Emancipation and Teenagers

Ellen Castillo

Ellen Castillo

A 15-year-old counselee (“Jen”) informed me that she had no intention of cooperating with counseling unless I would help her to emancipate. I did not agree with her ultimatum, nor did I agree that she should pursue emancipation, but I did agree to research the ins and outs of emancipation. This was not the first teen I have counseled who has mentioned wishing they could emancipate, but this was the first one who was completely serious about it. I needed to educate myself, and so the two of us sat side by side at the computer and looked up the California legal requirements to emancipate. Continue reading

15:14 Ep. 016 – Ellen Castillo

The BCC

The BCC

Our guest on this week’s episode of 15:14 is Ellen Castillo the Founder and Executive Director of Word of Hope Ministries in Santa Maria, CA. Listen in as Curtis asks Ellen to share about a variety of issues including the isolation many biblical counselors experience in their ministry, navigating the relationship with your church in parachurch ministry and using art to get teens to open up in counseling. Continue reading

Teen Discipline vs. Punishment

Ellen Castillo

Ellen Castillo

Parents, you want me to change your child’s behavior. This is why you have brought her to counseling. She is driving you nuts with her meltdowns and defiance. You tell me that she is needy, attention-seeking, and unwilling to trust God. You are at your wit’s end, having tried every form of punishment you can think of. And still, there is no change. Continue reading

15:14 Ep. 001 – Eliza Huie

The BCC

The BCC

15:14 is a podcast of the Biblical Counseling Coalition which seeks to encourage Christians with the words of Romans 15:14 “I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to counsel one another.” Continue reading

Counseling the Resistant Teen

Ellen Castillo

Ellen Castillo

In order to be prepared to encounter a resistant teen, it is helpful to gather data from the parents before you begin meeting with the teen. It takes some digging into their history in order to get an overall view of the teens. Teens are often unreliable historians because of their limited perspective and resistance to counseling. Continue reading

Creativity in Counseling Youth

Ellen Castillo

Ellen Castillo

In biblical counseling we often bring God’s attributes to bear on our counselees’ struggles. For example, God is most certainly an intelligent, creative artist. By making us in his image, God has given us many creative abilities. He has given us abilities to produce paintings, sculptures, music, writings, buildings, and more. We can also utilize creativity in biblical counseling, especially with young counselees who do not respond well to a conventional style of counseling. Creativity in counseling can be used as a means to open up discussion on pertinent topics as we seek to apply biblical solutions. Continue reading

Biblical Mentoring for Teenagers

Ellen Castillo

Ellen Castillo

“Mentoring” is a buzzword in our current culture. A quick google search on the words “mentoring teenagers” yields dozens of articles, blogs, organizations, and curricula to mentor teens in both the secular and Christian realms.

Biblical mentoring sets itself apart from many other mentoring strategies because it is not a program or a formalized ministry. Continue reading

Teens and Body Image

Ellen Castillo

Ellen Castillo

As I approached writing this blog post, I asked my 18-year-old daughter for input. I asked her what she would like counselors, youth workers, and parents to consider on this topic. She said this: “Body image issues are common, all girls struggle with it. Some of the prettiest, thinnest, and most attractive are the ones who have the most discontent with their bodies.” Continue reading

Counseling Teens Hooked on Porn

Steve Hoppe

Steve Hoppe

Although counseling a teen with a porn addiction is a difficult, intimidating, and often thankless task, this does not diminish its importance. How are teens unique clients with respect to the porn epidemic? Which counseling strategies tend to fail and which strategies tend to bear fruit? What role should a parent play in the process? Are you willing to use unorthodox strategies? Are you willing to be vulnerable with a person less than half your age? Are you willing to tackle the challenge of counseling a teen hooked on porn? Continue reading