“Counseling Hard Cases”
Formerly known as “Windows of Opportunity”
When: July 11-14, 2017
Where: Nuart, 516 S Main St., Moscow, ID 83843
When Ken Steele was just fourteen years old, he began hearing voices telling him to kill himself. For the next three decades, he was in and out of mental institutions, taking a myriad of medications, being beaten up, raped, abused, used, and ignored. Ken lived a plethora of nightmares with homosexuals, drug addicts, political wolves, and medical practitioners who were more interested in protecting their careers than in helping those entrusted to their care.
Now Ken sits in your office (or next to you at work) asking for help to deal with the voices. Like the woman in the eighth chapter of the Gospel of Luke who, having hemorrhaged twelve years, finally came to Jesus for help, Ken has tried everything he can, and now finally he is coming to you as a representative of Jesus. Ken is hoping to hear an encouraging word and to feel a healing hand from you, the only one he knows who claims to know God personally.
Using memoirs and autobiographies (see below), the Counseling Hard Cases conference will give you the confidence to talk with people like Ken, people who are living in difficult situations in life. The conference will also give you a strategy, format, and process to help these people see and understand who they are in the eyes of God so that they can come to him for help with their problems in living.
Our Counseling Hard Cases conference is an interactive conference. The attendees are expected to read the assigned autobiographies and memoirs with a special view to noting and paying attention to the events of the authors’ lives—especially the defining and pivotal events.
When: July 11-14, 2017
T-Th: 9:00am-5:00pm, with a lunch break
Where: Nuart Theater, 516 S. Main Street, Moscow, Idaho
What: Counseling-in-a-Week/ Counseling Hard Cases is an intense four-day conference which focuses on bringing the love of God to the lives of people who are having a difficult time living in the world God placed them. After learning how to counsel the authors of the books, you will have much more confidence to help those God brings to you.
Who should come: Anyone who finds themselves in situations where they are being asked to help or minister to people who are experiencing problems in living.
What a difficult life situation is: The authors of the books we will be discussing have many different life situations ranging from thoughts of obesity to hearing voices. A hard case is anything that you have difficulty working through. It might be that you have a friend who is depressed, or a friend who is having trouble getting along with others at work. Anything that you find overwhelming as you try to help others is classified as a difficult life situation.
Before you come: Attenders will need to have read the books listed below and be prepared to discuss how they might help the authors of the books were they to meet them in the course of their lives.
The Process: Attenders will be expected to have read the books listed below. As you read, you should imagine that you have been given the opportunity to help the author. With this in mind, you should be thinking about how you might answer these five questions:
- Who is this person? In answering this question the reader/counselor will be expected to be able to answer this question to the satisfaction of the person they are ministering to. The one being helped should be able to say, “Yes, you know me.”
- How am I like this person? The purpose of this question is to help you realize that except for God’s grace in your life, you could easily be just like the person you are trying to help. It keeps you humble, it helps you love the person you are trying to help, and it helps the person trust you.
- What does God think of this person? God loves sinners and he hates sinners at the same time. In this particular instance, how is God thinking about this person? Is there anything God would commend in her life? Is there anything God condemns? Is there any hope or mercy that God holds out for this person?
- What incidents in your friend’s story might you use to help them see their situation from God’s perspective? Everyone views their life through their own eyes and perspective. In order to help people they need to look through the events of their lives, Windows of Opportunity, to discover the condition of their hearts. When they understand that the source of all their problems is inside themselves, they will be prepared to submit to God and have their heart cleansed.
- How might you use these events to help your friend find peace and joy in living in Jesus? The answer to this question will take up the majority of our time. The first three questions will prepare the counselor and her friend to enter into the actual process, but the answer to the fourth and this last question make up the Windows of Opportunity process itself.
- Steele, Ken, The Day the Voices Stopped
- Moore, Judith, Fat Girl
- King, Heather, Parched
- Jamison, Kaye Redfield An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
Welch, Edward, Shame Interrupted
- David Powlison, “How Do You Help a Psychologized Counselee?” Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 15, No. 1, 1996, pp. 2-7.
- David Powlison, “The Ambiguously Cured Soul,” Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2001, pp. 2-7.