Latest from the Wayne Oates Institute
Applying Solution Focused Therapy to a Military Service Member
A Brief Case Study: Joe, 26, is a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army having joined the military at the age of 19. Three months ago he returned home from his second deployment overseas within a four year period of time. Most recently he served in Afghanistan as an infantry soldier with his first tour being in Iraq. During his seven year career, Joe has been transferred to three bases. Joe has been married for the last six years to his high school sweetheart and together they have two children ages four and two. Joe has been an excellent father and an attentive husband until recently when he started experiencing nightmares and a change in his personality became noticeable. A once fun-loving and easy-going person, Joe has been viewed most recently as tense, edgy, and arguing with his family. He has not been an active father or husband for the past three weeks. Though going to work, he has been speaking negatively of his fellow soldiers, something that has never happened before. Joe’s commander has noticed these differences and has asked him to attend counseling. Fearful that his career is in jeopardy, Joe confides to his wife the recent problems he has been experiencing. Together they seek out a counselor and come to you.
- Published: 11 March 2013
Positive Deviance and Spiritual Care Research
When I met with my surgical oncologist in October one of the things he said to me was, “Whatever you are doing, keep doing it. It is working.” He went on to add that a number of people that share my particular type of cancer, live well and much longer than expected without other medical interventions. So what are they doing that is different? Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know.
- Published: 07 March 2013
Registration is Open for April Seminars
Spring is almost here! And with it comes the first group of spring online seminars at the Oates Institute. This is an exciting lineup of seminars with topics ranging from Coping with Anxiety to Family Systems to Helping Children Grieve to the Power to Bless. The seminars will run April 8-26, with each offer 12 contact hours of continuing education credit for chaplains, counselors, social workers, and pastors. It is a great time and opportunity to participate in continuing education from wherever you are according to your schedule.
- Published: 06 March 2013
Register by April 3 for April Seminars
Wednesday, April 3 is the last day to register for the first group of spring online seminars at the Oates Institute. This is an exciting lineup of seminars with topics ranging from Coping with Anxiety to Family Systems to the Power to Bless. The seminars will run April 8-26, with each offer 12 contact hours of continuing education credit for chaplains, counselors, social workers, and pastors. It is a great time and opportunity to participate in continuing education from wherever you are according to your schedule.
- Published: 06 March 2013
Breathe in the Breath of Life
I often leave this large inner city hospital with stale air trapped like a puddle in a pothole in the bottom of my lungs. I try to take deep breaths as I walk to my car in an attempt to dislodge that laden air and replace it with light fresh air. I say what I was taught to say to the cancer survivors who seek a new way to handle stress, “Breathe in the breath of life, breathe out all anxiety.”
- Published: 01 March 2013
Organizational Science and Gospel in Church Leadership
In a conversation with a colleague last week, I heard myself voice my usual critique of the Presbyterian church’s reliance on the corporate, hierarchical structures of “scientific management.” I trace the trajectory of the current administration of the denomination to the move from offices in New York and Atlanta at the time of the reunion between the two branches that had split at the time of the Civil War. When the new office was established in Louisville in 1987, a consultant from the secular, corporate world was named executive director. That person’s strong Presbyterian identity aside, his appointment was a shift from a long-time practice of hiring people with track records in ministerial leadership. Not for the first time, I should add, was secular organizational culture applied to church organizational design.
- Published: 22 February 2013
Finding Hope When There Is No Cure
What do we say to patients and family members when they have received a terminal diagnosis? What do we say to families when a loved one is in the ER following a traumatic accident? How do we help patients and family members adapt to chronic illness that changes everything about one’s life? How do we help patients, clients, parishioners, or family members find and sustain hope? How might hope transcend what may be a shallow optimism? How can one experience healing that does not include curing? How can we discover our personal narratives of hope and in so doing help others to discover theirs? These are the questions being asked in the March seminar on Finding Hope When There Is No Cure.
- Published: 14 February 2013
All Change Is Not Created Equal
Picking up from last week’s post in which I listed lots of changes in the world and in the church, and celebrated chaos as the path to hopeful change, this week I want to offer a two-part approach to encourage leaders to address the challenges of change.
- Published: 11 February 2013