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Suicidal Ideation: A Biblical Perspective for Counselors

Suicidal ideations, attempts, and completions are increasing at a disturbing rate around the world. The currently popular humanistic phenomenology and subsequent biological approaches have failed to resolve the underlying problems and are, in fact, widely understood to increase suicidal ideation. Clearly, a radical change in how suicide is viewed and approached is urgently needed.


Though the medical model’s failure to reduce suicides and its contribution to the problem is evident, many people are unaware that the Bible offers a tried and true alternative phenomenology to that of psychiatric/humanistic theory. The Word of God provides numerous case studies of suicidal thinking, attempts, and completions, and more importantly, Scripture offers empirical insight into both why people choose to end their lives and how to effectively help those in desperate need.


In Suicidal Ideation: a Biblical Perspective for Counselors, Daniel Berger points the reader to Scripture and exposes how the current empirical findings concerning suicide confirm the Biblical understanding and approach to suicide as relevant and vitally important. Moreover, this book corrects misconceptions about suicidal thinking and helps to equip helpers, practitioners, and ministers with the only validated approach to people in despair. While no one can change another’s thinking or behavior, Suicidal Ideations: a Biblical Perspective for Counselors supplies the reader with discernment and an evidence based biblical approach, which enables confidence and facilitates effectiveness to help others in times of crisis. 


“With wonderful insight and clarity, Daniel Berger explores the difficult and ever-increasing problem of suicide. He first presents the unsuccessful secular attempts at understanding and solving the problem, and then having done that, he describes the biblical perspectives on the causes of suicide and the biblical method of preventing and resolving the problem. This book will be very helpful preventively for the individual contemplating suicide and for the counselor, friend, or family member who lives with or knows a person who is struggling with suicidal ideations.” 


- Dr Wayne Mack, ACBC Academy member, ACBC Africa Director,Former chair of the Biblical Counseling Department at The Master’s University and Seminary, Founder and Professor of Biblical Counseling at Strengthening Ministries Training Institute



“Suicidal Ideation: A Biblical Perspective sheds the radiant light of truth on a topic that for so long has been shrouded by a hopeless darkness. Dr. Berger meticulously walks the reader through the research, which reveals suicidal ideation not to be a problem of the body but of the soul; one that should be treated not by a psychological model but by a spiritual one. As a nurse who regularly works with patients struggling with suicidal ideations, I found Dr. Berger’s research to be both eye-opening and empowering. I have repeatedly seen the failure of the psychological model to treat suicidal ideation and prevent attempts. There is a joy in knowing that Scripture not only addresses suicidal ideation, but also that the Bible provides instruction to those seeking to enter into the battle against it.” 


- Katie Piazza, Emergency Department RN/ Author of Victorious: A Mother and Daughter’s Journey through the Valley of the Shadow



“As a pastor who has counseled for over 22 years, I can honestly say that counseling those contemplating suicide as well as comforting those left behind after a suicide has taken place can be some of the most difficult and complex counseling circumstances. Dr. Berger offers a unique biblical counseling resource in that he uses secular material to expose how damaging a secular approach towards suicidal ideation can be while at the same time highlighting the immense hope that the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers to someone contemplating suicide. Regardless of experience, this book is a must read for all counselors, pastors, and people-helpers who desire to step into one of life’s darkest situations.” 


- Ben Marshall, D.Ed.Min , Counseling Pastor at Canyon Hills Community Church, ACBC Fellow, Board Chairman of The Damascus House, author of Help! My Teen Struggles with Same-Sex Attraction, and contributing author to Men Counseling Men.




“Suicidal ideation includes tremendous hopelessness and despair. Counselors and friends who care deeply long for insight into how to bring wise help. Dr. Daniel Berger provides such wisdom by showing the importance of discovering what people believe about their circumstances and who they are as people. Having this insight, the helper can support them to know the hope and life of Christ in their deep sorrow, experiencing him as the only genuine anchor of their soul.” 


- Anne Dryburgh, Ph.D., is an IABC and ACBC certified biblical counselor and a CABC (Commissioned Addictions Biblical Counselor). She is a long-time missionary in Belgium, Coordinator for Reigning Grace Institute Europe, and European team of Truth in Love Biblical Counseling. She is also on the advisory board of Biblical Counselling Africa and the Fallen Soldiers March, coordinator of the European Biblical Counseling Network, and author of Debilitated and Diminished: Help for Women in Emotionally Abusive Marriages and (Un)ashamed: Christ's Transforming Hope for Rape Victims. 


“Suicide is considered one of the fastest growing social phenomena of our time, leaving us with difficult questions that demand sensible, truthful, and wise answers that really get to the core of the problem and that offer real hope to those struggling with suicidal ideations. These answers are what Dr. Daniel Berger offers us in his excellent book, Suicidal Ideations. Through an interdisciplinary dialogue, he not only answers the difficult questions, but he also takes us to the heart of the problem—pointing toward the wise and sure direction of the Holy Scriptures, which all who care for those in despair must utilize if they are to offer genuine hope.” 


- Airton Williams, Pastor of the Christian Church of Reformed Confession, President of the Society for Interdisciplinary Bible Studies (SEBI University) and Pure Life Ministries Brazil, Historian, Certified Biblical Counselor (CEABI-Brazil), and author.


“Dr. Berger has written a book that will flip your cultural understanding of suicide. Cultural norms recognize the seriousness of suicidal ideations, yet cannot offer the perspective that the truth of God's Word provides to a suffering soul. Dr. Berger provides helpers with the rationale behind the true origins of suicide along with practical biblical principles to help the hurting person to address the heart of suicidal thoughts in a manner that ultimately brings glory to God.” 


-  Mark E. Shaw, author of The Heart of Addiction, founder of The Addiction Connection


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