Forthcoming Book on Counseling Couples

I have a new book co-authored with James Sells coming out in April of this year. It is titled Counseling Couples in Conflict: A Relational Restoration Model. This is how InterVarsity Press Academic describes it:

Most therapeutic approaches, especially those of a cognitive orientation, are not very effective in dealing with high conflict relationships–couples often heading toward divorce by the time they seek help.

Counseling Couples in Conflict is a resource for counselors and therapists who want to be ready for these uniquely difficult cases. Utilizing a relational conflict and restoration model Mark Yarhouse and James Sells point the way beyond the cycle of pain towards marital healing.

Here is the Table of Contents:

Part I
1 Marriage at a Crucial Stage of Existence
2 Three Fights in One
3 Marriage Is an Us
4 Pastoral and Counseling Boundaries: Invested but not Overinvolved

Part II
5 Pain and Defense
6 Offense and Injury
7 Grace and Justice
8 Empathy and Trust
9 Forgiveness

Part III
10 The Expressive Art of Sexuality
11 The Product of Art: Children and Parenting
12 Sexual Infidelity
13 Divorce and Blended Families
14 Substance Abuse and Behavioral Addictions
15 A Graceful Conclusion

And here are a couple of nice endorsements:

“Addressing the concerns of professional counselors and pastoral counselors alike, Sells and Yarhouse offer a biblically-based, theological-grounded and therapeutically-sound model for working specifically with couples in conflict. I recommend this book for beginning counselors and for seasoned colleagues in the field. It definitely has a home on my bookshelves.”

—Virginia T. Holeman, Ph.D., professor of counseling, Asbury Theological Seminary, and author of Reconcilable Differences

“The institution and even the definition of marriage continue to be in turmoil and the subject of debate and controversy within our culture today. Yet, the Scriptures portray marriage as a beautiful metaphor of the union between Christ and his bride, the church. As such, couples face not only the challenges and obstacles inherent in any human relationship but must also contend with the spiritual forces of darkness that seek to destroy this image. Discord, pain, misunderstanding and hurt are inevitable. Counseling Couples in Conflict offers a solid integration of biblical principles and counseling skills with clinical theory that helps foster relational wholeness. Practical case examples are utilized throughout to illustrate key points and provide a balanced model for restoration. Whether a pastoral counselor or a professional mental health clinician, this book is an essential resource for anyone doing marital work.”

—Eric T. Scalise, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, Vice President for Professional Development, The American Association of Christian Counselors

Mindfulness and Sexual Identity Therapy

Here is the abstract from a new article I co-authored with Dr. Erica Tan. It is on the use of mindfulness in Sexual Identity Therapy, and it was just published in Psychotherapy.

With the increasing relevance of sexual minority concerns, including the process of navigating sexual and religious identities, clinical practice has focused on helping sexual minorities address methods of self-expressio…n that are most congruent with the client’s values. Sexual Identity Therapy (SIT) (Throckmorton & Yarhouse, 2006) has been developed to assist individuals who are seeking to address potential conflicts between religious and sexual identities by focusing on personal congruence. To facilitate this process, the practice of mindfulness is applied. As an adaptation from its spiritual origins, mindfulness is used to facilitate the treatment of various disorders, such as chronic pain, substance abuse, and depression. It has also been the crux of several different third-wave cognitive and behavioral therapies that consider the “…context and functions of psychological phenomena” (Hayes, 2004, p. 5) for the purpose of helping clients to develop “…broad, flexible and effective repertoires” (p. 6). In this instance, mindfulness is applied to SIT to assist individuals with same-sex attraction to become nonjudgmentally aware of their thoughts and feelings related to same-sex attraction such that they are able to experience their attractions in an open and honest manner without feeling compelled to either dismiss or augment these attractions. Mindful awareness of same-sex attraction facilitates congruence because there is less emphasis on changing behaviors, thoughts or feelings, but rather, changing the relationship the individual has to their experiences of same-sex attraction so that they are experienced as neutral, as opposed to aversive.