If you keep quiet at a time like this, God will deliver the Jews from some other source, but you and your relatives will die; what’s more, who can say but that God has brought you into the palace for just such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
I often start my intake sessions with clients with a simple question- “What brings you here?” I then quickly add, “What brings you in now, as opposed to, let’s say six months ago?”
This is a way to determine if a problem is recent or chronic. If a certain event recently prompted the felt need for counseling, or if this consideration has been going on for a while. This information is helpful, and it is pretty concrete and specific about why a person came to counseling.
Sometimes, a person is very open about the fact that someone else told them to come to counseling- a spouse, an employer, a probation officer, etc. I am just looking for honesty here. There is no blame or judgment just because someone is coming in under some felt duress. In fact, that felt pressure can be just the thing a person needed to look more deeply into their own life. I have seen plenty of clients who come in on an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) because their employer mandated it, and the client later says that they are so glad that they were ordered to come in.
You know, whatever works.
Sometimes too, later into the counseling process, I may ask a deeper question- “Why are you here?” This does not involve why they are in the counseling room, but rather, why are they here on planet earth. Here, I am asking about their mission on earth. What is the reason that they go about life the way they do? What is their life purpose?
These are questions we all must ponder at some point. What is our mission in life? Why did God give us this existence at this time and this place with the particular gifts that he gave us?
We are here for a reason(s). How might you answer that question?
Prayer: Lord, you have given us all a reason to be here in your creation plan. Thank you for this amazing and complex world which you have given to us to impact, with gifts you gave, Amen