The 3 Parts of Professional Christian Counseling
There are three parts to Christian Counseling that, when combined, generate a healing synergy, which is especially helpful for patients:
- God’s healing kindness.
- The counselor’s gifts and talents.
- The patient’s hard work.
God’s Healing Kindness and Grace
It seems God gives more healing grace to some patients than others. Maybe he gives more to Christians than to atheists or more to practicing Christians than to nominal Christians. He may give more grace to those who seek, knock, and beg for his healing grace than to the spiritually negligent or lazy. He may give more to those who thank Him for whatever grace they do get. Some patients seem to get 100 units of healing grace, while others get just two. It appears that some patients have more barriers, obstacles, and hindrances, or they simply cannot push through them, while others can.
The Counselors Gifts and Talents
The second part of the synergistic healing equation is the counselor’s unique blend of gifts and talents, knowledge, skills and abilities, and hopefully, the charism. When you bring your car to the mechanic, you hope they don’t look in the trunk for the motor. Regarding counseling knowledge, all counselors legally able to provide counseling and receive third-party payments hold a master’s degree, did a supervised internship, and passed a state licensing exam to practice. But what does it profit a therapist to get a master’s degree, complete an internship, and pass a test if they are severely disordered spiritually, or heretics, or counsel against Christianity. To their patients, they are actually sheep in wolves’ clothing, and the blind leading the blind. There are also other and possibly less dangerous types of therapists. Some counselors practice strict secular psychotherapy. We believe secular therapy can be a gift from God to heal hurting souls. We also think healing the infrastructure of the soul is beyond the secular therapist’s scope of work since the discernment of spirits is necessary to implement more profound healing.
The Patient’s Hard Work
The third part is the patient’s hard work. Some patients have a history of meeting with several counselors for 5-7 sessions over a few years. When asked if it helped, they said not so much. If you go to the physician for an infection on your arm, he will prescribe some antibiotics and say to come back next week. When the patient comes back and the infection is worse, the physician asks whether the patient took the prescription as prescribed, and the patient responds, “No, I didn’t take the antibiotics.” No wonder the patient didn’t improve; they didn’t follow the doctor’s orders. The parallel in counseling is that the patient doesn’t follow the counselor’s recommendations, doesn’t improve, and projects their lack of success onto the counselor or counseling process instead of taking responsibility for their own lack of effort. It’s best practice to explain the “hard work” principle to the patient in great detail at least 5-10 times during the first few sessions so that they understand that even if God were showering down 100 units of healing grace. They only used two, so they would only reap the benefits of two. We reap what we sow. The more of the 100 units of grace the patient cooperates with, the more healing they experience. These three parts of counseling God’s healing kindness, the counselor’s part, and the patient’s hard work will be thoroughly discussed through this work.