Whole Person Counseling

Copyrighted by Basil Frasure, 1997

Outline:

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Who Needs Counseling?

Everyone needs counseling at some time in their lives. God did not make us to live totally isolated, independent lives one from another. God uses the analogy of sheep to describe us. Sheep are animals that need a lot of care. God is the Chief Shepherd, but He also appoints others under Himself to aid in the care of the flock.

There are specific situations where counseling is appropriate:

Which Counselor?

We should begin by understanding that there are various levels of counseling. First, there is the friendship level. If you have a minor problem, you may go to a close friend for advice. Second, there is the authority level. In certain situations you may seek the counsel of your parents, the boss, a pastor, a minister, civil or governmental authorities. The third level is that of trained counselors. A trained counselor is someone who has specific training in the area of the problem that you are experiencing. God may work through all three of these levels.

There are also different general approaches to counseling. The sociologist will emphasize the importance of the influence of society as it molds the character of your life. The psychologist will emphasize the importance of "self" and the factors which influence "self-esteem". The psychiatrist will emphasize the importance of physical and chemical factors which influence your mental and emotional states. The biblical / pastoral counselor will emphasize importance of both the Living and the written Word of God and their influence upon your nature, character, and behavior.

Effective Counseling

First, effective counseling is to be Jesus-centered. David declared, "Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory" (Psalms 73:24). He also stated, "There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD" (Proverbs 21:30). Therefore, in a general sense, all good counseling must come from the LORD. Furthermore, the life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus must be the grounds for counsel. His life is our example. His death is our victory over sin. His resurrection is our assurance of new life. His ascension is our basis for victory over the enemy. The counselor's only hope in counseling is for the Spirit to intervene in the life of the counselee. When the Spirit of God intervenes, miracles occur, and God changes our lives.

Second, effective counseling is to be Scriptural. Paul tells us that the Word is the basis for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in right living (II Timothy 3:16). David said, "Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors" (Psalms 119:24). The Bible is our instruction manual. It is our guide for life. Things go wrong when we fail to follow the manual. James declares that we are to receive the engrafted Word that is able to save our souls (mind, will, and emotions) (James 1:21).

Third, effective counseling is to be spiritually inspired. Solomon, in a dream, asked for wisdom, and God gave it to him (I Kings 3:9, 12). God also promises to give us wisdom. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5). Wisdom is the ability to see from God's perspective. However, one must not only see from God's perspective, one also must be able to communicate what God wants communicated. Therefore, one must be filled with the Holy Spirit. The counselor needs to be like Stephen. "And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake" (Acts 6:10). Good counseling should have Isaiah 11:2 as a motto.

Fourth, effective counseling should be discerning. The enemy may appear as an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14). Therefore, the counselor should test the spirits (I John 4:1). The Christian counselor may also need bind evil spirits, tear down strong holds, and cast out the spirits.

Fifth, effective counseling should be judged for accuracy. The Word says, "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety" (Proverbs 11:14). There should be no "Lone Rangers" in counseling. Most counselors have some blind spots that are seen by others, but not by themselves. The enemy also is more likely to attack the lone sheep. Those in counseling should be willing to submit to counseling themselves if needed.

Sixth, effective counseling is mature. We should heed the warning from Scripture. Rehoboam turned the people of Israel against him because " . . . he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men that were brought up with him, that stood before him" (II Chronicles 10:8). Mature counsel also knows when to feed milk and when to feed meat (I Corinthians 3:2 and Hebrews 5:12). Mature counsel has learned to discern between good and bad (Hebrews 5:14). Mature counsel is stable (Ephesians 4:13-14) and exemplifies the counsel of Christ. The result of spiritually mature counsel is that you learn the difference between what is right and what is wrong, repent, and receive freedom.

Seventh, effective counseling is progressive. God does not always answer us when we ask. "And Saul asked counsel of God, Shall I go down after the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into the hand of Israel? But he answered him not that day" (I Samuel 14:37). Sin blocks the receiving of God-inspired counsel. Sin in your life also may block you from making progress. The counselor always desires that you make progress. However, when the counselor discovers a wall of resistance in your life, he may be unable to give the counsel that he would like to give until that wall is torn down. God may say, "Do what I have told you to do before I give you any more instructions." Christian counseling is to address the wall of resistance in love and with spiritual authority.

Eighth, effective counseling is to be conviction based. Paul said, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (II Timothy 4:2). The primary reason that most people need counsel is that they, in some way, have not obeyed God or have not been taught to follow the Spirit. An effort to live by our own abilities and reject the grace of God is to live in sin and bring judgment upon ourselves. Therefore, one must come to see the roots of sin before he can get very far on the road to recovery.

Ninth, effective counseling needs to speak the truth in love. The truth should bring conviction and repentance. "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death" (II Corinthians 7:10). Paul declared that he had a clear conscience before God and man (Acts 24:16). Once one receives a clear conscience, he can see clearly to make a stand. David said, "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD" (Psalm 112:7). Paul declared, ". . . for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day" (II Timothy 1:12). He also exhorts us, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (I Corinthians 15:58).

Tenth, effective counseling must be prayer-centered. The Christian counselor will begin the session with prayer. When Christian counselors pray, God often brings to the surface the real issues. When Christian counselors pray, you receive deliverance, healing, and direction for your life. When you pray you may receive forgiveness for your sins, eternal life, and confidence that God will continue to work in your life.

Eleventh, effective counseling must deal with the whole person (spirit, soul, and body). We need to realize that each of these areas is interrelated. Moreover, when spiritual issues are dealt with, the other areas are dramatically effected. John wrote, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth" (III John 1:2). When you confess bitterness as sin and forgive the offender, then depression may leave and the symptoms of arthritis may also disappear. When you turn worry over to the Lord, then the confusion leaves and stomach trouble leaves.

Twelfth, effective counseling must incorporate the portion of truth found in secular forms of counseling. Effective counseling should incorporate all truth no matter where it is found, but test concepts and methods by the Word and Spirit of God. Furthermore, any truth taken to the exclusion to other truths becomes a lie.

The Whole Person Approach

man-diagrammed Where does Whole Person Counseling get its name? The Bible speaks of the whole person as being spirit, soul, and body (I Thessalonians 5:23). The spirit pertains to the spiritual part of man and involves a relationship with God and other spiritual beings. The soul pertains to the psychological and social aspects and involves the mind, will, and emotions. The body pertains to the physical part and involves the senses of hearing, seeing, smelling,, and tasting, and feeling. Whole Person Counseling is based upon the concept that these three parts of man (spirit, soul, and body) have a profound influence, one upon the other. What we believe and what we think has an enormous effect upon our mental and emotional stability, our physical health, our relationships with others, and our overall degree of success in life. Therefore, Whole Person Counseling looks at the relationship between each of the parts of man, recognizing that counseling must deal with the Whole Person in order to have a positive, lasting effect upon one's life. By God's grace you may set each part (spirit, soul, and body) in its proper order and achieve victory over many of life's most difficult problems.
 

What To Expect

What can you expect when you come for counseling? Each session is approximately an hour and a half in length. You will be given a warm greeting and a comfortable place to set. Next, you will be asked to fill out a brief Personal Information sheet. This gives the counselor a overview and possibly some insights before any details are discussed in a session. The counselor will take notes during the session to keep a brief record of what is said and what occurs. The session will begin with the counselor praying a prayer to thank God for the day and acknowledge the need of God to meet your needs. The counselor will ask God to come and be the Counselor, inviting the Holy Spirit to come and bring His knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and counsel.

Next, you will be encouraged to share some details of your situation as you feel that you are able to do so. As you share your thoughts, feeling, beliefs, and experiences the counselor will be listening closely to understand your words, feelings, and the essence of your communication.

The counselor will also be listening closely to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying about your situation. The counselor will be asking God some of the following questions. What are the causes for the problems from God's perspective? What does God desire to happen in your life (as general goals)? What are the solutions to the problems from God's perspective? What steps should be taken to bring about lasting solutions? How can the counselor communicate an understanding of causes and the solutions to the situations? The counselor will also be taking notes of what you are saying and of what he hears the Holy Spirit saying.

The next step is for the counselor to begin to communicate from a positive perspective, causes, goals, and solutions. The counselor will appeal to your own good desires to resolve the difficulties. The counselor will use Scripture and real life illustrations as the Holy Spirit leads him to do so. He will begin to lay out a plan of action for you. "This is what we will do if you are willing."

The counselor will bring you by prayer into direct contact with God. He will initiate the prayer by thanking God that the Lord has brought you to this place, then ask that the grace of God be upon you and enable you to make the proper steps. The counselor may also lead you in one or more of the following prayers. He may lead you into a prayer of salvation committing your life to Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. He may lead you into a prayer of confession of sins and asking of forgiveness and cleansing. He may lead you into a prayer to forgive others and ask God to forgive you of unforgiveness. He may lead you into a prayer to give all your personal rights unto God. He may lead you into a prayer to ask for healing of hurts, for physical healing, restoration of relationships, financial prosperity, for wisdom, for God's power to minister, and His grace to overcome. He may also lead you into a prayer to break generational curses. He may lead you into a prayer of deliverance from evil spirits. Finally, he may lead you into a prayer to make specific commitments to God to do what is right according to the Word of God.

You should understand that a good part of counseling in communication of truth as found in God's Word. The counselor is responsible to validate counsel through the sharing of the Word. Therefore, the counselor will give handouts to reinforce the material that is covered in a session. He will also give assignments to bring application of the Word. He may ask you to go to someone and ask their forgiveness. He may ask you to make a list of your priorities. He may ask you to read certain Bible passages and apply them. He may ask you to stop and pray when you are tempted to do something wrong. He may ask you to submit to a certain authority that you may receive the blessings of God.

Whole Person Counseling depends upon the leadership of the Holy Spirit in every session. It is Christian Counseling that goes beyond just coping to overcoming.

More Information

You will find more in-depth information in the books: Bringing Every Thought Captive and How To Destroy The Evil Tree. You may get more information about these books at:  Books Available For Help.

Statement of FaithI believe: (1) the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the basis for doctrine, faith, and conduct, (2) there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, (3) that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God come in the flesh and that one must accept Him as their personal Lord and Savior, by grace through faith, in order to receive salvation, (4) that the Holy Spirit enables the Believer to live a godly life by His indwelling, anointing, and filling the Believer, and (5) that Jesus will soon return to receive His body, the Church, and judge the lost.


Personal Counseling Appointments