and immediately decided to use the cards more often. I have gone on to develop, in collaboration with Irene, a pack of 52 conversation openers which have since been dealt out in a variety of therapy sessions. I still see Paul and Mary from time to time. They have referred to the “magic cards”, and the flow of conversation in our sessions has dramatically improved. They both exhibit a new freedom in raising issues important to them and do so in a manner which allows their partner to respond easily. The accusing or sarcastic edge and rhetorical questions have ceased, as have the guarded minimalistic responses. The cards seemed to introduce a difference; not too big a difference (Mason, 1993), but enough to bring a change into the system. Part 3 Some of the opening lines on our cards are as follows: “Can we please talk about …?” “One question I still have is …”; “I would like to know more about …”; “I want to ask about …”; “I need help with …”; “What would it be like if …?” These seemingly simple open statement or question beginnings allow family members to express their own curiosity (Cecchin, 1987) and develop their own therapeutic enquiry. This intervention can be described as a dialogical experiment (Bertrando, 2007), as the cards facilitate the externalising of internal monologues and help develop dialogues with no predetermined outcome. Cards, which are usually associated with play, perhaps represent something less threatening than direct questions or challenges from a partner, family
member or therapist. There is a playful spirit about the process when the cards are in use, allowing people to raise surprisingly difficult issues in an unheavy manner, thus making the big issues somehow less dangerous. “Go on, your turn” is an offering easily put forward by the player who feels sufficient time has been spent on their area of interest, this balances the session, maintaining a turn-taking approach, as each person raises issues important to them while keeping the conversation open to new information. In our experience some families with stuck communication patterns tend to make statements about other’s thinking, behaviour or motives withoutchecking the legitimacy of their assumptions. The use of Dialogue Cards helps avoid statement making and facilitates a curiosity, even when a client may tend towards incuriosity having become stuck in premature certainty (Mason, 1993). The intensity (Minuchin and Fishman, 1981) developed through this intervention seems to enable the family to become aware of their usual communication style, giving them an ability to become observers of themselves and thus more able to step outside their previously ‘stuck’ patterns. We are aware of other therapy cards, such as those by Max and Marcia Nass. They offer card games to build children’s self-esteem, and to help children to talk about parental separation and divorce. Finkcards (2009) also have a range of conversation cards to get the family talking. There may be others; we would be interested in feedback from other counsellors and & therapists using similar ideas. If anyone would like a full set of Dialogue Cards we are able to provide them at a small cost.
Richard Lahey James is an ACC member and accredited counsellor and UKCP registered Family Therapist. Irene Samuel is a BACP and UKCP Psychotherapist; both live and work in South West London. We can be contacted as follows: Richard Lahey-James: (firstname.lastname@example.org) Irene Samuel: (email@example.com) References: Bertrando, P. (2007) The dialogical therapist: dialogue in systemic practice. Karnac, London Bruner, J. (1983). Child’s Talk: Learning to Use Language. New York: Norton Cecchin, G. (1987). Hypothesizing, circularity and neutrality revisited: an invitation to curiosity. Family Process. Vol. 26.4: 405-413
Finkcards (2009) http://www.finkcards.com Jones, E. (1993). Family Systems Therapy Developments in the Milan-Systemic Therapies. Chichester, Wiley Mason, B. (1993) Towards positions of safe uncertainty. Human systems: The Journal of Systemic Consultation & Management. Vol 4. pp 189-200 Minuchin, S. & Fishman, H. (1981) Family therapy techniques. Harvard University Press, Cambridge Massachusetts Nass, M. and Nass, M. One of a Kind: A Self-Esteem Card Game www.creativetherapystore.com Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
Book Reviews First Steps Series ISBN First Steps out of Depression 978-0745955131 First Steps out of Anxiety 978-0745955193 First Steps out of Eating Disorders 978-0745955209 First Steps out of Problem Drinking 978-0745953977 This is a series of small, pocket/bag size books looking at Depression, Problem drinking, Eating disorders, and Anxiety (published by Lion Hudson). Next year there will be other titles added to the series. Each is by a different author who has experience of the topic. As well as ordinary text, there are some tables, highlighted sections, and exercises which the reader is invited to complete. The layout is not densely populated pages, but they are attractive and making them easy to read at one sitting. The books contain very practical information using plain English. Periodically there are ‘myth busters’ which correct misunderstandings about the issues. The great value of the books is that they can be recommended to clients to read and work with the ‘Over to You’ sections. These are opportunities for the reader to write down and identify their beliefs and thinking about the issue they are facing, recognise
any themes which come through, and use the material to develop goals and a way forward. There are many suggestions about ‘what to do when…..’ Families and carers are addressed too with clear guidance to help them, as they see a loved one facing difficulties. There is also a small section about other available resources. These books are handy, clear and useful however, they are just a start in exploring each of the topics because people facing these particular difficulties will usually need professional help too. Greta Randle
Overcoming Loss: Activities and Stories to Help Transform Children’s Grief and Loss by Julia Sorensen Jessica Kingsley Publishers ISBN 978 1 84310 646 3 This book is both sensitively and creatively written for both parents and professionals who are in contact with children aged 4-8 and may be experiencing loss and grief for a number of reasons. The writer integrates a variety of approaches such as emotional literacy and CBT with the power of play, creative arts and storytelling and a wealth of photocopiable resources.
It is divided into four sections and each conveys both ideas and information that are both meaningful and creative. The first section is aimed at helping the child to both identify and normalise different feelings associated with loss. There is a helpful vocabulary of words to further explore the basic feelings of happy, sad, angry and scared by use of puzzles, art and collage. The second section sensitively looks at different aspects of loss from the death of a pet, moving house and community, divorce and also the death of an individual. Memory boxes, closure and gaining new perspectives are explored as well as the need to hold on to good memories and this felt sensitive to the child’s process. The third section explores the invaluable use of storytelling when helping the child to identify their losses. The author points out that as this method is one step removed from their own experience it can be a way of helping them to process overwhelming feelings and stories can be tapered to each individual child and their particular story of loss. The fourth section looks at how to incorporate all of the previous material into group work for children perhaps in a school setting. This is both thorough and practical in its approach for any group facilitator and has a variety of ideas for sharing individual experiences coupled with creative approaches. At the end of the book is a helpful series of appendices with recommended reading and resources. I found the section on how to recognise PTSD very clear and helpful with suggestions on how to recognise symptoms and appropriate interventions both for parents and teachers. I thoroughly recommend this book as a resource for counsellors working with children, it will not go into any ‘in depth’ explanation about loss or complex grief but will be a useful companion to aid children as they move through the different stages of grief enabling it to be integrated into their life experience with support and understanding. Clare Suffield
Growing a Caring Church: Practical Guidelines for Pastoral Care by Wendy Billington Published by the Bible Reading Fellowship 2010. ISBN 978-1-84101-799-0 We are all called to offer pastoral care to one another whether we are young, old, married, single, widowed, divorced, a church leader, a professional helper, a friend or nominated group leader. In her book ‘Growing a Caring Church: Practical Guidelines for Pastoral Care’ Wendy Billington presents a clear guide to help us all fulfil this call. The book provides a scriptural basis to pastoral care as well as the ways in which it might happen. Chapter by chapter it covers particular areas of pastoral need and response - crises, bereavement and loss, marriage, singleness, older age – supported by ideas, examples and stories from Wendy’s pastoral and personal experiences. It is not a long book and is written without jargon thus making it very accessible. Whilst primarily aimed at the home group context with suggestions at the end of each section for members to reflect upon, the book is flexible enough to lend itself to pastoral care teams and an individual study, none of which is arduous. Helpfully the book acknowledges pastoral care can happen in different ways, whilst underpinning the value of good listening, thus encouraging those who may be more practical helpers than polished listeners. Wendy challenges us to reach out to one another – no matter what – and inherently acknowledges we are both all called to pastoral care and all in need of it at times. Further, she underlines how pastoral care and mission are partners as the former seeks to demonstrate what the latter preaches as ‘facets of the same gospel’. Whilst the book does address the need to attend to boundaries, particularly as we seek to encourage people to take responsibility for their own lives, it does not elaborate on some of the complexities we can encounter in navigating these between pastoral church, pastoral team and church leadership. This said I would certainly recommend this book to churches who want to enhance pastoral care in their fellowship which values and challenges each person within it to develop a loving healing community. Teresa Onions
Diary UK ACC in the Midlands Friday 5 November 2010. Morning 09.00 – 13.00 followed by lunch. Michael Jacobs will be speaking: “ Challenging the stereotype of the psychodynamic counsellor “ at Hothorpe Hall Theddingworth. Leics. LE 17 6QX. MICHAEL JACOBS, formerly of Leicester University, is Visiting Professor at Bournemouth University, and a psychodynamic and integrative psychotherapist registered with UKCP, in independent practice in Swanage, Dorset. His books on psychodynamic counselling and therapy are used as key texts on many training courses – notably The Presenting Past (2006, 3rd edition, Open University Press), Psychodynamic Counselling in Action (2004, 3rd edition, Sage).. He is a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Student discount available (limited places student. id required on booking). 4 Hours CPD. Cost £52 with lunch, £40 morning only, £25 student morning only. ACC members discount. Saturday 6 November 2010 Time: 09.00 – 17.00 Venue: Market Harborough Methodist Church, Northampton Road, Market Harborough LE16 9HE, opposite the Market Hall. ILLUSIONS: A PSYCHOLOGY OF BELIEF Speaker: Michael Jacobs Michael Jacobs trained originally in theology and was ordained into the Church of England. Later learning about psychological ideas he began to challenge in himself the most basic ideas which he had held. Giving up on the church because of its conservatism and narrow-mindedness he moved into a new career as a secular counsellor and psychotherapist. In the eighties and early nineties he combined the role of director of the University of Leicester’s counselling programme with the post of Director of Pastoral Care and Counselling in three East Midlands dioceses, where he helped to develop training and resources for clergy and lay people. He has retained a lively interest in the links between his original discipline and the one that he has spent most of his working life developing. His book Illusion: a psychodynamic interpretation of thinking and belief sets out his own position in a definitive way, and it is this which will form the basis for his day long
presentation, when, illustrating his ideas with words and music, he traces how he thinks belief systems may change over the course of a lifetime. Please e-mail Christine Niven: email@example.com for more details. ACC in Scotland Saturday 13th November 2010 – Day Conference for counsellors and carers atThe Salvation Army Centre, South Street, Perth. With Richard and Sally Worthing Davies. Richard was CEO of the Bible Society for 14 years, succeeding Tom Houston. For six years - after founding Mercy Corps, the European based sister organisation of the original USA based organisation - he became Chairman and CEO of Mercy Corps, a major relief and development agency now based in Edinburgh. In 1995 Richard and Sally returned to University and did four years post graduate study in couples and family therapy, setting up their private agency in 2000. Much of their work now involves helping people overcome the affects of sexual abuse, domestic violence and neglect in childhood within the context of family relationships. For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0141 616 6777 ACC in South West England: Saturday 16 October 2010 - Regional Conference Day - Time:10.15 – 16.00 Venue:Locking Castle Church, Jasmine Way, Locking Castle East, Weston-Super-Mare BS24 7JW. Directions may be found on:www.lockingcastlechurch.org A Journey into Hidden Pain - Exploring Inner Hurt, Pain and Therapeutic Techniques. A day for all who care for the hurting. £40.00 for ACC members, £45.00 for non members, £25.00 for students. Lunch is included. Contacts: Tel. 084 5123 5242, or Email: email@example.com Saturday 13 November 2010 - A day for Counsellors and any involved in Prayer Ministry and Pastoral Care with Rev Paul Springate (Harnhill Centre of Christian Healing) Time: 10.00 - 16.30 Venue: Belmont Chapel Western Way, Exeter EX1 2DB. £30.00 including lunch (£25.00 if booked before 30 September) Contacts: Tel. 084 5123 5242 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further details may be found on the ACC SW web page: www.acc-uk.org/1595. ACC in Northern Ireland Thursday 14 & 21 October 2010 ‘Personality Disorders’ 19.30 – 21.30 with Andrew Collins. Our autumn seminar this year will be presented in two venues, Belfast (The Mount Conference Centre, Woodstock Link) and Londonderry (Faughanvale Community Project, The Vale Centre, Greysteel).The committee have taken this decision to enable ACC members in the North and West of the province to attend and to build links with other counsellors in the surrounding area. Our speaker, Dr. Andrew Collins, works part-time as a consultant psychiatrist in the field of Psychiatric Intensive Care. He also works part-time in the field of Christian counselling from his home in Portadown. This training will help us with a number of questions like when to refer and where to refer? We hope that you will be able to join us at one of the above venues. Don’t miss hearing Andrew on this important and pertinent topic. Suitable for counsellors and psychotherapists.
TIME: 10.00 - 15.00 VENUE: Swansea (actual venue depending on numbers) SPEAKER: Ann Scott This workshop will look at • Theory and Research. Some of the results of Ann’s recent research, particularly concentrating on the similarities and differences between what the academics in the field say we should be doing and what counsellors actually do or don’t do. • Beliefs and Integration. How we as individuals integrate our psychological and our theological understandings of the individual. What do we actually believe about the individual? What are the influences on us that play into this belief? Are there any that clash? • Personal Expression. What support do we have that encourages us in our integration? How might we express where we are in all of this creatively to give others a window on our experience? £15 – drinks are included but please bring your own lunch.
Dates for your diary: Guest speaker Andrea Wigglesworth 19 & 20 March 2011. Andrea is Director of the Wellness Centre in Balerno, Edinburgh, which offers Counselling, Psychotherapy & Coaching to the Community. Saturday 19 March, Day Conference at the Ramada hotel, Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast – suitable for counsellors and pastoral carers. Sunday 20 March, Restoration House, Dunmurry – Day Workshop suitable for counsellors and psychotherapists.
ACC in North West England
If you would like to get in touch with us or share any ideas or thoughts around ACC NI, feel free to contact Meriel on: 084 5123 5188 or 028 9042 7214 nireland@ acc-uk.org.
ACC in Wales
Maureen Davies’ early career was in opthalmics nursing at Moorfields Hospital in London. She became involved in pastoral care and setting up the Beacon Foundation for those who had been severely sexually abused. She won a scholarship in 1995 to train in trauma treatment, sponsored by the Psychiatric Institute in Washington DC. Keen to gain further academic understanding of counselling and psychotherapy, she gained an MA in counselling, an MSc in gestalt therapy, and now teaches on the MA Counselling course at Bangor University. Maureen also provides training throughout the UK, for those treating adult survivors of child sexual abuse and related issues. She currently works in private practice with referrals from social services, family courts, child protection agencies and Employee Assisted Programmes.
Integrating your Counselling and Spiritual Worlds DATE: Saturday 30 October 2010
More information and booking: Richard Champness: 01524 824 862 or email@example.com
ACC in North East England Saturday27 November, 2010 Trevor Birtle, Manager of Christian Fellowship Ministry in Stockton-on-Tees, will be speaking about ‘Counselling Supervision’. Based upon research evidence from his Master’s dissertation, this workshop-style training event will look at counsellors’ perceptions of their supervision and will also be relevant to pastoral carers receiving supervision on a one-to-one basis. For further details contact Amanda Georgiou: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0845 123 5263.
ACC NORTH WEST AUTUMN TRAINING DAY Working with guilt and shame in the counselling room Date: 2 October 2010 Time: 0930 – 1600 Venue: Dalmeny Hotel, St Anne’s on Sea, Lancs, FY8 1LX Speaker: Maureen Davies Cost: £40. £5 for ACC members, lunch included.
Saturday 13 November 2010 9.30 am—5.00 pm Felden Lodge, Hemel Hempstead
Dissociation, Trauma and TimeTravelling ... ... or Living and Working with Dissociative Identity Disorder
Based in Lewes, East Sussex A team of experienced, professional Christian counsellors Counselling for adults, irrespective of faith Subsidies available
A joint Deep Release & TASC Training Day with Hazel Barton, Jane Potts & Carolyn Spring
£50.00 per person
Suitable for counsellors, therapists, survivors, partners, pastoral workers, Rape Crisis Centre staff, and anyone else interested or involved in the field of sexual abuse, trauma and dissociation.
Telephone: 078 5222 1449
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO BOOK A PLACE, PLEASE GO TO www.tasc-online.org.uk/tasctraining
E-mail: email@example.com Address: Church End, 1 Cockshut Road, Lewes, East Sussex. BN7 1JH www.southovercounselling.org.uk
The Family Development Centre We are pleased to advise that we currently have a placement opportunity available for a 2nd or 3rd year student who is currently studying counselling. We can offer the following: • We will arrange for the trainee counsellor to see 1–4 clients, one day per week for 12 months • We will pay towards your supervision once a month • We will pay towards one CPD training course of our choice per year If you require any further information, please contact Louise O’Brien on 020 8238 5897. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Olive Tree Centre Counselling Services We seek to help and support those who are suffering emotional and personal issues helping them find a way forward through their difficulties.Particularly in the following areas: Bereavement * Trauma * Loss * Physical/ Mental/ Sexual Abuse Depression* Relationships * Stress* Drug/Alcohol Abuse* Gender * Sexuality *Anxiety Loneliness * Marriage Counselling is carried out by professionally trained counsellors using a range of recognised models of counselling.
For more information Tel: 07817 106295 Or write to: PO Box 2018, Rayleigh Essex SS6 7FD E-Mail email@example.com Registered Charity No 1075617 The Consultancy team offers a wide range of Personal & Professional Services including:
New Listeners needed to meet increasing demand. Specialist 20 hr Telephone Listening Course (ACC Accredited) Providing core Training for Christian Telephone/Helpline work. Courses can be provided for a minimum of 8 people anywhere in country. Opportunity to apply to be listeners on Crossline on completion. Further information: John Pither Crossline Coventry 02476 615931 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FREE (Funded by Skills Funding Agency) • Information, Advice & Guidance (IAG) services under its ‘Next Step’ service contract for Adults over age 19 SE Region (incl Hants, Berks and Isle of Wight) • See Website for more information ‘matrix’ accredited MARY BARKER (Managing Consultant & Director of Counselling Services) PO Box 6776 BASINGSTOKE, Hampshire, RG24 4JT Tel Fax: 01256 477 225 or 01983 292 588; Mobile: 078 23 77 53 54 Email: BridgeUK@aol.com Web: www.thebridgeconsultancy.co.uk
CCTS teaches a high quality, professional, Christ centred biblical model of counselling. Introduction to Christian Counselling. NOCN Level 2 We are running this popular course again .It is ideal for anyone involved in pastoral care, social action/community work, or of course those wishing to explore counselling itself. Southampton: over 3 weekends in May, June, July 2011 dates to be confirmed Edinburgh: February –March 2011, closing date 17th December 2010 Certificate in Christian Counselling. NOCN Level 3 Southampton: Starting 13th September 2010 till July 2011 Monday evenings, with occasional Friday evening and Saturday. Edinburgh: Spring 2011, dates to be confirmed. For details please contact: Central Counselling & Training Service, Central Hall, St Mary Street, Southampton, SO14 1NF Tel: 02380 385247 e-mail: email@example.com Website: www.ccts-outhampton.org
As well as counselling sessions, the Centre for Relational Care also offers a unique “24-Hour-Care” for couples in crisis or a “3-Day Care” for couples who want to enhance their marriage relationship. CRC also helps equip counsellors and pastoral carers in Intimacy Therapy, a relational Christian counselling model. Dates for next 3-Day Care for Marriage 2010: Nov 26th – 28th Dates for 24 Hour Care for Marriage: Contact centre for individual couple requirements. For more information contact: Heather Howell On: 01926 430901 Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.relationaltraining.co.uk www.relationalcare.co.uk
Registered Charity No. 1108406
Administrator Exciting opportunity in North London for volunteer with training and experience in professional counselling and administration to assist with organisation of small, emerging Christian Counselling Service. Position would suit a person desiring to continue to use professional skills to serve the community. Duties could include taking initial referrals, assessments, allocation of clients, general administration, new initiatives and development. Further details and application form: telephone: 07806 073162 email:email@example.com
UCHM’s Christian Counsellor Training is ACC recognised and OCN accredited. Currently taking bookings for the following: January 2011. UCHM GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN CHRISTIAN COUNSELLING LEVEL 4 with progression to Leeds Metropolitan University. (Progression to the BSc at Leeds Metropolitan University is dependent upon meeting the entrance requirements for the BSc and to the ongoing delivery of the course.) January 2011 INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIAN COUNSELLING COURSE. LEVEL 2 Fri pm and all day Sat. Once a month for 4 months. Jan - April. For more information and details of CPD days coming up: Tel: 01484 461098 / www.uchm.org / firstname.lastname@example.org /UCHM, 78 New Street, Huddersfield, HD3 4LD
Where is Faith in Mental Health? - the Autumn Mind & Soul Conference Friday 22 October at The International Centre, Telford Mind and Soul is a Christian response to mental health. This conference is designed to give an understanding of some of the key subjects that impact the mental and emotional well-being of individuals with a range of keynote speakers and a choice of Parallel Sessions giving the opportunity to receive teaching and information on your key areas of interest . For further information go to www.mindandsoul.info
CCT (New Forest) offers a professional counselling service in the New Forest area.
‘Counselling Manager’ The service has been running successfully for over 5 years and as a small charity most of the work is voluntary. We are looking for a person who would be supporting the overall Service Manager. The position would involve client intake, employing supervisors and new counsellors when needed and on-going quality control. Date for applications – by Nov 1st Tel: 023 8086 7823 (Tony Hodder, Chair of trustees) Email: email@example.com www.churchescounsellingtogether.co.uk
The Willows Counselling Service FUTURE COURSES CBT / MBTI two-day course 13th – 14th November 2010 at Haven House, Hemel Hempstead Level 5 Intermediate Diploma in Counselling Supervision January – June 2011 at Pilgrims Hall, Brentwood to run on the following dates: 14th - 15th January 18th - 19th February 8th - 9th April 20th - 21st May 10th -11th June For further details and application forms contact BTI on 01243 554462 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellel Glyndley Manor, E. Sussex (01323 440440) Steps to Freedom from Fear 8-10 October Healing Damaged Emotions 5-7 November Ellel Grange, Lancaster (01524 751651) Healing and Identity 22-24 October Steps to Freedom from Addiction 12-14 November Ellel Pierrepont, Farnham (01252 794060) Jesus Heals Today! - Free Event 23 October Getting to the Root of the Problem 5-7 November Our Living Hope Conference: Stir the heart, equip and heal the saints, and build the Kingdom. Speakers: Stuart McAlpine and Peter Horrobin. Fri 1st -Sun 3rd October Ellel Scotland, Huntly (01466 799102) Free Teaching Day 2 October Leading from the Front 3-17 November www.ellelministries.org For more information contact the Centre as above. If you would like details on all our 2010 courses phone 01252 797381.
Looking for a listening ear? Open House is a free counselling service for young people, and part of Guildford YMCA. Meeting with a qualified counsellor can help to get concerns into perspective and even deal with them. Open House is open to any young person up to the age of 30. It is open to all, regardless of gender, religious conviction, cultural background or sexual orientation. Counsellors will arrange to meet you at one of the YMCA locations in Guildford. For anyone seeking counselling or who may wish to refer someone, please call 07932 047778 Do leave a message. A counsellor will respond within 24 hours to take brief details.
Level 2 Introduction to Pastoral Counselling which runs for ten evenings plus two Saturdays. The next course is planned for Spring 2011 Level 3 One Year Certificate Course in Integrative Counselling which runs from September to July. CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling This is a two year course running one day a week. Saturday Training Days: 13th November 2010 – “Creative Approaches to Therapy” Elspeth Schwenk 12th February 2011 – “When Therapy goes wrong” Anne Kearns 12th March 2011 – “Gaining CBT clinical skills in treating panic attacks and panic disorders” Paul Hebblethwaite 7th May 2011 – “Life at the edge – an exploration in borderline personality disorder” Anita Stokes 21st May 2011 – “Myers Briggs Type Indicator” Mike Fisher For further details of the above courses, please contact: Avril Fray at The Willows Counselling Service, The Willows Centre, 11 Prospect Place, Old Town, Swindon SN1 3LQ Tel 01793 426650 E-mail email@example.com Charity Registration No.1037677
Borderline General Counselling Service Vision - To be a centre of excellence in Christian counselling Counselling, and Training available • Level 2 Introduction to Christian Counselling (OCN) Autumn 2010 • 12th November 2010- Toxic Relationships with Deep Release - a challenging and interactive day for counsellors and pastoral carers For further details please contact: Anne Fearon 34 Aglionby St. Carlisle CA1 1JP 01228 596900 Email: office@borderlinecounselling. wanadoo.co.uk
GOOD PRICES BETTER COVER LOOKING FOR A BETTER DEAL ON YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE? FOR ACC MEMBERS WHO PRACTICE COUNSELLING, PSYCHOTHERAPY AND PASTORAL CARE (INCLUDING TRAINING AND SUPERVISION IN THESE ACTIVITIES): LIMIT OF INDEMNITY Premium (Including Legal Helpline) Insurance Premium Tax * Administration Fee Total Amount Payable
* Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is at the current rate of 5% (there is no IPT on the Legal Helpline element of the premium) CONDITIONS You are an individual (or a sole trader Limited Company with a turnover of less than £100,000) practicing from a UK base and appropriately qualified to practice (or on an approved training course leading to a recognised relevant qualification). You have not had previous insurance declined, not had any liability claims made against you and are not aware of any circumstances which may give rise to a claim against you. Prices correct at time of publication.
Call us Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6.00pm to arrange cover or just for some friendly insurance advice. Tel: 0113 251 5011 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.howdenpro.com
A subsidiary of Howden Broking Group Limited, part of the Hyperion Insurance Group, winners of a Queen’s Award For Enterprise: International Trade 2007. Howden Insurance Brokers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority: Firm reference number 312584. Registered in England and Wales under company registration number 203500. Registered office Bevis Marks House, 24 Bevis Marks, London EC3A 7JB, United Kingdom. HPRO0810.1