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Upcoming Events and Conferences

Christian Flourishing and Meditation: A Day-Conference with Joshua Knabb


September 30, 2022,  9 a.m. 4 p.m.

Houston’s First Baptist Church – Downtown campus (1730 Jefferson St., Houston, TX 77003)
Online Streaming Available

What makes people flourish? Over the past 20 years, secular psychotherapy and psychiatry have been leaning more and more towards Buddhist models of flourishing and mindfulness meditation, and they work. However, Christianity has been helping people flourish for centuries using prayer, contemplation, and distinctly Christian meditation with God at the center of the process.

Joshua J. Knabb, PsyD, ABPP, one of the most prolific authors and productive researchers in Christian psychotherapy and counseling today, will be in Houston to discuss Christian flourishing, and how it differs from contemporary alternatives, and to train therapists and laypeople in the practice of distinctly Christian, evidence-based kinds of meditation. A Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Psychology, he is the Director of the Psy.D. program in Clinical Psychology at California Baptist University, as well as the Editor of the Journal of Psychology and Christianity. He has written Faith-based ACT for Christian ClientsThe Compassion-Based Workbook for Christian ClientsContemplative Prayer for Christians with Chronic WorryChristian Psychotherapy in Context, and most recently, Christian Meditation in Clinical Practice.

Half-day and full-day registration is available for mental health professionals and interested laypersons.

Register Today

Conference Schedule

Before the Conference: Friday a.m. (8:15 a.m. – 9 a.m.)

  • 8:15 a.m. — Donuts, coffee, and juice
  • 8:40 a.m. — Devotional by Rev. Mark Ball, Missio Dei Anglican Church

Session #1:  Friday a.m. (9 a.m. – Noon)

Flourishing in the Christian Tradition: Communion with God, Christian Contentment, and Christian Gratitude

Lunch Break (Noon to 1 p.m.)

Free box lunch

Session #2:  Friday p.m. (1 – 4 p.m.)

Christian Meditation in Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Four-Step Model for Anxiety and Depression

See full session details and descriptions below.

Conference Pricing

Therapists (who want CEUs): $100 half day / $160 full day
(3 CEUs for half day; 6 CEUs for full day)
Laypersons, Ministers, Psychologists, Therapists (who don’t want CEUs): $30 half day / $50 full day
Students: $15 half day / $25 full day

Accommodations

For those needing a hotel room, please contact Regina Codner at Houston Marriott-Westchase at 713-735-2755 or rcodner@marriottwestchase.com to get a room for $89. Just mention you’re attending a Houston Baptist University conference.

Session Details

Session 1

Flourishing within the Christian Tradition: Communion with God, Christian Contentment, and Christian Gratitude

For over half a century, flourishing has been a focus of interest in psychology. As an example, psychology of religion researchers have often examined spirituality as a correlate of well-being, with findings commonly revealing a positive association (Park & Slattery, 2013). In these widespread efforts, researchers frequently focus on a “universal” approach, that views spirituality outside irrespective of any religious community. Yet, some authors have argued […]

 

Past Events

 

The Amazing Contributions of Paul C. Vitz to Christian Psychology, Part 2: A Webinar with Dr. Paul C. Vitz

June 3, at 1pm CST | By popular demand, we are excited to have Dr. Paul C. Vitz join us for part 2 of The Amazing Contributions of Paul C. Vitz to Christian Psychology!

Register Now

Paul C. Vitz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology at New York University, one of the most original contributors to Christian psychology over the past 40 years, is the author of a number of seminal Christian psychology books, including Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship, a devastating critique of humanistic psychology, and Sigmund Freud’s Christian Unconscious, a Christian psychoanalysis of Freud that turned his avowed explanation for religion on its head, by demonstrating his public ambivalence towards God was rooted in the complexity of his family-of-origin, especially his poor relationship with his father. Since retiring from NYU, he has taught at Divine Mercy University, a Catholic graduate school of psychology, while working on, with the help of his colleagues there, A Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person: Integration with Psychology and Mental Health Practice, one of the few, distinctly Christian models of therapy ever developed.

The Amazing Contributions of Paul Vitz to Christian Psychology: A Webinar with Paul Vitz

April 29, at 1pm CST | Our next webinar will feature Paul C. Vitz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology at New York University, one of the most original contributors to Christian psychology over the past 40 years. The author of a number of seminal Christian psychology books, including Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship, a devastating critique of humanistic psychology, and Sigmund Freud’s Christian Unconscious, a Christian psychoanalysis of Freud that turned his avowed explanation for religion on its head, by demonstrating his public ambivalence towards God was rooted in the complexity of his family-of-origin, especially his poor relationship with his father. Since retiring from NYU, he has taught at Divine Mercy University, a Catholic graduate school of psychology, while working on, with the help of his colleagues there, A Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person: Integration with Psychology and Mental Health Practice, one of the few, distinctly Christian models of therapy ever developed.

Register Today

Diagnosing “the Gap” in the Christian Heart: A Webinar with Warren Watson

March 11, at 1pm CST | Warren Watson (LICSW, ret.) will be sharing with us a dimension of diagnosis usually left out of Christian counseling: evaluating the difference between a counselee’s “professed theology” (the theology a counselee consciously believes) and their “functional theology” (the theology they actually live out in their daily lives). Watson believes that helping Christian counselees recognize this gap is key to their progress, and without it, they simply can’t address what’s preventing them from getting better. We might consider this kind of diagnosis an example of Christian psychodynamic therapy. Register Today!

Lecture with Cathy Loerzel

You’re invited to come hear author and therapist Cathy Loerzel on Friday, January 21, at 7 p.m. She has recently co-authored Redeeming Heartache with Dan Allender, an excellent example of practical Christian psychology/counseling. The lecture will be held in Hinton 209 on the HBU Campus. Refreshments will be available at 6:30pm on the second floor. Please RSVP to gideon@hbu.edu if you plan to attend in person. You can also watch live on HBU’s YouTube Channel 1.

Webinar with Sandra Wilson

A webinar on December 3, 2021 at 1pm Central Time.

Sandra Wilson is a speaker, former therapist, now a spiritual director, and a renowned author of three Christian psychology/counseling classics: Released from ShameHurt People Hurt People, and Into Abba’s Arms. For those who register before Friday, December 3, we’ll send a copy of one chapter from each book, since we’ll be discussing her books, as well as her more recent work as a spiritual director.

Sandra Wilson Books

Is It Well With My Soul? Confession & Lament Conference

Confession & Lament in Christian Soul Care

The Psalms invite us to put our most difficult experiences into words and share them with God. Research on therapy has found psychological benefits from journaling and talking with others who are safe and empathic. The Gideon Institute sponsored a two-track conference where we heard from therapists, pastors, theologians, and sufferers speak about addressing sin and suffering by talking with God and others. It was held on October 29-30, 2021 in partnership with the Julianna Poor Memorial Counseling Center of Houston’s First Baptist Church. Held live at the Downtown campus of Houston’s First Baptist Church, speakers and attendees will be able to attend in-person or online. Access to the video recordings will be sent to registrants or can be purchased below.

Conference tracks:

  1. Therapist Track: Four sessions on Fri afternoon, Oct 29, starting at 12:30pm, & Friday evening at 7pm with singer/songwriter Andy Gullahorn and Christian mental health advocate, Kay Warren.    $100 includes 3 CEUs
  2. Laypersons/Ministers Track: Friday evening at 7pm, Oct 29, with Andy Gullahorn and Kay Warren, & four sessions Sat morning, Oct 30, starting at 8:30am.    $25

Students can attend the entire conference for $25.

The Friday evening concert and talk only, with Andy Gullahorn and Kay Warren, is just $10.


Purchase Conference Recordings

Therapist Track

Confession and Lament in Christian Therapy

Friday, October 29

10:45-11:30am

Rev. Greg Brown, Spiritual Director, Impact 360 Institute Time of Spiritual Preparation, Meditation, and Prayer

11:30am-12:45pm: Lunch on our own

12:30 pm Worship & Welcome

1pm Opening session

Welcome:  Michael Cook, Director of the Gideon Institute of Christian Psychology &  Counseling 

Opening Session:   Eric Johnson & Adam Mason Is It Well with My Soul? Why Confession & Lament are Therapeutic

2pm Workshops for Mental Health Professionals, Session 1

Rick Marrs, Ph.D., LPC, Professor of Pastoral Care, Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis Lament, the Theology of the Cross, and Christian Soul Care in the 21st Century

Natalie K. Pickering, Ph.D., BCC, MISCP, High Places Coaching and Consulting Therapeutic Confession: A Consideration of Barriers, Bridges, Do’s and Don’ts 

Diane C. Lamberson, LCSW-S, Gideon Counseling Center, HBU Hidden Crosses – The Impact of Bearing Burdens Alone on the Body of […]

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