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Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling: A Guide to Brief Therapy
Everett L. Worthington, Jr.

CONTENTS
1. BRIEF MARITAL COUNSELING…………………..…………………………………..…17 2. BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF HOPE-FOCUSED MARRIAGE COUNSELING ……………….28 3. USING THE STRATEGY TO PROMOTE HOPE…………. ……..……………………….45 4. APPLYING THE STRATEGY TO EIGHT AREAS OF MARRIAGE…………………….59 5. PRECOUNSELING INTERVENTIONS .………………………………….………………75 6. ASSESSMENT INVENTIONS………………..………………………………………...….84 7. INTERVENTIONS FOR DRAWING ON CENTRAL VALUES….……………....……..101 8. INVENTIONS FOR REVISIONING A CORE VISION……………………………….....111 9. INTERVENTIONS FOR PROMOTING CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS……..…..…128 10. INTERVENTIONS FOR STRENGTHENING COMMUNICATION….…………………147 11. INTERVENTIONS FOR AIDING CONFLICT RESOLUTION………………………….168 12. INTERVENTIONS FOR CHANGING COGNITION……………………………….……195 13. INTERVENTIONS FOR STIMULATING MORE CLOSENESS……………………..…213 14. INTERVENTIONS FOR CEMENTING COMMITMENT…………………………….…238 15. INTERVENTIONS FOR PROMOTING COUPLE COMMENCEMENT FOR COUNSELING………………………………………………………………………….…252 16. ESSENTIALS OF HOPE-FOCUSED MARRIAGE COUNSELING …..……………......260

Summary
Secular and Christian marriage counseling resources can be found in libraries and book stores anywhere across the country. Although there is no deficit in the resources available to help couples enjoy their marital journey or assist hurting couples stay married, the effectiveness of most remains to be seen. However, judging from the current divorce rates, you wonder if at all.

Hope-focused marriage is not a new concept, but it is one that Everett L. Worthington has owned and effected over the course of many years. In his recent edition of “Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling: A Guide to Brief Therapy” he again strikes a sweet spot as he continues to expound upon this concept and knocks the ball right out of the park in marriage counseling. This book mainly focuses on building hope in the marriage, whereas God is the author and Lord of the hope that is being emphasized. Hope is broken down into three areas: will-power, way-power, and wait-power. God is the source of all power, including the power to make and hold together a good marriage (p. 31).

This manual is a complete and thorough guide loaded with tools, strategies, intervention plans, and assessments that have been tried and true in successful marriage therapy. It is comprehensive learning tool useful for supporting the counseling in marriage counseling to address realities of troublesome couples.

Furthermore, the guts of this book is to instill hope in the counselor as well as in couples who fall hopelessly to the entrapment of the idea that divorce will make everything better. Initially, it is an appealing option, which appears easier to just walk away. The methodical way in which Worthington addresses marriage for the couples who have given up on their marriage is through the strategies of interventions along with written assessments and informative videotapes. Each intervention provides evidence that it is more tangible than mere talk. The goal is to build new patterns of acting, thinking and feeling both toward each other and toward God. When couples make concrete, active, observable changes, they demonstrate to themselves that they are indeed changing (p.39). This kind of actual change is evidence that conveys hope when there was no before. Bird’s Eye View of Hope-Focused

Six Major Aspects
Therapeutic Relationship: The Key to Effective Counseling. The counseling session can have great benefits for the counselor and the couples provided the counselor is able to establish a good working relationship with each partner from the start. There must be a healthy relational balance on the part of the counselor in order to gain the trust of both the husband and the wife without making either person feel less important than the other. The attractiveness of the counselor...
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