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Christian Counseling near Santa Clarita


I've been providing counseling services to the Santa Clarita area since 1997 and in recent years I've noticed that Christian counseling seems to be in increasing demand. When couples contact me about marriage counseling, one of my first questions revolves around their faith and level of commitment to their Christian walk. I can't presume that everyone who calls is truly seeking Christian-based counseling and it's critical that potential clients understand that this type of therapy differs markedly from secular counseling.

Couples come to marriage counseling presenting a wide variety of complaints. But, it’s interesting to note that almost all "marriage issues" can be linked to what Dr. Emerson Eggerichs calls a "lack of love and respect". In his seminal book, Love & Respect; The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs, Dr. Eggerichs explains that in almost all cases where a marriage gets into trouble, there has been a significant decline in the wife's respectful behavior toward her husband and/or a similar decline in the husband's loving behavior toward his wife. I've found over many years in private practice that in almost all the couples I see in therapy, this lack of love and respect is indeed the key issue. A couple will often express a wide range of concerns and painful experiences in the first session, but at the heart of it all is this insidious departure from biblical principles regarding how spouses are to treat each other.
Ten years ago, before Dr. Eggerich's book came out, I would typically spend a great deal of time dealing with each spouse's list of complaints about the other in an attempt to "negotiate" a peaceful settlement. I noticed that such cases often dragged on over a period of months and even years, with a less-than-satisfying end result. The reason, as it turned out, was that the typical presenting problems: communication, intimacy, parenting, and even spiritual issue all had, at their root, this pervasive lack of love and respect between the spouses. Interestingly, the speed with which a couple is able to work through their problems in therapy is directly related to their level of commitment to these biblical guiding principles for marriage.
Most couples don't seek therapy until their relationship is really in trouble. At that point, they are often feeling very hopeless and stuck about their future together. So, my initial objective is to help them develop hope with respect to repairing their relationship. Often, one or both parties are (understandably) tentative about sharing their real thoughts and emotions in the first session; therefore it's essential that I provide a place where it's safe to express long-held hurts and desires. I don't generally spend much time in the first session gathering a lengthy history, as clients who have reached the point where they actually come to a third party for help generally want some tools they can put to use immediately. I've found that it's much more effective to offer clients hope, tools, and a safe place to talk as soon as possible within the therapy process. There will be plenty of time to gradually gather a more detailed history during future sessions as the information naturally arises.
There are many cases where a couple has simply forgotten (or never really understood) the importance of biblical leadership and submission within a marriage and they simply need reminding. I've found that the extent to which a couple is willing and able to obey God with respect to how to treat each other, determines how quickly they are able to resolve their issues and find (or re-discover) the love and peace they seek.
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