What if things are not getting better in counseling?

There are times when this happens. And, of course, the reasons for this may be as varied as are the counselees, the counselors and the problems that are involved. It is impossible, therefore, to consider these reasons. However, I can give you some guidelines by which to judge whether things are truly going sour or not (sometimes people expect too much too soon), and some suggestions about what to do if you conclude that they are.

First, ask yourself how many weeks have you been counseling? If it is less than six weeks, you may need more patience. It usually takes about 40 days and 40 nights to tum things around!

Then, if you see no movement, ask some of these questions of yourself:

  1. Have I cooperated fully? Am I doing my assignments or have I slackened off?
  2. Has some new problem entered the picture that has complicated things? Have you mentioned it to your counselor?
  3. Have you been praying, asking God to help both you and your counselor?
  4. What seems to be the major obstacle to progress, as you see it? Have you mentioned this to your counselor along with your concern about the lack of progress?

If you have asked and answered these questions, and you are still unsuccessful at putting your finger on the cause of the tardiness, then make a note of all that you can think of that may relate to this and take it to the next counseling session (I just gave you a homework assignment!). Explain (kindly -- this is no time for venting frustration) the problem as you see it. Ask him whether he also believes progress is slow, and if so, why? If he gives you reasons for the slowness, consider them carefully and do whatever he says needs to be done to remedy the situation.

It may be that you will disagree about whether progress is slow. If so, listen carefully to his explanations for this. In all cases, ask him what you can do to help speed things up and, if he gives you advice, heed it fully.

Jay E Adams

Institute for Nouthetic Studies

100 White Meadow Ct
Simpsonville, SC 29681

(864) 399-9583




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