Pre Cons

Morning Workshops – 8:30 – 11:45 AM

001: Safe and Secure: Protect your Ministry from Burnout and Moral Failure

W. Jesse Gill, Psy.D.
Psychological Health Affiliates

Attachment is God’s design for human relationships. Attachment theory states that we need safe haven relationships to turn to when we are in need. Securely attached people know how to vulnerably access these relationships. They know how to lean on God, depend on trusted others, and tune into their own signals of need. This combination bolsters them against burnout and moral failure. Counseling and pastoral ministries place huge emotional demands on us as caregivers. Come learn how to apply these attachment principles to safeguard your counseling or pastoral ministry.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. Study the principles of Safe Haven and Secure Attachment in order to assess the quality of their own attachment style and support network
2. Identify the unique interaction between sexual needs and attachment needs so they can establish appropriate boundaries in their helping ministries
3. Develop an action plan to enhance or increase their own attachment supports for ongoing fellowship, accountability, and self-care

002: Marital Satisfaction: It’s a Choice, Not an Outcome

Ted Cunningham, MACE
Woodland Hills Family Church

Enjoying marriage is a choice, not an outcome. As a couple, you decide your way into fun… you don’t stumble into it. Stop looking for fun and start creating it. Life can be difficult, challenging and painful, but you’ve been blessed with a spouse to journey with you through it all. Scripture says, “Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 9:9). God did not give you your spouse to be the grind; He gave you your spouse to be a companion to through the grind. You do not need to choose between life and spouse—choose both. When couples stop enjoying life and marriage, they blame each other as the source of the problem, question their compatibility, repeat mistakes and develop patterns, close their hearts, isolate from others, doubt their futures, and explore other options. Pastors, coaches, professionals and spouses need simple, easy-to-follow solutions for couples to increase marital satisfaction.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. Identify eight, common symptoms of a couple who no longer experiences marital satisfaction
2. Be able to articulate a comprehensive marriage plan that prepares singles, encourages newlyweds, and equips married couples with the communication skills necessary for lifelong marital satisfaction
3. Be able to articulate the details of the Daily Delay, Weekly Withdrawal and Annual Abandon, and learn how they increase marital satisfaction through quality couple time

003: Christian Carditive Therapy: Working with the Heart of Christian Clients

Eric Johnson, Ph.D.
Society for Christian Psychology

According to Christianity, the heart is the deep center of human life and experience. Therapy that works with God created the human emotion system so humans could evaluate the world the way He does. Because emotions can be unpleasant, many parents discourage certain emotion experiences, handicapping their children’s emotional abilities. Christian emotion-focused therapy seeks to use the resources of Christian salvation to bring healing to the soul through the emotions so the emotion-system of the Christian can flourish the way in which it was intended.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. Understand the role of human emotions in healthy human functioning and how the defenses compromise that functioning
2. Grasp how relationship with God and others can undermine defenses and promote the healing of emotions
3. Learn how to use the Christian story and resources of Christian salvation to facilitate healthy emotions and undermine the defenses

004: The Road Map: Counseling Strategies that Work to Repair an Emotionally Destructive Marriage

Leslie Vernick, M.S.W.
Christ-Centered Counseling and Coaching

There are no perfect marriages and all relationships contain some sin and suffering. However,
the training counselors and pastors receive to help troubled couples does not specifically
address issues of domestic abuse or identify the subtle dynamics of other emotionally
destructive attitudes and behaviors. Studies show that one in four Christian women reports
being in an emotionally destructive marriage, yet we are ill-equipped to handle these situations
in a competent and compassionate manner that helps both victim and perpetrator.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. Be able to identify the difference between a difficult marriage, a disappointing marriage,
and a destructive marriage… and know when the line is crossed
2. Learn three, common mistakes people-helpers make when working with this population
that cause more harm to individuals and couples in distress
3. Identify four, distinct stages of therapy and the goals necessary in each stage for destructive
patterns to be broken so the marriage can be healed

005: Sexual Integrity in a Sexually Chaotic World

Jim Cress

Sexual integrity is under assault in our culture today. Our churches and counseling offices are
being impacted by pornography, infidelity, and sex addiction like never before. The problem is
at pandemic levels, yet there is a great deficit concerning a proven plan to deal with the
devastation in the lives of men, women, and families. Surface level advice, strategies,
accountability groups, and sermons only scratch the surface of the depth of this sexual
brokenness and bondage problem. This workshop will help attendees gain a deeper
understanding of the impact of family of origin, neurobiology, attachment, trauma, sin, and the
high-octane nature of addiction to Internet pornography. A proven, practical, biblical, research-
informed treatment plan for sex addiction will be presented as well.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:

1. Present a clear overview of the scope of the problem of pornography, infidelity, and sex addiction in the Church
2. Explore how family of origin, trauma, attachment, sin, and addiction impact the brain, body, and soul of a person, and gain a clearer picture of how sexual acting out is a futile attempt to medicate traumatic wounds
3. Implement a proven clinical and biblical treatment plan for counselors and pastors to safely, effectively, and successfully help those struggling with pornography, infidelity, and sex addiction


Afternoon Workshops: 1:30 – 4:45PM

010: Building Smart Stepfamilies: Preventing Re-divorce through Ministry and Counseling

Ron Deal, M.MFT.

The step-couple divorce rate remains alarming. Therapists often feel overwhelmed when treating blended families given their complexity and relational dynamics. This workshop will explore the key relational challenges leading to stepfamily distress and how therapists can effectively treat the expanded stepfamily system. In addition, data from the National Survey of Stepfamilies (more than 50,000 couples) will be presented and implications for preventing divorce and strengthening stepfamilies discussed.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. List numerous family process dynamics that are different in stepfamilies than in biological families
2. Describe how attachment, loss, and loyalty issues create competing attachments and barriers to family integration
3. Identify practical therapeutic procedures in working with remarried couples and stepfamilies

011: Strength-based Parenting: Building Stronger Families

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

Scott Hawkins, Ph.D.
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd.
Lynchburg, VA 24515

Adolescent behavior can leave parents feeling fearful, anxious, helpless and, often, hopeless—struggling to find a way to deal with the turmoil. This workshop will help participants learn how to teach parents effective strategies for identifying their children’s inherent strengths and how to parent from this foundation of knowledge.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. Be able to identify core strengths in human personality
2. Be prepared to develop a plan/strategy for parenting based on each identified strength within the adolescent
3. Understand the importance of focusing on strengths vs. problematic behavior

012: The 10 Commandments of Broken Relationships: Communication, Decision Making and Conflict Resolution

Eric Scalise, Ph.D.
LIV Enterprises & Consulting

Great marriages are never built on a 50-50 investment when it comes to active participation or commitment, but only when each spouse is willing to give 100% in order to create a win-win relationship. This session is designed to resource counselors and lay helpers with proven strategies that will help cultivate the right environment to enhance two-way communication, balanced decision making, and effective problem resolution. Biblical principles and insights will be explored to provide a solid foundation for success.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. Identify and articulate effective communication skills needed for a healthy marriage
2. Discuss how to incorporate 10 core principles in helping couples create a win-win relationship
3. Develop a biblically-sound orientation that fosters true intimacy within the marital dyad


013: Emotionally Focused Therapy 2.0: New Horizons and Trends

Sharon May, Ph.D.
Safe Haven Relationship Center

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) has swept the marriage field providing a revolutionary therapeutic model for effective couples counseling. The EFT model makes sense of a couple’s distress and provides the counselor a “map” to help a couple foster a “safe haven marriage.” This pre-conference will provide an update on what’s new in EFT and focus on counselor techniques and interventions when working with couples.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. Overview of the most recent research and updates of Emotionally Focused Therapy
2. Identify EFT’s key steps that foster lasting change
3. Review of the main interventions and case studies that illustrate change moments

014: Love after Marriage: Getting Beyond Empty, Loveless, and Stale Relationships
Dan Seaborn, M.A. and Peter Newhouse, Ph.D.
Winning At Home, Inc.

Connection is at the heart of healthy relationships. Many internal and external stressors can get in the way of true connection. Work and financial stress, a fast-paced schedule, and different communication styles can all impede connection. In this workshop, Dan Seaborn will share best practices for coaching both couples and families to emotional connectivity.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. Name and describe methods for coaching families toward emotional connectivity
2. Discuss best practices for promoting strong connections within couples
3. Review the biggest challenges to emotional connectivity and describe specific interventions for each

015: Families in Crisis: The First 48 Hours Following a Traumatic Event
Jennifer Cisney Ellers, M.A.
Institute for Compassionate Care

Kevin L. Ellers, D.Min.
The Salvation Army

Crisis typically comes as a deep shock to loved ones. Some family crises, including suicide,
death, disappearances, natural and man-made disasters, and acts of violence, can be so
traumatic that they change the chemistry of the brain in the immediate aftermath. This brain
chemistry change can cause decision making to become overwhelmingly difficult. Throughout
this tumultuous time, caregivers can provide emotional and practical support that minimizes
further secondary wounds to survivors.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
1. Identify what can be done in the first 48 hours to two weeks following a crisis to help minimize further secondary wounds
2. Understand how to provide both emotional and practical support in the immediate aftermath of a crisis
3. Explore common issues and