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Books They Like: Pastoral Counseling

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Books They LikeWelcome to Books They Like, where preachers are asked what books they recommend on certain topics. This time, I ask,

“What books would you recommend on the topic of pastoral or ministerial counseling?”

Shane Robinson (chickamaugachurchofchrist.com) recommends the ‘Quick Reference Guide To’ counseling series by Dr. Tim Clinton (denominational). “I’ve found these to be invaluable. Each topic has a portraits section, definitions and key thoughts, assessment questions, wise counsel, action steps, biblical insights, and a prayer starter. I find these books interesting to just sit down and read. They are very practical and helpful for initial counseling sessions. I have the Quick Reference Guide to Biblical Counseling, Marriage and Family Counseling, Sexuality and Relationship Counseling, and Counseling Women. I do not have the latest of the series, The Quick-Reference Guide to Counseling on Money, Finances & Relationships. There is also a new book coming out in October called The Quick-Reference Guide to Addictions and Recovery Counseling.” 

Adam Faughn (faughnfamily.com) recommends Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters (2007) by Meg Meeker (denominational). “I recommend this book because I see so many homes where this one relationship is frayed (at best) and basically destroyed (at worst). Dads need to read this book and see just how strongly a daughter wants a relationship with a father who will really stand up for her, love her, and (yes) discipline her.”

J. Randal Matheny (randalmatheny.com) recommends Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (2008) by David D. Burns (secular). “This popular treatment of cognitive therapy has many points in common with the Biblical principles of doing right regardless of feelings. One learns to identify cognitive distortions, i.e., wrong-headed thinking. Warning: At points it has a bit of vulgar language.” He also recommends Telling Yourself the Truth (1980) by William Backus and Marie Chapian (denominational). “This is the ‘baptized’ version of cognitive therapy which the authors call ‘misbelief therapy.’”

Richard Mansel (richardmansel.com) recommends Boundaries: When To Say YES, When To Say NO, To Take Control Of Your Life (1992) by Henry Cloud and John Townsend (denominational). “Few books are more important in helping people gain control over their lives and relationships. We all need order in a chaotic world.” He also recommends Now That You’re Engaged: The Keys To Building A Strong, Lasting Relationship (2006) by H. Norman Wright (denominational). “Since I love premarital counseling, I thought I would include this excellent book. Dr. Wright covers almost every area of marriage and I often return to this book in my studies.”

Steve Higginbotham (preachinghelp.org) recommends Quick Scripture Reference For Counseling (2001) by John G. Kruis (denominational). “A very helpful book providing Scriptural reference to call upon for nearly every counseling issue.” He also recommends Too Close To The Flame (1999) by Dr. Gregg Jantz (denominational). “This book addresses ways to avoid and recognize sexualized relationships. Especially helpful in view of how many preachers stumble into sexual sin through counseling.” Lastly he recommends Competent To Counsel (1975) by Jay E. Adams (denominational). “This book offers a nouthetic (i.e. counseling based on the Bible) approach to counseling.” 

Neal Pollard (preacherpollard.wordpress.com) recommends Christian Counseling (1988), by Gary R. Collins, Ph.D. (denominational). “This has been a go-to resource for me for most of my preaching life. It is comprehensive, with each chapter and issue broken down the same way: a case study of the subject, the Bible and the subject, causes of the problem, effects of the problem, counseling’s role in that problem-solving, preventing the problem, and then a summary and conclusions about the subject. I also recommend Boundaries in Marriage (1999) by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend (denominational) as a resource for marriage counseling. The book emphasizes personal responsibility through “ten laws of boundaries to marriage,” then emphasizes several biblical values to help establish boundaries to protect your marriage. Third, I recommend Making Things Right When Things Go Wrong (1996) by Dr. Paul Faulkner. The core thesis of this book is that we choose and determine, through acts of will, our attitudes and outcomes to a great extent. This has been a very practical help in doing personal counseling (one on one) and is super as a give away and for assigning homework. Finally, I recommend Stronger Than Ever: Heavenly Advice For Earthly Life (2008) by Jason Jackson. This is a good inspirational resource, excellent giveaway, and practical tool that is well-written and compellingly interesting. It is diverse in the subjects handled and has been of practical help from several to whom I have either given it or recommended it (based on feedback I have received).”

Let’s keep this conversation going. What books would you recommend?

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One Response to Books They Like: Pastoral Counseling

  1. Matt Carver June 27, 2013 at 10:24 AM #

    1.) Caring for People God’s Way- eds. Tim Clinton, Archibald Hart, and George Ohlshlager. Gives a systematic, step-by-step counseling process for the most common range of counseling situations: personal/emotional issues, grief, trauma, suicide, abuse.

    2.) Effective Biblical Counseling- Dr. Larry Crabb. Used as a textbook for counseling in some schools. Provides background on human problems and their causes and then offers a general model for biblical counseling that can be employed across all counseling issues.

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