For the Pastoral, Lay, or Peer Counselors
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Phil. 3:12)
We are called to come along side of one another. Counseling is one of the ways to do that. Sometimes, however, people stop making progress. How does a counselor help their counselees press on, to move forward?
Click on a Counseling Training Topic:
What do you do if a counselee doesn't take the steps required to move forward?
The counselor must identify what is blocking the person from doing so. These issues must be resolved before you are able to go on. Common blockages are:
- need motivation: When a certain behavior is perceived to be meeting a need, it is difficult to let go. People usually do not hold on unless they are getting something out of it. Why do abused women keep going back into an abusive situation? What they fear they will lose surpasses what they must put up with. The counselor must work with the counselee to understand a better source for having the need met .... in Christ.
- faulty thinking: Behavior may be built on a false premise. The superstructure may make sense so it becomes hard for the person to see things differently. But, their belief system was built on the wrong foundation. People sometimes believe lies they were told as a child or that came out of a traumatic experience. Some will believe their worth is based on performance. Some will believe they are no longer useful to God because of what has happened to them.
The lies must be identified and taken captive in Christ. Erroneous thinking must be changed to biblical thinking. Help the counselee identify the lie and replace it with truth.
- spiritual issue: Perhaps the counselee is not a believer and therefore does not have the Spirit of God within to empower him to change. Perhaps the counselee is a believer but is hardened to God. The person may be angry with God for hurts he experienced. Guilt may be overtaking him for sin he has committed and he is unable to understand God's forgiveness. Perhaps the person's view of God is too small and therefore he finds it hard to trust Him explicitly. The counselor must help the counselee understand how great God is and the role of grace not just for salvation but also for daily living. Titus 2:11 says, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age."
Jesus understood the human condition. As the "Wonderful Counselor" (Isa. 9:6), He serves as a model worth emulating. The People Helping Ministry Manual looks at five characteristics of Jesus as a counselor and then challenges you to look at how Christ-like you are in counseling others.
For More on Counseling:
- Why a Counselor?
- Who can Counsel?
- Counselor Qualities
- Counseling Objectives
- Counseling Technique
- Listening Skills
- Counseling Resources
- Becoming a Christian Counselor