A Counseling Model for My Local Church Ministry By Michael V.

Paddy Student ID# 22282275

Presented to LIEUTENANT COLONEL (RET.) CHARLES NATHAN DAVIDSON BS; M.Div.; D.Min.

In partial fulfillment of the requirements of Pastoral Care and Counseling PACO 698

Soli Deo Gloria

With thanks to Michelle D. Paddy Frank Williams Doug Sukhia Steve White Eric Smith Dwight C. Rice Dr. Tim Clinton Dr. Ron Hawkins And Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Charles Nathan Davidson FCC ² First Christian Church, Non-denominational, Waynoka, OK The American Association of Christian Counselors

³Along this track of pathless ocean it is my intention to steer.´ Christopher Columbus

INTRODUCTION...«««««««««««««««.««««««««««««««4 The Counselor..........«««««««««««««««.««««««««««««««5 The Heart of the Counselor...«««««««««««««««««««««««5 The Calling of the Counselor ...««««««««««««««««««««««5 The Heart of the Counselor...«««««««««««««««««««««««5 The Education, Learning and Experience of the Counselor.««««««««««6 The Spiritual Integrity of the Counselor .«««««««««...««««««««7 An Overarching Goal ..«««««««««««««««««««««««««..7 THE COUNSELING SETTING ««««««««««.««««««««««««««8 Solution Based, Brief Pastoral Counseling ..«««««««««««««««..«.8 The Guiding Assumptions ««««««.....«««««««««««««««..«.8 The Preliminary Introduction into the Counseling Process ««««««««...«.10 THE COUNSELING SESSIONS .«««««««««««««««««««««««.11 The Presession Talk«««««««««...««««««««««««««««.12 Session One««««««««««««.. ..««««««««««««««««.12 Subsequent Sessions «««««««.. ..«««««««««««««««..««.13 The Final Session «««.«««««««...««««««««««««««««.13 CONCLUSION«.«««««««««««««««««««««««««««««..14 BIBLIOGRAPHY .««««««««««««««.««««««««««««««.....16

INTRODUCTION This paper will attempt to integrate the things I have learned during my studies for my graduate degree at Liberty Baptist Seminary. Pastoral counseling was an integral part of my education these past three years and my ability to apply this knowledge will be put forth in this paper. The syllabus states that my final project is to develop a counseling model I would use as the counselor for a local church ministry. As a solo pastor of a small rural local church I have developed a model for counseling and spiritual direction that has been helpful in my ministry. I will attempt to document the philosophy and strategies I have learned through my studies and have implemented and continue to integrate into my life and pastoral role. This is a dynamic journey I am on because the many facets and complexities of life demand that I continue to learn and grow with the needs of those who come to me for direction and guidance. Ecclesiastes says ³There is nothing new under the sun«´ but because of the position of the sun many different varying shades of shadows imprint themselves on our lives. It is, for now, my role then not to just counsel people but to make sure that I am ready to meet the demands of those needs. I pray that I am by the grace of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, able to fully articulate that in this my final research project.

The Counselor The Heart of the Counselor For the sake of clarity, the title of Counselor refers to myself and/or anyone else who might be in the position I find myself providing soul care, spiritual direction, simple problem solving, and counsel to someone in need. Though a case can be made in differentiating these activities, in my case I am seen as one in these settings and can navigate myself carefully through the differences to serve competently to the situations that present themselves to me. So how does one prepare to be a counselor? Someone who people can come to for solutions to their problems, challenges and afflictions? The biggest challenge of a solo pastor, especially in a small rural congregational setting is that I must fill many roles. To do this there are many challenges the first is whether or not a pastor has the heart to carry out the day to day tasks involved in such a ministry. I cannot see my ministry and role as being something that fills a need to be needed or wanted. In other words It cannot be about me personally especially in the area of counseling. ³To be effective pastors, we must enlarge our love and make ourselves vulnerable.´1 This means being sensitive and empathetic so as to enter into the setting of the congregant so that trust is established and an authentic sense of presence is felt by people in need. The Calling of the Counselor

Paul Cedar, Kent Hughes, & Ben Patterson, Mastering the Pastoral Role, (Portland: Multnomah Press, 1991), 139.

1

Calling must be understood in this relationship also.2 We know there is a universal calling of discipiling people, but a deeper calling of vocation must be seen within this context. I believe that the call to the ministry now comes by the Holy Spirit's compelling a man's heart in that direction. Paul said, "This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work". If you sense a strong desire to participate full time or extensively in ministry that may be God's call to serve Him in that capacity.3 It will be in those days of difficulty that calling will help move us through the questions of competency and futility when trying to help others seems weak and shallow. The Education, Learning and Experience of the Counselor Speaking from personal experience I am not the same man I was 33 years ago when I first felt the call of God to enter into full time ministry. Though the spiritual gifts were there and a personality bent towards serving others,4 I lacked the experience, understanding and confidence to boldly enter into the spiritual lives of others. To be effective in what we do as counselors, we need the teaching, training and guidance of others to help us understand the incredibly complex world of others¶ spiritual distinctions and emotional distresses. 5 This could come under the heading of competency, being adequately qualified to serve in this capacity.

Tim Clinton, Archibald Hart, & George Ohlschlager, eds., Caring for People God¶s Way (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005), 14. 3 John MacArthur, The Book on Leadership, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishing, 2004), 148. For an example of this personality type see: Lawrence M. Brammer and Ginger MacDonald, The Helping Relationship: Process and skills, 8th edition, (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2003), 36-47.
5 4

2

Clinton, 23

Of all the distinctive qualities of a counselor, the one I must be more disciplined in and conscious of is attentive listening. Failing to listen well can turn my spiritual directive pastoral counseling into a mini-sermon pep talk.6 The Spiritual Integrity of the Counselor This is where the calling and the spiritual qualifications of the counselor meet. This in my estimation is the most important of all! Scripture says the center of affection and moral presence is our hearts then we must guard them because our hearts are the well spring of life.7If you desire to be a person who gives spiritual guidance to others, thenyou must be someone who has a life that is put together well, healthy, and whole. Paul addresses this first with Timothy,8 then with Titus9 when he gives a list of spiritual and moral qualities that make up both a mature Christian but specifically those desiring to give Christian leadership to others. An Overarching Goal Next to calling this is helpful for the counselor to understand what his role might be in helping people. Though as Paul said we must be all things to all people, I am sure he did not mean we had to become human chameleons changing for every aspect and need that comes our way. Rather I believe we all within our skill, experience and gift set fulfill a purpose or an overarching goal giving us a spiritual measuring rod telling us we are fulfilling what we believe is our God given purpose and role as counselors. I have two overarching goals, Romans 15:13, reminds me that the end results of the counseling relationship ends in overflow of hope. I Peter Charles Allen Kollar, Solution-Focused Pastoral Counseling, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997), 168.
7 6

Proverbs 4:23, NIV. 1 Timothy 3:1-13 Titus 1:6-9

8

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5:2 in the Phillips Translation helps me to remember that my motivation and calling as a caregiver is central to the healing process of the souls under my care. THE COUNSELING SETTING10 Solution Based, Brief Pastoral Counseling A solution based, brief pastoral counseling process is focused on the present and a gives the counselee a sense of hope, a future based on positive encouraging feed-back, positive psychology based theory with a brief or limited focus on the presenting problem. Solution based, brief pastoral counseling process is more than just seeking out the problematic and damaged part of our psyche and repairing it, we need to have soul care at its core where the person comes away feeling better than problem-free.11 The Guiding Assumptions Through PACO 500, Introduction to Pastoral Counseling and other counseling classes I have attended at Liberty, I have developed some guiding assumptions to help guide me: 1. The counselor must have a well-defined sense of who he is so that he can make sure he is not a barricade in building the necessary relationship with the care-seeker. This relational interaction would build trust and confidence in the heart and soul of the counselee so that he can speak truth to the counselor and trust the counselor in order to accept truth in return. 2. A solution based, brief pastoral counseling process provides a systematic format necessary in setting up a successful counseling scenario. It provides intentionality of This section is an updated and edited version of a paper done for PACO-500, Introduction to Pastoral Counseling. I have reviewed this many times and actually have it in a notebook for reference purposes to remind me of the importance of the counseling setting. To read and/or review this paper: http://www.scribd.com/doc/39681283/Final-Research-PaperPACO-500-Intro-to-Pastoral-Counseling.
11 10

Ibid.

counseling in stages. These stages are rigid enough to hit all the pieces needed for a focused counseling season, yet fluid enough to understand that when dealing with human emotions it is impossible to have a checklist or a script in front of us that might have all the answers for every problem we confront. ³«the pastoral counselor must be flexible and develop sensitivity to the ³third ear´ Spirit in order to tailor counseling to each individual.´ 12 The integration of the material from Solution-focused pastoral counseling13 helps establish assumptions that are Biblically based and experientially sound. In my guiding assumptions I assume: 1. God has been and is working in the life of the counselee. An omnipotent, omniscient God has the ability to see beyond any present circumstance and uses past, present and future circumstances to bring people to a place of faith, hope and love in all their lives and relationships. 2. Brief Therapy does not mean quick fix; rather it brings immediate solutions to bear on most problems. The word brief is an adjective related to time elements, but it can also mean simple, simple solutions, simple conversation, and simple relief from the immediate emotions and anxieties in the heart of the counselee. 3. The counseling setting is dynamic. It changes and grows as brief, simple solutions surface and are implemented, new challenges can appear, both positive and negative. In any case, a continual pattern of using Solution based, brief pastoral counseling is a catalyst for growth and change. Dwight Rice,The Pastoral Counseling Scenario Part 1: The Counseling Setting. Microsoft Power Point file. From: bb7.liberty.edu. accessed June 27, 2009.
13 12

listening to the Holy

Kollar, 1997

4. In counseling, though the counselee can create the problem they are not the immediate problem. In our setting, we focus on the solution to the immediate problem not the overarching patterns of behavior and personality of the counselee that might have caused the challenge they are presently facing. 5. The counseling roles are pivotal in bringing real solutions to the counselee¶s problems. A quick fix answer to any situation by the counselor precludes the ability and initialization of the counselee to find out the solution. The counselor is the conductor in the symphony of the counseling setting but does not play the necessary instruments to produce the music. 6. The counselor helps the counselee bring out the solution that is already present in the care-seeker. As illustrated in assumption five, the counselor needs to help the counselee discover that which they already know. The answer to their present problem is already known to them through experience and in understanding the truth in assumption one. The Preliminary Introduction into the Counseling Process In many counseling settings, a preliminary understanding needs to have an agreement or covenant of intent. Though small problems and counseling settings may not need this type of explicit agreement, an implicit agreed understanding of roles; context and setting of the discussions taking place must have their place. In an explicit counseling setting, a pre-session package given to a prospective care-seeker is a good introduction before actual counseling begins. The pre-session package can contain but is not limited to some of the following understandings:

1. Information concerning the counseling style and process used by the counselor and counseling center. 2. The religious, faith, and/or doctrinal beliefs of the counselor and the counseling center. 3. The ethical standards of the counselor and counseling center as well as the ethical rights of those seeking counseling. 4. Informational Intake forms giving relevant information to the counselor and counseling center. 5. An informed consent and confidentiality agreement. 6. Process and information concerning referrals of the care-seeker. 7. Where appropriate and a part of the structure of the counseling setting, financial costs and disclosures. The pre-session package does not ensure successful outcomes in the counseling session but makes both the counselor and counselee accountable for the information the pre-session package contains and gives clear boundaries and guidelines to ensure a proper counseling setting ethic. This will help in the development of trust and confidence of the counselee towards the counselor. THE COUNSELING SESSIONS Solution based, brief counseling as I have adapted in my ministry and continue to review has a limited time period in providing counseling sessions for people in need. Each individual¶s presenting problem is unique and I must acknowledge that there needs to be flexibility in the number of sessions needed to but a draft outline is fixed in my mind of bringing a person¶s time in counseling to a successful conclusion.

In my final research paper for PACO 500, Introduction to Pastoral Counseling, a four phase approach was recommended and initiated. Since that time I have found three to four sessions to be more than adequate in helping people. Anything past that might need a more experienced licensed, psychotherapist especially when it becomes evident, which can happen early on in the sessions, showing a personality disorder or severe trauma. This is where I would recommend and initiate a referral. Pre-session Talk This is very short, no more than twenty minutes where I orient the individual to my presession package mentioned earlier. I do not call it a pre-session package I actually use the Frequently Asked Questions, FAQ, approach to the package. In our small rural setting this puts the mind of the care seeker at ease helping them see the sessions as a beneficial way of getting answers to problems, without the stigma and shame of ³going for counseling.´ The most important part of the FAQ is the confidentiality portion. IN our small town setting it is not unheard of to have something take place and within literally minutes, others hearing and/or talking about it. The social networking sites on the internet are used by many in our area and even under the old guise of prayers and thoughts, confidential information gets out and people react very negatively, rightly so, to the perceived humiliation. Session One Being a pastor it is accepted by all for me to pray. I still always ask permission to let the care seeker feel some control in their moment when they need to have some confidence built into them. My goal in Phase One will be to discover the predominant problem. Using my guiding assumptions I am sure that the care seeker will have their own ideas of what is happening. Using

attentive listening, I find that I can with few words and few questions get the individual to gain some insight through their own words of what they might be facing. I find utilizing The TalkerListener Process14 as helpful and beneficial to maintain an attentive listening position. Positive feedback lets the care seeker understand that I am an advocate for them both as a counselor and pastor. Subsequent Sessions It is during these times that I continue to establish the relationship with the care seeker. Prayer, positive feed-back, helpful guiding questions for clarity, and most importantly, homework for them to work on makes them take the ownership of the sessions helping them to see they are the ones working through their problem finding the needed answers that are becoming more and more evident to them as the counseling progresses. I also increase the spiritual aspect that God already knows what we all need and has been at work even before formal counseling commenced. His presence with us as the Third Person in the room gives both myself and the counselee confidence that no matter what we say or do during the sessions, He will give clarity and direction to us. Final Session In some ways I find this part of the counseling session to be the most fruitful. This is where is I take the opportunity to draw the care seeker into a community of people who can address the ongoing issues they may continually face in his life. Although I am always encouraging church attendance and interaction in church events, it is in these moments that I have seen church growth in our little community of believers. I also find that those who do enter

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Petersen, James C. 2007. Why don¶t we listen better? Communicating and connecting in relationships. Tigard, OR: Petersen Publications

into fellowship and community with us, they are excited and enthusiastic in bringing their own gifts, talents and skills to our church. The challenge I face with attachment. There have been times where there has been some attachment to me as a care giver because most of the time the care seeker has had no one to help them before this or have they experienced such break-throughs in their problems. So there is an affinity built towards me as the professional clergy that no one else has filled in the past or might build in the future. I have started to bridge that with social times encouraging the care seeker to attend and tell their story of how God helped them through certain circumstances. Even asking them if they want to share what God is doing in their life in our service has been successful. Sometimes this portion of our service goes for fifteen to twenty minutes, (which leaves me with trying to edit my sermon but that is okay because the real sermon is being preached from the pew). Counseling for the 21st century will be founded and initiated by the professional and pastoral counselor but it will be the final session¶s goal of building a team of lay support and accountability that will make true counseling successful in bringing people into the Kingdom of God and discipiling them for their life and service on earth. CONCLUSION Is discipleship counseling or is counseling discipleship? ³Discipleship counseling is an attempt to meet people where they are and help them resolve their personal problems and spiritual conflicts so that they can be established alive and free in Christ.´15 Could it be that simple? The answer is yes and no! Simple yes when the counselor is spiritually self-aware and brings to bear the practical principles mentioned in this paper. Neil T. Anderson, Discipleship Counseling: The Complete Guide to Helping Others Walk in Freedom and Grow in Christ, (Ventura: Regal Books, 2003), 14.
15

Complex, because even though there is ³nothing new under the sun,´16 our sinful hearts are devising new ways to break God¶s laws and covenants17 to the point that a blurry line is drawn between severe mental disorders and unhealthy sinful actions and practices. At the very heart I have learned that counseling is built on the tenants and foundation of relationships. Trust, confidence, vulnerability, truth, accountability, has been discussed and all of these characteristics are founded on relationships, which is what discipleship is all about.

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Ecclesiastes 1:9 Romans 1:18-31, Romans 3:9-20.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Benner, David G. 2003. Strategic Pastoral Counseling: A Short-Term Structured Model. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group. Brammer, Lawrence & Ginger MacDonald. 2003. The Helping Relationship: Process and skills. 8th edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Cedar,Paul; Kent Hughes, & Ben Patterson. 1991. Mastering the Pastoral Role. Portland: Multnomah Press. Clinton, Tim; Archibald Hart, & George Ohlschlager, eds. 2005.Caring for People God¶s Way. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Inc. ² &Ron Hawkins. 2007. Biblical counseling quick reference guide: Personal and emotional issues. United States: AACC Press. Greenberg, Gail, Keren Ganshorn, &Alanna Danilkewich. 2001. Solution-focused therapy: Counseling model for busy family physicians. In Canadian Family Physician Vol. 47, (November): 2289-2295. http://www.imgcommunicationspecialist.com/solutionfocusedtherapyvol47-nov-cme.pdf Kollar, Charles. 1997. Solution-Focused Pastoral Counseling. Grand Rapids: Zondervan MacArthur, John. 2004. The Book on Leadership. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishing. Paddy, Michael V. 2008. Solution-Blessed Brief Pastoral Counseling Project. http://www.scribd.com/doc/39681283/Final-Research-Paper-PACO-500-Intro-toPastoral-Counseling. Petersen, James C. 2007. Why don¶t we listen better? Communicating and connecting in relationships. Tigard, OR: Petersen Publications Rice, Dwight.The Pastoral Counseling Scenario Part 1: The Counseling Setting. Microsoft Power Point file. From: bb7.liberty.edu. accessed June 27, 2009.

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