Life Model Overview

Maybe you have wondered about this Life Model I keep talking about. The Life Model is “a new paradigm for spiritual and psychological health.” It was first described in  “The Life Model: Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You” by Dr. James G. Friesen, which is still the basic book on this topic, even though there is much more to it than this little booklet can cover. It is the basis of the ministry and teaching of Dr. Jim Wilder and others at the Shepherd’s House in Pasadena, CA.


I first heard about their approach in 2006 from a friend and since then read several of their publications. Last year I had the opportunity to attend their teaching classes for the first time. I have already profited so much from their teaching and ministry and can highly recommend them. Their ministry approach is a very interesting combination of their counseling experience and insights from brain science which can be helpful for any Christian to grow in their maturity and help others grow.

They also have a lot of experience in working with abuse victims and with all kinds of other areas in counseling. Their different branches of ministry are all focused on helping people break the unhealthy patterns that result from childhood trauma and other hurts. They do this by helping people learn important brain or maturity skills that we missed to learn when growing up. I believe that this can be profitable for anybody, not just for those who have experienced problems.

You can find more information on:

Shepherd’s House (counseling center) [N.B. the work was restructured in 2014 and is now called “Joy starts here“]
Life Model, Living from the heart Jesus gave you (book)
Thriving (their recovery program, developed by Ed Khouri together with Jim Wilder)
Thrive (their training conferences, organized by Chris and Jen Coursey together with others from Shepherd’s House)
Immanuel Approach (developed by Dr. Karl Lehman in collaboration with Jim Wilder) [N.B. meanwhile there is a new webpage that focuses only on the Immanuel Approach]

On these webpages you will find plenty of material to read, as well as contact addresses for counseling and training.

The class on Belonging that I have frequently mentioned in my posts is part of the Thriving program. In total, there are five modules, of which I have now attended four, even though not in the right order. I have profited from each of them. This is why I try to share some of the good stuff here on this blog.

2 thoughts on “Life Model Overview

  1. Oftentimes I know I fall into the tendency of simplifying people when, in fact, we are all complex and deep and worthy of respect. I appreciate you sharing what you have learned and where you have learned it from.

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