Day 2 Programme (10 September 2021)
Welcome and Worship
Keynote Session 2
Strategies to Implement Care and Counsel as Mission in the Church
Care and Counsel as Mission is a revolutionary idea, but what does it mean for my church and my ministry? For Christians, and for Christian counsellors in particular, the mission of God should be the motivation, focus, and fulfilment of our purpose. Counsellors are drawn to enter into the complex, intimate, and challenging work of ministering to people who are hurting, broken and struggling with mental health issues. Sometimes we, as counsellors, wonder if our calling is really part of the Mission of God. Our unique ministry calling is not the same as discipleship, spiritual formation, evangelism or holistic mission, but is a particular calling to come alongside others in more traditional ministries by caring for and counselling both Christians and non-Christians as part of the Church’s global mission.
In this keynote we will examine 12 strategies that counsellors can use to help the Church engage in global mental health needs while staying connected to the Church. Due to global research, we now know that mental health needs is one of the leading global challenges facing the world, and we, as part of the global Church, need to have concrete approaches to help the Church respond.
Keynote Session 2 – Live Q&A
Keynote Session 3
Lay Christian Counselling and Missions: A Biblical Model
Keynote Session 3 – Live Q&A
Virtual Booths (Optional)
Workshop 1 – You may attend one of the following:
Establishing Emotionally Healthy Woman Small Group for Churches
In this Emotionally Healthy Woman seminar, Dr Jiji Harner will introduce you to the principles of The Emotionally Healthy Woman written by Geri Scazzero. In this inspiring book in the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality series, Geri shares her story as the wife of the pastor of a growing church and how she learned that she needed to “quit” many unhealthy habits to regain control of her life and joy in her ministry. Geri identifies eight different unhealthy habits that need to be given up in order to find one’s personal God-given path. She shares how to quit being afraid of what others think, quit dying to the wrong things, quit over-functioning, quit faulty thinking, quit blaming, and many more. In this introductory session, Dr Harner will focus on why it is important to quit blaming others as an important step to taking responsibility for your own happiness and finding God’s plan for your life. Dr Harner will emphasise how to create a small group that provides a safe space for ladies to walk these principles and support one another.
A Review of the Empirical Evidence for the Effectiveness of Lay Counselling and its Possible Applications to Discipleship, Evangelism and Caring Ministries
Due to the global need for mental health care and a worldwide shortage of mental health workers, Christian lay counselling ministry may be a potential means for the body of Christ to help meet the needs of people suffering from mental health needs. This workshop highlights the most recent research on the effectiveness of lay counselling and proposes strategies in which lay counselling can be applied to Christian missions specifically to fulfil the Great Commandments and Christ’s Great Commission. The speaker will also cover several ways Christians (lay helpers, leaders, counsellors, mental health workers) can approach and use lay counselling to help build, strengthen, and further God’s kingdom, for example, in the areas of discipleship, evangelism, and caring ministries.
A GRACE-filled Model of Multicultural Counselling
God made everyone unique in their cultural intersectionality. Culturally competent counsellors need to be aware and sensitive to their own enculturatedness with all its inherent pride and shame issues. The counsellors embody cultural humility to experience their counsellees in their cultural embeddedness of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, social class, sexuality, and disability issues. They must be cognizant of how these factors influence the perception of the counsellees’ presenting issues and needs. The GRACE-ful model utilises Recovery Model principles and Solution Focused techniques to empower individuals and families to discover their internal resiliency and resources given by God to overcome the challenges that life brings. The GRACE-ful model employs empathetic pacing skills and GRACE leading skills to promote second-order change. Some of the Solution Focused skills will include highlighting competencies and strengths, looking for exceptions, and step by step scaling solutions to provide the counsellees with hope and the ability to overcome their presenting issues and needs. The GRACE-ful model will also provide pastors with some conversational tools in shepherding their members through these COVID-19 times.
Counselling / Crisis
ACCA’s Model of Post-Disaster Response
Many large-scale disasters are expected in Asia in the last days. After the initial disaster-relief work which focuses on providing food/shelter, medical assistance and psychological first-aid, survivors are soon left to recover for themselves. The Asia Christian Counseling Association’s (ACCA) model of Post-Disaster Response is organised for survivors two to three months after the disaster. The focus of our community outreach is on (a) trauma and grief interventions, (b) hope and resilience building, and (c) spiritual ministry. There is scope to follow up with micro-finance services for small business enterprises and church-planting. The workshop will provide insight into the methodology, operational plan, manpower requirements and budget, using real-life illustrations.
Positive Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality: Leveraging the Resources of Science and Faith for Missions, Social Action and Community Renewal
Over the past several decades, foundational work in the area of the integration of psychology and Christianity has provided us with a common language, shared understanding, and a rich and growing knowledge base concerning human development and behaviour – a knowledge base that incorporates biological, psychological, social, as well as spiritual dimensions. In the wake of a global pandemic, social, political, and racial unrest, and unprecedented human suffering both nationally and abroad, our communities are in urgent need of renewal – biological, social, political, and spiritual renewal. Prilleltensky (1997) argued that knowledge should be a tool of social action. If this is indeed the case, should not the wealth of knowledge created by and available to Christian mental health professionals be leveraged for the sake of missions and more broadly, to benefit society and directly facilitate community renewal? Unfortunately, many of the issues facing society cannot be adequately addressed through counselling and psychotherapy alone (Bulhan, 1985); because of this, we must also consider expanding the scope of our work and professional responsibility beyond individual interventions (Vera & Speight, 2003). Accordingly, this workshop will explore how recent advancements in research on positive psychology and the psychology of religion and spirituality provide a fertile context for faith communities and scientific communities to collaborate together towards the shared vision of spiritual and community renewal, one that is grounded in Christian character and formation as well as empirical science. Implications and applications for future efforts in research, scholarship, and practice will be further explored and developed.
When Suffering Occurs
We as care givers meet many with their sufferings. We attend to them, we join with them, and we endeavour to alleviate their sufferings. Yet, as followers of Christ, perhaps we also ask the commonly asked question, “Why?”
Paul Tripp describes his journey with suffering this way: “It was a surprise visit from an unwelcome visitor, like it is for so many sufferers. I didn’t know that day that Mr Hardship would knock on my door, barge his way in, and take residence in the most intimate rooms of my life… If I could have, I would have evicted this unwanted stranger, but I failed in all my attempts… I spent way too much time trying to figure out why he had knocked on my door and why he had chosen this particular moment, but I never got clear answers to my questions” (Paul Tripp. Suffering. Crossway, 2018).
Academics address this question in the discipline called “theodicy”, the role of God in suffering and affliction. The presenter of this workshop, Wilson Phang, has encountered suffering in his clinical and in his pastoral vocations, in his response to several catastrophes in Asia and Haiti, and in his personal life. From these experiences, his workshop addresses the question of “Why?” from a “causation” approach, as well as from a “purpose” approach. Finally, this approach addresses the impact on praxis for care givers as they render aid to those experiencing sufferings.
Workshop 2 – You may attend one of the following:
Building a Missional Family
God puts us in families to grow in relationship, deepening our love for one another by walking together, sharing together, crying together and growing together as a community. Using family dynamics and family systems, Dr Chackochen explains the importance of a missional family, and the grander purpose for families in communities. He highlights the characteristics of a missional family which include worship, affection, attraction and nurture, along with providing a case study example of the biblical model of a missional family.
An Integrative Approach to Anxiety Disorder in Pandemic Time:
Sandplay Therapy in Christian Counselling
The global (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted many aspects of life, especially the mental well-being of people worldwide, such as with anxiety disorder (AD). AD is characterised by persistent, excessive, and uncontrollable anxiety and worry that affects many psychological, neurological, physiological, functional and relational aspects of life. If it is not treated appropriately, it will trigger the development of other psychiatric disorders. The World Health Organisation’s report of an increase in AD during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused concern. We realise that the conventional approach is not sufficient in answering all the complexity of human suffering. We recognise that counselling and outreach are inseparable aspects in realising God’s mission to bring “koinonia” in the midst of this world, which is the presence and involvement of Christ being experienced. Sandplay Therapy (SPT) is an approach which is found to be effective in treating mental health and able to access the subcortical parts of our brain, but few people are aware that SPT can be used in Christian counselling as part of an integrative approach. In this workshop, we will learn how SPT works and is used integratively in Christian counselling, specifically in addressing AD.
Listening to and hearing stories and experiences of missionaries will drive someone to advocate for the necessity of doing missionary care and training. While some Christians are called to be missionaries, others are called to do missionary care. The Bible urges us to encourage one another, to build each other up, and to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2 & 1 Thessalonians 5:11). Doing missionary care is one of the many ways of showing our love and support for the brethren. It can help the missionaries adjust to the changing and challenging times they are confronting, thus enabling them to fulfil the objectives of reaching the lost for Christ. This seminar workshop will explore the integration of the mental health profession with human resource development and pastoral care, which is known as member care, for the holistic nurturance and development of missionaries. It will focus on the importance of doing missionary care, together with the reasons for missionary attrition, various principles of missionary care, discussing a model of best practice in member care, practical ways of providing missionary care, types of missionary care including guidelines to structure church missionary care, the role of mental health professionals in member care, as well as some tips in caring for missionaries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Counselling / Crisis
Online Counselling: Are We Doing It Responsibly?
Ever since COVID-19 caused widespread disruption to daily life on a global scale, the helping profession has turned to video conferencing platforms in order to continue providing counselling support to clients. As much as technological tools have been of great help in providing needed and continued counselling services to clients, specific client vulnerabilities could be compounded by counsellors’ uninformed use of online facilities. There are, in fact, potential ethical missteps and legal pitfalls to be mindful of. On the other hand, there are also practitioners who have not made the shift and are still meeting clients in person. Nevertheless, online counselling as an option is likely here to stay, like it or not. What, then, do we need to know or do to practise online counselling ethically? This workshop is premised on Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 2:14-15, that as children of God, we are called to be above board and faultless in our conduct and delivery of online counselling, and to not begrudge the preparatory work involved. Specific case scenarios will be presented as examples for considering recommended best practices of established systems in telebehavioural health.
Healing the Wounds of Trauma:
A Programme to Support Hope in Individuals and the Community
Research shows that up to 70% of adults have experienced some type of trauma in their lifetime. The global pandemic has added to this emotional burden, leaving no person without some degree of impact. Mental health experts already observe a significant increase in depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and predict the numbers will rise. In the face of this challenge, God’s people have an opportunity to bring healing to those around them, especially to the local community. Healing the Wounds of Trauma is a holistic and Bible-based approach to help people heal from trauma and that recognises that trauma affects every part of a person: mind, body and spirit. Utilising small groups and trainings, the approach incorporates art, stories, activities, and sound mental health practices to help people engage deeply with themselves, God, and each other. The curriculum is available in over 150 languages and includes material for adults, teens, and children. This workshop will introduce how the material and approach is being used in Thai communities, present the main principles, and share stories of God’s transforming power. Healing the Wounds of Trauma trains and equips lay and professional people to put this method into practice to help individuals and communities experience God’s healing.
“…And the Leaves of the Tree are for the Healing of the Nations….”
This is an interactive workshop involving discussion and participation, with the desired outcome to encourage and challenge delegates to consider their deepening involvement in Christian Counselling as Mission. With Revelation 22:2 as its theme, this workshop will cover the biblical basis of counselling as mission (recognising Jesus’ work in healing, teaching and sending). It highlights the Christian counselling movement that God is raising up in Asia, and the characteristics of this movement. The workshop will address issues such as who can go, in what capacity, (counsellors, supervisors, trainers), stories and inspirational testimonies of counselling as mission, and a challenge to participants to go into all the world with their faith in God and their capacity as a counsellor.
Workshop 3 – You may attend one of the following:
Mental Health Care as Mission: A Means of the Gospel into the World
At the centre of the mission of God is the person and work of Jesus Christ. The power of His death and resurrection is the foundation of healing and wholeness; spiritual, physical, and emotional. As mental health professional and lay counsellors, we are uniquely called to go into the world and participate with God through our skills, knowledge, and character. From the counselling office to local community needs to national crises and disasters to the global pandemic, we are surrounded by opportunities to be agents of God’s mission through addressing mental health care needs. This workshop will look at the role of mental health care as mission by examining some theological and missiological principles in the life of Jesus, discussing how mental health care can be a means of the gospel to individuals and communities, and providing opportunity for idea exchange and story sharing among participants. The purpose of the session is to create space for learning, inspiration, and encouragement to engage more intentionally in the important ministry and mission of mental health care.
Meditation for the Mission-Minded
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3. With this verse as a focal point, this workshop aims to reclaim the lost art of meditation for a peaceful life and fruitful ministry. Dr Gandhi seeks to present a case to rediscover and integrate the discipline of meditation to the discipline of prayer and study of the word. The workshop presents six principles (time, balance, focal intention, holistic reality, prayerful reading, and the examination of ourselves in light of what we read) and four techniques (meditative, harmony-dissonance, imagination, and if-you-were-there) of meditating on scripture.
Challenges on the Mission Field: A Phenomenological Exploration of the Experience and Impact of Traumatic Events on Christian Missionaries
There is a long and rich, albeit at times complex, history of Christian missionaries serving as the hands and feet of Jesus on the mission field. However, this work is not without potential risks for the missionaries themselves, especially when exposed to events and experiences that may adversely affect their physical, psychological, and/or spiritual health and well-being.
This presentation will explore the findings of seminal research into the impact of traumatic experiences on missionaries. This doctoral thesis explored the psychological, physical and spiritual impact of seven Australian missionaries serving in the Asian context using Interpretive Phenomenology and semi-structured interviews. The research was conducted with the view to investigate if experiencing traumatic events could result in missionaries leaving the field earlier than expected.
The findings contribute to a broader understanding of the complexities of serving on the mission field, psychologically, physically, spiritually and relationally and how the effects of traumatic experiences contribute to attrition. These findings have implications for organisations who are involved in the training and sending of missionaries to the mission field and their ongoing care practices.
Counselling / Crisis
Using Inner Healing Counselling
Can Inner Healing be used as a counselling tool in mission work? In mission countries, especially in Asia, the concept of counselling is often misrepresented and misunderstood. The idea that a person needs to see a counsellor is seen as the person being “crazy”, and there is a stigma attached to the whole concept of counselling. This view is evident in Christian churches as well, and even when churches are open to counselling, they often do not know how to integrate spirituality and counselling. This gap can be resolved using Inner Healing as a counselling tool. Inner Healing has a component of integrating spiritual concepts such as prayer, and acknowledging the Holy Trinity’s participation in the framework of counselling. The Inner Healing process is summarised using the 5 R’s: Revelation, Remembrance, Repentance, Renouncement, and Renewal, which are all biblical concepts. In conclusion, if we are to look at the whole of a person and address the spirit as a core, we must acknowledge and give room for the active participation of the Holy Spirit. Inner Healing allows this within the counselling process.
Reaching Youths in Missions and in your Home Country
A paradigm shift is necessary to look at vulnerable youths from a strength-based and resilience perspective. Instead of identifying them as youths-at-risk, we can look at them as youths-in-need.
This workshop seeks to empower Christian counsellors to apply strengths-based interventions with the youths they work with; and how to collaborate with relevant parties in working with the youths-in-need for quality mental health care on the journey to recovery. The aim is to transform the youths-in-need through individualised care and counselling support so they can meet life’s challenges, develop resiliency, and live a purpose-driven life.
Insights into Bringing Counselling into Mission Areas
In mission areas, awareness of the benefits of counselling is low. However, with social education to raise awareness, demand can be very high. This is because people are frequently unaware of problems they are in. Bringing counselling into mission helps people better themselves in ways they never thought possible.
This talk provides insights and tips, from understanding a big picture of how counselling can help improve a community in mission areas, to the small details of preparation, learning the language and culture, entering into personal lives, and interior growth. These go hand-in-hand with Christian values and activities that seek to improve lives; from unawareness to light, and from “fated unluckiness” to empowered freedom through the Good News. Importantly, as Christian mission is always two ways, counselling in mission also benefits the counsellor. This talk highlights the importance of being open to being helped while helping.
With limited resources, all these may seem humanly impossible. But this workshop shows how this can all come together quite intrinsically when God is included, growing further when the next generation of counsellors in mission comes from the local people themselves.