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2022 Professional Counsellors Network

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    Professional Counsellors
Equipping Christian counsellors with a biblical worldview

The European Professional Counsellors Network is for professional counsellors and professional counsellors in training. This Network is a unique gathering of people with a Kingdom calling to soul care—specifically the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of others. Our theoretical training may include cognitive, behavioral, attachment, relational, or family systems. It may be within Christian, non-Christian, or even anti-Christian contexts, whether in academic, clinical, residential, or social systems settings.

The programme will feature lectures, small group discussions, and case studies. Each lecture will be followed by a time of questions and answers. Case studies will also offer break-out groups to provide a more participatory style of learning.

Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.

Network members should be working in the field of psychology for a minimum of 10 hours a week or a minimum of 7 clients. Students and interns may apply if they are full time students. This Network will examine the biblical framework for Christian counselling and will involve daily lectures as well as case study discussions.

Network Leadership

Lori Pritchard is a therapist in individual, marital, and family counseling. She works with clients who have little spiritual interest as well as those who pursue Christian counseling. She is also involved in prayer ministry and mentoring in areas of education, discipleship, and ministry. She has master’s degrees in theology and clinical psychology from Wheaton Graduate School and has been in practice for 19 years.

Network Speakers

Eric L. Johnson is professor of Christian Psychology at Houston Baptist University, serving in the Gideon Institute of Christian Psychology & Counseling. He taught psychology for 10 years at the University of Northwestern and counseling for 17 years at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to writing more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, he edited Psychology and Christianity: Five Views and was a co-editor of Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World. He has written Foundations for Soul Care: A Christian Psychology Proposal and God and Soul Care: The Therapeutic Resources of the Christian Faith. He was the first director of the Society for Christian Psychology and has been doing pastoral counseling for 20 years. He’s married to Rebekah, and they have two children, Laura and Iain, and a son-in-law, Rich. They have two grandchildren, Cash and Jedi.

Lori Pritchard is a therapist in individual, marital, and family counseling. She works with clients who have little spiritual interest as well as those who pursue Christian counseling. She is also involved in prayer ministry and mentoring in areas of education, discipleship, and ministry. She has master’s degrees in theology and clinical psychology from Wheaton Graduate School and has been in practice for 19 years.

David Van Dyke serves as Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program and Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Wheaton College. He works with people in the relationships and systems that shape us all, specifically related to our relationship with Christ. Every person is constantly imbedded in multiple contexts (e.g., family, culture, church, society) that provide possibilities and constraints. These mutual-influencing areas between the individual and the contexts are the focus of Dr. Van Dyke’s teaching and scholarship. His areas of expertise are working with adolescents and their families, and integration of Christian faith and systems thinking. In addition to his teaching and scholarship, he works in practice at the Center for Family & Relational Health with couples and families in Wheaton. In his personal time, he likes traveling with his family, kayaking with his wife and exploring family history.

Network Programme

Sunday, 22 May

Humanity is in the midst of a sexual and gender revolution. To help the Christian community hold fast to God’s design plan for human life in these areas and also to help our culture begin to question the results of this revolution, we will consider its sources and novel ethical norms, how to reframe value differences about sex and gender, and how to engage our culture winsomely, but without compromise.

This session will consider the practical implications of a Christian understanding of sex and gender by working through a case study and extended group interaction. 

Monday, 23 May

Upon faith in Christ, God bestows upon believers a host of benefits that are to form the basis for their Christian life and therapeutic journey. This session will explore these benefits, which include being declared in union with God’s Son, forgiven and righteous, holy, reconciled to God, a child of God, and beloved.

War, pandemic, personal loss, and daily clinical work often saps clinicians' resources as they work with people experiencing trauma. As we listen and interact, there often is secondary trauma that we experience through this exposure. This session will explore both the symptoms and disciplines to address our secondary trauma. Time will be provided for discussion and practice of these disciplines.

Tuesday, 24 May

Christian therapists are free to do therapy along two tracks: 1) with Christians and 2) with non-Christians. However, regardless of who they work with, it is important that they continue to work from a Christian worldview standpoint, rather than a secular worldview standpoint, even if the client is not interested in pursuing Christianity. What both tracks look like with be discussed.

This session will focus on the Christian therapist. How and when do we use ourselves and our relationships within the context of caring for our clients? This session will explore Biblical foundations for self-disclosure and self-care for clinicians.

Wednesday, 25 May

Kierkegaard, a Danish, Lutheran psychologist and philosopher was the first self-identified Christian psychologist. Among his many contributions to psychology is a brilliant theory of four stages of human motivational development: Aesthetic, Ethical, Theism, and Christian Theism. This session will consider his work and example as a Christian psychologist engaging the culture of his day from a biblical perspective.

Our Network speakers have a wealth of wisdom that goes beyond knowledge because they have lived the content and have mentored others in it. They have transferred it to practice and have challenged us to do the same. This final session will provide an opportunity to reflect together on this rich content and process how we can work to put it into practice in our work as counsellors. It will include time for peer discussion, interaction, and application.