Most therapeutic approaches, especially those of a cognitive orientation, are not very effective in dealing with high conflict relationships--couples often heading toward divorce by the time they seek help.
Counseling Couples in Conflict is a resource for pastors and counselors who want to be ready for these uniquely difficult cases. Utilizing a relational conflict and restoration model Mark Yarhouse and James Sells point the way beyond the cycle of pain towards marital healing.
Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS) Books explore how Christianity relates to mental health and behavioral sciences including psychology, counseling, social work, and marriage and family therapy in order to equip Christian clinicians to support the well-being of their clients.
"The institution and even the definition of marriage continue to be in turmoil and the subject of debate and controversy within our culture today. Yet, the Scriptures portray marriage as a beautiful metaphor of the union between Christ and his bride, the church. As such, couples face not only the challenges and obstacles inherent in any human relationship but must also contend with the spiritual forces of darkness that seek to destroy this image. Discord, pain, misunderstanding and hurt are inevitable. Counseling Couples in Conflict offers a solid integration of biblical principles and counseling skills with clinical theory that helps foster relational wholeness. Practical case examples are utilized throughout to illustrate key points and provide a balanced model for restoration. Whether a pastoral counselor or a professional mental health clinician, this book is an essential resource for anyone doing marital work."
"Counseling Couples in Conflict is a clearly written and helpful book based on a relational restoration model. I highly recommend it for pastors, Christian counselors and lay counselors who are involved in helping couples."
"Addressing the concerns of professional counselors and pastoral counselors alike, Sells and Yarhouse offer a biblically-based, theological-grounded and therapeutically-sound model for working specifically with couples in conflict. I recommend this book for beginning counselors and for seasoned colleagues in the field. It definitely has a home on my bookshelves."
"The major cause of divorce isn't problems with finances, in-laws, parenting or sex. The major cause is that couples don't know how to deal with conflict around those issues. This long-overdue integrative resource is an invaluable tool and should be in the hands of every counselor. If you want to help couples take their marriage from good to great then you must read this book. It will be required reading for all of my students."
"What this book does best is make the reader fell like they are receiving profound clinical supervision from a wise and experienced therapist. Making a book feel like a supervision session is a true gift that any clinician can appreciate, especially those who are working in the trenches of marital conflict."
Part 1: The Preface to Marital Counseling
1 Marriage at a Crucial Stage of Existence
2 Three Fights in One
3 Marriage Is an Us
4 Pastoral and Counseling Boundaries: Invested but not Overinvolved
Part 2: The Process of Conflict and Restoration
5 Pain and Defense
6 Offense and Injury
7 Grace, and Justice
8 Empathy and Trust
Part 3: Marital Counseling Applied
10 The Expressive Art of Sexuality
11 The Product of Art: Children and Parenting
12 Sexual Infidelity
13 Divorce and Blended Families
14 Substance Abuse and Behavioral Addictions
15 A Graceful Conclusion