Evidence-Based Practices for Christian Counseling
Are Christian treatments as effective as secular treatments? What is the evidence to support its success?
Christians engaged in the fields of psychology, psychotherapy and counseling are living in a unique moment. Over the last couple decades, these fields have grown more and more open to religious belief and religion-accommodative therapies. At the same time, Christian counselors and psychotherapists encounter pressure (for example, from insurance companies) to demonstrate that their accommodative therapies are as beneficial as secular therapies. This raises the need for evidence to support Christian practices and treatments.
The essays gathered in this volume explore evidence-based Christian treatments, practices, factors and principles. The authors mine the relevant research and literature to update practicing psychotherapists, clinical researchers, students, teachers and educated laypersons about the efficacy of certain Christian-accommodative therapies. Topics covered in the book include:
The book concludes with a review of the evidence for the various treatments discussed in the chapters, a guide for conducting clinical trials that is essential reading for current or aspiring researchers, and reflections by the editors about the future of evidence-based Christian practices. As the editors say, "more research is necessary." To that end, this volume is a major contribution to a field of inquiry that, while still in its infancy, promises to have enormous implications for future work in Christian counseling and psychotherapy.
"The publication of this excellent volume marks a developmental step in the maturation of Christian engagement with and reflection on quality provision of counseling and psychotherapy services. The editors and authors represent knowledge of best practices in alleviating human distress in a number of key areas, particularly related to preventing and assisting troubled marriages, and we can hope that the movement they seek to inspire will flourish."
"I love this book for all sorts of reasons. It is edited by some of the most gifted and insightful people I know. The chapters illustrate a variety of treatment approaches as well as diverse ways of gathering evidence to support those treatments. I also appreciate how thoroughly this book reflects wise collaboration between researchers and clinicians, and among early-, mid-, and late-career psychologists. This volume is timely and essential, reflecting both Christian wisdom and prevailing professional standards."
"The concept of evidence-based practice is continually evolving and needs to be applied more systematically to a Christian context. In this volume, top researcher-clinicians come together to provide the state of the art of evidence-based practices for Christian counseling and psychotherapy. It is both broad and deep, and represents a significant advancement in the field of Christian counseling. I highly recommend it for lay counselors, graduate students and seasoned clinicians alike."
"[T]his volume is a major contribution to a field of inquiry that, while still in its infancy, promises to have enormous implications for future work in Christian counseling and psychotherapy."
"This book . . . makes a meaningful contribution to the clinical efforts of those with Christian worldview beliefs and commitments by establishing a foundation of reasonable evidence."
"This book offers a way for clinicians to recognize the importance of using effective treatment and it provides a basis for determining the relative effectiveness of the interventions clinicians select. This book also illustrates several ways Christians can connect to interventions that are compatible with their Christian beliefs and values."
1. Introduction to Evidence-Based Practices in Christian Counseling and Psychotherapy
Everett L. Worthington Jr., Eric L. Johnson, Joshua N. Hook and Jamie D. Aten
Part 1: Evidence-Based General Psychotherapeutic Factors
2. Evidence-Based Relationship and Therapist Factors in Christian Counseling and Psychotherapy
R. Scott Stegman, Sarah L. Kelly and T. Mark Harwood
3. Lay Christian Counseling for General Psychological Problems
4. Christian Devotional Meditation for Anxiety
Part 2: Evidence-Based Approaches to Psychotherapeutic Treatment of Individuals
5. Christian-Accommodative Cognitive Therapy for Depression
David J. Jennings II, Don E. Davis, Joshua N. Hook and Everett L. Worthington, Jr.
6. Christian-Accommodative Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Children and Adolescents
Donald F. Walker, Heather Lewis Quagliana, Morgan Wilkinson and Dana Frederick
7. Evidence-Based Principles from Psychodynamic and Process-Experiential Psychotherapies
Keith J. Edwards and Edward B. Davis
Part 3: Evidence-Based Psychotherapeutic Treatments for Couples and Groups
8. Preparing Couples for Marriage: The SYMBIS Model
Les Parrott and Leslie Parrott
9. Christian PREP: The Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program
C. Gary Barnes and Scott M. Stanley
10. The Hope-Focused Couples Approach to Counseling and Enrichment
Jennifer S. Ripley and Vickey L. Maclin
11. The Marital Conflict and Restoration Model: Empirical Evidence for Pain-Defense and Grace-Trust Patterns in Couple Reconciliation
James N. Sells
12. Marital Couples and Forgiveness Intervention
Frederick A. DiBlasio
13. Christian-Accommodative Group Interventions to Promote Forgiveness for Transgressions
Julia E. M. Kidwell and Nathaniel G. Wade
Part 4: Reflecting on Evidence-Based Treatments
14. Promising Evidence-Based Treatments
Everett L. Worthington Jr., Joshua N. Hook, Eric Johnson and Jamie D. Aten
15. Conducting Clinical Outcome Studies in Christian Counseling and Psychotherapy
Joshua N. Hook, Everett L. Worthington, Jr., Jamie D. Aten and Eric Johnson
16. Evidence-Based Practice in Light of the Christian Tradition(s): Reflections and Future Directions
Eric L. Johnson, Everett L. Worthington Jr., Joshua N. Hook and Jamie D. Aten
List of Contributors