In marriage, oppression occurs when one spouse seeks to control and dominate the other through a pattern of coercive, controlling, and punishing behaviors. Abuse is not a marriage problem. As a result, traditional marriage counseling will likely cause us to do more harm than good. In this course we will seek to understand the distorted and dangerous beliefs of an oppressor that require us to have a distinctive counseling approach. To minister and care wisely for people ensnared in abusive relationships we must understand abuse biblically, know what God says about it and how he calls us to participate in his rescue. In Counseling Abusive Marriages a biblical counseling model will be presented that will conceptualize abuse and provide guidance for how to wisely minister in these difficult and overwhelming situations.
You will study physical, spiritual, sexual and emotional abuse and how each uniquely impacts a victim and their children. You will walk away with tools for assessing the extent and severity of abuse, ways to discern the deceptive behaviors of an oppressor, plans for providing protection, strategies for church engagement as well as practical counseling approaches for both the oppressor and the oppressed. Lectures and readings will provide the essential conceptual elements for organizing and understanding oppressive & abusive elements and how the gospel penetrates and applies. Through the use of written work, discussion and case studies you will learn how to connect the gospel to these overwhelming and complex dynamics.