What do I do if I suspect some organic problem as the couse of my counselee's problems?

By all means, you should refer him to a physician. But be careful that you don't send him to a doctor who will then refer him to a psychiatrist or psychologist. You should know your physicians. Long beforehand, you should have located a physician who will work with you. Call around to find who will do the "body work" while you do the counseling. It is important to have a physician who will work in tandem with you in this way.

At last there is a great source of help that is available to you in determining when you should/should not send someone to a physician. Dr. Bob Smith, who has practiced medicine for many years and, who, has done biblical counseling for almost as many as well, has published a book that every Nouthetic counselor ought to purchase. It is called The Christian Counselor's Medical Desk Reference. The express purpose of this book is to help counselors come to know enough about various illnesses that affect behavior so as to make an informed judgment about when to refer a counselee to a physician. Until this epoch-making book became available it was always very difficult to reach a satisfying decision. Counselors sweated over the matter! Now, though the Desk Reference does not encourage counselors to make diagnoses, it does help them to make pre-diagnosis judgments that will enable them to make good referrals.

I have written more about referrals and the use of medicine in the section under the heading "Answers to Objections from Critics." I strongly advise you to read that article in connection with this one. You want to be sure that the physician with whom you are working does not use medicine in order to mask bad feelings that result from wrongdoing. Before you choose your referral doctor, discuss these matters with those you interview. In preparation for such a discussion, read the relevant sections in Smith's Medical Desk Reference.

Jay E Adams

Institute for Nouthetic Studies

100 White Meadow Ct
Simpsonville, SC 29681

(864) 399-9583

 

         

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