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Thursday, May 26, 2022

What is Christian Counselling?

Thursday, May 26, 2022 @ 11:59 PM

What is Christian Counselling?

You may have a faith background and are interested in understanding what Christian counselling is. This article introduces what Christian Counselling is and how it may be different from other aspects of your faith journey.

What is Christian Counselling?

Christian counselling, or faith-based counselling, supports you, the client, to better understand who you are, focusing more intently on the emotional/psychological part of your Christian transformation.

Typically, Christian counselling supports the client in working though some form of mental health struggle with a focus: 25 Signs You May Benefit From a ‘Mental Health Checkup’
It’s centred around Christ’s love for us
Christian counselling is Christ-focused. The counsellor looks to support you through the lens of Jesus’s love. Jesus was one of the greatest demonstrators of unconditional love and that is how our Christian Counsellors look to model their sessions and the discussions.

Christian Counselling focuses on the psychological/emotional aspects of who we are
Many times, our traditional Christian experience focuses solely on theological understanding and/or spiritual and faith development. This can, at times, leave us undeveloped in the area of psychological/ emotional maturity.

Imagine a body builder who only works out one arm or one leg and how lopsided they would look; That is a great analogy for those of us that overly prioritize theological/spiritual development over our psychological maturing. This can also lead to bad habits such as legalism and hyper-spiritualization.

Christian Counsellors/ Psychologists are professionally trained:

Just like how a doctor is trained to recognize concerns, then diagnose and then support; counsellors/psychologists are professionally trained and accredited to support your mental health journey in a similar fashion.

One of the greatest ways this is evident is how counsellors are trained to look past their own personal bias and feelings so they can have clear insight into a client’s situation. Additionally, they are trained in many proven psychological treatment systems to support psychological growth and healing.

It’s safe, loving and accepting:

Christian counselling is safe, loving and accepting! Christian counselling is a non-judgemental space where the individual can dig into deep, and sensitive topics that the individual, would otherwise not feel comfortable talking about.

It is not a bible study or church service:

Christian counselling is dynamically different from our typical Christian experience (bible studies, life groups, church services, bible school, summer camps, etc.):

The key difference, is that you, the client, are not a spectator, you are an active participant in the conversation. In fact, the person who will be chatting the most and expressing feelings is you, not the counsellor. The counsellor is there to help you explore your emotions and feelings, and support your journey to psychological wellness.

It’s Confidential:

Legally, ethically and practically, the counsellor is required to keep the contents of the conversation completely confidential*. This supports building safety and trust to know that, not only are you valued and supported, but your comments are kept safe and private.

*Legally, there are certain topics that will require the counsellor to notify some levels of local authorities. Please feel free to discuss this with your counsellor.

Take Action: Connect with a Christian Counsellor

Are you interested in connecting with a counsellor now? Check out our counsellors’ page to watch videos and read their bios.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Power of Hope

Saturday, May 21, 2022 @ 9:32 AM

Join Elisha's Space as we speak with mental health advocate and motivational speaker Chris Massey. He shares his story of how having hope helped him in a difficult time in his life.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The Un-Mom Factor: For Moms And Other Executives

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 @ 11:21 PM

With Mother’s Day behind us, I thought this could help moms or other leaders in charge of an organization. Whether you are a domestic engineer (mom) or CEO of a corporation you can learn about leadership by flipping The Mom Factor on it’s head. This book by Henry Cloud and John Townsend listed six different areas that can be problematic for mothers. By looking at the opposite of these characteristics you can find good ways for moms and other leaders to act towards their charges that can really make a difference.

1 Be present but not intrusive,
2 Be stable and be able to take problems and crisis in stride.
3 Know where your staff (or kids) are developmentally (See Blanchard’s Situational Leadership)
4 Be able to lift up your staff and help them be the best employee that can be for them.
5 Realize when an person needs to have more independence from you.
6 Allow an individual under you to experience natural consequences of both their good and irresponsible behavior.

Need help making this happen? Reach out and get feed back about how you lead (or parent). We’re here to help.

Friday, May 6, 2022

The Thought

Friday, May 6, 2022 @ 12:37 PM

Have you ever said or heard the expression “Stop and think before you think” or tell your children who was in time out to “think” about what they did? Every day all day long. At some point in our busy day, we are thinking of something. Thinking of what we want to eat, what is for dinner, did you turn the coffee pot off when you left, so on and so forth. But what is a thought? A thought is developed from feelings. How we feel about someone, or something will govern how we think. Feelings are just that. Feeling, they are neither right nor wrong, they are personal. They can make us happy. sad, fearful, excited. Upset or even angry at someone or a situation that has happened. What ever or how ever we are feeling governs our thoughts. Our thoughts can be positive or negative, depending on how we are feeling in that moment. If we sit with our feelings just for a brief moment, we can recognize how we feel therefore we can change how we are thinking. We can change a negative thought into a positive thought. In doing so, when we change our thought, we can change our decisions and choices we make there for we can change our actions. We can turn something that is potentially negative and make it a positive action. All by simply being still for a brief moment to sit with how we feel so we can change our thoughts.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

10 Tips to Become a Great Active Listener

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 @ 8:45 AM

Have you ever been deeply engaged in conversation with someone, but fully lost the moment when the phone rang? Has an incoming text message pulled away your attention? Even worse, you remain undistracted, but manage to not hear, or even totally miss, what your spouse, boss, coworker, or friend said? We call that “passive” listening. Your ears may have registered the sounds and your mind processed the words as intelligible and distinguishable English words, but it barely impacted you.

Full participation in conversation requires patience and perseverance – not only to say what is right, but also to carefully listen, actively participate, and truly hear, and clearly understand what is being said. Whether a professional counselling situation, a business meeting, a job interview, or simply paying attention to your neighbor describing his weekend adventure, each requires careful, active listening. I practice the techniques of active listening daily in my professional life, my relationships, my work teams, or any context that benefits from better communication.

For those not familiar with active listening, let me offer a quick overview. Active listening is a core skill from the skill set of counsellors, psychologists, social workers, and others in the “helping” profession. The following insights provide a great resource for individuals wanting to carefully listen and understand others. It includes the following skills:

Tip 1: Mirroring
Do not just listen. Repeat back what has been said so you are sure you understood clearly. “Did I understand you to say...”

Tip 2: Summarizing
Repeat back the major points you just heard. “So, I think you just said these four points...”

Tip 3: Agreement
Offer back prompts that show you are listening. “Uh-huh... yeah...and then what happened next?” These comments are doubly effective when accompanied by nodding.

Tip 4: Interactive Feedback
Share your responses and evaluations. “Was that shocking for you when that happened?” “I don’t think that seems fair...”

Tip 5: Emotional Reflection
Help them communicate with you by putting feeling labels on what they are saying. “Did that make you feel happy? Energized? Fulfilled? It sounds like maybe that was offensive, hurtful, or bothersome to you? Did that anger you?”

Tip 6: Affirmation
Let the one communicating feel safe and validated in sharing their heart. “Thanks for sharing that with me. That was courageous of you to discuss that openly.”

Tip 7: Non-comparative Comments
Rather than rushing into your story by way of contrast or comparison, just keep listening and asking more questions. “Wow. Tell me more. Is there anything else about this?”

Tip 8: No Pat Answers
Your friends and family are not looking for a brush off or “quick fix” answer.

Avoid saying, “It’ll be alright, it’s all gonna work out, why stress? Don’t worry.” Cliché answers will not help.

Tip 9: Non-interruptive Dialogue
Your long pause tells the other person that you are interested, caring, and willing to hear more.

Tip 10: Non-verbal Listening Techniques
ƒ- Turn off, silence, or put away your phone
ƒ- Turn off the TV and minimize other background noise or distraction
- Literally, lean towards the one who is talking.
- ƒMake eye contact
ƒ- Let your face mirror what the person is saying (disgust, joy, disappointment)
- Nod in agreement when appropriate
- ƒAppropriate touching with family or dear friends can be thoughtful. For example, taking and holding their hand, patting, or holding the forearm, or shoulder shows tenderness for someone who is upset

Once you have actively listened, you will hear “highlighted” words or phrases that can be very significant to the conversation. Such words are emphasized, repeated, or they just stand out. When your friends and family members feel safe in talking to you because you genuinely listen and care, it is astounding what will come up to the surface – whether they are trying to share deep thoughts and ideas, or not. As you dig into the highlighted words, communication moves from shallow, passive interaction to deeper, more meaningful discussion.

(This excerpt is taken from "Could Questions Be the Answer?" - by Dr. Randy Johnson)