How can someone overcome the fear of the unknown? Doing something for the first time takes courage and determination. There are potentially an infinite number of distractions. Does counseling really work? How will I be able to afford this? How will I find the time? Who will watch my children? What is it going to be like? What is going to happen to me when I start talking about “it”? But guess what? Counseling is God’s idea. God is our Counselor. Counseling does work! Counseling is worth the time, money, and effort! In fact, counseling can literally help anybody and everybody. Everybody struggles with something. So everybody can benefit from personal care and attention to help them through life’s struggles.
Maybe you have figured out that the only prerequisite for counseling is a humble heart. The good news is that it does not even take that much. All it takes is the desire to have a humble heart. Admitting you need help by scheduling and attending an appointment demonstrates you have enough humility to get started. When you are ready to move forward there are some attitudes that especially strengthen the effectiveness of counseling. You can begin to prepare your heart for counseling by giving yourself permission to be:
- Patient with yourself as you develop the skill of being a client, which involves managing how it feels to trust and be vulnerable
- Committed to the process and the time it takes to set goals and achieve them.
- Open to risk surfacing uncomfortable feelings.
- Motivated to stretch your capabilities and accomplish more than you can on your own.
- Proactive in applying your best effort to creating the future you want.
- Willing to be challenged to give up old habits for more effective approaches.
This probably seems unrealistic to have everything together so well. However, the primary quality is humility – a willingness to participate with your best effort. Your best is your best, no more, no less.
God intends for your best efforts to always be enough. Some of the time this is only possible because God provides the help of other members of the body of Christ. Life can be too much to handle alone. There are times when you are not going to know what to do next. When your pain exceeds you ability to handle it, it can paralyze your ability to move forward. This is the time to seek the help of a counselor.
Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22 – NIV)
Moving through life effectively requires positive relationships along the way. If we cannot connect with others, we will be unable to grow. Many times people find themselves in a difficult bind – they want to fit into their natural community around them, but they feel so inadequate that they cannot effectively develop positive relationships. Sometimes the client finds they are lost far off the path of where they need to be in order to keep growing. Sometimes they are in a lot of pain. Sometimes they have no idea which direction to go next. Sometimes they hunger for more of the abundant life God wants us to have.
God has a plan for you! God desires to transform you into His likeness. Professional Christian counseling provides a safe place for you to grow relationally by exploring your feelings and experiences as well as try on new ones. Matt uses insight and empathetic listening to help clients heal from wounds and bring clarity where there is confusion. Let Matt help you encounter new perspectives (new ideas to reflect on) which result in seeing yourself the way God sees you (your new reflection). When you are doing this you will be able to follow a new plan of action. You will be even more of the person God means for you to be.