What can Christian counselors do when the hurting person in front of us can’t seem to say what’s on their heart or mind? The immediate goal must be to help them feel as safe as possible. One strategy that may help is to deflect their anxiety and attention onto something non-threatening but relevant – like a piece of art. The following video explains how to do this using some of the biblically based principles of psychodynamics, narrative counseling theory, emotionally-focused couples counseling theory and systems theory.
The ultimate goals are to increase their self-awareness for more intentional relationships in Christ. And the best route to those goals is always to help the counselee articulate their problem(s) and their solution(s) so they are more likely to own them and follow up with them. Most of counseling must be different from preaching or teaching (God willing, I may offer an in-depth study of the 7 passages in Proverbs on “a man of understanding” later). If we simply hand them “answers”, we can’t be sure that we’ve really touched on the heart of their concerns or that they genuinely buy-in to the real hope and help in Jesus.