Courage for Counselling?
by Janet McNish
“Change will never happen when people lack the ability and courage to see themselves for who they are. “Bryant H. McGill
Many people feel embarrassed about starting counselling, saying;
“I am capable and intelligent, yet I feel like a failure…”
“I am so ashamed that I can’t manage this on my own…”
“I have tried to put it behind me but…”
I believe they actually display a great deal of courage! Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is far more important than fear.
The purpose of counselling is change. So how can you effectively change anything if you don’t first examine the true condition of the problem? In particular the problem with our unhelpful thinking habits. Our thoughts directly affect our feelings, which affect our behaviour, which affects our character, which in turn affects our destiny.
After 15 years as a psycho-therapeutic counsellor I still find amazing that God knows everything about us, including the thoughts and attitudes lurking in the recesses of our hearts and minds that we fear to speak aloud to others – or even to ourselves.
Yet, He loves us so completely and unconditionally. But he loves us too much to leave us the same.
God daily gives us mercy so that we don’t receive what we really deserve. Through our humility He perpetually pours out grace to us, which enables us receive what we don’t deserve. This grace frees us to exercise the courage to face what was killed off, stolen and destroyed through difficult life experiences; to accurately assess “the areas long devastated” of our lives so that, together with a suitably qualified and experienced counsellor or pastoral leader we can “rebuild the walls that were broken down” and receive increasing measures of the “abundant life” that Jesus came to give us in John 10:10. Through this He is given praise and you are free to run in the paths of His commands (which are not burdensome), for He will have set your heart free. (Psalm119:32)
Do you have the courage to make the changes required to fulfill and enjoy God’s plans for your life? (Jeremiah 29:11)
Janet McNish PGDip (MBACP) is a qualified counsellor is the London Area Co-ordinator for the Association of Christian Counsellors. For further information visit her website at www.janetmcnish.com. Published in Micah Newsletter 17 May 2012