The Christian Counselor's Medical Desk Reference, 2nd Edition

Charles Hodges Jr., MD, Editor
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Dr. Charles Hodges Jr. and a team of contributing physicians, health care professionals, and biblical counselors answer questions and offer solid biblical principles about counseling individuals with medical issues and address a variety of specific problems.

Biblical counselors and pastors often have questions when a counselee is struggling with a mixture of physical, emotional, and spiritual difficulties. The Christian Counselor's Medical Desk Reference 2nd Edition helps counselors understand how some medical conditions impact counseling needs. Inspired by Dr. Bob Smith's first edition, this book will help to guide counselors in offering specific reminders of gospel truth to counselees as they journey the road ahead.

The first section offers guidance for the extra challenges inherent with certain medical diagnoses. The second section examines the challenges associated with a variety of physical and mental conditions such as autoimmune disorders, PTSD, Alzheimer's, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, and more, helping counselors better understand the specific counseling needs that often accompany each condition.

  • Written by an experienced team of doctors and health care professionals with biblical counseling experience.
  • Learn about specific conditions along with how to counsel beyond labels and address the whole person.
  • Gain confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture to bring hope and help to sufferers.


Charles Hodges, MD, is a family physician. He is a graduate of Indiana School of Medicine and also received an MA in Counseling and MA in Religion from Liberty University. He is the executive director of Vision of Hope, a counselor and instructor at Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry, and a fellow for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). He is the author of Good Mood, Bad Mood: Hope for Depression and Bipolar Disorder, a contributing author of Caring for the Souls of Children, and editor of The Christian Counselor's Medical Desk Reference, 2nd Edition. He and his wife, Helen, have four children, thirteen grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

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"Dr. Charles Hodges has performed a marvelous service to biblical counselors by assembling a tremendous team to address key issues that may require medical intervention. I look forward to having a copy of this book on my shelf for reference whenever I am trying to determine whether it would be wise to consult a medical doctor, so my counsel to others is as compassionate and comprehensive as possible."
Steve Viars, Senior Pastor, Faith Church, Lafayette, IN

"This is a book every pastor and Christian counselor needs to own and to which they will often refer. The authors combine the wealth of their extensive medical training and experience with their commitment to and knowledge of God's Word. The case studies in each chapter effectively help the reader to better understand medical issues that often come up in counseling and the potential approaches to offer help. Difficult issues are dealt with humbly and carefully. I will encourage every one of my students to buy and use this book."
Jim Newheiser, Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC; executive director, The Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship (IBCD); board member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition (BCC) and the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC)

"This medical reference book is an important resource for biblical counselors, showing the wisdom of caring for both the body and soul. Charles Hodges and the other contributors provide medical and biblical perspectives that are informative and readable. Around twenty years ago, I used the first edition as a biblical counseling student, and I look forward to sharing the second edition with my students."
Lilly Park, Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Since its inception, the modern biblical counseling movement has cared deeply for the physical body and its interaction with the soul. Dr. Hodges and his team provide a fresh reference work for those who counsel and those who train counselors. Their choice of topics, their medical details in lay language, and their counseling implications make this a valuable resource."
Robert D. Jones, Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author of Pursuing Peace and Uprooting Anger; coauthor of The Gospel for Disordered Lives: An Introduction to Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling

"A biblical understanding of anthropology requires an understanding and knowledge of both the spiritual and physical makeup of man. Both play a vital role in helping the whole person as a counselee for the Christian counselor. Dr. Charles Hodges and other eminently qualified Christian medical professionals have combined together to provide an invaluable resource for counselors. This book should be an excellent resource for every Christian counselor who desires to be wise in making decisions of how best to counsel both body and soul. I highly recommend this wonderful resource."
John D. Street, Chair, Graduate Studies in Biblical Counseling, The Master's University & Seminary; President of the board, Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC)

"This book helps counselors to think holistically about caring for embodied souls. Each chapter reviews the current medical understanding of common counseling issues and then skillfully applies God's Word to the disruptive, disheartening, and often perplexing problems people experience. If you provide one-another careÑwhether formally or informallyÑreading this resource is well-worth your time."
Christine Chappell, Author of Help! I've Been Diagnosed with a Mental Disorder; outreach director and Hope + Help Podcast host, Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship; certified biblical counselor

"Congregants, students, and counselees regularly ask me questions about medical issues, psychology, psychotropic medications, and how all those things connect with respect to God. In the first edition of this book, Dr. Robert Smith wisely provided us help in these areas. In this second edition, a new set of qualified counselors help us wisely serve those striving to honor God through some of life's toughest pressures. Each chapter carefully connects life's sufferings with God's Word while providing practical solutions for living."
Kevin Carson, Pastor, Sonrise Baptist Church, Ozark, MO; professor, Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary, Springfield, MO

"The Christian Counselor's Medical Desk Reference is a very practical resource for the counselor who desires to serve well but is untrained in medical issues. The chapters address common issues counselors face and give scriptural and medical information which will improve their counseling advice. I will use this book and will highly recommend it to others."
Caroline Newheiser, Assistant Coordinator for Women's Counseling, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC

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5 Reviews

  • 4
    Helpful reference tool

    Posted by Wendy on 06 04 2023

    This is a reference guide for counseling individuals with medical problems, and as such it is a helpful and well researched resource. Its stated goal is to be a tool for those helping those who struggle and are looking for hope. Opening chapters consider general principles when counselling those with a medical or psychiatric (DSM-5) diagnosis. Detailed chapters explore a wide range of medical and psychological challenges. There are numerous contributing authors, and as such it resulted in varied tones. Some were gentler, more compassionate, and more client-focussed. Others seemed harsher, and quick to call certain challenges sin, and I was left wondering about their compassion with a client struggling with such challenges. I would have liked to see more consideration of the impact of trauma in people’s lives (this was only touched in with PTSD), and how it can impact both medically and psychologically. Despite some concerns, overall this is a helpful resource. A counselor’s awareness of medical challenges that clients face can only further enable their understanding of their client, and their ability to helpfully work alongside them.

  • 5
    Christian Counseling and Modern Medicine

    Posted by Beth on 04 06 2023

    timely and relevant, readable

  • 5
    Very useful for Christian health care providers!

    Posted by Julie C.H. Brake, MS, RDN, LD on 02 24 2023

    This book is scientific, logical, Biblical, and evidence-based – four things that many people think cannot coexist in a text. The background provided for each issue allows for someone unfamiliar with that topic to understand it much more fully. The references to scientific journal articles support the information presented. A Biblical perspective with Scripture references is given in each chapter. Applications to real-life situations are also given so that any counselor, healthcare provider, or friendly advisor can appropriately use the information. The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference is an important tool for all Biblical counselors to have available. I recommend it to any Christian who might give advice to someone else, whether you are in an official counseling role or not. It is especially helpful to Christians who work in health care or who provide counseling on a regular basis.

  • 5
    Great resource!

    Posted by Katelyn friesen on 02 18 2023

    As someone who plans on being a counselor to people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, I found this book very helpful. Written by various medical personnel who also happen to be biblical counselors as well, this is something I will definitely rely on and look back on in my future relationships with counselees. Definitely a go to read for biblical counselors and Christian counselors alike!

  • 5
    Chr. Counselor's Med. Desk Reference

    Posted by Keith Groves on 02 15 2023

    Excellent resource! Well written and so very helpful!

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