Thomas Ramey Watson

Problems with counseling

A couple recently came to me for counseling.  They were relieved that I honored their sense of spirituality, especially their Christian faith. They’d sought counseling from a couple of pastors before.  They told me that such counseling had been ineffectual because the pastors told them they had to love one another but gave very little help on how to do that.

I’ve found over the years that this is not an unusual complaint. When I was married, I insisted that my wife and I sought counseling too.  We tried various pastors and got similar advice. It just wasn’t enough. We needed specific–and tested–directives to follow. 

Spiritual counseling, pastoral counseling, all counseling, must help clients work out their problems.  The counselor must step in and not just listen to airing of those issues but step in with ways to help people come to grips with them. He or she must help the clients try to solve their problems so that they CAN love one another.

This is not always easy, especially if things have gone too far.  Both parties have to be committed to trying to work for a better relationship. Then we can make adjustments to the system that will help them have a satisfying relationship.

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