Hello, and welcome back. I decided to start a series on Christian counseling books. This week I would like to share with you a book that presents how to manage and counsel the hard cases. The book “Counseling the Hard Cases” edited and partially written by Stuart Scott and Heath Lambert (2015) is a book published by Broadman & Holman publishing with the main purpose of providing both biblical and psychological orientation for those who work in counseling settings. This book is also useful for pastors, but I have to say that if you are not familiar with, at least, basic counseling terms and approaches, you will have some difficulties in understanding some terms and interventions mentioned in this book. Other than that, this is a book that every pastor and counselor should read.
It comprises eleven chapters in which different Christian therapists present how they treated hard cases from real stories. The first chapter is devoted to the idea of the sufficiency of Scripture and how the Bible can be sued in every single situation no matter how difficult it is.
After the introductory chapter, the hard cases are explained by the authors. By using pseudonyms, the authors provide the clients’ background and their previous experiences with therapy in order to provide the reader with a context for every case presented in the book. The authors cover different themes such as surviving sexual abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia, or homosexuality from a Christian perspective. The authors explain and develop the intervention they used with every client. They also include the biblical passages and principles they used while working with these clients.
This book is written from a professional counseling perspective rather than from a pastoral perspective, but the Bible is present everywhere in this book. However, pastors may find this book very useful and you will learn more about real cases, as people in our churches might be suffering similar experiences right now. This book will equip you, pastors, with a better understanding about hard cases and how reframe them for a better understanding.
The most remarkable characteristic of this book is that every chapter is written by different authors. That helps reader to have a different perspective and approach based on the authors’ personal orientation and experience. I also like that the authors provide with web site addresses where readers can find more information about a particular issue or even agencies where we can refer anyone who need professional assistance. A weakness that I found in this book is that though it has footnotes almost in every page, there is not a bibliography at the end of every chapter or at the end of the book. That would make it easier for readers to find a particular book quoted by the authors. Other than that, I highly recommend this book to you pastors and counselors, especially if you work in both fields.
Unfortunately for the Spanish speaking population this book is not available in Spanish.The price is very accessible; less than buying a soda in a daily basis. You can buy it directly by clicking here: http://www.lifeway.com/Product/counseling-the-hard-cases-P005704232
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Thanks to B&H publishing for providing the author with a copy of this book.