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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


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?


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: Gods, as defined in Scripture Value: Holiness Practice: Love (reflecting Gods character) Power: Holy Spirit

The Change Process in BC

The Heart changed by Christ leads to Obedience & Transformation, according to Transformation
Gods will as revealed in Word and Spirit

Obedience to Gods Word (change

behavior via a changed heart) Maturing in Christ (i.e., that Christ be formed continually in ones 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

Character Qualities
accurate self-assessment, flexibility of spirit


encouragement & hope, servant attitude

dependability, discipline

Spiritual Maturity
personal holiness, Biblical/theological wisdom

Effectiveness as a Biblical Counselor 2

Functional Qualities
Building relationships
gentleness, kindness, sensitive, peacemaking


Understanding the counselees environment

data gathering, uncovering heart issues, Biblical interpretation

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 1) Acknowledge hurdles many overcame just to contact you for help (self-image issues) 2) Recognize risks & exposure (vulnerability) 3) Each seeks, & needs, a place of security & safety (Is. 42:1-4) 4) Recognize that some, if not most, do not want to be there 5) Be aware of the tension between request for help & refusal of it

9 Things To Remember, continued

6) Each comes with ideas, assumptions, & expectations that need to be explored (pastor as mind-reader, fix-it person, condoner of sin, etc.) 7) The 1-to-1 relationship and total privacy may stir up intense and disturbing fantasy & perception formations 8) Gender issues warrant consideration 9) 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 ones 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:


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 its 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 persons problem or concern Perspective: listening stance

How You Begin May Determine the Outcome

Supportive Counseling

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

In supportive care and counseling, the pastor uses methods that stabilize, undergird, nurture, motivate, or guide troubled personsenabling them to handle their problems and relationships more constructively . . . .
Howard Clinebell, Basic Types, rev. ed. (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1984), 170.

Supportive Counseling

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

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


Dont I Know You??

Transference: the phenomenon of reacting to a person as if he/she is another person from ones past. A distorted and inappropriate response derived from unresolved unconscious conflicts in a persons past.
(See Richard S. Schwartz, A Psychiatrists 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 pastors thoughts, feelings, etc. toward the parishioner.

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

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

The Genogram: What Is It?

A Genogram: Whose Is It?

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:
Institute (10 week course) Alban

Communication (Listening) Skills Grief Training - H. Norman Wright Crisis Care Video Series

Biblical Counseling Model (Crabb)

ID problem feelings ID problem behaviors ID problem thinking Substitute Biblical Assumptions Plan & carry out Biblical behavior Secure commitment to Biblical behavior Affirm Spirit-feelings