Gone are the days when counseling is just for “the mentally ill.” In spite of lame jokes and a dying, but lingering, stigma sometimes attached to counseling, many individuals and families are seeking professional help to deal with the trauma of life in a fallen world.
If you or someone you love are experiencing a particularly trying time, maybe it’s time to consider seeking help. As you analyze your situation it may be helpful to consider some important points.
People typically enter counseling because they are hurting, frustrated, or feeling overwhelmed by a problem. In most cases, difficult circumstances drive the felt need for counseling. In my experience, most of these circumstances are based in wounded relationships between husbands and wives and parents and children. And, of course, one or more persons in these relationships may be experiencing intrapersonal difficulties, including mood disorders...
When selecting a therapist, consider three basic categories: the spiritual, the professional, and the practical. By understanding the importance of each category, and asking the following questions, you’re well on your way to a worthwhile experience.
Counseling is inherently value laden. Your core values and those of your therapist need to match. Consider the following questions to ask a therapist:
Are you a Christian?
Most healthcare professionals, Christian or not, are in the profession because they want to be of service to others. This question is not meant to imply that non-Christian professionals have an “agenda” to harm Christian clients. Nevertheless, Christian counseling and secular counseling are literally worlds apart.
If yes, how does being a Christian impact your counseling? Do you pray with clients? Do you reference Scripture?
Christian therapists often have personal testimonies that reveal their life experiences. These stories...
By all appearances, I should have known something about Christian spiritual formation. From birth to 35 years of age, my spiritual pedigree included the grace of having had two Christian parents, weekly church attendance and participation, conversion and baptism at eight years of age, a bachelor degree from a conservative Christian college, bi-vocational experience in the ministry, and ordination in the ministry both as a deacon and minister.
But appearances can be deceiving.
Besides my spiritual pedigree, I added spiritual exercises including prayer and Bible study. Still, I remained unchanged.
Despite sincerity and good intentions, I knew nothing of Christian spiritual formation. To put it more succinctly, I knew nothing of how to be more like Christ.
Some time ago, I discovered that spiritual formation is a reality. Every person is an eternal spirit being formed into what he or she will be forever. This ongoing process can be...
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