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Core Conditions and Core Skills

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Core Conditions & Core Skills
According to Clinton, Ohlschlager, & Centore, building an effective caring and counseling ministry starts with the counselor. As well, a Christian counselor that demonstrates spiritual maturity, and emotional health possess certain characteristics that reflect “core conditions” and “core skills” such as: * Genuineness. The Christian counselor must live out the change he/she desires to see in a client. We must practice what we preach, so to speak. * Warmth. The ability to promote a sense of comfort in the client”. A gentle and caring approach helps to establish a rapport with the client. * Positive regard. The Christian counselor listens in a non-judgmental warm way to the client. The counselor knows when to “hold-off” on conviction, and just console a grieving client for the time. * Support and challenge. The Christian counselor support clients through tough circumstances they are dealing with, while at the same time challenging their destructive behavior and lifestyle.
The “core skills” demonstrated are noted in the way the Christian counselor: * Urge the counselee through responsive behaviors that range from “comforting,” “consoling,” “encouraging,” and “beseeching,” or “admonishing.” * Warn the client through a “confrontational style of directive challenge to root out sin and follow the right path” (as sited in Clinton & Ohlschlager, 2005). In other words help point the counselee in the right direction. * Encourage the counselee to step out their comfort zone, and learn new ways according to Christ (step out on FAITH). As well, comforting the counselee in moments of deep grief. * Help someone who is weak and in need of assistance, as well support them spiritually. * Be patient and not expect too much too soon from the counselee.
Several other “core skills” include active listening, attending, empathic response, probing, and goal setting (as sited in Clinton & Ohlschlager, 2005). I have been told that I am a very caring person, which would explain why God first steered me in the direction of becoming a nurse. I suppose “attending” would also fit into one of my characteristics, seeing how I patiently give each one of my patients my undivided attention when I’m actively providing medical attention, or when they just need someone to listen to their needs. I hope such qualities are just as useful in my future career as a Christian counselor.
Clinton, T., Hart, A., Ohlschlager, G. (2005). Caring for people God’s way. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson.

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