Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling: A Guide to Brief Therapy, By Everett L. Worthington Jr.

Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling

A Guide to Brief Therapy

Second Edition

by Everett L. Worthington Jr.

Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling
  • Length: 331 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: August 10, 2005
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2764
  • ISBN: 9780830827640

*affiliate partner

Everett L. Worthington, Jr. offers a comprehensive manual for assisting couples over common rough spots and through serious problems in a manner that is compassionate, effective and brief. His hope-focused (rather than problem-focused) approach enables couples to see that change is possible and gives them a new outlook on the future. Combining this with a brief approach that addresses the realities of managed care and tight budgets, Worthington shows how to be strategic in each counseling situation by including teaching, training, exercises, forgiveness, modeling and motivation.

At the heart of the book are dozens of interventions and exercises, including

  • drawing on central values
  • promoting confession and forgiveness
  • strengthening communication
  • aiding conflict resolution
  • changing patterns of thinking
  • developing intimacy
  • cementing commitment

Backed by years of experience and substantial research, hope-focused marriage counseling offers hope to counselors that they can provide help to troubled couples quickly, compassionately and effectively.

This paperback edition includes a new introduction, summarizing the latest findings and developments in marital counseling and applying hope-focused marriage counseling to today's cultural and clinical realities.

"Written most helpfully for pastors who want to adapt a professional model of marital counseling to their pastoral marital counseling . . . very specific and practical."

Journal of Psychology Christianity

"Worthington's work is a rock solid strategy for helping couples progress through crisis, while equipping them with skills to effectively manage future conflict."

Ashland Theological Journal

"This outstanding and practical book is certain to become a standard text of Christian marriage counseling. . . . If your budget allows you to purchase only one counseling book this year, consider buying this as your book."

Gary R. Collins, Christian Counseling Today





Part One: Theory
1. Brief Marital Counseling
2. Bird's Eye View of Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling
3. Using the Strategy to Promote Hope
4. Applying the Strategy to Eight Areas of Marriage

Part Two: Interventions
5. Precounseling Interventions
6. Assessment Interventions
7. Interventions for Drawing on Central Values
8. Interventions for Revisioning a Core Vision
9. Interventions for Promoting Confession Forgiveness
10. Interventions for Strengthening Communication
11. Interventions for Aiding Conflict Resolution
12. Interventions for Changing Cognition
13. Interventions for Stimulating More Closeness
14. Interventions for Cementing Commitment
15. Interventions for Promoting Couple Commencement from Counseling
16. Essentials of Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling

Appendix: Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling with a Young Professional Couple: A Case Study (Terry L. Hight)


Author Index

Subject Index

Scripture Index


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Everett L. Worthington Jr.

Everett L. Worthington Jr. (Ph.D., University of Missouri) is professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a licensed clinical psychologist and former executive director of the Templeton Foundation's A Campaign for Forgiveness Research. Worthington has studied forgiveness since the 1980s and has published more than two hundred articles and papers on forgiveness, marriage and family, psychotherapy and virtue in a wide variety of journals and magazines. He was the founding editor of Marriage and Family: A Christian Journal and sits on the editorial boards of several professional journals. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN and The 700 Club and been featured in award-winning documentary movies on forgiveness such as The Power of Forgiveness and The Big Question. He is the author of seventeen books including Handbook of Forgiveness, Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling and Forgiving and Reconciling.