Navigating Destructive Relationships: 9 Steps toward Healing

Brad Hambrick
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When you’re in a destructive relationship, it can be difficult to identify what is happening and how to respond. It is normal to be disoriented by the chaos of a destructive relationship, but you do not have to remain passive in response to your loved one’s destructive patterns.

All relationships disappoint us from time to time. But some relationships are destructive, especially those marked by addiction, abuse, and/or life-dominating problems. Navigating Destructive Relationships, a support group curriculum, provides you with a safe and stable place where you can name what’s going on and turn toward God. You are not alone. God sees and cares for your suffering.

Navigating Destructive Relationships is built on a 9-step model that helps you process intense relational suffering with the hope of the gospel. Learning alongside others facing similar challenges allows participants a unique opportunity to grow as they identify choices they can make in response to their loved one’s destructive patterns.

  • 9-step model that helps participant process intense relational suffering with the hope of the gospel.
  • An in-depth resource offers churches and individuals a unique opportunity to respond to destructive relationship patterns in a faith-filled and safe way.
  • A resource in the Church-Based Counseling series, built on the G4 model of subject-specific, lay-led counseling groups, designed to help churches create sustainable lay counseling ministries.


Brad Hambrick, ThM, EdD, serves as the Pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church in Durham, NC, as well as Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a council member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Brad has authored several books, including Making Sense of Forgiveness, Angry with God, and the Church-Based Counseling series, and served as general editor for the Becoming a Church that Cares Well for the Abused curriculum. 

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“In Navigating Destructive Relationships, Brad Hambrick offers invaluable pastoral guidance for individuals grappling with abusive or addictive relationships. This book is built upon sound biblical theology, powerful self-reflection, and compassionate small-group care, all within the context of the local church. I am confident that this resource will serve us well.”
Chris Moles, Author of The Heart of Domestic Abuse; editor of Caring for Families Caught in Domestic Abuse  

“Navigating a destructive relationship takes tons of wisdom. Brad Hambrick not only provides it, but he also helps sufferers gain strength and clarity for the journey ahead, all the while honoring their pace and need to restore personal agency. This group counseling curriculum is packed with practical teaching and gospel care.” 
Darby Strickland, Counselor and faculty member, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF); author of Is It Abuse? 

“After reading the first three books in the Church-Based Counseling series, I was excited to dig in to Navigating Destructive Relationships. This curriculum is incredibly practical—it encourages movement and meets a variety of needs. Navigating Destructive Relationships will be extremely helpful for encouraging women in our ministry in their strengthening and healing.” 
Ann Maree Goudzwaard, Founder and Executive Director, Help[H]er; counselor and domestic abuse advocate

“Brad Hambrick continues to show us what biblical, careful, and practical counsel looks like on the ground in very difficult and painful situations. In Navigating Destructive Relationships, we find teaching and tools to help us understand and address the thorny relationships that we all face throughout our lives. Whether you are a counselor helping someone gain clarity and courage or someone who is experiencing pain and confusion in a relationship, Brad’s book will provide gospel hope and help!” 
Kïrsten M. Christianson, Biblical counselor; domestic abuse care consultant 

“The destructive impact of relationships involving abuse and addiction reverberates throughout the church. Destructive relationships are often very confusing and touch on issues relating to identity, meaning, belonging, purpose, and the deep longings of the human heart. Into the chaos steps Brad Hambrick, bringing gospel clarity and providing a voice of safety, wise action, and peace. Navigating Destructive Relationships is an indispensable resource, guiding individuals and groups toward resilience, healing, and hope.” 
Greg Wilson, Lead Counselor, Soul Care Associates, Dallax, TX; coauthor of When Home Hurts: A Guide for Responding Wisely to Domestic Abuse in Your Church 

“Group care for those suffering relational harm can be a powerful part of their healing journey. Brad wisely addresses the varied complexities of destructive relationships and provides an accessible framework for those seeking to untangle their confusion and hurt. Incorporating concepts like identity, lament, and narrative, Brad offers a compassionate approach to group care that is rooted in God’s tenderness toward the individual.” 
Melissa Affolter, ReStoried Groups Creator; director of content, Fieldstone Counseling 

“Relationships are hard enough when they are healthy. When they become unhealthy, the ensuing destruction can be devastating. As a Christian, how do you continue to live a gospel-centered life amid turmoil?  In Navigating Destructive Relationships, Dr. Hambrick has laid a practical foundation for ‘living peaceably with all’ (Romans 12:18). Having used this material for over six years, I have seen a lasting impact through relationships restored, and new, healthy relationships formed.” 
Phillip Henson, G4 group leader 

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