Some Christians avoid counselling because they have been taught to “trust God and pray” about everything. They may hold the belief that Christians should not have to go to counselling. Bible reading, prayer, and “walking with God”, some may be told, will solve all of your problems. However, this approach often means that the root causes of the problems are not dealt with. If little changes, people can be left with either a guilt complex or wondering if God hears them or can really help them. They begin to doubt themselves and God. Being told “just trust God” or “God has a reason for this” is not a lot of help for a person struggling with a deep, long term problem.
Sometimes, well meaning Christian friends quote Bible verses that they have found encouraging, but, although God’s Word is powerful, until the deep pain and confusion has been identified and acknowledged, this can be hollow and misplaced advice that can actually make the pain and confusion worse.
It is true that we can trust God, and He has a purpose for all of us. It is true too that God will not leave us and wants the best for us. However, it is also true that He has given us all free will, which means we have a responsibility and choice in whatever situation we find ourselves in. Sometimes, we need help to uncover deeper issues to know how to move forward.
How can Christian counselling help?
Professional Christian counselling places an emphasis on fundamental values and beliefs that make up the framework of modern Christianity. It provides emotional support and comfort. Professional Christian counselling helps identify the causes of the pain and confusion and provides the space to process it. It clarifies understanding of how childhood experiences influence adult life and relationships. Professional Christian counselling supports and facilitates more useful responses and behaviours.
God has created humans as physical, emotional and spiritual beings. Gwen Lavis Counselling Albury offers professional Christian counselling that is respectful of this in each person. Whilst Gwen will never impose her own beliefs on anyone, she provides the opportunity, if the client desires, to explore and discuss their beliefs in counselling.
Professional Christian counselling is not about judging or correcting. It is about caring about and supporting the person struggling with particular areas or issues in life. Gwen has a caring and accepting approach to all clients and takes care to create safety for each person to talk about whatever it is that is troubling them. During each counselling session, Gwen endeavours to be emotionally present and show compassion in order to help face difficulties and struggles.
Gwen has several counselling qualifications, including a Diploma in Christian Counselling and Family Therapy. She counsels from a Biblical framework, supported by thorough research, and seeks to apply both grace and Truth together in all aspects of her counselling. Grace without Truth brings comfort without change. Truth without grace brings guilt and condemnation. Gwen will never use the Bible to hurt or increase one’s sense of shame but, as appropriate, will challenge clients to confront their thinking and behaviour and experiment with new ways of behaving and relating. Rather than name unhelpful behaviours as sin, Gwen looks for the deeper, painful realities within the heart that is driving that behaviour.
God has a process for transforming us from a broken, hurting, dysfunctional state (for example, in depression or anxiety) and restoring us to be able to function again. Professional Christian counselling can help when stuck in the growth process. Sometimes, the “solutions” that have been tried, to distract from or to numb the pain, have become part of the problem. Professional Christian counselling is about identifying the core issue and finding new, healthier ways of dealing with it.