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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
253 pages
Apr 2006

Kitchen Table Counseling

by Muriel L. Cook & Shelly Cook Volkhardt

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Do you find yourself listening to strangers pour out the details of their divorce as your ride the bus commuting to work? Do women stop you at church and want to “vent” about their latest go-around with their mothers-in law? If so, you may have the gift of counseling. Unfortunately, many with this gift fumble around for the words and Scripture to help people. Kitchen Table Counseling is a concise training manual for those hard issues we hear when people bear their souls.

Written by Muriel L. Cook and her daughter Shelley Cook Volkhardt, this book shares a myriad of counseling stories. The Cooks were missionaries to China for 14 years and now trek all over the country as popular keynote speakers for retreats. Currently Muriel serves as Counselor-at-Large at Multnomah Bible College. Shelly, also a missionary, co-authored the book, Holy Habits. This mother-daughter team has combined their years of experience in mentoring women, to teach the lay person how to bring a woman from crisis mode to discipleship mode.

The book begins with six principles a KTC (Kitchen Table Counselor) uses: (1) ask for God’s guidance; (2) lance the boil; (3) meet her felt need; (4) take her to Jesus; (5) believe for her; (6) help her become independently dependent.

In the second section, Muriel and Shelly delve into some of the more common problems encountered with those ministering to woman. Depression, difficult relatives, temptation in a marriage, and pornography are only a few of the difficult subjects tackled. Always practical (for example, where and when is the best place to meet), this book gives women a how-to lesson. One of the most helpful parts of the whole book shows the different steps taken when working through a problem.

Few of us have time for intense counseling training. Many of us have friends and acquaintances in our life who need our help. Muriel and Shelly have helped equip the church to comfort and motivate hurting women, and for this I give God great thanks! – Carol Stratten, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Your mission field just might start at your kitchen table. Perhaps you're a woman who responds naturally to others' problems but aren't sure how to reach out or what to say.

Kitchen Table Counseling is the resource you've been searching for. You'll not only learn what questions to ask and what Scriptures to use, but also be shown how to:

  • Address your own needs so you can effectively help others
  • Take people to Jesus without taking on responsibility for their burdens
  • Discern whether others really want to change and grow, or just complain
  • Balance a counseling ministry with your other life priorities
  • Offer true biblical hope to others in the face of inexplicable heartache

From the time Muriel Cook was a little girl, people have come to her to talk about their problems. Now, after fifty years of experience as a lay counselor, she shares with you what she has learned about addressing the needs of hurting women from a spiritual perspective. Kitchen Table Counseling will prepare you for the fulfilling, vital ministry of encouraging other women to know Christ and trust Him through the difficult experiences of their lives.