In recent decades, pastoral counseling has become one of the most solicited aspects of the pastoral ministry. Many pastors today combine both disciplines theology and counseling in their ministries. For most of them it is impossible to go back to school and enroll in a counseling program, but they still want to be proficient in doing counseling or pastoral care at church. That is why we should be thankful for books addressing the topic of counseling. The book Therapeutic Expedition: Equipping the Christian Counselor for the Journey (Thomas & Sosin, 2011) is one of those books that pastors will find extremely useful.
The book is divided into three sections. Section 1 The Heart of the Helping Process addresses foundational counseling issues. This section serves as an introduction the counseling discipline and preliminary themes anyone doing counseling should be familiar with. Section 2 Basic Helping Skills focuses on the skills everyone in the helping profession needs to know and use with the counselee. Counseling skills will determine the proficiency of the counselor and the course the therapeutic relationship will take. The fact this book provides readers with information about counseling skills is of great value. Section 3 The Helping Process covers technical aspects of the counseling process such as case conceptualization or conducting assessments. That might be the most professional sections as it is devoted to aspects pertaining to the clinical or professional counseling discipline. However, anyone in ministry will benefit from this section as well.
Chapters come accompanied by activities at the end of them. These activities will help readers to reflect and analyze what has been previously read. In addition to that, the book comes with online resources that consist of videos showing negative and positive examples of counselor using counseling skills. The videos are arranged by vignettes and are included in almost every chapter. The authors write in a professional manner and, at the same time, accessible to anyone.
One of the most remarkable aspects from this book is the order and sequence it offers. Chapters are carefully arranged so readers can follow a logical sequence.
Though this book may result intimidating for the quality of the writing and the professional aspects it encloses, I would recommend this book not only to professional Christian counselor but also to those who have not been introduced to the counseling ministry and would like to start getting familiar to counseling terms and ideas. In other words, this book can be used as both an advance counseling book and an introductory counseling book.
I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.