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Lay Counseling, Revised and Updated

Equipping Christians for a Helping Ministry
Siang-Yang Tan (Author) , Eric T. Scalise (Author)
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This one of a kind resource provides pastors, church leaders, and non-professional counselors with everything they need to establish a program for lay counseling. This new edition has been thoroughly revised and updated in light of fresh research and outlines a practical training resource that can be used to train and equip lay counselors.

Filled with useful forms and questionnaires, it also provides a helpful and comprehensive survey of the programs and resources that are currently available.

About the Authors

Siang-Yang Tan, Ph.D (McGill University), is Professor of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary and Senior Pastor at First Evangelical Church Glendale in Southern California. He is the author of Coping with Depression and Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective.

Eric Scalise, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, is the Vice President for Professional Development with the American Association of Christian Counselors. A Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with over 33 years of clinical and professional experience in the mental health field he specializes in professional/pastoral stress and burnout, marriage and family issues, leadership development, addictions, and lay counselor training. Dr. Scalise and his wife Donna have been married for 33 years, have twin sons who are combat veterans serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, and three grandchildren.


God designed the healing process to be delivered via our relationship with Him, and our relationship with others. When the Body of Christ is trained to unleash the elements of grace and truth with those who struggle, the result is a restored life, marriage, and family. Siang-Yang and Eric have updated this classic work to reflect the latest research. Also, its thoughtful and comprehensive nature will train the lay counselor to do the job, and do it with excellence. An invaluable tool and highly recommended. -- John Townsend, psychologist, Founder of the Townsend Institute of Leadership and Counseling (

Lay Counseling is a classic that is now even better! It’s the best in the field, and everyone considering the ministry of helping others needs this book. I can’t recommend it enough. -- Les Parrott, PhD, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts

The years of seasoned experience are clearly evident as Drs. Tan and Scalise guide us to an understanding and need for lay counseling ministries. Consider this work as the 'Everything you always wanted to know about lay counseling and needed to ask” book! It is a must have for any church or ministry when it comes to caring for hurting people. -- Linda Mintle, Chair, Behavioral Health, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Liberty University

What you hold in your hands represents the most comprehensive, practical, and useful instruction manual in existence on how to minister effectively to those who are hurting. I only wish I had it when I first started a lay counseling program in a large church in 1982! Trained and credentialed both as a minister and as a clinical psychologist, I can attest to the fact that this classic resource is solid both theologically and clinically. My friends Drs. Tan and Scalise are peerless leaders in the field of training lay persons how to become helpful to others in need. Clearly written, well-researched, and eminently applicable, this book is a must-have for any Christian leaders called to help and serve others. I recommend it heartily! -- Jared Pingleton, Clinical Psychologist, Vice President of American Association of Christian Counselors

This book is a long overdue and invaluable resource that needs to be in the hands of every pastor and ministry leader. Our churches are filled with hurting people, as well as folks who feel called to help others but who don’t know what to do. From a solid biblical foundation, to presenting a practical model, to sharing relevant research, Tan and Scalise give us a much needed step-by- step approach to developing a powerful lay counseling program. This book will encourage you and help you to better “equip the saints to do the work of the ministry.” -- Gary Oliver, Executive Director of The Center for Healthy Relationships

Dr. Tan and Dr. Scalise have provided an outstanding resource in this new revised edition that continues to be the golden standard. Lay Counseling is the most practically helpful and comprehensive resource to train and equip lay counselors, pastors, and church leaders. -- Catherine Hart Weber, PhD, Flourish Center for Wellbeing

Having confidence you are equipped is what you will find in these pages. You will be empowered with your God-given gifts. -- Gregory Jantz, Founder of The Center --- A Place of Hope

Scholarly, comprehensive, readable, biblical, practical, ESSENTIAL. Those are six words I’d use in describing this “must have” guide to launching a lay counseling program. Written by two of Christian counseling’s premier voices, Tan and Scalise’s wisdom and hard work captured here will make your work of launching or strengthening your lay counseling ministry so much easier, clearer, and life-changing. -- John Trent, PhD, Gary D. Chapman Chair of Marriage and Family Ministry and Therapy, Moody Theological Seminary

Finally, Tan’s classic text on Christian lay counseling has been republished! The original book was the best available Christian resource for setting up a lay counseling program---combining submission to biblical authority, a God-centered orientation, a scientist’s desire for evidence, and a practitioner’s heart---that included many examples of helpful forms for use with such a program. The new edition has all that and more. With the help of an able coauthor, it includes the latest relevant research and Christian resources, along with the clinical and pastoral wisdom that has come with the years since its first publication. This book returns to its place as the definitive mainstream resource on lay counseling for Christians. -- Eric Johnson, Lawrence and Charlotte Hoover Professor of Pastoral Care, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Siang-Yang Tan and Eric Scalise have provided simply the best possible resource for equipping lay counselors that you can get. It has everything you need---a history of the movement, biblical models, practical guidance on establishing and conducting lay counseling and caring ministries, discussion of supervision and ethical issues, and even forms you can incorporate. If you are considering lay counseling, this book is absolutely essential. -- Everett Worthington Jr., Licensed Psychologist, Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University

Lay Counseling is a book that needs to be on the shelf of every pastor, counselor, and people-helper. Does it provide us all with the 'how-tos' of meeting people in their brokenness? Absolutely it does. But even more than that, there's nobody I would trust more in my own pain than Drs. Tan and Scalise. As you learn from their knowledge and experience penned on these pages, keep in mind that they are written by two men who genuinely personify the empathy Jesus calls us to. That's what makes this book so special. -- Joshua Straub, Marriage and Family Strategist, LifeWay Christian Resources

Unlike ever before, a profound and heartfelt movement is sweeping Christianity as followers of Christ reach their hands over troubled waters to help follow Christians through their life experiences and problems. Siang-Yang Tan and Eric Scalise, with their many combined decades of biblical wisdom, servanthood, and clinical experience in training lay counselors, provide the most definitive and comprehensive book on lay counseling ever written. Soaked in the heart of Christ and the Scriptures, and seasoned with insights of clinical practice, psychology, and practical “how-to” advice, this book is a foundational “must” for programs and persons pursuing lay counseling. -- Frederick DiBlasio, PhD, LCSW-C, Professor and Therapist, University of Maryland

Lay Counseling: Equipping Christians for a Helping Ministry is one of those books that every pastor and Christian counselor should have. Now it’s even better. Siang-Yang Tan and Eric Scalise have teamed up in this new updated version to create a truly dynamic resource. I cannot recommend it more highly. -- Mark Laaser, President and Founder of Faithful and True, host of The Men of Valor Program

For the past forty-five years I have had the opportunity to work in the counseling field, as both a professional and as the Senior Associate Pastor for Dr. David Jeremiah. I passionately believe that lay counselors are gifted individuals who provide life-changing encouragement and hope-saturated change. This book delivers spiritual wisdom, practical insights, and useful tools that equip counselors to love and care for others as God’s ambassadors. The combined professional and ministry experience of Drs. Tan and Scalise will inspire readers to engage in ministry-based counseling with personal confidence, practical strategies, and sound biblical integrity. -- Ken Nichols, President of ALIVE Ministries

For such a time as this! We need the average believer to become a supernatural encourager to a world that is looking for guidance. From A-to-Z it is all here! Take advantage of it! -- Dan Seaborn, President of Winning At Home, Inc. and Chairman of the Marriage and Family Division of AACC

Sure to be a standard reference and a classic in the years to come, Lay Counseling: Equipping Christians for a Helping Ministry by Siang-Yang Tan and Eric Scalise gives a comprehensive overview and assessment of the development and practice of lay counseling in the church. Completely revised and updated, this book has a solid biblical approach, with extensive research and counseling resources for effectively selecting and training people in helping ministry. Pastors and Christian counselors will find the tools necessary for planning and building a lay counseling program. Highly recommended. -- Ian Jones, Professor of Psychology and Counseling; Chairman, Division of Church and Community Ministries

  • Product Details
  • Page Count: 320
  • Format: Softcover
  • ISBN: 9780310524274
  • Release: October 11, 2016