Without wise leadership, a nation is in trouble; but with good counselors there is safety.             Proverbs 11:14

Being a counselor, I of course advocate for people to get counseling. It is a normal, helpful tool that anyone can benefit from. Over the years, the stigma of going to counseling has decreased markedly, and that is a very good thing. There is no big secret about how or why counseling works. You get to talk with someone who is going to listen to you- hear your story- in order get rapport and show respect in order to help you through some of life’s difficult times. They will help you to see things objectively, and will give you feedback about that. They will be honest, and they will be loving in their approach.

As I have said numerous times, deciding to go to counseling can be difficult because people may not know what to expect. They may fear showing vulnerability, and yet that is the very essence of human healing. Acknowledging (not admitting, acknowledging– big difference when you think about that) that we are vulnerable and in need of help is a courageous step, not a sign of weakness. It is the beginning of a healthy journey.

My job as a counselor is not to judge you, but to engage with you to find solutions for problems. It is to come alongside you as a support and also an accountability person to keep you on track. Frankly, our job as counselors is to show God’s love to people as human vessels of support, encouragement, and engagement.

Yes, we have developed tools to diagnose and treat clinical conditions that need treatment- things like anxiety, depression, trauma recovery, mood disorders, relationship problems, and many more issues. We will refer to helpful resources, and typically, we will refer our clients to doctors for a physical examination, and/or to psychiatry for medication if needed. We will give homework, and we will ask for accountability on that work. The work of counseling is not all played out in the counseling session, it is effected through the work of the client outside the counseling venue.

I mentioned earlier that we acknowledge our vulnerability, not admit to it. You see, admission has the connotation of wrong doing. Acknowledgment is acceptance of a purely human condition. See the difference? Yes, words matter!

So, if I have opened the door just a little to make counseling a good alternative, I have done my job.

Prayer: Lord, you have given us one another to share the journey marked out for us. Give us wisdom in helping others along the path, Amen.

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