Counseling Couples in Conflict
A Relational Restoration Model
By: James N. Sells and Mark A. Yarhouse

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Product Details

Most therapeutic approaches, especially those of a cognitive orientation, are not very effective in dealing with high conflict relationships--couples often heading toward divorce by the time they seek help.

Counseling Couples in Conflict is a resource for pastors and counselors who want to be ready for these uniquely difficult cases. Utilizing a relational conflict and restoration model Mark Yarhouse and James Sells point the way beyond the cycle of pain towards marital healing.

About the Authors

James N. Sells (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is professor of counseling and director of the Ph.D. program in counselor education and supervisor at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he has taught since 2005. He is also a licensed psychologist and coauthored Family Therapies with Mark Yarhouse.

Mark A. Yarhouse (Psy.D., Wheaton College)is professor of psychology and Hughes Chair of Christian Thought in Mental Health Practice at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. A licensed clinical psychologist, he serves as an adjunct faculty member of both the Institute for Sexual Wholeness in Atlanta, Georgia, and the psychology department of Wheaton College Graduate School.


The major cause of divorce isn't problems with finances, in-laws, parenting or sex. The major cause is that couples don't know how to deal with conflict around those issues. This long-overdue integrative resource is an invaluable tool and should be in the hands of every counselor. If you want to help couples take their marriage from good to great then you must read this book. It will be required reading for all of my students.
Gary J. Oliver, Th.M., Ph.D., executive director of The Center for Relationship Enrichment and professor of psychology and practical theology at John Brown University
Addressing the concerns of professional counselors and pastoral counselors alike, Sells and Yarhouse offer a biblically-based, theological-grounded and therapeutically-sound model for working specifically with couples in conflict. I recommend this book for beginning counselors and for seasoned colleagues in the field. It definitely has a home on my bookshelves.
Virginia T. Holeman, Ph.D., professor of counseling, Asbury Theological Seminary, and author of Reconcilable Differences
Counseling Couples in Conflict is a clearly written and helpful book based on a relational restoration model. I highly recommend it for pastors, Christian counselors and lay counselors who are involved in helping couples.
Siang-Yang Tan, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary, and author of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective
The institution and even the definition of marriage continue to be in turmoil and the subject of debate and controversy within our culture today. Yet, the Scriptures portray marriage as a beautiful metaphor of the union between Christ and his bride, the church. As such, couples face not only the challenges and obstacles inherent in any human relationship but must also contend with the spiritual forces of darkness that seek to destroy this image. Discord, pain, misunderstanding and hurt are inevitable. Counseling Couples in Conflict offers a solid integration of biblical principles and counseling skills with clinical theory that helps foster relational wholeness. Practical case examples are utilized throughout to illustrate key points and provide a balanced model for restoration. Whether a pastoral counselor or a professional mental health clinician, this book is an essential resource for anyone doing marital work.
Eric T. Scalise, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, Vice President for Professional Development, The American Association of Christian Counselors
What this book does best is make the reader fell like they are receiving profound clinical supervision from a wise and experienced therapist. Making a book feel like a supervision session is a true gift that any clinician can appreciate, especially those who are working in the trenches of marital conflict.
Keri L. Barnett, Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 2012, Vol. 31, No. 4