Marriage problems can seem especially complicated and disheartening, not only for the couples struggling with them but also for those trying to help. Talking about them with a helper can be difficult, even explosive. In this introductory course on marriage counseling, you will walk away with a working model for how to make sense of marriage problems. You’ll understand simple, basic, and Biblical categories that can handle all of the mess and hardship that marriage counseling and marriage problems will throw at you. You’ll also learn methods that help you to manage and constructively direct the conflict and volatility that are often part of the process. But most importantly, you’ll have a model that in every way connects the truth of the Gospel to everything that you are going to see in marriage problems.



Week 1: Building a Biblical Marriage & Relationship Model
Week 2: The Dynamics of Worship and Relationships
Week 3: Setting the Stage for Heart Change
Week 4: Understanding Relational Dynamics
Week 5: Let’s Talk
Week 6: Conflict: An Opportunity for Growth and Change
Week 7: Moving from Skills to the Heart
Week 8: Man vs. Woman: Understanding Our Differences
Week 9: Wisdom for Abusive Relationships
Week 10: Marital Intimacy
Week 11: Growing Together Over Time
Week 12: Learning from Other Viewpoints



About the Professors

Winston Smith is a faculty member at CCEF where he has served for more than 20 years. He holds an MDiv degree from Westminster Theological Seminary. He has been counseling for twenty years and is the author of Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change through Ordinary Moments. Winston and his wife, Kim, have three children. Winston enjoys reading, listening to music, exercise, chess, and other games of strategy.


Required textbooks

  • Sue Johnson, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.

  • Shelly Smith-Acuna, Systems Theory in Action: Applications to Individual, Couple, and Family Therapy.

  • Winston Smith, Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change through Ordinary Moments.

    New Growth Press, 2010.


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