A couple months ago Ann and I submitted this proposal to speak at the 2005 American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) annual conference. Competition is stiff so if we are chosen to present this workshop it certainly would be a great honor. If not we can live with it and keep learning and doing what we do. We should find out this week.
The Good News About Infidelity
AACC 2005 World Conference ~ Take Me To The Cross
Ben Wilson, M.A., L.P.C., Ann Wilson, M.A., L.P.C.
Abstract: Our presentation will teach pastoral counselors how to guide couples who are rebuilding from the chaos of infidelity. We know this process not only from counseling couples, but also from our story of redemption after an affair. We will illustrate the process as Crucifixion, Tomb Time and Resurrection.
Objective 1: Crucifixion: Participants will learn to help couples connect with and express the pain, confusion, shock and trauma following the revelation.
Objective 2: Tomb Time: Participants will learn to keep couples engaged during the crucible of the unknowns while exploring relational dynamics.
Objective 3: Resurrection: Participants will learn to lead couples in regaining friendship, trust, and intimacy to experience the glory of redemption.
Education/Experience that qualifies us to present on the topic of Infidelity: We are qualified based on three criterions: personal experience, education and training, and counseling and speaking experience.
Personal Experience: Ann’s affair was revealed in September of 1994. During the subsequent counseling and reflection Ben was able to name his emotional affair. We have been through the chaos of the revelation, battled through the two steps forward one step back healing process. We have experienced and continue to experience a deeper relationship in our marriage post affair. We have dealt with anger, grieving our losses, restoring trust, rebuilding a healthy sexuality and knowing our God on a deeper level individually and as a couple.
Education and Training: We have both obtained Master of Arts in Counseling degrees from Colorado Christian University. Ben was also a Graduate Assistant with group supervision under Dr. Larry Crabb (as his schedule allowed) for two years. We have attended various seminars and trainings on infidelity, marriage, and speaking as illustrated in our Curricula Vitae. Among our instructors and trainers are: Scott Stanley, Emily Brown, Frank Pittman, Ken Davis and Larry Crabb.
Counseling and Speaking: Ben has been counseling since graduating in 1997. Ann began seeing couples with Ben in 1998. Ben met the requirements for licensure in Colorado in January 2000 and Ann did the same in April 2004. Our leadership experience in marriage runs the gamut from premarital classes, marriage enrichment seminars, and groups and seminars aiding couples in recovering from infidelity. We have created a curriculum and led a twelve week Infidelity Recovery Group three times over the past two years at our church. Weekend seminars on infidelity have included teaching and seven hours of the couples communicating one-one with each other. We have counseled together and individually with couples sorting through an affair.
Summary: We have endured the pain, chaos and healing possible following infidelity. For the last decade we have had an intentional focus on learning all we can about rebuilding after an affair. We have received training and education in this area. We have gained the experience in counseling, leading groups, and speaking at seminars that has prepared us to be effective presenters at the AACC World Conference in 2005.