Finding your new hope in the storms of life
“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” (Genesis 9:13)
How Do I Know If I Need Counseling?
Do I need Christian Counseling? This question is easy to answer because people may need help for various reasons. Seeking help does not mean a person is weak or incapable of overcoming conflicts on their own. It means they are wiser for seeking help. Proverbs 11:14 states “Where no counsel is the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” There are some Temperament types that do well without outside help, while others will need help. Please, if you, a loved one, or a friend is struggling with any of the items listed below, we recommend the Ministry of Christian Counseling:
- People who are suicidal or homicidal
- People who are phobic
- People who are depressed
- People who are struggling with an unusual amount of anxiety
- People with addictions such as drugs, alcohol, sexual, etc.
- Couples having marital problems: challenged, separated or contemplating divorce
- People dating/courting and contemplating engagement-Pre engagement Counseling
- Parents having major problems with child rearing or rebellion
- People with ongoing personal and spiritual conflicts
- Children or adolescents having difficulties in school
- People with severe financial difficulties or debt
Here Is The Powerful Truth Behind Christian Counseling!
Are You a Truth Seeker? Hurry! See Why You Should Read This Material!
Secular counseling differs dramatically from Christian counseling in that the current counseling methodologies typically focus on the following approaches. Some secular counselors utilize a “feel good centered therapy” in which the counselor tells the counselee things that they want to hear to feel good about themselves, relationships or situations-no matter if it is wrong. This may bolster the counselee’s feelings and emotions initially, but does not address the core issues facing the counselee and is not a durable or lasting solution to their long-term needs. Others will use “talk centered therapy” where the counselor lets the counselee “vent” or talk out or complain about their problems, but does not offer any real-lasting solutions to the problems that work. This approach can sometimes be helpful in releasing emotional distress in the short term, but underlying issues remain and continue to crop up over and over again. In some situations, the counselee’s problems or situation gets worse or more severe. A more overtly different approach from Christian counseling is a “world’s system centered therapy” which is characterized by the idea the “I am god and in control of my destiny”. This view allows the counselee to ignore all of the precepts that his Creator (God) provides and attempts to address issues that are beyond his capabilities, within his own power as a human, to conquer. This approach is destined to failure, also. Accordingly, a variation on the previous view is the “atheistic centered therapy” which denies the existence of God and uses “science” (evolution, Freudian theories, behaviorism, etc.) as its basis. This approach attempts to explain away the counselee’s issues or conflicts by blame-shifting, etc., but provides no-real-permanent or lasting solution. It is also destined to failure. Christian counseling on the other hand starts with using the best selling Book of all time, the “Owner’s Manual” for all humanity, (the Bible) to provide the principles, truths and road map to freedom and resolution from personal, financial and relational struggles and bondages.
In addition the trend, today, is to medicate some emotional problem or symptoms, instead of dealing with the root issues. This may be less expensive for insurance plans to pay for therapy that utilizes medications versus therapy alone. A person seeking to use insurance benefits may be diagnosed with a mental-health issue of some type, depending upon their presenting symptoms. This diagnosis will become a part of a person’s medical record/history. In some cases, this diagnosis may limit a person’s (including children and teens) future employment options. Persons diagnosed with a depressive disorder can expect to have this diagnosis on their medical record even if they overcome the depressive condition.
We operate as a Christian ministry and therefore do not use the secular mental-health diagnosis system. Our counselors are certified and licensed in a totally different way and, we feel, superior manner. We are not bound to, or by, many of the state and federal regulations that govern secular/state licensed counselors. Moreover, we are free from insurance company and governmental requirements. As an agent of the church, and not the state, we can help the counselee more successfully and freely in a shorter period of time, in most cases and situations.
Unfortunately, just as not all secular counseling is the same, not all “Christian counseling” is the same. This was discussed in “Lifetime Guarantee” by Bill Gillham (1993), a portion of which is paraphrased below. Suppose we refer a client to a therapist who is a believer. Since the therapist knows Jesus, is even perhaps on the church staff, the therapy will be Christian… or will it? “When we use the word Christian as an adjective, we imply that the skills and techniques— even the results—of the practitioner are Christian. This is a mistake. Ever used a ‘Christian mechanic’ who left a lot to be desired as a craftsman? A better description is ‘a mechanic who is a Christian.’ I would have no problem using the services of an unsaved, skilled, orthopedic surgeon to set my fractured hip, because I’m more interested in his surgical skill than his theology.” “But submitting yourself to a counselor who uses therapy developed by the minds of lost mentors is dramatically different. ‘Christian’ counseling must counsel the soul with techniques generated by the Spirit of God; counseling which is not Christian counsels the soul with techniques generated by the spirit of this world. Attaching Scripture to such techniques does not make them ‘Christian’ because the goals of these two therapies are diametrically opposed. Holy Spirit-led therapy seeks to lead the soul to abandon all hope in personal strength unto total reliance upon Christ’s strength, while secular therapy seeks to lead the soul to greater autonomy.” While our thinking plays a vital role in our walk-of-faith, our head knowledge is not the same as our heart knowledge or belief. In our minds, we process knowledge, facts, data, etc., but in our hearts we either believe or reject this knowledge, facts, data, etc. True change occurs in the heart which leads to lasting change in a life and relationships. Because there is a vast difference in these two (head vs. heart knowledge), Christian counseling, at Abundant Life focuses upon the Truth (heart knowledge) that brings freedom in the heart of a person’s life and/or circumstances.
How To Select The Right Professional For Me!
If You Are Looking for A Counselor, Why You Must Avoid This at All Costs!
Choosing the right counselor is one of utmost importance because you are the one to whom it will or will not benefit. Christian counseling is a relatively new field of ministry that uses Biblical principles to help set people free from sin, any satanic/demonic activity, unresolved issues from the past and to facilitate relational healing. Also, as Biblical principles are applied, people experience a more balanced life as well as become more balanced within their Temperament. Suggestions for choosing a Biblical counselor are as follows: Make sure the counselor is a committed Bible believing Christian. Does he/she counsel from a Christian perspective or world view? Is the counselor sponsored by someone such as a church or reputable agency? If so, there is a greater chance that the counselor is more effective. How long has the counselor been in the community? Abundant Life Christian Counselling Services has been in existence since 1992. The longer a person is in the community, the more confidence you can have because that person has withstood the test of time. Check out relatively new counselors thoroughly before committing yourself to counseling. Has the counselor helped others in dealing with their problems? If so, don’t hesitate to ask for a reference list. Does this person promise much, but do little? Beware of people who are constantly boasting about what they have accomplished. Has the counselor been adequately trained? Biblical training is necessary in helping people with problems! Has the counselor dealt with problems in his/her own life? Has the counselor been trained to help people find freedom in Christ and walk free from their past? Will the counselor work with you concerning fees? Most counselors who really care will work with you on the financially so that you can get the needed counseling. Will the counselor work with your medical doctor or healthcare provider, if necessary, to help you with your problems? Be realistic with the counselor and remember they are people too. You can be realistic by being honest and open with your counselor and by realizing that no one has the answers to every problem. Lastly, avoid counseling that is what I call “Tow-Truck Counseling.” What is that? Tow-Truck Counseling is a form of counseling that believes in only helping a counselee get out of their problem by worldly means/methods. An example will illustrate. If someone is rude to you or continues to be rude to you, Tow-Truck Counseling says “Be rude back to them.” God says “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ”s sake hath forgiven you.” This type of counseling can, also, be called “Make Me Feel Good” or “Make Me Feel Good About Doing Wrong” Counseling. Please keep in mind that dealing with some problems will never be pleasant, such as overcoming abuse or certain types of addictions. However, we are promised God’s presence as we go through and deal with these conflicts “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” Hebrews 13:5. In all likely hood, though, you will probably encounter “Talk and Complain Therapy.” This type of counseling believes and promotes allowing the counselee to “just talk and complain.” An example will illustrate. If I have a flat tire and I call Roadside Assistance to help. Once the attendant arrives, if all I do is talk and complain about my flat tire and not allow the attendant to change the tire, I am still stuck on side of the road.
See How Our Full Commitment and Skill In Service Can Help You
Got Real Problems? Get Real Solutions That Work Fast! We face a real-world of struggles. We all need real solutions that are proven to work. People who call our offices are looking for hope and wanting to know if there is help for them finding freedom and resolution from personal and relational conflicts. Our ministry of counseling is built upon guaranteed-to-work-Scriptural-principles used successfully, by Jesus, to help others. Jesus helped people who wanted His help and were willing to accept His Love, Grace and Truth. He states in John 8:32 “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free; and in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Truth is about entering into a deeper-intimate relationship with the One who is Truth. Jesus frees us through His power, over the Kingdom of darkness and Satan’s lies about our new identity in Christ. Therefore, there is hope for resolving any conflict “…because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4. Here are just a few situations or circumstances in which people have seen results:
- People who are suicidal or homicidal – enabling you to find a new hope for a new life.
- People who are phobic – any and every fear can be overcome through teaching specific Scripture principles.
- People who are struggling with depression, grief, losses, hurts as well as anger is addressed and new hope discovered.
- People who are struggling with an unusual amount of anxiety – anxious living is confronted with purposeful living and principles that bring security.
- People with addictions/substance abuse, such as drugs, alcohol, sexual, etc. – root issues are identified and removed through the Power of Scripture, principles prayer.
- Couples having marital problems: challenged, separated or contemplating divorce – issues are brought to light and resolved Scripturally bringing a renewed hope for living and/or reconciliation.
- Parents having major problems with child rearing – new and relevant principles are revealed that brings instant change for most parents.
- People with ongoing personal and spiritual conflicts – Spiritual freedom is the goal and a guaranteed path of freedom is followed.
- Children or adolescents having difficulties in school – school issues are resolved by delving into the root issues causing them and/or working with teachers and school officials, alike.
- People with severe financial difficulties or debt – root issues will be identified and dealt with revealing the cause of financial struggles. Also, people will be shown how to become successful by applying financial principles for success/blessings.
- Family counseling is very effective in resolving struggles that interfere with bonding and closeness.
A marriage mentoring couple uses their life experiences to support and strengthen other couple’s marriages by:
- Listening to you – as a “vent”, as a “sounding board” to help you get your thoughts and feelings into appropriate focus and be able to deal with them
- Encourage you – sharing how God has worked through their experiences and what His word says about individual and couple issues
- Praying with you – leading the individuals and the couple to pray for each other and the needs in their family
- Praying for you – intercede as needed for the individual/couple and their needs
- Holding you accountable – for any changes for which you desire accountability
How Others Have Now Experienced Freedom and Peace
Even though we cannot guarantee that people will change, we do guarantee that you will be placed with a competent counselor who has overcome his/her own conflicts through God’s Truth. This counselor is one you can trust because they have been there and they have changed. Someone once said “within each of us is a gate of change. Only we can unlock the gate. We unlock the gate when it is safe to do so.” We believe you will be safe and secure, in God’s hands, as you follow our Ministry of Freedom. Remember: Your biggest mountain (problem) will crumble at the feet of Jesus with your smallest seed of faith. Others think so too, as they have said the following:
- “If you helped no one else but me, this Ministry has been worth it. God has used you. By the grace of God I am better.”
- “I feel like I am happier now than I have ever been in my life. I have always felt like something has been wrong, but not anymore.”
- “I’m still amazed at how God has worked in my life and the peace I’ve had for two years. He knew we needed someone in this area to help His hurting people. I thank Him continually for raising up you to do His work.”
- “You have shown me God’s love. You are the only one who has shown me unconditional love. You know how to demonstrate God’s unconditional love.”
- “There is no way I can repay your part. I know if you had not been here I would have been dead. God has put you here to help others.”
- “I believe in myself for once in my life.”
- “I am better since coming last time. I have not been crying so much over my son’s death”
- “We have been getting along better since coming for our first marriage session. Counseling has made a difference.”
- “I am so glad God has sent me here – with someone who has been through it (problems) before.”
- “I almost lost everything because of Satan’s lies, but I am thankful you have told me the Truth.”
- “I am thankful for your ministry. God has used you to save my life. I could not have gone another week.”
- “I am thankful your counseling center is here. You are the only Bible-based Counseling Services around.”
- “Your ministry is so balanced and effective.”
- “My rash is gone since I have been coming for Counseling. I had the rash over 50 years.”
- “I thought I would never overcome this (sexual molestation at age 2-3) but the pain is gone. It feels good.”
- “I wish I would have started when I was young because I would not have gone through a lot of hardships.”
- “I feel so good. I have sought this peace all my life.”
Here Are Some Suggestions To Help In The Financial Area
Our ministry-services are generally not covered by insurance plans that would cover secular counseling costs. While these insurance plans provide some coverage, they can limit the number of sessions per year and can also have significant co-payment requirements (sometimes higher than medical co-payments).
We operate as a Christian ministry and our counseling fees are typically less than traditional (secular) counseling. In addition, we use a sliding scale of fees which is based on the total family income to align costs with ability to pay. In some cases, our fees are only half of secular/state licensed counseling fees.
We also believe that counseling has a beginning and an end. We focus on moving a person in need through the Biblical steps needed to achieve victory over that need and allow them to continue successfully on their own as soon as possible. The training our counselors receive is 95% successful in helping others overcome their struggles, according to the NCCA’s findings. This may result in fewer counseling sessions than an “open-ended” secular/state licensed approach. Since total cost is based on the number of sessions, our approach helps to keep your costs to a minimum.
Counseling, if required, is a significant need and should be considered as such in the total family budget. It may be necessary to reduce or defer some wants (entertainment, vacation, new car, etc.) during the season of counseling to focus your resources on the true needs of the family.
If our prorated costs and your careful budgeting still leave you short of adequate resources, pray and seek the Lord as to how to proceed. Some folks have found support from their church or pastor. Others have found relatives or friends who would love to see them have victory over their need and be willing to help. A few employers have helped because they consider it a vested interest in the well being of their employees. Some folks have found that they have “stuff” they can sell, or an additional employment opportunity to generate the needed funds. Finally, God has provided funds (miraculously) from totally unexpected sources when He is asked in earnest prayer. “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” (Matt. 7:7) 3