Ryan Watters - Newlywed; Counselor; Student of Jesus; Coffee Connoisseur
Many times when you think of a “counselor”, you think of an older gentleman with legs neatly crossed asking you, “How does that make you feel?” as you lay, arms folded and eyes closed, on a leather couch. Let me offer a bit more modern view of what counseling looks like today, and some principles on whether it may be helpful for you.
First, counseling sessions are conducted by trained professionals whose primary goal is to see you succeed. In other words, the counselor is knowledgeable and on your side. Usually sessions are around 50 minutes long, and occur once every week or two.
Second, there is a belief that people who go to counseling are “crazy” or “weak”. Frankly, that’s just not true. People that I have seen in the counseling room are neither. They are good, honest, everyday people who are facing some challenges in life, many times not of their making, that are just very tough to tackle alone. Maybe they’re struggling with stress from school, or family conflict. Maybe there is uncertainty about a career path. Maybe there is confusion over gender identity. These are all areas a counselor has been especially equipped to help with.
Third, counseling may be helpful if a person has a struggle that is hindering his or her daily life (can’t function well at school, work or home), or is at a crucial point in life and would like someone to help them sort through it all. Counseling can be helpful no matter where you’re at, and shouldn’t been feared, or seen as ‘extreme’.
Fourth, some believe that counseling is anti-biblical, and Christian counselors have ditched Scripture for psychology. Again, that’s just not true. The Christian counselor is still guided by, and held to, the authority of Scripture. Just as a Christian medical doctor uses the resources available to him in a God-honoring way, so a Christian counselor helps people make sense of their world from a Christian world-view.
Finally, I would encourage you to pray about it. I know life can be overwhelming at times, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Perhaps God has prepared a Christian counselor to walk with you right now. Healing is possible; don’t let fear keep you from receiving it.