*Note: To access PDF versions of the activity pages from this book, please click on this link and use the password found in the back of your book to access the download.
Knowing how to approach children and teens in counseling can be a challenge. Learning to enter into their world and draw them out can sometimes feel impossible. But with Julie Lowe’s Building Bridges—a practical workbook of expressive activities to do with kids and teens in counseling—you will find the biblical tools you’re looking for.
Anyone who has ever heard a child say, “I don’t know” in answer to a question about what they are thinking and feeling or about why they acted a certain way, will be thankful for these thoughtful, biblically wise, and creative ways to engage young people. Julie Lowe, drawing on decades of experience in counseling children has compiled helpful, practical ways to speak the gospel into children and teenager’s lives. By building bridges with young people, we can build bridges with them to the Lord.
With over fifteen years of counseling experience and by working as a registered play therapist supervisor, Julie Lowe understands there is a need to speak truth and hope into the lives of children and teens in a hands-on, meaningful way. That’s why the activities and reproducible worksheets in Building Bridges can be used over and over in multiple contexts.
As part of CCEF’s Helping the Helper series, this workbook walks counselors, teachers, parents, and caregivers through the rationale for expressive activities, provides examples, and then shows counselors how to do it themselves. Upon the purchase of this product, customers will be given access to downloadable, colorized versions of each of the interactive charts and graphics, with the option of creating printable posters for their ministry. By pointing to the Lord through expressive mediums, counselors and youth workers will be able to reach kids and teens in a unique, biblical way.
Julie Lowe, MA, is a faculty member at CCEF and a licensed professional counselor with nearly twenty years of counseling experience. Julie is also a registered play therapist and has developed a play therapy office at CCEF to better serve families, teens, and children. Julie is the author of Child Proof and Building Bridges, as well as the minibook Helping Your Anxious Child. Julie and her husband, Greg, have six children and serve as foster and adoptive parents.
“It is impossible with a few words to capture the love, wisdom, and practical helpfulness that splashes across every page of Building Bridges. If you are a parent and you want to know how to love and be God’s tool of change in the lives of your children, you should read this book. If you are a teacher, children’s counselor, or in children’s or youth ministry, this book is absolutely essential for you. As a father of adult children, I read Building Bridges with gratitude for the many that it will help, but also with sadness that I didn’t have it when our children were young. We cannot lose another generation of vulnerable children, made in the image of God, to the evils of life in this broken, groaning world, and for this reason, I enthusiastically commend Building Bridges to you.”
Paul David Tripp, Pastor; author; international conference speaker
“‘Tell me about your problems,’ rarely gives us access to children because words can elude them when emotions are complicated. Julie has given us creative and engaging means of drawing out a child's heart.”
Edward T. Welch, Faculty and counselor, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF); author of A Small Book about a Big Problem
“Counseling children and teens provides unique challenges to even the most gifted biblical counselors. Children and teens think and operate differently than adults, and connecting with them and understanding what lies within their hearts requires distinctive skills. Building Bridges is here to help. Julie Lowe has provided an excellent resource to explain the why, what, and how of connecting the truths of Scripture with the hearts of children and teens. Counselors, teachers, parents, Sunday school workers, and youth ministry workers will all benefit from the wealth of knowledge and tools in this work.”
C.W. Solomon, Executive Director, Biblical Counseling Coalition
“What a treasure Julie has given to the church and to parents in her latest book, Building Bridges. With the conviction that every child is an image bearer of the living God, Julie offers practical exercises, tools, and methods to draw out your child in conversation. In a culture that is quickly forgetting the art of conversation, Julie draws our gaze back to Scripture and shows us Jesus’s heart for children. I am confident this book will bless and impact many families for the kingdom of God.”
Jonathan D. Holmes, Executive Director, Fieldstone Counseling; pastor of counseling, Parkside Church
“Truth be told, children and adolescents who are struggling with life often leave parents, teachers, youth ministry staff, and counselors mystified. Julie Lowe understands this and has written a book that is intended to fill in the gap between the theologically profound and the how-to practical. Building Bridges grounds the process of counseling children in a model that is not based on behavioral modification language but on the language of the gospel. Parenting, after all, is the most challenging form of discipleship that there is. Building Bridges provides the reader with a pattern of entering and exploring the life of a child and in that context winning their trust, providing hope to their heart, and offering a pathway to change.”
Jeffrey S. Black, Professor and Chair, Department of Counseling & Psychology, Cairn University; licensed psychologist; director of counseling services, Oasis Center
“Building Bridges fills a profound gap in biblical counseling literature and is by far one of the most informed, thoughtful, and practical guides I have ever read on counseling children and teens. Lowe’s creativity in transitioning the riches of biblical counseling and theology into a practical form that helps counselors effectively draw out the hearts of some of our most cherished is unmatched. As a practitioner of almost twenty years, this book serves as a much needed and appreciated gift!”
Jeremy Lelek, President, Association of Biblical Counselors
“Now and again, an exceptional book comes out that will prove to be a classic on a topic. Julie Lowe’s Building Bridges is bound to become a classic biblical counseling resource for helping children and teens. Julie packs gospel-centered, grace-saturated truth in every chapter and ends the book with a trove of helpful exercises and worksheets. Pastors, youth and children’s workers, and parents should get a copy, read it, and deploy the wisdom from its pages.”
Marty Machowski, Pastor; author of The Ology, Parenting First Aid, God Made Boys and Girls, and other gospel-centered resources for church and home
“For those of us who sometimes feel a bit lost in knowing how to winsomely connect with and get to know the hearts of the children we counsel, Julie Lowe has given us a very helpful resource. Building Bridges is full of extremely useful ideas and activities for gaining entry and speaking God’s truth into the lives of hurting children. Anyone who wants to grow in their skills in counseling children will want a copy of this book.”
Amy Baker, Editor of Caring for the Souls of Children, Faith Resources
“Julie Lowe’s Building Bridges brings biblical ministry to children to a new level of understanding and practice! This tool will become standard fare in BJU Seminary’s course on counseling children and adolescents. Packed with case wisdom, biblical insight, and creative activities, this is the finest text available for discovering and ministering to the hearts of children in the counseling room. I highly recommend it.”
Jim Berg, Professor of biblical counseling at BJU Seminary; executive director of Freedom That Lasts®, a local church-based addiction recovery program; author of Changed Into His Image, God is More Than Enough, Essential Virtues, and Help! I’m Addicted
“Today there is a cacophony of voices, whether books, articles, or blogs bellowing, ‘This is how you parent. This is the secret formula to make your kids turn out right.’Into this riot steps Julie Lowe. Eschewing false promises, Building Bridges offers wisdom—a broad framework for understanding children and their struggles as well as practical strategies for connecting with them. A triumph!”
Benjamin Crawford, Psychiatrist at Riverside Counseling Center
“This book is as theologically rich as it is practical. Julie takes great effort to be biblically sound in her approach to counseling and also takes just as much effort to give detailed examples of practical exercises to engage children. For any parent or youth worker that's struggling to reach a specific child or student, this book will be a great resource.”
John Perritt, Director of Resources for Reformed Youth Ministries; author of Mark: How Jesus Changes Everything and Insecure: Fighting Our Lesser Fears with a Greater One; editor of the Track series
“Genuine love begins with taking the time to truly know someone. This is especially true as we seek to love those God calls us to counsel and minister to. In Building Bridges, Julie Lowe provides a treasure trove of practical activities and illustrations that are specifically designed to help us know and speak the truth of the gospel to the children and youth God has placed in our lives. I am eminently more prepared to love the children in my church (and in my home) as a result of having this resource.”
Scott Mehl, Pastor, Cornerstone Church of West L.A.; author of Loving Messy People
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This book is becoming a wonderful tool that I pull out weekly for my own heart, conversations with other parents and with my three children. I find myself at bedtime thinking "what activity could help us in talking about what happened today?" Julie's expertise shines through and I am so grateful for this workbook.