The Counseling Process

“I need help!”

“I can’t take it anymore!”

“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!”

“God, please help me!”

It’s usually out of worry, concern, anxiety and desperation that we reach out and take that difficult step to seek counseling. We are usually at the end of our rope, backed into a corner or forced to do it. It usually takes a supernatural nudge for Christians to take that step. Christians are supposed to have it all together; no worries, no problems, no marriages on the brink of divorce, perfect families, no addictions. But life comes at us all – and comes hard. We all find ourselves at a point where our burdens are too heavy and all we want is a little rest and peace.

Finding the right counselor is as big a decision as finding the courage or feeling the desperation to take that first step. Thanks for considering me and 12Stone Christian Counseling. I’ll try to give you a brief overview of what to expect if you choose to meet with me.

The approach will be to use what I consider all the good stuff. I’ll describe my counseling methodology as: a Christ-centered, biblical, cognitive behavioral, discipleship 12-step model. Whew! What’s that all mean? It means we’ll use the Bible, God’s Word as our main guidebook. Who knows us better than our Creator? And who is the One that can truly ‘fix’ us from all the hurts, wounds, pain and trauma that has impacted our mind, our emotions and our will (behaviors)? It will take the Great Physician, the true Counselor – the One that can truly change (transform) us from the inside out – Jesus.

The first session will begin with getting to know each other. You’ll most likely be bringing the presenting problem to the office. As we talk, my job will be to listen carefully, ask questions and discover what the root issue(s) might be. Many times our present struggles, problems or addictions are a result of coping behaviors or survival skills we learned at an early age from our families of origin. Then when ‘life happens’ and we find ourselves hurt, angry, lonely, tired or stressed, we revert back to using those coping skills to deal with the present problems. Most often than not, those are unhealthy coping skills. We need to address those root issues to find the tools and the emotional healing to deal with life as it continues to move forward – either with us using new healthy coping skills or staying stuck in the same old, same old pattern. We’ll spend about 75 minutes in the first session with no extra charges (some counselors or therapists do add extra fees for sessions that last more than the standard 45-50 minutes.) By the time we complete the first session, most people make a decision whether this counselor will be a good fit or not. If I’m the right fit, we’ll schedule the next session. If not, it’s ok. I really want to see you get healthy.

In the following sessions we’ll talk about God and the role He plays in all this. We will look at the Scriptures that are appropriate to the individual or marital issues we are dealing with. We will use biblical, psychological and practical principles, tools and worksheets to undercover the root issues and exercises that will help change our coping skills. We will pray and bring God into the mix for guidance, discernment and healing. In all cases, my counsel will be objective and Holy Spirit led. In marital counseling, I never pick sides. We all have our issues (sin) and we all have to own our individual behaviors and acknowledge any role we may have played in getting to this point of needing counsel. From a spiritual and biblical perspective, we will look at confession, repentance, forgiveness, and how to deal with ungodly soul ties if pornography, adultery or sex addictions have played a role in the current problems.

After every few sessions, we’ll talk about progress. If you ever feel we are not moving forward and you don’t have hope for a positive outcome and change – we’ll address it. The goal is to get unstuck so you can live an abundant life with hope, joy, meaning and purpose. If this approach is what you are looking for, let’s get started so you can get healthy!

 

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