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Professional Counsellors Network

2020 European Professional Counsellors Network

The European Professional Counsellors Network is for professional counsellors and professional counsellors in training. Research suggests that most marital counselling provides only a temporary benefit (12-18 months) for couples receiving services. In this year’s programme, we will examine the biblical framework for marriage and discuss practical tools and strategies developed from this framework. Other sessions include topics touching on sex, sexuality, and parenting.

The programme will feature both lectures and case studies. Case studies are a very helpful way to apply principles learned in lectures and from reading in the real situations that we will meet in counselling.  Participants will be given a written summary of the case prior to the Forum. At the Forum, the cases will be discussed in small groups in order to provide a more participatory style of learning.

Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.



Emőke Tapolyai is a clinical pastoral counsellor and an executive coach. She received her M.A. in clinical pastoral counselling from Ashland Theological Seminary, a division of Ashland University (Ashland, Ohio, USA). She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counsellors (AACC), Hungarian Association of Sexologists, and the Professional Association of Coaches.



Richard Winter is Professor Emeritus of Counseling and Applied Theology at Covenant Seminary in St Louis, USA, and has served as one of the leaders of the European Counsellors Networks.  He is also a psychotherapist and counsellor - who trained in medicine and psychiatry in England before – and was on staff and was director of the English branch of the L’Abri Fellowship for 14 years. He has served in a variety of pastoral and teaching leadership roles in the church.  He is the author of When Life Goes Dark: Finding Hope in the Midst of Depression (IVP, 2012); Perfecting Ourselves to Death: The Pursuit of Excellence and the Perils of Perfectionism (IVP, 2005); Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment: Rediscovering Passion and Wonder (IVP, 2002); and numerous professional journal articles.  He is married, with four children and nine grandchildren.


Don Worcester is in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona. Through his company, True North Consulting, he provides counseling, consulting and coaching services to a wide range of clients and organizations. Don was on Young Life staff for 15 years and continues to provide speaking and consulting services to both their national and international ministries. He has worked in a variety of counseling settings, taught course work at several universities, and along with his wife, Renee, led marriage conferences to pastoral and professional groups. Don completed a master’s degree in counseling from Arizona State University (1984) and a doctoral degree in counseling psychology from Northern Arizona University (1998).


Renee Worcester is the vice president of Life Together, a non-profit organization that provides resources focused on encouraging and equipping leaders for healthy marriages. Renee served on staff with Young Life for 13 years. She has also worked for several business/ministry organizations in the area of human resources, business development and organizational health. Renee is also an active and enthusiastic mother. She and Don have four wonderful children, all doing Life Together in Phoenix, Arizona.



Day 1

The Beauty and Brokenness of Sex: Sexual Addiction
Richard Winter

Sex is a wonderful gift from God to be enjoyed within the boundaries our Creator has revealed in Scripture. It points us to the deep intimacy we will one day have with the Lord. Sadly, it is also profoundly misused in many ways, especially with the constant temptation of pornography.  We easily become addicted to the rituals and pleasure of sexual arousal and release, thus damaging ourselves and others who are caught in the porn and sex trade industry throughout the world. To break free from compulsive and addictive dependence on sex, we need the help of others in the body of Christ to understand the broken places in our hearts.  We also need the grace and forgiveness of our loving Father and a restored vision of the goodness and beauty of God’s plan for our flourishing as sexual beings.

Case Study
Richard Winter

Day 2

Law or Love: Everyday Questions in Raising Kids God’s Way
Emoke Tapolyai

Parenting is one of the biggest challenges in today’s society. Christian parents are challenged daily about the roots of their convictions. What do we believe about discipline, expectations, punishment, and family rules? On the other hand, what does love, forgiveness, encouragement and deep connectedness in a healthy Christian family look like according to God’s word? Christian families are continuously put on the front line of belief systems while their children are at risk. In this lecture and these discussions, participants will talk about these challenges and receive guidelines for helping parents raise healthy children by Biblical principles.

Case Study
Emoke Tapolyai

Day 3

Oneness in Marriage
Don and Renee Worcester

Research suggests that most marital counseling provides only a temporary benefit (12-18 months) for couples receiving services. For many couples, focusing and “fixing” specific problems may leave underlying issues unacknowledged and unaddressed. A healthy union is the best long-term predictor for marital satisfaction. Helping couples build a strong ‘We” relationship can strengthen the foundation of their marriage. This session will focus on the specific kind of union that is designed and intended to sustain healthy marriages.

Conflict in Marriage
Don and Renee Worcester

Conflict is a part of the marriage landscape. Couples who escalate conflict or avoid conflict will experience some measure of isolation and/or separation in their marriage relationship. Unless conflict is acknowledged and resolved it will recycle and continue to cause damage in the relationship. This session will focus on identifying the source of relational conflict as well as the attributions and expectations that often form during the conflict process.

Day 4

Restoration in Marriage
Don and Renee Worcester

How do relational wounds heal? How does a sense of trust, intimacy and tenderness return to a relationship that has been cold and distant? Is there a Biblical provision to address or inform our perspective and practice with clients who have caused hurt and/or been hurt in their marriage relationship? This session will discuss and address these questions in the context of our relationships and marriages.

Case Study
Don and Renee Worcester

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