Lynelle Buchanan and Adria Packard: Helping teenagers to grieve

Lynelle Buchanan and Adria Packard: Helping teenagers to grieve

When A Parent DiesLynelle Buchanan is an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Counseling Ministries Department at BBC. She is a pastor's wife and mom to Matthew, Christopher, and Bethany. She is also the dorm mother to 50 college women in Barndollar Hall. Through these ministries she has logged over 6,000 hours of biblical counseling. She has a passion for the Word of God and its transforming power in the lives of believers. She is often called upon to speak to church groups and conferences, where she loves to point others to her big God. Some of her research interests include marriage enrichment, gender differences, and personality.

Adria Packard is from Grafton, WV. She is a junior in the Counseling Ministries program. She plans to attend graduate school after earning her undergraduate degree. In the future, she wants to counsel troubled teens and children in the inner city and possibly establish her own practice.

Together Lynelle and Adria co authored an article that will be in the January 2009 edition of "Transformation", a publication of the American Association of Christian Counselors.

Insight Questions
Why did you write the article?
Lynelle: I believe strongly in biblical interventions for the problems of living. People often look for physical healing first then emotional healing second and neglect the spiritual aspect of life that is so important.

Adria: Originally, the article was my project for Human Growth and Development class. My mother died when I was 12, so this topic hits very close to home. At that time, my family did not get formal counseling, and I felt I needed a better understanding of how children grieve the loss of a parent and what their needs are, especially considering that I want to counsel children of all ages.

What is the article the about?
Lynelle: The article gives a biblical perspective to understanding the grief of a teenager when a parent dies. It also suggests practical steps to helping them deal with the loss in a God-honoring way.

Adria: The article explains how they grieve, what their needs are, and how a counselor can effectively help them to cope biblically.

How did you come to partner with each other?
Lynelle: I decided a year ago I was not going to do anything on my own if there was a student who would benefit by working with me. Adria approached me with a desire to stretch herself in her career preparation and we channeled into this direction.

Adria: When I began to plan for my research paper, I approached Mrs. Buchanan to see if my topic would be appropriate. She encouraged me to write on this topic so I could possibly have it published in the upcoming edition. As the deadline approached, she helped me edit and shorten the article into the final product that will be published.

What have you learned from the experience?
Lynelle: I enjoyed working with my student. It was fascinating to bring together our ideas in a way that could be beneficial to others.

Adria: I was truly amazed when Mrs. Buchanan told me the article had been chosen. It humbled me so much to think that, out of so many articles, they chose the article of a college student. As I was doing the research, I gained a better understanding of what my siblings and I were going through after our mother's home-going. It also helped me to understand how I can better help children who are going through similar circumstances. No one should be left to grieve alone.

What do you hope to accomplish through this article?
Lynelle: I hope those who minister to teenagers will gain some additional ideas about how to biblically help them through the pain of grief and loss.

Adria: What I want most is to be a voice for children and teens who do not know how to express what they truly need during their times of grieving. I hope the article will not only help counselors to have a better understanding of what their young counselee may be going through, but it will also give them helpful techniques and a biblical foundation to start the healing process.

Contact Information
Lynelle Buchanan

B.S., Baptist Bible College
M.S., Baptist Bible Graduate School
Ph.D., Northcentral University (in progress)

Adria Packard

Click here to learn more about the Counseling Ministries Program
at BBC.

The story of Baptist Bible College & Seminary is best told through the lives of students and alumni. Share your story and tell others how God has been leading in your life. Visit

Posted on: 12/16/2008 4:26:53 PM

Share on Facebook