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David PowlisonMike Emlet

When people try to be helpful but aren’t

July 16, 2016


In this episode, Andrew Ray talks with David Powlison and Mike Emlet about advice that goes wrong. Their discussion is in response to a listener’s question: “We are expecting a child who was just diagnosed with a severe disability in the womb. It is a very serious condition, and we have brought it to our church family for prayer. While most of our friends and family have been helpful in praying and expressing sympathy, we are having a hard time dealing with those people who, though they think they are being sensitive with the words they say, are in reality being very insensitive to our cares and concerns right now. How does a person respond to others who think they are being helpful, but really aren’t?”

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David Powlison

Author, Speaker

David Powlison served as CCEF’s executive director (2014-2019), a faculty member, and senior editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling. He held a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary. David wrote extensively on biblical counseling and on the relationship between faith and psychology. His books Seeing with New Eyes and Speaking Truth in Love probe the implications of Scripture for how to understand people and how to counsel. The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context explores the background and development of CCEF’s mission. David is survived by his wife Nan, their three children and spouses, and seven grandchildren.

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Mike Emlet


Mike is a faculty member and counselor at CCEF, where he has served since 2001. He holds a doctor of medicine from the University of Pennsylvania and a master of divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary. Prior to joining CCEF, Mike worked as a family physician for eleven years. He has particular interests in working with ministry leaders and with those who struggle with anxiety, depression, and OCD. He has published numerous books, including CrossTalk (New Growth Press, 2009), Descriptions and Prescriptions (New Growth Press, 2017), and Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners (New Growth Press, 2021).

Mike Emlet's Resources

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