I. Types of Youth Counseling
- At the Altar
- Intentional Mentoring
- Family Counseling
II. Practical Personal Guidelines for the Youth Counselor
- Be sure that your personal walk with the Lord is personal & consistent
- Be personally accountable to other pastoral leadership & mentors – 20:18
- “The Bible characters never fell on their weak points but on their strong ones; UNGUARDED STRENGTH IS DOUBLE WEAKNESS.” (Oswald Chambers, The Place of Help) — 4:10,11
- Questions to ask in accountability relationships, Rebuilding Your Broken World, Gordon MacDonald
- How is your relationship with God right now?
- What have you read in the Bible in the past week?
- What has God said to you in this reading?
- Where do you find yourself resisting Him these days?
- What specific things are you praying for in regard to others?
- What specific things are your praying for in regard to yourself?
- What are the specific tasks facing you right now that you consider incomplete?
- What habits intimidate you?
- What have you read in the secular press this week?
- What general reading are you doing?
- What have you done to play?
- How are you doing with your spouse? Kids?
- If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, state of spirit, state of energy level, what would the response be?
- Are you sensing any spiritual attacks from the enemy right now?
- If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a person or as a servant of the Lord, how might he do it?
- What is the state of your sexual perspective? Tempted? Dealing with fantasies? Entertainment?
- Where are you financially right now? (things under control? under anxiety? in great debt?)
- Are there any unresolved conflicts in your circle of relationships right now?
- When was the last time you spent time with a good friend of your own gender?
- What kind of time have you spent with anyone who is a non-Christian this past month?
- What challenges do you think you’re going to face in the coming week? month?
- What would you say are your fears at this present time?
- Are you sleeping well?
- What are three things you are most thankful for?
- Do you like yourself at this point in your pilgrimage?
- What are your greatest confusions about your relationship with God?
- Be a person of prayer & faith.
- Always counsel from a base of inner peace. Don’t counsel when you are physically or emotionally exhausted. – 15:13
III. Practical Guidelines for the Counseling Session
- Pray for Wisdom & Discernment – Pro 8:11-12
- Ask questions & attentively listen to what is shared – Jas. 1:18,19; Pro. 18:13,14
- Don’t judge or evaluate too quickly – Isa. 11:2-4
- Be aware of your body language – be sure to communicate interest, compassion, & godly love. – 2 Pet. 1:5-8
- Speak the truth in love – Eph. 4:14,15
- Guard what the counselee says confidentially, but do not commit yourself unwisely to a secretive-type confidence. – Pro. 11:13
- Never act shocked at what the counselee shares with you. – Eccl. 1:8.9
- Pray – 1 Thess. 5:17
IV. Legal Guidelines (adapted from notes by Gibbs & Craze Co., attorneys)
PRACTICAL GUIDELINES FOR THE COUNSELOR
- Use the Bible as your source for counseling.
- Continually increase your training in pastoral counseling
- Have some on-going accountability to others in pastoral leadership
- Note every scheduled counseling session on your calendar, as an added record.
- Record and keep notes on each counseling session.
PRACTICAL GUIDELINES FOR THE COUNSELING SESSION
- Counsel with a third person present or within view.
- At the beginning of the session, inform the counselee that the Bible is the basis for your advice.
- Tell the counselee that you are not a state licensed, professional counselor.
- Lay out possible options before the counselee, if appropriate, and let them choose what action to take.
- Make sure that the counselee understands that she is seeing you voluntarily.
- Accurately represent your qualifications to those in your congregation, to those you counsel, and to the general public.
- Know and accept your personal limitations in different counseling areas. Refer the counselee to another trained Christian counselor, doctor, or lawyer when necessary.
- Keep your counsel confidential. This as mentioned previously as a Biblical responsibility. It is also a legal responsibility.
V. Question-Asking Process to get to the Primary Issue
A. The Counselee’s Initial Environmental Adjustment – Layers
The Counselor’s Seeing – Observation
B. The Counselee’s General Disclosure – Uncovering the Layers
The Counselor’s Hearing – General Questions
(Adapted from The Christian Counselor’s Manual, Jay Adams)
- Relationship to God
- Personal Habits
- Relationship to Others
- Physical Life
- Obsessions & Addictions
- Social Life
- Time Management
- Major Life Changes
- Feelings and Attitudes
C. The Counselee’s Self Disclosure – The Mentioned Problem
The Counselor’s Perceiving – Extensive Questioning
- “How often?”
- “What type?”