Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Think and Act 12.11.13 – What I Learned In My Intro To Counseling Class

Today was a great feeling – I finished my Introduction to Counseling class.  I had to read five books and listen to over 20 lectures (averaging about 45 minutes a piece).  I started around Labor Day and finished today, completing two tests, a bunch of forum entires, one long paper and one short paper.  Grade? TBD and rather inconsequential.  I want to represent myself well regarding grades, but to me the learning and the skill are more important than passing a test.

So, what did I learn? Here are three of the top things I learned.

1. Problems with humans are vast. I struggle with areas “on the counseling list” and so do you.

How’s that for a heading? Listen, it’s true.  None of us leads a perfect life, and every one of us has some struggle for which we could use counsel.  Depression, sexual thoughts, anxiety, conflict, marriage, grief, etc. are common things people struggle with. And we all know people who struggle with these sorts of things if we don’t struggle with them specifically ourselves.

Extreme deviant behaviors and severe disorders are obvious, but not all counseling is “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” A lot of counseling is encouraging each other through difficult things Satan throws our way to destroy us.

2. Fixing problems is not the highest goal. Neither is growing in knowledge and skill.

I was really challenged by the idea that results are not necessarily in “lives fixed” or “knowledge attained”. It hit home with me that when working with people the highest standard is love. Of course we want to see improvement, but in order to do that anyone trying to help someone else should do whatever they can to make sure they know they love them and desire their greatest good. I know I have made mistakes in this area and I’m hoping this emphasis will help me be more careful in the future!

3. Scripture defines the greatest good.

Love is not an affirmation of what someone is doing. Love is pushing them to God’s design for our lives. Scripture is the place to find this, and counselors are called to be loving AS WELL AS Biblically faithful. Please, if you’re reading this, make sure you know that it is possible to tell someone hard things in counseling in a spirit of honesty and Biblical faithfulness AND love them at the same time.  If you don’t think that’s possible, you should think through your definition of love.

Be challenged!

Think. Do you like to help people? What are your goals and standards?

Act. Start with the people closest to you – are you sure that they know you love them? Ask God to help make you faithful in your relationships to be a loving person. He can help us overcome our shortcomings and distorted perceptions of ourselves. Assure others of your love and strive to be as consistent as possible.

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