Counseling is difficult work when done well. It’s not a shrink sitting leisurely in a soft chair taking notes, while a counselee spills the beans about his past life.
“Sometimes I get that picture of it—indeed, it’s often what you see in cartoons and elsewhere.”
Right. But, though that sort of thing may be true of the few psychoanalysts that still exist, it isn’t what you’ll find many other places.
“Oh? What is it like?”
Well, I can only tell you a bit about true, biblical, nouthetic counseling—but, above all, I can tell you that it’s hard work!
We sit at a desk, where we take notes, use the telephone when necessary, lay our Bibles for use, write out assignments, place hand-out pamphlets, and so forth. Instead of the shrink, get the picture of someone who means business and who is hard at work doing it!
”That does change the picture radically! Tell me more, please.”
Well, for one thing, in data gathering, we carefully follow the principles of listening in Proverbs 18:13, 15, 17 which insist that 1) you listen for all of the facts essential to the difficulty before giving any advice; 2) that you actively help...