What it’s Like to be a Christian Counselor- Part 2

Today has been a heavy day around the office here at Branches. Some intense life situations for clients playing out as we attempt to help them navigate storms. Not every day is like that of course, but today has felt a little extra stressful. I decided to write on just such a day, because it is helpful I think, to be honest that at times, counseling can be hard. Weighty. At these times I take great comfort in this verse…

This sits on my bookshelf in my office to remind me on stressful days, that God is still in control. (and I am not)

One of the distinct differences between christian counseling and other types of counseling, is the use of God’s word in our healing. I have a bible in my office that I regularly use to apply God’s truth to a situation a client is facing. Whether we are talking about boundaries, trauma, death, addiction, relational struggles, parenting or anxiety and depression- God’s word has real truth and real application for my clients lives. Some of my favorite moments are when I am listening to a client share a thought or story, and God brings to mind a perfect verse to help them gain insight or understanding. I know it is God who brings the scripture to mind because: A. ever since giving birth to children my memory is ridiculous and B. Luke 12:12 tells us that the Holy Spirit brings to mind what we should say when we don’t know what to say.

My favorite recovery verse sits framed on a table- it was a gift from a client who found that verse freed her to make some needed changes.

Another highly wonderful part of working as a christian counselor is the fellowship and wisdom I gain from my fellow counselors. I work with very gifted and compassionate people, who love Jesus and want to see His work done in the lives of our clients.

Mike Courtney, who founded Branches out of his own journey into recovery and leads (fearlessly, tirelessly, lovingly) our Branches crew, and Bill Robison, my “office neighbor” who I regularly barge in on to ask his opinion on lots of issues and who is usually watching a sermon on- line at that moment (thanks for always pausing your sermon for me!)
Trish Wilson, one of our LPC’s (Licensed Professional Counselor) who helps me remember my boundaries and encourages me to be gracious with myself and Chandy Powell, my other “office neighbor” and fellow mom of teenage sons- who is a few years ahead of me and who reminds me, “this too shall pass” when needed
Tracey Robison, our Clinical Director and an LPC who left private practice for the world of non-profit, because “God told her to” and who subsequently told me to “quit messing around and come be a counselor at Branches too!” (my paraphrase, but it’s basically true, as she is sometimes known for bossing us like a mama bear) and little ol’ me!
This is Bob Schwartz. Bob does not counsel. If he did he might say things like “just stop it!’  (true story) No, Bob volunteers hours upon hours to simply help Branches manage our finances well and with integrity and with the ability to pay the light bill. There are countless other volunteers like Bob who were not around for me to snap their picture, but who bless all our clients, albeit indirectly.

2 responses »

  1. Dear sister Debbi, good to know you through your profile on the blogger and your Blog "Millinery" and the post under it for the date 28th March 2013 "What is it like to be a Christian Counsellor" I am glad to know your interest in India. Well I am from Mumbai, India a city with great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live with a population of 18 million of which half of the population lives in the slums and those who live in the slums are the poeple who are povetry stricken, marginalized, underprivileged and soically, politically and economically oppresssed. We reach out to such people with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted and give them new life, hope,future and purpose in their lives. We also encourage young people as well as adults from the West to come on a short term misisons trip to come and work with us. We would so delighted to have your young childre in teens and the church youth group members who are interested in missions to come on ashort term missions trip. If interested plese contact on my email id which is dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is diwakar Wankhede. i have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 33 yrs in this great city of Mumbai.

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