Our counseling methodology should be different from secular and integrated counseling methods. The counselee should after spending 15 minutes with you be able to say that no other counseling experience they have had is like this one. They must be able to tell that your counsel is not centered around their esteem, feelings, or their past.
The message from the first prayer uttered must be on God – who is the central focus of life. All our counseling is God-centered. (Jer. 17:7-8, Rom. 12:1-2) My counselee’s hear over and over that it is not about them, it is about God. It is not about their feelings, it is about God’s glory. It is not about worshipping self, it is worship of God.
I stress that there is accountability for our sinful actions and thoughts. We cannot foist responsibility for them off on another person. And we are accountable for change!
Many people want change, but they want the changes to take place in others so they will be happy. Change my husband, change my wife. Our emphasis is on change of heart. We believe that before our actions and words can be glorifying to God, the heart has to be changed to one that seeks after God.
And once the heart undergoes change, then great strides can be made in change of life. We do not encourage life time counseling. Our goal is to help the person understand and implement change on one or two levels and then give them the tools to apply it to all other areas of life.
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11.
Salvation in Christ is required for any kind of Biblical counseling. A counselor who does not believe that salvation is necessary would not be on my list of referrals! Because we focus on the inner man and changes at the heart level, and because I believe the Holy Spirit must be present for a person to change and understand the Bible, I require that a referral source must also believe and promote salvation.
Regarding the Bible, I am clear that a mere intellectual assent of the facts of the Bible are not enough, but a relationship with Jesus is necessary. Because it is that relationship that brings the Holy Spirit who is our agent of change.
The Bible is the tool that God uses to heal us. Any counseling that excludes the Word of God is going to fail. The Word of God is the authority of the Christian as a counselor and discipler- not his or her own opinion.
Possessing all this and application of truth to heart and life will bring joy to the counselee and to the counselor!
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