COUNSELING TEENS

I. Types of Youth Counseling

  1. Spontaneous
  2. At the Altar
  3. Intentional Mentoring
  4. Family Counseling
  5. Issue-Related

II. Practical Personal Guidelines for the Youth Counselor

      1. Be sure that your personal walk with the Lord is personal & consistent
      2. Be personally accountable to other pastoral leadership & mentors – 20:18
      3. “The Bible characters never fell on their weak points but on their strong ones; UNGUARDED STRENGTH IS DOUBLE WEAKNESS.”  (Oswald Chambers, The Place of Help)      — 4:10,11
      4. Questions to ask in accountability relationships, Rebuilding Your Broken World, Gordon MacDonald
      5.   How is your relationship with God right now?
      6. What have you read in the Bible in the past week?
      7. What has God said to you in this reading?
      8. Where do you find yourself resisting Him these days?
      9. What specific things are you praying for in regard to others?
      10. What specific things are your praying for in regard to yourself?
      11. What are the specific tasks facing you right now that you consider incomplete?
      12. What habits intimidate you?
      13. What have you read in the secular press this week?
      14. What general reading are you doing?
      15. What have you done to play?
      16. How are you doing with your spouse?  Kids?
      17. If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, state of spirit, state of energy level, what would the response be?
      18. Are you sensing any spiritual attacks from the enemy right now?
      19. If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a person or as a servant of the Lord, how might he do it?
      20. What is the state of your sexual perspective?  Tempted?  Dealing with fantasies?  Entertainment?
      21. Where are you financially right now?  (things under control?  under anxiety?  in great debt?)
      22. Are there any unresolved conflicts in your circle of relationships right now?
      23. When was the last time you spent time with a good friend of your own gender?
      24. What kind of time have you spent with anyone who is a non-Christian this past month?
      25. What challenges do you think you’re going to face in the coming week?  month?
      26. What would you say are your fears at this present time?
      27. Are you sleeping well?
      28. What are three things you are most thankful for?
      29. Do you like yourself at this point in your pilgrimage?
      30. What are your greatest confusions about your relationship with God?
      31. Be a person of prayer & faith.
      32. Always counsel from a base of inner peace. Don’t counsel when you are physically or emotionally exhausted. – 15:13

 III. Practical Guidelines for the Counseling Session

      1. Pray for Wisdom & Discernment – Pro 8:11-12
      2. Ask questions & attentively listen to what is shared – Jas. 1:18,19; Pro. 18:13,14 
      3. Don’t judge or evaluate too quickly – Isa. 11:2-4
      4. Be aware of your body language – be sure to communicate interest, compassion, & godly  love. – 2 Pet. 1:5-8 
      5. Speak the truth in love – Eph. 4:14,15
      6. Guard what the counselee says confidentially, but do not commit yourself unwisely to a secretive-type confidence. – Pro.  11:13
      7. Never act shocked at what the counselee shares with you. – Eccl. 1:8.9
      8. Pray – 1 Thess. 5:17

IV. Legal Guidelines (adapted from notes by Gibbs & Craze Co., attorneys)

PRACTICAL GUIDELINES FOR THE COUNSELOR

      • Use the Bible as your source for counseling.
      • Continually increase your training in pastoral counseling
      • Have some on-going accountability to others in pastoral leadership
      • Note every scheduled counseling session on your calendar, as an added record.
      • Record and keep notes on each counseling session.

PRACTICAL GUIDELINES FOR THE COUNSELING SESSION

      • Counsel with a third person present or within view.
      • At the beginning of the session, inform the counselee that the Bible is the basis for your advice.
      • Tell the counselee that you are not a state licensed, professional counselor.
      • Lay out possible options before the counselee, if appropriate, and let them choose what action to take.
      • Make sure that the counselee understands that she is seeing you voluntarily.
      • Accurately represent your qualifications to those in your congregation, to those you counsel, and to the general public.
      • Know and accept your personal limitations in different counseling areas.  Refer the counselee to another trained Christian counselor, doctor, or lawyer when necessary.
      • Keep your counsel confidential. This as mentioned previously as a Biblical responsibility.  It is also a legal responsibility.

V. Question-Asking Process to get to the Primary Issue

A. The Counselee’s Initial Environmental Adjustment  – Layers
The Counselor’s Seeing – Observation

B. The Counselee’s General Disclosure – Uncovering the Layers
     The Counselor’s Hearing – General Questions

(Adapted from The Christian Counselor’s Manual, Jay Adams)

      • Relationship to God
      • Personal Habits
      • Relationship to Others
      • Physical Life
      • Obsessions & Addictions
      • Finances
      • Social Life
      • Time Management
      • Major Life Changes
      • Feelings and Attitudes

C. The Counselee’s  Self Disclosure – The Mentioned Problem
The Counselor’s Perceiving – Extensive Questioning

      • “What?”
      • “How?”
      • “What?/Why?”
      • “How often?”
      • “When?”
      • “What type?”
      • “Why?”