Category: The Gospel and the Ministry

Strategic Issues in Counseling: Consider the Age of Your Counselee

Time changes us all. Or rather, we all change over time. As a young man I was impetuous and impulsive, but over time I find myself much more careful, slow to act even. As a young man I was far more gregarious and extroverted, but now I tend to be more introverted. The concerns and insecurities of youth have changed with age, and while I may still struggle with insecurities, they are uniquely different to this stage of life. All of us experience this, and good counseling must take into consideration these unique details of age. Effective counselors must...

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Strategic Issues in Counseling: Consider the Development of Your Counselee

I had totally messed up this case. It wasn’t intentional; I had tried to be helpful and give lots of instruction, listened sympathetically, and assigned homework that I thought best fit the situation. Every week the counselee came to our appointment without any of his homework completed. It was frustrating, and I determined that he didn’t really want to change, so I terminated counseling. Years later I found out that this particular individual had literacy challenges that made the homework I gave him exceedingly difficulty, if not at times impossible. Of course, it would have been helpful if he...

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Too Tired to Care

During my law enforcement career, my comrades and I were repeatedly instructed to use caution when responding to an emergency call because, as the saying went, you were no good to anyone and a drain on available resources if you were involved in a vehicle crash on the way. In a similar fashion, biblical counselors, like first responders and other crisis care agents, are susceptible to a phenomenon known as compassion fatigue. While compassion fatigue may not leave the counselor stranded in an overturned vehicle, it does threaten to sideline them for a lack of awareness or appropriate caution....

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Stuck in a Rut: Responding to Emotional and Spiritual Inflexibility

E-Book PDF: Open in New Window | DownloadSubscribe iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | Stitcher | RSSBy the time couples, individuals, and parents make their way to the counseling table, they often consider themselves to be stuck in patterns of thinking and doing that seem unalterable. For the biblical counselor, identifying not only the symptoms (presenting issues) but also the underlying (heart and/or bodily) issues are keys to establishing an action plan that will promote true and lasting biblical change. Theoretically, the process of gathering data and problem solving according to Scripture should be fairly straightforward,...

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Taking Every Thought Captive

“I’m stuck, and I feel like God’s nowhere to be found.” “I can’t get over how they treated me—like I’m something less than human.” “There’s no hope for me. I’m sorry I’ve wasted your time.” “This is just God’s will for me. There’s no use in praying.” I frequently hear these types of emotionally charged sentiments from counselees who are experiencing a season of depression. On occasion, I’ve been persuaded that the roots were at least partly physiological, but more often, there’s been an identifiable circumstance that gave rise to the person’s change in mood (job loss, illness, death...

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