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Even Caring Families Encounter Problems...but Healthy Families Seek Solutions

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Dear Friends,

Welcome to our February CFI newsletter.  Our goal for our newsletter is to bring relevant articles, announcements and links to issues related to families, marriages, parenting and mental health concerns.

This month's newsletter:
  • Mr. Eric Clements writes an article about the value of Hope in counseling and in responding to life circumstances. 
  • Dr. Dale Doty, Ph.D. will be hosting a PREPARE/ENRICH training seminar in Tulsa on April 2, 2010.  An article about the utility of the PREPARE assessment tool is included in this newsletter.  For information on how to register for the training, click here
  • Lastly, we also want to announce a suicide-prevention resource for members of faith communities.  Dr. Tim Doty, Psy.D. has co-authored a Guidebook that is now available through

Hope in Counseling

CFI logo Hope is a big word.  It is what keeps us going. It is something that helps us cope with bad times and it is the essence of what we celebrate in good times. It is something that is often lacking in those who seek out counseling.  Lately, I have realized that one of my primary goals in counseling is to assist in instilling a sense of hope.

Hope is the confidence that something better is to come.  Whether it is that grief will pass or that we can turn a struggling marriage around or that survival will actually occur, hope helps us to persevere.

A lack of Hope steals our motivation.  It wrecks our energy and it halts any progress.  Without hope, we have no reason to do anything.  This is why it can be one of the most devastating symptoms of depression.  Hopelessness is the lie that tells us "things cannot improve, in fact they are likely to get worse."  We can take harbor in the fact that it is just that, a lie.

We serve a God of hope.  Look at 1 Corinthians 13:13  "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."  I must admit as I have contemplated faith, hope and love, it has been common for to highlight faith and love and overlook hope. That's like trying to construct a two sided triangle.  Faith is dependent on hope.  Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for..."  If we have no hope then we have no reason to love.  Without hope, following the Christian faith offers us very little.  With hope, our faith offers us, and the world, everything, including an eternity with the absolute source of love.

Just as the eternal optimist needs to be reminded that it isn't always going to be pure bliss, the person caught in the grips of crisis and grief, needs hope to remind him that this season will also pass.  Better times are to come. 

Eric Clements, M.S., LMFT

Premarital Counseling With the PREPARE/ENRICH Customized VersionCFI map
Christian Family Institute has been training mental health professionals, pastors, and lay counselors to do premarital counseling for over 30 years.  We are strong believers that such premarital preparation can improve relationships and reduce divorce rates.  One tool CFI commonly employs to strengthen relationships and marriages before they begin is the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment inventory.

I look back at the old versions of this test and am amazed at the changes that it has undergone over these many years.  I first met Dr. David Fournier, an early developer of the inventory in 1977 when he was pilot testing PREPARE in Kansas City.  Little did I know how significant our relationship would later be, and what an important role PREPARE would serve in our work.

This last year, PREPARE underwent another major revision.  It is now going to be known as PREPARE/ENRICH Customized version, instead of PREPARE 2000.  Several major changes in the instrument are immediately apparent.  One change is that all the instruments are combined.  Another change is that this version can only be taken by computer.  When a counselor agrees with a couple to utilize this version, a private login account is established allowing the parties to take the inventory online.  The initial items inquire into the status of the couple's relationship, such as whether they are engaged, living together, or married.  Other items inquire about age and other factors.  The answers to these questions determine which banks of questions are relevant and will be administered to the couple.  Each couple takes a "custom" version of the assessment. 

The outcome results are immediately obvious.  Separate reports are generated for counselors ("facilitators") and couples.  Reports include a massive amount or information about the couple and their relationship, no matter what stage of relationship the couple may be in.  This enables couples to make important informed decisions, including commitments to grow and change. 

Another important aspect of the PREPARE/ENRICH inventories is the increased emphasis on interactive feedback and therapeutic exercises.  For those trained in this approach, tools for helping couples grow are immediately available to meet the couple's needs.

CFI will be providing workshops to train new users of the PREPARE/ENRICH Customized Version, and to update those already trained in PREPARE 2000.  Watch CFI's website for dates and times.  Also, check out theLife Innovations website for more information.

by Dale R. Doty, M.S.W., Ph.D.

To sign up for Dr. Dale Doty's PREPARE/ENRICH training workshop on April 2, please click here.

Suicide Prevention

Approximately 30,000 suicides occur in the United States each year.  For every suicide, there are at least six people profoundly and intimately affected. 

Our churches and  faith communities promote protective factors for people who may be experiencing a suicidal crisis. Faith communities are a source of hopefulness for many people, a place to experience sadness and joy, and a place to find and offer forgiveness.  This guidebook assists members of faith communities in knowing how to assist in the prevention of suicide; in knowing how to respond in the midst of a suicidal crisis; and in responding after a suicide loss.

Read more about Suicide Prevention resources on Dr. Tim Doty's website.

Take a moment to order a copy of The Role of Faith Communities in Suicide Prevention: A Guidebook for Faith Leaders for you and your faith community today. We can all play a role in preventing suicide.

The Role of Faith Communities in Suicide Prevention: A Guidebook for Faith Leaders
by Doty, Psy.D. Timothy by Carson J Spencer Foundation
Our Price:$9.99
Buy Now

On a Lighter Note

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Disclaimer:  The views of cartoons do not necessarily represent the views of Christian Family Institute or its staff.  They are for comic relief and are intended for entertainment purposes only.

If we can be of service, please contact CFI to set up a time to consult with one of our counselors.  We also provide psychological assessments and evaluations for ADHD and educational needs as well as pre-marital evaluations and counseling.  To view our full range of services, please visit
Timothy Doty, Psy.D. on behalf of
Christian Family Institute

Our Staff includes:
Dale R. Doty, Ph.D.
William B. Berman, Ph.D.
G. Bowden McElroy, M.Ed.
Eric L. Clements, M.S.
Jill E. Butler, M.S.
Salley Sutmiller, M.S.
Lois K. Trost, M.S.W.
Jamie Brandon, M.S.
Amber R. Sherrell, M.S.
Timothy D. Doty, Psy.D.
Stephen Harnish, M.D.

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Christian Family Institute | 6846 S. Canton Ave, Suite 501 | Tulsa | OK | 74136