Contemplative Counsel 1

Our jobs as counselors and coaches is to help our clients to know themselves and to travel with them on their journey of self-discovery. It can be long and arduous. We bust help them look deep inside to discover things they may not want to see because it may be too painful or raise unwanted memories or emotions they have kept buried for a long time. In these cases, it can be difficult. As Christian counselors/coaches it is important we include all the resources at our disposal.

How do we as Christian counselors tap into the depths of a person’s psyche? We cannot. We must wait for them to reveal these to us through session after session, and even then, they may not be willing to address the underlying issues. People who have been abuse or assaulted can suppress these memories for years or a lifetime. But God’s plan for us is greater than living with the pain and limitations that the wounds of life have dealt.

How can we be more effective, more intuitive to the things going on in the client’s heart and head? Scripture says that there is a way to be more informed/intuitive.

No one know the heart of humanity but the spirit of that person and the Spirit of God. But many times, the client is not in a personal relationship with God, or they may not be experiencing the closeness that allows them to address areas needing change.

“Unfortunately, most individuals have grown accustomed to live in this manner, numbed, oblivious and out of sync with the rhythms of their inmost self. However, there are also those who through the dissonance of modern life, have come to hear the faint cry of their sour for quiet, rest, healing, mindful living and communion with the God who made them.” 1

For us as their advocate and guide in this journey to wholeness it is important that we remain intimately connected to the Father and the Spirit because it is He who know the heart and its raw wounds. He knows the hurts and what will heal. He knows even the words that will bring openness and safety while they heal. Our edge is Contemplative Counseling.

Contemplative Counseling is a way of being. It is a way of life that puts us in a place to hear what both the client and the Spirit of God are speaking. Contemplative Counseling (or coaching) takes an intricate balance of being present with the client while at the same time working with the Holy Spirit to know what He is saying about the client’s situation and can coach us to help the client.

Contemplative Counseling (and coaching) is a lifestyle. It is part of our everyday existence and way of life. In our relationship with God as the trinity, we have our times of personal conversation, prayer, devotional reading of the Bible and other literature, and we walk with Him through our activities of life. This is just one more activity that we include Him in. It is crucial because we are feeble being and are weak and inadequate to make changes in anyone.

Some years ago, my wife and I went to intensive, 5-day counseling program to improve our marriage relationship. We fought often and really needed intervention from a trained professional.

Our counselor was provided our names and prayed for us during that time. During our sessions the counselor practiced Contemplative counseling. His approach was quiet and less interactive than many I had experienced, and I knew he was listening to the Spirit of God. By the end of the 5 days, underlying issues that had been suppressed for 30 years came to light and made extensive difference in our marriage. Growth that I wanted to make before the counseling I found after. God had done His work silently through the counselor by the Holy Spirit.

I am convinced that my life changed because of Contemplative Counseling and the sensitivity of the counselor to the working of the Holy Spirit. Contemplative counseling works. It is not a method it is a lifestyle of the counselor/coach and is vital to effective, lasting change in each of our clients.

So, as Christian counselors and coaches, it is important to develop a lifestyle of personal and intimate inclusion of God. Be sensitive to the movement and voice of the Spirit. It is our greatest counseling tool.

David Hooker