Counseling others….. it’s a tender dance.
Some individuals with strong personalities need (with intentional and grace-filled planning) to be directed one way, so they intentionally look at themselves and difficult situations, in a different way.
It sparks a fight in them! GOOD! They open up and engage. They are most likely a bit competitive and like to make points! Use it as a catalyst to get them to talk and “unmask their true selves”.
As a Counselor you address “in the moment, immediate issues.” Like peeling an onion, there are layers of things to pull back from the tender(or festering) skin and look at.
It takes patience, and sometimes, the person absolutely nips back at a Counselor when their wound is probed, or they choose “selective hearing” and action taking, and blow off a suggested plan of action towards a Godly look at the details.
If the person being counseled (or also treated medically) doesn’t feel safe, loved and “heard” in the moment, you truly can’t gradually funnel them in the direction that opens them up to not only see the dysfunctional things in their lives, but also their part in escalating them, getting something out of the situation that they want, or ignoring (denying) them.
Most often, as a Pastoral Counselor, my job is to uncap denial systems in individuals. To make them “THINK”.
From there, they begin the process of peeling back layers.
- Some stop peeling for a season! That’s OK!
- Others stop completely. That’s absolutely their choice.
- And there are those who painstakingly peel and peel until there’s a finding of the true person they were created to be, and the hard learned ability to let others work out how far they choose to peel!
Counseling actually must be the sacred duty of all Christians!
We are all called to edify, confront, rebuke, and comfort one another with the Word of God, according to 2 Timothy 3:16.
Biblical counseling doesn’t have the task of taking on the role of a physician and cure physical problems that call for specialized medical treatment (ex. cure cancer, leg pain), but instead focuses on moral, ethical, and spiritual disruptions that are most likely the result of persistent and unbroken sin in the counselee’s life (which does not always require psychotherapy or any secular humanist knowledge of similar theories).
In the final process of “actualizing biblical instruction” and intentional embracing it in the lives of the counselee, biblical counselors must help counselees to put off the old self of sin and put on the new self of divine and honest holiness.
In other words, the end of biblical counseling is to promote biblical change as a life-style pattern.
Biblical counseling should foster the implementation and integration of biblical principles into the lives of the counselee so that they will become consistently Christ-centered and Christlike in every area of life, including desires, thoughts, attitudes, and behavior.
J. Aurthur, who is a humble man with a Ph.D in Biblical Counseling has great and fair insights below in the following paragraph!
“Biblical counseling is not about solving temporal (moods, wants, opinions) problems or making people happy in a superficial sense. These issues are certainly important, but issues such as fixing emotional distress, pains, and hurts are byproducts of accomplishing the real purpose of counseling, which is to promote holiness and biblical living which is, to help people be transformed into the image of Christ in every aspect of life.”
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect,” Romans 12:2.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.