1st Edition

Christ-Centered Therapy
Empowering the Self

ISBN 9780789012289
Published January 7, 2002 by Routledge
300 Pages

USD $49.95

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Book Description

Help your clients gain access to the transformative grace of God through Christ!

All too often, psychology and spirituality are kept in separate boxes, lessening the power of each to work effective changes. Christ-Centered Therapy: Empowering the Self brings together Christian faith with the Internal Family System (IFS) model. This widely accepted paradigm facilitates psychological healing by showing how the self can become the change agent for the dysfunctional internal system. Christ-centered IFS (CCIFS) combines the power of internal system therapy with the healing power of God for lasting change.

Therapists with Christian clients, faith-based clients, or clients who need foundational grounding will benefit from the psychological and spiritual dimensions of Christ-Centered Therapy: Empowering the Self. This powerful therapeutic model posits a self surrounded by subpersonalities who carry anger, fear, distrust, and other negative responses. When the client’s self takes the leadership role, the self becomes the channel for Christ’s grace for all the subpersonalities. One by one they become empowered, center around self and God, and contribute their resources to the functioning of the whole personality.

Christ-Centered Therapy: Empowering the Self provides exercises and visual aids to help both client and counselor, including:

  • four tools to teach the self to lead effectively
  • worksheets to serve as a structural and visual guide to understanding, developing, and using each tool
  • a “parts map” for client and counselor to use collaboratively
  • cartoons, structural diagrams, and dialogues to illustrate new concepts and procedures
Each chapter of Christ-Centered Therapy: Empowering the Self provides specific help for the counselor, including:
  • case studies showing step-by-step clinical interventions
  • a content summary
  • a clinical outline listing the interventions in sequence
  • an exercise to help counselors discover their own inner and spiritual dynamics
Christ-Centered Therapy: Empowering the Self brings together the diagnostic and restorative power of IFS with the transforming power of Christian spirituality. It is essential for Christian counselors and for non-Christian counselors who are seeking more effective ways to treat Christian clients.

Table of Contents


  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: The Need for a Breakthrough: A Personal Note
  • A New Model of Personality and Treatment
  • Application of IFS in a Christ-Centered Context
  • Those Who Will Find This Book Helpful
  • An Invitation to a Journey of Discovery
  • Contents and Organization
  • Exercise: Beginning the Personal Application
  • Section I: The Internal Family System Model
  • Chapter 1. Basic Internal Family System Concepts
  • Multiplicity and Systems: Two Foundational Concepts of IFS
  • Viewing the Individual As a System: The Second Concept
  • Characteristics of Parts and Self in the Internal System
  • The Three-Group System of Parts
  • Parts Stuck in Extreme States
  • Chapter Summary
  • Exercise: Seeking Your Internal Family System
  • Chapter 2. IFS Therapy: Changing the Internal System
  • Raymond: A Case Study of Changing the Internal System
  • Introducing the IFS Model
  • Getting to Know the Territory
  • Entering the Client's System
  • Depolarizing Part
  • Identifying Chains that Bind the Parts
  • Releasing the Chains by Unburdening and Retrieving a Part from the Past
  • Clinical Outline for Working with Individuals
  • Exercise: Get to Know a Part
  • Section II: The Christ-Centered IFS Model
  • Chapter 3. Christ-Centered IFS Concepts
  • CCIFS, an Extension of IFS Therapy into Christian Spirituality
  • Three Foundational Structures of the Internal System
  • Pam's Spiritual Journey
  • The Internal Struggle of Christians
  • Chapter Summary
  • Exercise: Seeking Your Own Internal Organization
  • Chapter 4. Christ-Centered IFS Therapy
  • Assessing the Appropriateness of Using the CCIFS Model
  • Introducing the CCIFS Model
  • Setting Goals
  • Moving Ahead
  • The Mountain Exercise for Christian Clients
  • Pam's Guidelines for Relating to Ronald
  • Healing with Jesus: Retrieving and Unburdening a Part Stuck in the Past
  • The Healing of a Memory with Jesus
  • Summary of Procedures Unique to CCIFS Therapy
  • Clinical Outline of CCIFS Therapy for Working with Individuals
  • The Mountain Exercise
  • Section III: Equipping Clients with Leadership Tools for Meeting Life Situations
  • Chapter 5. Cleaning the Slate and Keeping It Clean: The Forgiveness Process
  • Step 1: Identifying the Existence of Resentments
  • Step 2: Introducing the Three-Column Worksheet and the Main Principles
  • Step 3: Helping the Client Assess the Usefulness and Timing of the Resentment Process
  • Step 4: Listing the Resentments--The Work of Column 1
  • Step 5: Listing the Effects of Offending Behaviors--Column 2 Work
  • Step 6: Listing Anticipated Effects of Releasing Resentments--Column 3 Work
  • Step 7: Helping the Client Assess Readiness to Release Resentments
  • Step 8: Designing a Ritual for Releasing Resentments
  • Step 9: Assimilating the Effects of Releasing
  • Step 10: Considering the Wisdom of Encountering the Offender
  • The Forgiveness Process with Wrongs Experienced As Adults
  • Keeping the Slate Clean: A Shorthand Victimless Process for Current Situations
  • Chapter Summary
  • Clinical Outline of the Forgiveness Process
  • Exercise: Wiping Your Own Slate Clean
  • Chapter 6. Spotting the Parts' Downward Spiral: The First Sequence of the Flowchart
  • Kirsten's Situation
  • Observing the Client's Need for Leadership Tools
  • Describing the Flowchart and Helping the Client to Assess the Time for Its Use
  • Developing a Rough Draft of the Parts' Survival Sequence
  • Testing the Rough Draft in a Live Situation
  • Lifting the Veil: Connecting th

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