When Marriage Hurts

shell-756724_1280A while back, a reader asked if I would blog more about my experience with depression in marriage. Since then, the topic hasn’t been far from my mind. Finally, after nine months, I have some thoughts to share.

My husband and I have known each other for about 16 years, and in August we will celebrate 9 years of marriage. Hubby and I have always gotten along very well. We are quite comfortable with each other. Touch being my primary love language, we are frequently and openly affectionate. We touch as we pass each other in the kitchen, as we ride together in the car, as we say goodbye in the morning and hello in the evening. His touch has become so familiar to me, it’s nearly as familiar as my own. Disagreements between us are rare; yelling and snipping almost non-existent.

But… Continue reading

“Biblically” Counseling the Sexually Abused

This is Part 6 in my series on the Biblical Counseling Movement (BCM). Go here for all the posts in the series.

**Content Note: Victim blaming, ignorance of trauma and description of sexual abuse.**

If you’ve been following all the posts in this series, you’ve probably seen how Biblical Counseling would be damaging to people suffering from mental illness. Today, though, I want to show you how biblical counselors view sexual assault and abuse, and how this type of counseling is particularly devastating for sexual abuse survivors. Being a survivor myself, this issue is particularly close to my heart.

If you want something that will keep you awake at night and possibly cause you to hurl your electronic device across the room, reading the G.R.A.C.E. report on Bob Jones University should do the trick. For those unaware of the reference, BJU was recently investigated for their inappropriate ‘biblical’ counseling of sexual assault victims. For the really retch-inducing stuff, I suggest starting around page 70 and reading through page 100. The amount of ignorance and victim blaming these counselors have displayed over the years is almost beyond comprehension. And they have the gall to justify it. Continue reading

The Biblical Counseling Movement: Bait and Switch

This post is part of a series. Go here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Content Note: Discussion of mental illness deniers and their philosophy.

With this post, I want to address some of the confusing and, sometimes, conflicting messages put out by the leaders of the Biblical Counseling Movement (BCM). I call this the “bait and switch” because I think it is being done on purpose with intent to mislead.

Make no mistake: Many of the leaders involved in this movement are outright mental illness deniers. First, they are operating from a 40-year-old biased understanding of psychiatry and mental health, so they are not fully aware (if at all) of modern advances in psychological understanding. (The movement actually discourages counselors from obtaining a comprehensive education in modern psychological theory and practice, lest they become ‘corrupted’ and unconsciously integrate that knowledge into their counseling practice.) Second, the BCM was founded on the idea that mental illness (classified in the BCM’s literature as “problems in living”) is the result of sin. This is the core of the movement’s theology.

But being forthright about that core belief in this day and age makes one look like an ignorant arse and doesn’t get many people in the door. So when addressing the public on blogs or in interviews, BCM leaders throw out some statements to make themselves appear more open-minded than they really are. However, their true beliefs and methods of counseling stay exactly the same.

Let me show you what I mean. Continue reading

The Biblical Counseling Movement: The Tangled Web

Photo by Jenny Downing

This is my series on Biblical Counseling. Click here for Part 1 and Part 2.

In my last post, I highlighted the origins of the Biblical Counseling Movement. One thing I mentioned was that the movement’s founder, Jay Adams, viewed secular education and certification as enemies of biblical counseling. His goal was to create a non-professional counseling practice, deeming only those who had (in his opinion) been thoroughly instructed in the scriptures as “competent to counsel.”

But in a field dominated by academics, it’s really hard to get your views taken seriously without a few letters behind your name. Enter Christian Education Enterprises (CEE).
Continue reading