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Pastoral Counsellors Network

2021 European Pastoral Counsellors Network

The European Pastoral Counsellors Network is for leaders involved in pastoral care or personal discipleship ministries. The Network will focus on common pastoral issues with the aim of building basic counselling skills grounded in a biblical understanding of, and approach to, the human heart. This year’s programme focuses on the character and spiritual life of the counsellor, understanding how to truly care for those who experience evil and suffering, discipling the whole person, the power of the relationship in counselling, and other topics relevant to those involved in pastoral care and discipleship.

Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.

 

NETWORK LEADER

Jelena Sivulka was born and raised in Serbia, where she got her master’s degree in psychology and in theology. She became a Christian 25 years ago and a few years later got involved in ministry with her husband Greg, planting churches, distributing humanitarian aid, and partnering with Joni and Friends, serving people with disabilities. Jelena has also worked as a counsellor in Serbia’s schools and a social worker, and she is currently working as therapist in a medical clinic. She is the founder and director of the non-profit organisation Hana's Hope. She has been blessed with three children: Benjamin, Sara, and Hana, who has autism.

 

NETWORK SPEAKERS

Diane Langberg is globally recognized for her 47 years of clinical work with trauma victims. She has trained caregivers on six continents in responding to trauma and to the abuse of power. She also directs her own counseling practice in Jenkintown, PA, Diane Langberg, Ph.D. & Associates, which includes seventeen therapists with multiple specialties. Dr. Langberg’s newest book is Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church. Other books include Counseling Survivors of Sexual Abuse, On the Threshold of Hope (with accompanying workbook), In Our Lives First: Meditations for Counselors, and Suffering the Heart of God: How Trauma Destroys and Christ Restores. Dr. Langberg is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Achievements from Taylor University., the American Association of Christian Counselors Caregiver Award, The Distinguished President’s award, and the Philadelphia Council of Clergy’s Christian Service Award. She is married and has two sons and four grandchildren.

 

Pablo Martinez was a European Leadership Forum Steering Committee member for more than 10 years. He currently works as a psychiatrist at a private practice in Barcelona. He has also developed an extensive itinerant ministry as a counsellor, speaker, and Bible teacher. He served as one of the vice-presidents of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA). He filled the role of President of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (1999-2009) and Professor of Pastoral Theology at several theological institutions. His books have been published in 17 languages. His most recent works are Mad or God?: Jesus, the Healthiest Mind of All (Inter-Varsity Press, England, co-authored) and Take Care of Yourself: Survive and Thrive in Ministry (Hendrickson Publishers and DictumPress). For more information see http://www.christian-thought.org.

 

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 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.

 

NETWORK PROGRAMME

Day 1

A Clinician’s Thoughts on Christian Counselling

Diane Langberg

Joint session with the Professional Counsellors Network

This presentation will consider some of the necessary components of Christian counselling. Broadly, we need an understanding of who God is, what it means to be human, and how those two factors relate. We need a clear and deep understanding of evil and suffering, how they injure human beings, and what care for them and health truly look like. One of the foundational aspects of our study and our work should be that both the work of counselling and the person of the therapist are transformed. The character of the therapist matters profoundly. Knowledge, skill, and interventions are needed, but those necessary components must be present in one who bears a likeness to Christ.

 

Discipleship of the Whole Person

Pablo Martinez

Discipleship is much more than an intellectual exercise – this session looks at discipleship in how the truth and love of Christ redeems thought, decisions, feelings, and interpersonal relationships. Growth into Christlikeness is a privilege and a duty of every Christian.

 


Day 2

Geography of the Mind of God with Implications for Counsellors

Diane Langberg

Joint session with the Professional Counsellors Network

The character of the mind of our God should inform our thinking, our living, and our caregiving. The mind of our God came in the flesh so we could see and understand who he is and who he would have us be, first in our own hearts and lives, and second, as we enter into the lives of suffering humanity. Full of compassion, he bent down and walked at our pace. He became little. He slowed way down and sat with us in this “room” called earth. He became like us so we could become like him.

 

The Therapeutic Power of Relationships

Pablo Martinez

What are the best techniques in counselling? How can I learn the practice of therapeutic techniques? These are the most frequent questions asked by beginners. They are eager to learn counseling techniques. Nevertheless they soon discover that the most therapeutic tool is not a good technique, but a good relationship. Indeed, the client’s relationship to the counsellor contains the most powerful forces in the therapeutic process. Change always occurs in the context of a good interpersonal relationship. The techniques you use are of secondary importance compared to your personality and your capacity to be empathic and establish a warm relationship. Here lies the core of all therapy.

 


Day 3

Ten Thoughts for Caregivers

Diane Langberg

Joint session with the Professional Counsellors Network

How do we work with suffering, sin, evil, and darkness – dealing with all of these personally as well as in those who ask us for help – and not become utterly contaminated, looking for care in all the wrong places? We will consider ten characteristics of caregiving, how they can do damage to us, and what the antidotes of our Lord look like.

 

A Christian Understanding of Psychospiritual Problems

Eric Johnson

Human functioning can be disordered biologically, psychosocially, ethically, and spiritually. Therefore, a comprehensive Christian model of psychospiritual problems will take into account Christian teachings on sin, suffering, and weakness in order to address them in light of all of their complexity. Implications for pastoral care, including referral, will be discussed.

 


Day 4

The Spiritual Life of the Therapist

Diane Langberg

Joint session with the Professional Counsellors Network

This topic – not often discussed – is absolutely essential to our work and our lives. We are creatures capable of bearing an image. We are malleable – shaped by what we saturate in. We are shaped by our own histories. We are altered by the histories of those with whom we work. Our clients are shaped by our presence in their lives. Our lives need to be lived and continually changed by a growing understanding of the Cross which leads to worship, by living in the truth, ongoing study of God and of people, the discipline of prayer, and finally ongoing obedience to God as He teaches me, exposes me, and challenges me. We cannot bring life to others unless the light of life of Jesus Christ continually flows through our own lives.

 

Promoting Spiritual Development in Adulthood

Eric Johnson

Where are the wise, loving Christian sages in the church today? Over the centuries the Christian community has developed a number of models of spiritual development in adulthood. We will take a constructively critical look at some of the most important and consider how spiritual maturity can be promoted in the local church

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