Pastoral Counselor ordained Elder/Minister Ambassador at Alpha 7 Ministries M.A.Christian Clinical Counseling Certified in Creation Therapy
Have Faith in God!
A Few Important Lessons I Have Learned Along the Way
When I studied Creation Therapy, I was so excited because for me it balanced the differences of subscribing to secular psychology and the priceless values of embracing spiritual Christian principles and virtues. Creation Therapy is a marvelous Christian professional based counseling model. I truly believe in the concept of Temperament. It teaches you that each person has their very own unique Temperament with both strengths and weaknesses. Like DNA it teaches us no two are alike. It really helps one discover and appreciate the uniqueness of each individual. There are three components of Creation Therapy:
Inclusion; To the degree you like to interact or not.
Control; To the degree you like to control or be controlled and
Affection; to the degree you need, want or don’t want affection.
Keep in mind we are talking about achieving healthy balanced relational dynamics in regards to the above. The desired result is actually helping one move toward wholeness. An increasing inner peace, strength and ability to exercise discipline is forthcoming with spiritual growth.
Christian Counseling is different from secular counseling
Personally for me it was very rewarding and still is. It is much easier to put someone in a box and label them and say this is who you are more or less. So I can expect this or that…Rather than see them as an individual that has the potential to accomplish amazing things! It is easier and less time consuming to generally clump people together in categories. However you will not learn to appreciate the genuine person and their distinct temperament. Proper training helps you to see through a lot of superficial behavior. When an individual is properly nurtured and given genuine love and support their lives becomes full of possibilities! With God in your life those possibilities are without limits.
GOD makes a difference; Learn to give room for improvement
There is a distinct major difference between the principles of Christian Counseling and secular psychology. You cannot limit God who is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient to be limited to human possibilities and theories.
A Christian Counselor is dependent upon God and must constantly and diligently seek His Will & His Way in any given situation within the counseling arena. Your desire is to be a conduit and allow the Spirit of God lead you to help facilitate the healing process. Through prayer and dedication the Lord will reveal much to help bring about well being and spiritual growth. We must trust that the Holy Spirit is truly the Comforter that can lead us to ALL TRUTH! GOD will NEVER lead us to do anything that is contrary to HIS WORD! Wise spiritual biblical counsel and discernment are necessary components of true Christian Counseling.
Do You prefer; Yelling and screaming or good communication?
What happens so often in life that brings disharmony is that underlying issues and problems are not addressed. They are continually swept under the rug and ignored. Or either there is a decision to just move on… Leaving residual unfinished emotional trauma... This can cause resentment to set in and cause much unprocessed anger and anxiety. Or on the other hand yelling and screaming becomes the communication mode and no one really hears or recognizes all the hurting that is being masked. It is actually circulating in the background like a “virus!” By ignoring the magnitude of what has happened you can become; "stuck."
In extreme cases emotions are often suppressed and can result in extreme depression. Which is anger turned inwardly. Or can manifest in many other ways… Overeating, under eating, addictions, as well as sexual promiscuity etc. There is a much better way! No, we do not have to as they say “make a mountain out of a mole hill” but nor can you take the “ostrich approach” as well. It is important to make a sincere effort to seek out healthier ways to resolve conflict. The Holy Spirit is able and instrumental in bringing many issues to the Light!
GOD has a better way of communicating
With God we are forever changing and can be molded in His image as long as you are willing to submit to Him. Many seek out others to support them to help maintain a faulty sense of security. God really is able to free you! As long as there is breath in your body, it is never too late in life for God to make a difference in your life! The Holy Spirit really is authentic, His presence within your life is what facilitates the process of change and helps the FRUIT of HIS SPIRIT to multiply within our life. We can become "Whole." In Him we are “New creations,” we are the clay on the Master Potter’s wheel. And as long as you are pliable, yielded, moistened by HIS WORD and flexible you can be molded and shaped in the image He sees fit. In Him there is ALWAYS HOPE!
God has a plan for each of His children. Although, you may go through some extreme situations. You make even take a few or many detours... So get back on track! In HIM there is always light at the end of a tunnel… It is important to know the Word of God! There are many situations, and scenarios that are recorded in the Word that can help to strengthen your Faith and give us marvelous godly direction. You can acquire much needed healthy confidence knowing God will “never leave or forsake you.” Daniel was thrust in the lion’s den overnight for example; he was not eaten by the lions. He turned his focus to God and prayed throughout the night. He was not harmed or touched by the lions. The King himself who imprisoned Daniel was even concerned about him... Daniel emerged stronger and better with his Faith strengthened and renewed! After a long night instead in the morning Daniel said “O King live forever, My GOD sent His angel and shut the mouths of the lion…” See Daniel 6 for more details. This is one of many miraculous stories found in the Bible!
It is in God ALL Power resides. The world has become a lot like a "lions' den..." We ALL so need the LORD! This is why we need a Savior! All in all through Jesus Christ you can become whoever God designed you to be! You have all the time in the world with Him you will ever need, because He made time. What ultimately matters most in life is your relationship with God! Each day is an opportunity to draw closer to Him!
Lessons learned during my counseling practicum
To fulfill my counseling internship practicum of 3,000+ hours I choose to in part render services at several homeless shelters in addition to my in office hours. At the homeless shelters, the residents varied, they were there for a plethora of reasons, from all walks of life. They were from all nationalities. Not all were unemployed or lazy, many had a string of unfortunate situations take place. Many just no longer wanted to be a part of or participate in this ever changing society. There was a myriad of sorts. There were some for example who were quite progressive and established in the corporate arena. There were some who were from religious families.
There was even a bank Vice President, who lived in the shelter who got up went to work just like anyone else in his suit and tie each morning. His family and friends were not at all aware that he had a compulsive gambling problem. It was here I actually saw someone splinter right in front of my face with a multiple personality. He said that he wanted to talk in depth about his past, his hurts & his shame, he was from an affluent family and had been traumatically emotionally and sexually abused by his father he did not want to go to his relatives. He actually began to talk in a titally different voice like a young child and told me his name was a differnt name...
I learned the importance of being yourself amd being comfortable yet professional in your own skin. One must always be aware of who you are serving and to keep healthy boudaries. I did not dress down while in the shelter nor did I talk down to any of them. Homeless people see people dressed in suits & ties and well adorned that walk by them everyday. They can see beyond what you are wearing they watch people all the time... It is not hard to tell when others have been conditioned to speak or not speak to you. You would be surprised as to what they observe. I treated them with respect. I was taught at an early age that people “don’t come in grades like butter!” Although others may come to the conclusion that you are looking down on them you do not have to receipt for it. Especially when it is not TRUE. The residents could see if I was sincere and tested me on many occasions.
I have learned it is important to be “you” no matter where you go and KNOW God is always with you! The best thing to do is be comfortable in your own skin. Of course that also means to be considerate, polite, courteous, at times quite firm, and sometime say absolutely nothing. Yes, initially I was really quite naïve. But the residents became very protective and would tell the newer ones’ “don’t try that on her, be straight with her!” It does not help "playing games..." For instance sometimes people will walk right by you just to see if you will speak.
I was eventually given an Award for my work with the homeless… The interesting thing about true Christian Counseling you do not really seek to be rewarded. You are aware that the Lord is omnipresent and sees all. Your true reward is knowing how to better trust and rely upon the Lord. The Lord is true to His Word and He will see to all your needs. It really frees you from a lot of things as you embrace the principles yourself. It was a marvelous learning experience because I learned to trust God even more.... They knew that I did not have to be there. Interestingly so, it was then my counseling supervisor; Dr. "B" realized the worth of it all...
Working together with the staff
The staff was often overwhelmed. I was there because I was concerned and chose to be there… I was given full control over my counseling environment and also provided counseling for the over taxed staff. They also made sure that I was always safe. It was here they taught me the importance of be staying aware of my surroundings at all times wherever you are… Not in a paranoid way but because “That’s reality!” In this world we live in today just about anything can happen at any given moment! Some people will say and do just about anything anywhere. Nothing is sacred to them. I learned many invaluable lessons in the shelter that I will be forever grateful for…
There were those who had been abused physically, emotionally and mentally. Some on drugs and some not, one stipulation was you were not supposed to be under the influence for admittance into the shelter… All in all, I learned one must be dependent upon the Holy Spirit & consult God our Creator and Maker when desiring to counsel and or help someone! It is much more serious than most think. You are not looking for a temporary momentary emotional fix. Nor are you merely trying to get someone to act like they are better.
"Ministry Beyond and Inside the Walls!"
Counseling was a part of "Ministry Beyond and Inside the Walls." My husband and I along with our other duties, further also lived out "The Great Commission to go ye therefore." Praise & Worship services were provided to minister to the residents and staff. My Paastor/husband diligently and faithfully ministered in Word and Song along with the choir on occasion. He brought in musicians and instruments etc... We have also taken and sent groups on various "Gospel Tours" to minister, sponsored many artists recordings as well as Gospel Concerts. We have been tremendously Blessed to be able to minister and worship throughout the world.
It has been an interesting journey. Trusting God is key to whatever you do for He is our Creator & Maker. He knows when you are sincere. You will find some people are so closed because they have gone to many places of worship. They did not feel welcome or they were overlooked or there was much conflict there. Deep trust issues are behnd many behaviors and issues. God can help you reach the unreachable when you exercise patience The difference with Christian Counseling is you do not need to impose yourself upon others.
You are not trying to see if they fit into a pre determined theory. I learned many invaluable precious life lessons. There are times that you must not respond at all when there is a strong environment of unbelief about you. Many donot really want your helpor advice. They often want you to do whatever they want you to do. Thererfore you must remain cautious yet unafraid. Always seek direction from the Lord. Your actions will be or can be easily misinterpreted and may not result favorably... Sometimes we must simply continue to "Pray unceasingly." Compassion genuinely expressed helps you to relate and empathize. Know when to gracefully exit when necssary. Opposed to what many think you do not have to have the same experiences that people have experinced. Just a willing heart that willingly submits to an all knowing God will help you to know when or when not to assist or when to refer. FAITH is what makes you trust God. The LORD is omniscient and is totally aware what has happened, is happening and what will happen.
Always Trust GOD; be led by HIS HOLY SPIRIT
We must learn to TRUST GOD as we exercise the measure of FAITH that HE has instilled within us. He will allow you to empathize in a way that I really can't explain... He will also give you good healthy boundaries He will sometimes lead you to step back. One must learn to step out on your FAITH and in the moment TRUST GOD to direct you! Discernment is key! You do not have to force your way upon others... Nor do you have to be gullible or give into their demands... Don't let anyone control you by remote.
Many try to somewhat force and subject you to subscribe to group think... Yes you will be misunderstood and at times persecuted. Halllelllujah anyhow! We are to live to please GOD everyday as believers and point the way to Him for believers and non believers... It matters so much more what GOD knows rather than what what others think! As a child of God one becomes more and more aware that this earth is not our home and it is to Him we belong… Our true security & significance can only be discovered in an up close personal intimate relationship with the Lord!
One never knows what life will bring. No matter how much you plan, we are living in a constant flux in this 21st century! The economic recession has impacted everyone in one way or the other! Many couples, families, businesses, corporations, cities and countries have endured many hardships.... Just listen to the news! Due to the catastrophes in the United States, Haiti, Japan, China, Africa, Greece and all over the world many are in much need of support and prayers! There is much going on under the surface as well! We must pray for few really know what is going on...
What does one do when the unexpected happens? Who ever imagined that the United States of America was even actually "SHUT DOWN!" LORD HELP US!!!
The Supreme Court has even now voted against the WORD of GOD and is in support of same sex unions... LORD HELP US!!! These are all signs of the many sorrows to come….The one thing that is sure we can forever count on God’s Word even when man tries to change it to suit their purpose! Man continues to try and change it to justify doing what they feel is right in their own eyes … Oh! Let’s not forget the huge push to even “redefine marriage!” LORD HELP US! Yes they can vote that it is the same but it is not. Marriage is the first institution that GOD created. God does not change His principles to suit the desires of the lust of flesh. We can expect some interesting consequences for this outright disrespect for GOD & HIS WORD! Returning to the principles of GOD is always an honorable option!
When you buy a car there is a manual that teaches you all the options and benefits available to you. If you choose to deter from the instructions you will not get the same results. You can operate the car but you will not optimize being able to utilize all your options. If not taken care of properly it will not run as efficiently! Preventive maintenance is a good idea. God is our Creator! Through our belief in Jesus Christ we have the gift of His precious Holy Spirit, His Comforter that will guide us to GOD’S TRUTH! The Word of God is the “Life Manual” for believers! To teach us HIS WAY! It is the History of His people that goes back thousands of years… “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, Bringing every thought captivity to the obedience of Christ….”
Everyday is a precious 'GIFT' from the LORD! We are to live as though JESUS CHRIST is going to return at any moment!
This is just a few important lessons I have learned along the WAY... I also realize that as long as we are on this side of Heaven there is always much much more to learn! However we can also ALWAYS & FOREVER have "HOPE in THE LORD!" Whatever is going on or not going on in your life or ALL over the world you and I can ALWAYS; TRUST GOD!!!
~ Live Everyday; "TO GOD BE THE GLORY!" ~
Important Lessons part 1
- ~ A Few Important Lessons I Have Learned Along The Way ~ Part I
Life is cavernously deep full of marvelous lessons to learn. Life lessons can be painful, dreadful, joyful or miraculously wonderful! We are all created uniquely to discover that God given purpose!
DeBorrah K Ogans (author) on July 23, 2013:
MsDora, You are so welcome! Creation Therapy is a marvelous counseling alternative. It has many spiritual benefits. The Lord truly is AWESOME! He has given us His Word & His Holy Spirit to "lead us to all TRUTH!"
Thank you for stopping by to share, in HIS Love, Grace, Mercy, Joy, Peace & Blessings!
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 22, 2013:
Thanks for your overview of Creation Therapy and for sharing the valuable lessons you learned. I appreciate the fact that God cannot be limited to the theories of secular psychology.