Below we've included a few comments regarding licensed professional counseling that we pray you find helpful. We rejoice that many of our friends who are have been through the licensing process agree with much or all of what is articulated below.
- Christian Counseling as it exists today began as a response to the embarrassing absence of the body of Christ appropriately loving its members well. The church has lost its calling and the void it left makes people vulnerable to unbiblical strategies to address their pain.
- It is always wrong to avoid painful issues in the lives of others. Seeing ‘hurting’ people and quickly walking to the other side of the road (and sending them to a ‘professional’) is not acceptable for a follower of Christ.
- Followers of Christ are not all equally skilled and gifted in helping others work through issues. There is no need (or call) for an individual believer, or individual church to represent itself as the compendium of all wisdom. There is a call to equip ourselves to be increasingly mature and prepared for every good work and to always work in the context of community and with great humility. Saying "I am not equipped" does not excuse us. Staying with someone while you seek help with them so you can be sharpened and they can be cared for is wise and biblical.
- We do not believe it is ever wise to meet with people in isolation, especially when a “confidentiality” agreement is in place. Our confidence is in Godly people acting in a Godly, biblically informed manner. Our faith is in God’s love for us and His people acting in good faith with information, which means only sharing information with others who are part of the problem or part of the solution.
- Justifying that we should meet with people on their terms (i.e., promising, or agreeing to be contractually/legally obligated to ‘confidentiality’) by stating “if we didn’t then individuals would meet with a worse alternative” is not sound thinking. No one believes that believers should date non-believers just because if they don’t they will date worse people. If people choose to make unwise choices in who they yoke themselves to…that is their problem and not one that we should try to stop by adopting practices that are unwise.
- If you are going to meet with people once in a ‘professional counseling’ situation…explain right away how are you going to operate under God’s wisdom and not be bound by cultural, or state expectations. Which is to say in your first meeting, or in your ‘inventory’ you should clearly explain to them that you will not meet with them unless they allow you to widen the community of care and counsel to whoever is necessary to serve and help them in their addiction, patterns, choices, hang-ups, hurts, conflicts, etc…)
- If someone comes to you for soul help, your goal should be to take them to Jesus and His Word.
- We do not believe with the prevailing belief within ‘professional counseling’ that it is unwise to develop a close relationship with a “client”. A true shepherd is going to get as close to the sheep as they have to in order to shepherd them well.
- We do not believe it is helpful to think of people in need as a client.