Counseling An Introduction
Counseling: What Is It? • Assisting people to change or to cope with change that has occurred
Counseling Ministry – Gal. 6:1-2 • Caught = the condition (sinfulness) • Restore = the mission (heart transformed) • Gently = the attitude/character (do no harm) • Watch = the protection (watch self & ministry); see also I Tim. 4:16 • Carry = daily goal (help bear burdens in personal relationships with people) • See also Hebrews 5:1-4 Paul Tripp, CCEF
Purpose of Counseling C2 • To enable persons to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. (Westminster Confession of Faith, Shorter Catechism, #1) • “The central objective of all pastoral care and personal counseling is that ‘Christ be formed’ in the personality of the individuals who seek help.” (Oates, Christian Pastor, 3rd rev. ed, 77)
Who Needs Counseling? CCEF • Everyone! Including the counselor. • Three reasons: • (1) Creation - because we are human & need truth outside ourselves. God “counseled” Adam & Eve before the Fall. • (2) Fall – presence of another untruthful counselor • (3) Redemption – the heart is deceitful, sinful
A Biblical Model of Counseling • Important Elements: • Goal: to enable persons to glorify God & enjoy Him • Focus: the Heart; whole person • Perspective/Agenda: God’s, as defined in Scripture • Value: Holiness • Practice: Love (reflecting God’s character) • Power: Holy Spirit
The Change Process in BC • The Heart changed by Christ leads to Obedience & Transformation, according to God’s will as revealed in Word and Spirit • Obedience to God’s Word(change behavior via a changed heart) • Maturing in Christ(i.e., that Christ be formed continually in one’s personality; or, “renewing the mind”)
Counseling: Faith Working Through Love • “A relationship of trusted motive prevails only when you as a Christian pastor voluntarily accept and effectively carry through with your power as a representative of the love of Christ. You are a servant of people for Jesus’ sake. The effectiveness of all pastoral procedures depends upon the singleness of this motivation, . . .” (Oates, Xn Pastor, 78)
“The focus of your pastoral identity and the end of your conversation with those whom you would serve is incarnate in Jesus Christ, the Word of God. Both you and those whom you would serve are on a pilgrimage of self-hood, the end result of which is either a self in Christ or a self apart from Christ. The encounter of redemption is initiated neither by the pastor nor by the parishioner but by God.” (Oates, Christian Pastor,3rd, 82)
“Every knowledge of the human heart, every skill in dealing with human problems, is as dangerous as it is useful, and ordinarily it is the presence or absence of the love of Christ that makes the difference.” • Wayne E. Oates, The Christian Pastor, 3rd ed, rev. (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1982), 81.
Effectiveness in Counseling • The basic characteristics of a helping relationship are: • accurate empathy • nonpossessive warmth • inherent genuineness
Effectiveness as a Biblical Counselor 1 CCEF • Character Qualities • Humility • accurate self-assessment, flexibility of spirit • Love • encouragement & hope, servant attitude • Faithfulness • dependability, discipline • Spiritual Maturity • personal holiness, Biblical/theological wisdom
Effectiveness as a Biblical Counselor 2 CCEF • Functional Qualities • Building relationships • gentleness, kindness, sensitive, peacemaking • Understanding the counselee’s environment • data gathering, uncovering heart issues, Biblical interpretation • Communicating • listening, other-centeredness, clarity presenting gospel • Planning Action • application, oversight/accountability, encouragement/admonition
Some Assumptions in Counseling • Sinfulness is assumed (>>> brokenness) • Distinguish between ultimate and penultimate concerns • Repentance (change) is required when dealing with issues of personal sin • Not all problems demand repentance as the central focus (support/encouragement) • Restoration is not always possible
Context for Effective Counseling • Safe environment - safe, “holding” environment • Comfortable - lighting; air; furniture; tissues • Confidentiality - “white” noise; not alone • Non-distracting Clock(s) • Furniture Arrangement - extra chairs & couch • Forms & Record-keeping • Lending Library • Referral Network in place
9 Things To Remember About The Counselee • Acknowledge hurdles many overcame just to contact you for help (self-image issues) • Recognize risks & exposure (vulnerability) • Each seeks, & needs, a place of security & safety (Is. 42:1-4) • Recognize that some, if not most, do not want to be there • Be aware of the tension between request for help & refusal of it
9 Things To Remember, continued • Each comes with ideas, assumptions, & expectations that need to be explored (pastor as mind-reader, “fix-it” person, condoner of sin, etc.) • The 1-to-1 relationship and total privacy may stir up intense and disturbing fantasy & perception formations • Gender issues warrant consideration • Clear boundaries are essential. The counselor bears final responsibility for establishing, maintaining, & rectifying appropriate boundaries.
Assessment in Counseling with Adults 1 • Basic anxiety & neuroses(disorder in how one thinks about oneself and one’s life) • Depression • Psychotic(inability to distinguish reality from fantasy; impaired reality testing) • Neurological(organic mental disorder, mental retardation; Alzheimers; etc.)
Assessment 1 • Spiritual – the heart • Psychological (mental, emotional, social) • Medical • Combination of the above
Assessment 2 • Distinguish between: • CONTENT • PROCESS
Assessment 3 • CONTENT: “laundry list” of items or complaints • PROCESS: the dynamics of the major issues; the source of the “laundry list” • Need to focus on both; especially process.
The Phases of Counseling • Beginning • Middle • Ending
The Phases of Counseling 2 • Beginning: joining; establishing rapport; & assessment • Practice how you begin!! • Middle: changing; ebb & flow of progress • Ending: consolidating changes; blessing; termination
Assessment: The “Magic” ???s 1 • These questions are “magic” in the sense that “they provide focus and perspective on almost any situation, enabling one to know at least something about how to deal with it.” • John Patton, Pastoral Counseling: A Ministry of the Church. Nashville: Abingdon, 1983, 90. • Question #1 - “What are you looking for?” • Focus: communicates it’s their responsibility • Perspective: helps identify their needs
Assessment: The “Magic” ???s 2 • Question #2 - “Why now?” • Focus: identifies the urgency • Perspective: sense of hopefulness/possibility* • Things have changed and, thus, can change again
Assessment: The “Magic” ???s 3 • Question #3 - “Why me and this place?” • Focus: acknowledges the importance of the relationship • Perspective: identifies unrealistic expectations
Assessment: The “Magic” ???s 4 • Question #4 - “What hurts?” • Focus: the person’s problem or concern • Perspective: listening stance
Supportive Counseling 1 • “The sustaining function of the cure of souls in our day continues to be a crucially important helping ministry . . . .” • William A Clebsch & Charles R. Jaekle, Pastoral Care in Historical Perspective (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1964), 80, emphasis added.
Supportive Counseling 2 • “In supportive care and counseling, the pastor uses methods that stabilize, undergird, nurture, motivate, or guide troubled persons—enabling them to handle their problems and relationships more constructively . . . .” • Howard Clinebell, Basic Types, rev. ed. (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1984), 170.
Supportive Counseling 3 • Supportive counseling is the primary approach used in crisis intervention and in bereavement (grief) counseling. • A dependable, nurturing relationship (Oates: “relationship of trusted motive”) is at the heart of the process. • Danger: development of unconstructive dependency
Supportive Counseling 4 • Types of counselor responses/interventions: • Evaluative - judgment of behaviors, actions, attitudes • Interpretive - informing; teaching • Supportive - reassurance to reduce anxiety • Probing - gather more data; questions • Understanding - communicate empathy; reassurance (†) • Advising - recommendations; suggestions
Never Underestimate the Effectiveness of . . . the Ministry of Listening
Transference: “Don’t I Know You??” • Transference: the phenomenon of reacting to a person as if he/she is another person from one’s past. “A distorted and inappropriate response derived from unresolved unconscious conflicts in a person’s past.” • (See Richard S. Schwartz, “A Psychiatrist’s View of Transference & Countertransference in the Pastoral Relationship” in Journal of Pastoral Care 43 (1), Spring 1989, 41-42.)
Transference & Countertransference • Transference refers to thoughts, feelings, attitudes, & behaviors of the counselee toward the counselor or of the parishioner toward the pastor. • Countertransference refers to the same process in reverse: the pastor’s thoughts, feelings, etc. toward the parishioner.
Triangulation • Three people stuck in repetitive, malicious patterns of interaction. Issue + 2 = • Luke 12:13-21 • “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” (13) • Common triangles encountered in ministry: couples, parents & children, church group conflict, issues, etc.
Pre-Marital Counseling • Purposes of PM Counseling: • Education • Exploration • Establish pastoral relationship of trusted motive for future • Plan the wedding (worship) service
Pre-Marital Counseling 2 • Recommend multiple sessions • Explore families-of-origin (gives perspective of future dynamics of couple) • Genogram, Taylor-Johnson Temperament, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, PAI (Premarriage Awareness Inventory), SAI (Sex Awareness Inventory), PREPARE/ENRICH (Life Innovations, Inc.), etc. • Contract for post-marital session(s) - in home
Supervision, Consultation, & Referral • Supervision - too many “Know-it-alls” • Consultation - too many “Lone Rangers” • Referral - the ministry of introduction
Certifying Organizations • AAMFT - American Assoc. of Marriage & Family Therapists • AACC - American Association of Christian Counselors • AAPC - American Association of Pastoral Counselors • IABC - International Association of Biblical Counselors • NANC - National Association of Nouthetic Counselors • ACPE - Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.
Lay Counseling Training • Stephen Ministries • Developing the Caring Community: Alban Institute (10 week course) • Communication (Listening) Skills • Grief Training - H. Norman Wright “Crisis Care” Video Series
ID problem feelings ID problem behaviors ID problem thinking Substitute Biblical Assumptions Affirm Spirit-feelings Plan & carry out Biblical behavior Secure commitment to Biblical behavior Biblical Counseling Model (Crabb)