Christian Counseling: The Role of Counselors
Why Do People Need Counselors?
We can simply answer the question about why people need counselors. -- They have problems.
The Role of Counselors in Helping People with Their Problems
Which of the following responses would you choose?
- People need counselors to tell them how to solve their problems.
- People need counselors to let them talk about their problems.
- People need counselors to help them solve their problems.
If you chose "A", consider this:
Counseling needs to be more than the giving of advice. To always use a directive approach is to foster a dependency on you as a counselor. A person needs to learn to think on his/her own. A person needs to learn how to find God's solutions and not merely be told what God's solutions are. What will the counselee do if you, or another advice-giver, are not available? - Probably he/she will fall deeper into despair and a crisis will ensue.
If you chose "B", consider this:
While talking about one's problems can be therapeutic, people need more than a release of their feelings. They need God's perspective. They need to develop healthy life management skills that will enable them to deal more effectively with the problem and possibly prevent its reoccurrence in the future.
If you chose "C":
People need to resolve their problems, not just talk about them. How much more effective it is if the counselor takes on the role of a facilitator, guide, or catalyst rather than a dictator or manipulator. The best way to teach people healthy life management skills is walking them through the process of discovering God's solution rather than telling them all they need to know.
The People Helping Ministry Manual includes a section on counseling with the content on this page as well as these topics:
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