Beyond the Book with Dr. Kellen: “Counseling Women”

Counseling can feel intimidating. How can we gain confidence and learn to think well about helping women navigate life’s battles from a biblical framework? Offering us a way forward, “Counseling Women: Biblical Wisdom for Life’s Battles” is a nuanced guide designed to equip counselors and ministry leaders to counsel women.

Written by Kristin Kellen, Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS), “Counseling Women: Biblical Wisdom for Life’s Battles” combines biblical and theological wisdom with Kellen’s rich practical and professional insight. In this Q&A, learn from Kellen about how Counseling Women can help you develop the dispositions, skills, and biblical perspective necessary to counsel women well:

What is the book about?

This book is designed to be a textbook and resource for counseling women, specifically considering the nuances of walking with women through various life struggles. It is intentionally written from a biblical framework but incorporates helpful contemporary secular therapeutic practices.

What motivated you to write the book?

While there are a few solid resources already in this area, all of them are over a decade old. Also, most texts geared towards counseling women are either solely ministry-based from a biblical counseling perspective or they do not account for one’s faith at all. This book aims to walk the line in between. While mostly for those working in ministry, it is also beneficial for Christian therapists who seek to bring their faith into their counseling rooms.

What are the greatest challenges to counseling women in the contemporary moment?

The urge to swing the pendulum either towards the “there are no differences between the genders” side or to the opposite, “women are so different and unique that there is no commonality with men.” Thus, when we consider a balanced approach, most of what is written in the counseling world might be helpful, but a good bit needs to be nuanced. This book provides those nuances.

What aspects of counseling women are often overlooked or misunderstood?

Quite often, women are stereotyped or pigeonholed into a particular “type.” For instance, it might be assumed that women are overly emotional, should only aspire to be wives or mothers, or that their roles or gender are the driving factor behind who a woman is. These simply are not true; they are flat understandings of women and the diversity of women in the world. As it relates to counseling, ensuring that women are understood as individuals with their own aspirations and callings is vital to counseling them well.

As it relates to counseling, ensuring that women are understood as individuals with their own aspirations and callings is vital to counseling them well.

How does your approach to counseling women equip readers to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission?

This book first situates women within the context in which God created them and within their own life stages. In order to minister to women in the Church and to bring the gospel to them, we have to understand them! This book helps readers do that more easily.

How has researching and writing the book shaped you spiritually?

This book was a reminder that we as women handle a lot in life, and because of that reality, we often struggle with a lot in life. Whenever I write or teach about counseling, particularly at this breadth, it is a reminder of the brokenness of our world, but also a push towards remembering that this world is not our home. Our God will restore what is broken. I hope that as readers work through this book, they see the hope of Christ in it.


Counseling Women: Biblical Wisdom for Life’s Battles

Counseling Women, by professor and counselor Kristin Kellen, is a biblically grounded resource addressing common struggles that women face. Chapters examine issues such as depression, anxiety, infertility, trauma, abuse, disordered eating, and much more. Undergirded by a strong theological foundation, Kellen interweaves many practices of mainstream therapy alongside Scripture’s teachings to provide a wise and balanced approach. Accessible and deeply practical, Counseling Women will be useful for counselors in various settings and for students in training programs.

April 1, 2022

Paperback, 288 pages

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