A good counselor doesn’t bring pre-conceived ideas of what is wrong with people into the counseling room. If we did we would be unable to collect the information that we need to make an objective assessment of the situation.
People often seek help because they need relief from a problem or situation. They may have tried different things to help them cope, but haven’t found anything that worked. Often an event will happen that will cause them to pick up the phone and seek counseling. They arrive to the first session saying things like:
- I can’t take it anymore.
- You have to fix him.
- Our marriage is a mess.
- My kids are out of control.
- I can’t take his pornography addiction.
- I have lost hope.
- I am so depressed.
- I have lost joy.
- I can’t believe I did that.
- I am not sure what to do.
The problem that brings people to counseling is real and often painful. It is called the presentation problem because it is what we can see on the outside, but there are often more problems that we can’t see and that take further investigation.
The following presentation provides some guidance on helping people and ourselves identify the presentation problem and begin to look past it. There is a reason this is so important.
A couple years ago I sought help. I was severely depressed and going through major life changes. I would have told you that my children leaving home and my career transition were my problems, but a good counselor would dig deeper. They would have discovered that I made an idol of my children and the nonprofit I served at for seven years and when my idol was taken from me I fell apart. Where was God? Good question. I had replaced Him with another god.
I would have needed life skills to deal with major life change and learning to live without my children in my daily life. I also needed to re-connect with God and make Him a priority in my life. When I could do that I could successfully navigate the changes in my life and they would not be such a powerful stumbling block to my living as God called me to live.
Problems are a part of our journey. What we have to learn is how to live a life that glorifies God, is obedient to Him, and that fulfills the great commission in the midst of those problems.
Please click on the picture above or visit the following link to view the presentation.