Keynote Sessions

026: Pour Yourself Out

Dan Seaborn, M.A.
Winning At Home, Inc.

The concept of two becoming one is referred to in Scripture as a “profound mystery.” This makes it sound quite difficult to understand and live out in practical ways! In this plenary session, Dan Seaborn will share a visual insight about this profound mystery and give you practical ways to apply it to your relationships and counseling sessions.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
Describe the biblical concept of oneness as opposed to the world’s view of marriage
Study characteristics of strong and healthy relationships
Explore the concept of surrender in a relationship while balancing the fear of becoming a doormat

027: The Science of HOPE

Gregory Jantz, Ph.D.
The Center • A Place of HOPE

In the ongoing pursuit of improved mental health treatment applications, we need every tool available. Perhaps the most powerful, easy-to-access tool is also one of the most misunderstood. Can genuine perception of an idea actually produce measurable and long-lasting physical results for the mental health sufferer? Yes! The Science of Hope has proven that believing and expecting—cardinal tenets of Hope—can actually have positive physical and psychological outcomes for the client. In this enlightening presentation, Dr. Gregory Jantz explains the brain chemistry of Hope, and how treatment professionals can best incorporate the technique into their treatment programs.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
Be able to identify, utilize and explain the brain chemistry generated when someone genuinely believes and hopes for a positive outcome
Be able to identify, utilize and explain how to incorporate Hope as a therapeutic technique for their clients
Be able to identify, utilize and explain the difference between incorporating a “science” therapy (brain chemical changes) and other activity-based therapies

028: Ministering to Today’s Family

Ron Deal, M.MFT.
Smart Stepfamilies/FamilyLife

Families today are growing increasingly complex… but haven’t God’s people always had complex family narratives? How do we minister to, and counsel, families in today’s world and what should our attitude be? This session will explore God’s story of redemption for less-than-perfect families and less-than-perfect ministers and counselors.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
Identify the generational dysfunction of biblical families
Identify how we confuse structure and worth in God’s economy
View marriage and family life as an act of discipleship
Identify how to help people overcome shame and redeem their imperfect family story

029: When Marriage Counseling is Contraindicated

Leslie Vernick, M.A.
Christ-Centered Counseling and Coaching

Marriage counseling is usually the preferred and recommended course of treatment for couples if they are willing. Yet, in certain kinds of marriages, marital counseling is not helpful and can even cause more harm.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
Identify three, specific counseling situations where marriage counseling is contraindicated and may be dangerous
Understand the difference between a difficult marriage and a destructive one
Hold firm to alternative treatment plans

030: The Sexually Healthy Church: Cultivating God’s Truth about Sexuality

Doug Rosenau, Ed.D.
Sexual Wholeness, Inc.

Within Christianity, human sexuality has often been kept very distant from its Creator. In this present culture, the evangelical church has an amazing, transformative sexual message to present. This plenary will develop four, practical scriptural concepts that can help revolutionize the Church’s ability to embrace and teach healthy sexuality. First, God created us as sexual beings so we could imitate and reflect the loving, intimate Trinity. Second, God loves in two ways: inclusively and exclusively. We live primarily in inclusive social sexuality, but there is always the energy and possibility of exclusive erotic sexuality. Third, healthy sexuality wisely stewards our sexual desires and relationships through an inside-out process. Fourth, sexual wholeness depends on being able to reflect our Creator as three-dimensional beings with our bodies, minds, and hearts.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
Identify four, key concepts that can help transform the Church’s attitude toward sexuality
Demonstrate the biblical development of the four, key concepts of human sexuality
Develop skills and methods for teaching the four concepts in counseling and educational settings

031: Soul Care on the Platform of the Passions of Christ: Assisting Persons with the Possession of their Souls

Ron Hawkins, Ed.D., D.Min.
Liberty University

When we think of the Great Commandments given by Jesus, we usually think about the commandment to go into all the world. Jesus gave other commandments that we must also pay attention to. One of these commandments He gave that is often overlooked is the one we encounter in Luke’s Gospel, chapter 21:19: “In patience possess your souls!” In some ways this important challenge from Jesus provides the platform for explaining why we do what we do in Christian counseling. Dr. Hawkins will share insights on how the Church is uniquely situated for equipping people with the resources required for successful engagement with this commandment.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
Increase their appreciation for why Jesus gave this commandment to His followers and the importance of emphasizing this commandment in the ministries of the Church
Identity the elements that contribute to the defining and shaping of the Pre-conversion and Post-conversion soul
Identify the resources that are given by God to Christ-followers that must be paid attention to if we are to be successful in our pursuit of the possession of our souls and counsel others for similar success

032: We Are One: Creating a Safe Space for Married Couples to Reconnect after Trauma and Other Negative Life Events

D. Fredrica Brooks-Davis, M.A., Psy.D.

Traumatic life events have become a daily topic of discussion on local and national news programs and social media. Unfortunately, a significant number of the traumatic events involve incidents of domestic violence, an unexpected terminal illness diagnosis or the sudden death of a child. For some couples, the awareness of the traumatic or negative life event creates anxiety and fear that could lead to divorce if left untreated. To that end, clergy members and faith-based institutions are encouraged to partner with Christian counselors to create a safe space that will help married couples face the traumatic or negative life event together.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. Identify traumatic and negative life events that present unique challenges for married couples
2. Explore how the length of marriage and status of the relationship at the time of the trauma or other negative life event may impact the creation of a safe space
3. Recognize the benefits of establishing partnerships with places of worship, mental health professionals, and medical personnel to provide holistic services
4. Explore “how to” create a safe space for couples to reconnect as one
5. Determine the need for additional research to inform future treatment and partnership opportunities

033: Sex? No Thanks, We Just Had an Argument: Attachment, Intimacy, and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

Sharon May, Ph.D.
Safe Haven Relationship Center

The last thing on a couples mind after an argument is sex, especially when years of unresolved hurts keep a couple wounded and disconnected. This session integrates attachment theory with a faith-based Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) to provide a theory of love and conflict, as well as a map of what to focus on, to help couples repair arguments and restore intimacy.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
Understand how to make sense of a couple’s conflict and intimacy through the lens of attachment theory
Recognize how intimacy is impacted by our attachment style and conflict cycle
Learn the EFT key movements that guide a counselor to move a couple from hurt to connection in order to rekindle intimacy

034: A Call for Digital Wellness in the Church

Sylvia Frejd, D.Min.
Flourish in Life and Relationships

The increasing digital invasion is having a profound impact on marriages and families in our churches. As our technology becomes more immersive, we stand at a critical juncture. Learning how to coach and counsel families in navigating technology use in our digital age is crucial. Research shows many teenagers feel more comfortable going out of their way on social media to obtain advice from strangers as opposed to having a conversation with their families. In this session, we will assess the impact digital technology is having on the bond of families and the unique challenges facing parents today. Parents need to be encouraged and equipped to reclaim conversation in their homes in order to strengthen their attachment bonds, as they will need the strength of their relationships to instill boundaries on their families’ use of technology. Be challenged to consider how your church could help educate and support families to become good stewards of their digital lives.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
Learn the latest statistics on how the overuse of digital technology is rewiring our brains for distraction and, in turn, addiction
Explore the many digital challenges families face today, including: Internet pornography, video game addiction, social media anxiety, and a loss of real-life skills
Consider how your church can help families establish a Digital Wellness Plan to become good stewards of their digital lives, strengthen their family bonds, and flourish in their real lives