After termination and a successful six-week checkup, what's next?

Well, either you or your counselor have failed to understand the purpose of counseling if you don't know, or he doesn't indicate, what's next. Counseling isn't anything in itself. It is a remedial practice that enables you to get on with the important functions of personal sanctification and living for Christ. Some want to prolong counseling because it has become a crutch. That is wrong. Instead, you must make every effort to get back to your daily activities, living in new and better ways. The church, not counseling, is the venue for continued edification.

In Galatians 6:1 and following, there is a passage that has to do with counseling. There, Christians are encouraged to "restore" brothers and sisters that they discover entangled in some trespass that disables them from living as they should. The word "restore" is interesting. In New Testament times, it was often used by fishermen and physicians. If a fisherman's net tore and he was unable to use it to fish because of this, he would "mend" the net. If someone broke a leg, and was unable to walk, the physician "mended" the broken leg.

Why would the fisherman and the physician engage in the process of mending nets and broken limbs? In order -- as the word means -- to restore the net or the limb to a condition where it was able once again to function as it was intended to. That, also, is the purpose of counseling. It is intended to restore the counselee to those activities in life at home, at work, in the church, etc., that were interrupted by the problem.

It is important, then, to understand that counseling is but a blip on the radar screen; it is nothing in and of itself. Those who attempt to make more of it than they ought clearly hamper counselees. Nouthetic counselors are concerned to see the counselee functioning in normal life as he should, better than ever before, and usually make this clear to their counselees.

Jay E Adams

Institute for Nouthetic Studies

100 White Meadow Ct
Simpsonville, SC 29681

(864) 399-9583




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