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Understanding the Role of Christ in Counseling

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Understanding the role of Christ in Christian Counseling and Some Ways to Implement Him in Your Practice

Abstract
In this paper it is the student’s desire to discuss a few points regarding the importance of implementing Christ into Christian Counseling including some of the ways that this can be done. He is going to note the difference between mental illness and spiritual bondage/oppression. He is also going to cover habitual sin more pointed in addiction and its ability to have a stronghold over an individual. He also would like to express some of the ways that people are deceived by the enemy, the Devil and he is going to show some ways to Biblically combat that deception. This will be done through scripture so that each individual will be able to reference these to come to conclusions for themselves as to whether or not it can apply to different ones that they may be ministering to.
Keywords: root issues, theology, psychology, mental illness, spiritual

The student would like to first note the difference between mental illness and a spiritual stronghold. After he reviewed the book “Discipleship Counseling” by Dr. Neil T. Anderson he now has a better understanding as to what that can and will entail for himself and for many others that may choose a similar line of work in the field of counseling…specifically in the form of Christian counseling. He found that one can suffer for extensively long periods of time with what may be perceived as a mental illness but in fact may be a manifestation of an evil spirit. Being able to know the difference is vital in the way a person is treated for his or her problems as it were. Dr. Anderson says in his book “Secular psychiatry can alleviate some suffering related to the natural realm, but without the aid of divine revelation, how can secular psychiatrists and psychologists give us an adequate understanding of who we are and why we are here, explain the nature of our problems and prescribe a holistic answer?” (Dr. Anderson-Discipleship Counseling). The student believes that to be a rhetorical question with the obvious answer being that one cannot tell a person those things that are posed in the question. The counselor and the counselee would also have to both be Christians in order to comprehend what it is to seek divine guidance. The student feels that a counselor would need to have some level of spiritual discernment in order to know whether it is a spirit, a mental illness, or both. In the Bible in 3 of the New Testament books it talks about the man that was demon possessed when Jesus came to the country of the Gadarenes. Now Jesus saw “a certain man, [who] had devils a long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.” (KJV Bible). Now in today’s world this man would have most likely been considered mentally ill. He was also cutting himself but Jesus recognized this for what it was when He inquired and received the reply “What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.” (KJV Bible) So it was because of Jesus discerning that He was able to know the difference. The Bible also states in 1st John “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (KJV Bible) Therefore the student would conclude that in order to truly know the difference between mental disability and spiritual issues that the counselor must be prayed up at all times. We are to “try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” The reason the He was able to know that the man had a spirit is because Jesus had the Spirit of God living within Him just as Christian counselors do (or should have). The student believes that there is only 2 things that can be done to be sure that the counselors have that level of the Spirit of God and that is to “Pray without ceasing.” (KJV Bible) and to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God…” (KJV Bible). Next the student is going to look at habitual sin and the focus will be on addiction since the student has some personal knowledge in this specific area. Christians are called to strive toward being excellent in thought, word, and deed however it seems that habitual sin is probably one of the more defeating things that a counselee can face. The student likes the thought that “every individual should be enabled to achieve the best that is in him.” (John W. Gardner, Excellence) However this is to come very close to being excellent as humanly possible which we cannot do with habitual sin in our lives. The student himself has a background of drug addiction and has now been free from that habitual sin for about 6 years and is now in ministry himself. The ministry that he is a part of shows that habitual sin, especially in the form of addiction, can be overcome through counseling and the work of the Holy Spirit in a believers life. The student has found that when he was “caught in in addictive and immoral patterns of behavior [he was] subjected to some of the cruelest harassment of the enemy.” (Dr. Anderson- Discipleship Counseling) Habitual sin is something that the counselee has allowed in his or her life and it has overtaken them. If they have decided that they need, by any means necessary, to overcome the sin then they have taken a proper course of action by seeking counseling. To admit that they have a problem is actually the first step and that can be difficult still for them. Once they have acknowledged that they have such sin, in this case acknowledging that their “addiction is sin” (Bob Moorehead-Counsel Yourself and Others from the Bible) It is good that the counselor does not “attempt to dismiss the spiritual nature of [the] problem, as if it were only psychological or physiological. It is a spiritual problem that demands a spiritual solution.” (Bob Moorehead-Counsel…pg. 147) Paul says to the church in Corinth that “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (KJV Bible) The student would like to pose a question to the readers: Do you believe that habitual sin is the same as addiction? The definition of addiction according to the oxford dictionary is to be dependent on a drug as a habit or to be devoted to an interest. The student has been aware of not only drug addiction but also an addiction to pornography. In the latter it was a devoted interest and yet at the same time it was a habitual sin. At several points he threw all of the offending material away and then later succumbed to it again and again. So did the student have a sexual addiction? Yes, the student most definitely did but it was not merely a mental problem it was also a spiritual one. At the time the student had perhaps thought that it was due to his obsessive compulsive personality but “the term compulsion seems misguided since the sex addicted individual gains “reward” from the activity and does not necessarily have a reduction in anxiety as seen with classic compulsive behaviors such as hand-washing, hair pulling and checking behaviors, etc. (APA, 2000; Kafka, 2010; Stein, 2008) Key word addicted. The last thing that the student would like to present is how the enemy deceives us and what some Biblical ways to combat those deceptions are. First and foremost the counselee has to have an understanding of what they stand to gain by being truthful. Jesus said “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (KJV Bible) Free, Jesus promised that anyone who continues in His Word shall know the truth and it shall make them free. That is the whole point of counseling is to help one find freedom. So the counselee has freedom to gain by being truthful. So they need to be shown that “Gods truth must penetrate the heart, the very core of our being. Only then will His truth bring freedom and lasting change in the inner self.” (Dr. Anderson-Discipleship Counseling) The counselee cannot be helped until they are willing to not only be honest with the counselee but also with themselves and with God. The enemy seeks to control the mind and the way that he does that is by deceiving people into believing lies that he has told them and eventually gets each person to tell them to themselves. By doing that a person’s self-esteem/self-worth comes under attack. The student has seen this and experienced this personally so many times. Most recently a participant in the Christian discipleship program that is part of the student’s ministry, Todd, had been to other similar places several times and continued to go back out and drink and use drugs. He has an ex-wife that still cares for him and a teen age daughter that loves him but the enemy keeps him down by replaying the past to him and telling him that he blew it and so it goes that every opportunity the Lord gives to him he ends up sabotaging it. The student has even seen what Dr. Anderson describes as physical attacks but in a different way than most people. He has seen someone actually demon possessed that wanted out of the lifestyle of witchcraft that he had been practicing his entire life but the enemy would not let go. It is the student’s opinion that in such a case a counselor should never take on an individual dealing with those sort of issues alone. The student heard it said in a sermon that when Jesus was able to cast out the demon that He had said only came out by prayer and fasting that He did not have time to fast directly after learning of the need for the demon to be cast so that He must have already been fasting prior and had that in His reserve. In conclusion I would always encourage anyone who desired to be and encourager or counselor to make sure that they are well read in the scriptures and to be sure that there prayer life is what it should be so that they will always be prepared for any eventuality that the Devil may want to throw at them.

References
APA , 2000; Kafka, 2010; Stein 2008
Bob Moorehead, Counsel Yourself and Others from the Bible (1994) pg.147
Dr. Neil T. Anderson, (2003) Discipleship Counseling pg. 240
Dr. Neil T. Anderson, (2003) Discipleship Counseling pg. 43
Dr. Neil T. Anderson, (2003) Discipleship Counseling pg. 308
John W. Gardner, Excellence (1961) pg. 135
King James Version Bible Luke 8:27
King James Version Bible Luke 8:30
King James Version Bible 1st John 4:1
King James Version Bible 1st thess. 5:17
King James Version Bible 2nd Timothy 2:15
King James Version Bible. 1st Cor. 6:12

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