Clinical Depression Is Real

John ArmstrongCounseling, Personal17 Comments

For years, especially as a young Christian, I was encouraged to deny the reality of clinical depression. I am not completely sure why, though I have some educated guesses, but we seemed to believe that clinical depressions was the result of a sinful choice that the depressed person made which could reversed simply by thinking better and more biblically. I now … Read More

A Pastor Who Learned How to Serve the Homeless On the Streets

John ArmstrongCounseling, Culture, Poverty, Race and Racism, The Church, Women in the Church

For twenty-seven years Deb Richardson-Moore was a journalist in South Carolina. Then, after being a writer, mother and wife, she entered a Presbyterian seminary (Erskine) to become a Baptist minister. After graduating with her M.Div. she accepted a post at a run-down inner-city church, oddly named Triune. It was a place where the homeless routinely gathered for food and clothing … Read More

Common Ground: God's Gift of a Restored Marriage

John ArmstrongCounseling, Marriage & Family

Common Ground: God’s Gift of a Restored Marriage, by Gordon Bals, is a book “God can use” according to best-selling author Larry Crabb. I agree and this is why I endorsed the book by writing: Books on marriage are very numerous, but really good books on marriage are quite rare. This is a really good book! Couples will surely benefit … Read More

Misusing the Proverbs

John ArmstrongBiblical Theology, Counseling, Personal

Perhaps no part of the Holy Scripture has been more frequently abused, at least in my background, than the book of Proverbs. In reading the Bible Through in 90 Days I read Proverbs last week in two days. I was struck again at the obvious: proverbs are general statements that affirm godly values and virtues. The proverbs are not promises … Read More

What’s the Big Deal About Porn?

John ArmstrongCounseling, Sexuality

No subject makes me quite as uncomfortable to speak or write about as pornography. I suppose this is because I know the problem is so profoundly difficult yet I actually know so little about it. I have read very little on the subject and never attempted to counsel porn addicts. I have, rightly I think, preferred allowing those more skilled … Read More

The Problem of Teen Suicide

John ArmstrongCounseling

Boy Interrupted is an HBO documentary film that raises powerful and troubling questions. It asks how a boy can threaten to end his life at 6 and 7 years of age and then actually do it at the age of 15. This documentary, produced by parents who are gifted film artists themselves, struggles to find answers about what kind of … Read More

The Connection Between Medication and Counseling

John ArmstrongCounseling

In the common goodness and grace of God the twentieth century brought real advance in the area of psychiatry. New drugs were discovered and various schools of counseling were developed as knowledge increased regarding the human body and how the mind actually works. But a recent trend does not bode well for patients with psychotic and emotional needs. Health insurance … Read More

Can We Develop a Truly Christian Psychology?

John ArmstrongCounseling

No subject is more divisive, at least in many conservative churches in America, than Christian psychology, or better stated, Christian counseling. One reason for this problem is that Christians who engage the social science of psychology often do a very poor job of submitting their reflections to biblical authority. The result is that there are many Christians doing psychology and … Read More

Did Jeanette Sliwinski Get Justice?

John ArmstrongCounseling

Some court cases strike me as particularly intriguing. Not because they make Court TV, though they might for all I know, but because they involve complex factors in decision making and punishment. One such case in Illinois involved the sentencing of Jeanette Sliwinski yesterday to eight years in prison. Jeanette’s crime was fairly straightforward. She, now 25 years old, got … Read More

Albert Ellis and the Birth of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

John ArmstrongCounseling

Albert Ellis (1913-2007) died a few days age. He was the father of a counseling method called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. When he was only 19 years old he devised a therapeutic technique to help him deal with his personal shyness. He sat on a park bench at the New York Botanical Gardens and decided to speak to every woman … Read More