How does Discipleship Counseling work?

Discipleship counseling is a semi-structured process.  We will meet weekly for 50 minute sessions during which time we will explore your life through the orientation of a Biblical world view while focusing on the transforming work of the Cross.  Throughout the process, the Holy Spirit will reveal the areas where you need help.  While it is the counselor's role to equip and teach, it is Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit who transforms lives, renews minds, and restores emotions.

Just as each person’s life journey is different, each person’s discipleship counseling journey is different.  While some people may go through the process in a few months, many will need more time.  Seeing the process through to completion is what’s most important. 

Who do you work with?

We work explicitly with women.  Adolescents in high school often benefit greatly from discipleship counseling because they are at a crucial stage of identity formation.  It is the perfect time to build an identity in Christ as many life decisions lay before them.  And of course, no one is too old for discipleship counseling!  

Why do I need a Discipleship Counselor if I have the Holy Spirit living in me?

That is an excellent question.  The reality is you may not need a Discipleship Counselor in your spiritual growth journey.  Sometimes however, our spiritual sink gets clogged and we would benefit greatly from a spiritual plumber.  In this analogy, the sink is our mind.  It can become so clogged with unresolved issues that it is difficult to receive and discern the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  The Discipleship Counselor works in conjunction with the Holy Spirit to “unclog the sink” and provide guidance and insight.

If your sink is clogged, scripture may be difficult to understand and almost impossible to apply to your life.  God may seem distant and hard to connect with Him.  You might have doubts about your faith and your purpose.  You may be experiencing destructive emotions like anger, fear, hurt, bitterness, sadness, frustration, guilt, and shame.  You may be doing things that are destructive to yourself and others but feel powerless to stop.  The good news is that if you have Christ, you have everything you need for a life of abundance and freedom. 

Is discipleship counseling the same as biblical counseling?

No, they are not the same.  An approach can be Biblical without being Christ-centered.  In Nouthetic/Biblical Counseling, the focus is on applying Biblical truth and behavior modification (i.e., “doing” and “not doing”).  Biblical truth is certainly an important aspect of spiritual growth, however if it is not rooted in the Life of Christ, it will be focused on self.  This leads to legalism and trying to live the Christian life in human strength.  Ironically, that is why many Christians are stuck!  We experience the abundant life as we live in Christ’s strength, surrendering to His authority, and allowing Him to live in and through us.  We do not work for God.  He works through us.  This significant paradigm shift has massive implications and is unfortunately completely misunderstood by many Christians.

How does discipleship counseling differ from the approach of licensed counselors and therapists that market themselves as Christian Counselors?

If you are pursuing help from a licensed Christian Counselor, I recommend that you ask them how they incorporate the Christian Faith into their counseling practice.  In discipleship counseling, the Christian Faith is central and foundational to the process – We are Ministers after all! 

What are your credentials for counseling since you are not a psychotherapist?

I am a Minister of the Gospel commissioned by Network 220 (www.network220.org).  Network 220 is a network of ministers that counsel with the explicit goal of helping people live an abundant life in Christ.  While psychotherapists ascribe to their own specific modalities or theories of change, I rely upon the Message of the Cross, power of the Holy Spirit, authority of scripture, and prayer.  As a Minister, I believe that human beings are a spirit with a soul (i.e., mind, will, emotions) and a body; therefore my focus is on helping people achieve spiritual health.  I further believe that emotional well-being is the fruit of spiritual health.

Are you against psychotherapy or the mental health profession?

We would answer that question with a resounding “NO”! We believe that the entire mental health field fulfills a very important and necessary function in society. We know many committed, compassionate mental health professionals that are helping people and families through their roles as counselors, therapists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc.  

What is the cost?

The cost of discipleship counseling is $90 per session.  However, we are committed to not turning anyone 18 or under away, regardless of their ability to pay.  This is why we are launching substantial fundraising efforts.  Our goal is to establish The Caring Center as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization by 2019.