Study with Dr. Jay Adams.

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As much as is necessary to deal effectively with the problem—and with you—and no more. Don't ramble on about all sorts of irrelevant material. Be crisp, but full, in reporting crucial facts. Don't repeat material unless your counselor asks you to do so. He will get it the first time in most cases, and will jot down notes about what he hears. He will review these notes later on to prepare for the next sessions and to use them as a prayer list.

Usually, unless the problem itself demands it, your counselor will not ask for a great amount of detail.* He will want a complete picture of what has happened, what you have done about it and why you are seeking counseling. He will want to know about your intentions and counseling goals (agenda). He will want to know whether you are motivated to honor God in the problem, whatever the outcome may be. Sometimes it is useful to write out important facts like dates, places and names (when these may be of significance), and take these to counseling.

Never go into details about sexual activities; your counselor is not a voyeur. He is not interested in getting "kicks" out of your sexual "exploits." To do so is neither safe nor right for you, nor for him. A good counselor asks only for general facts along these lines. He will allow you to tell nothing more. If, however, a counselor should probe for such details, beware. He cannot be truly Nouthetic (Ephesians 5:11,12). Consider looking for another counselor. Along those lines—a counselor of another sex will usually ask another to sit in just so that no problems of impropriety may develop between the two of you. If you feel uneasy because he does not do so, you might inquire whether there may be an elder who could sit in on further sessions.

 * If a counselor needs more detail, he will probe for it.

Jay E Adams


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