Open Heart Christian Counseling is committed to delivering
the best services possible to ensure the client's optimum recovery from
issues that plague their lives. My primary philosophy is that the Word
of God is the best mental health book on the face of the planet, and all
therapy is filtered through that standard before used in my office.
Having said that, I do not view the Bible as a weapon
to throw at people to get them to "straighten up." I believe
God is a loving God, and as Jesus told Peter to put away his sword in
the garden of Gethsemane, neither would He want us using his "double-edged
sword" to cut people up. The Bible, as is the case with all therapeutic
interventions, is offered in love, with respect, and with the ultimate
goal of blessing and glorifying God, and effecting life-changes in the
My therapeutic style is centered around the theoretical style called
the "cognitive-behavioral" approach to therapy. I believe
it is highly Biblical, in that it essentially says "If you
change the way you think, you'll change the way you feel, and thereby
change the way you react." God told Cain, "If you do well,
will not your countenance be lifted up?" (Genesis 4:7) Biblically-based
cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on how God wants you to think
and on seeing things as He does. Then, little by little, the client
learns to trust that by doing things God's way, their lives
improve, and they feel better as a result.
The enemy says "If you feel better,
you'll do better." God says, "Nope - it's the other way
IN-SESSION: Initially, the client will do most
of the talking so I can gain an understanding of what brought them
into therapy. After this initial get-to-know-each-other phase, which
typically lasts a couple of sessions, I will become more involved
and the therapy will be more interactive. Typically, my clients
talk about 60% of the time, and I talk about 40%. Depending on the
needs of the client, sometimes I will ask questions, explore, or
teach, and other times I will just listen, connect, and "be."
I tend not to give advice because I believe that God and the client
are the experts in the client's life. Instead, I explore and reflect
with the client what has worked and what hasn't worked in their
lives, and we refer to Scripture to see what guidance we can gleen
from God on the issue. The Holy Spirit and the client are the judges
of what the Scripture means to them and their lives. I may suggest
possible ways of dealing with situations, and then the client can
decide what they wish to try. We will then analyze the outcome together
to determine if adjustments need to be made in the future.
In essense, I work for God, and I work for the
client. I see us as a 3-way partnership, with the Holy Spirit in
the lead, where we are a collective analysis team to figure this
I believe the Word of God is an infallable, inerrant
love letter sent to us by a loving father who wants only the best
for us. In that, I believe that all of the answers to life's difficult-or-otherwise
questions are there, and I rely on it for those answers. One of my
therapeutic interventions is to teach my clients how to find their
own answers, see what's there, and learn to rely on the Holy Spirit
for understanding how God wants to apply it to their lives.
approach my work with clients with a full awareness that there are
three of us in the room. I understand that God is watching His sheep,
and my goal is to honor Him in all of my dealings with my clients.
I will never mislead a client about their therapy, the prognosis of
recovery, or the fees associated with our work together. I will never
allow a client to remain in therapy longer than we both believe is
necessary for their recovery. As God has granted me the privilege
of serving Him and His saints in this way, it is my ever-present goal
to honor that gift through my integrity with my clients.
changes over time regarding research and the efficacy of different
therapeutic interventions. A competent therapist will remain vigilant
in staying up-to-date on the new research. I commit to staying up
to date through seminars, reading, networking with other therapists,
and other training as it becomes available. I also commit to listening
to my client's perspectives on ways they can be more effectively served,
and apply those lessons to all of my clients. More importantly, I
am committed to continuing my education into how God's Word is used
in a practical life-application way through independent studies, consultation
with pastors, a variety of sermons and lessons, and relying on the
Holy Spirit through prayer. I am committed to staying competent in
my field to best serve God's people.
pledge to remain objective concerning my client's case. I will never
allow my own personal position, relationships, or possibility for
gain to influence how therapy progresses. If it becomes clear that
the therapeutic relationship is not working, or that the client is
making unacceptable progress, I will be honest and straighforward,
and if we both feel it would be in the best interest of the client,
I will graciously refer the client to a competent therapist who may
be able to help them more than I could. It is my belief that if a
therapist-client relationship is not working, it is not because either
of them is at fault. Some relationships are not meant to be, and there
is nothing to be taken personally on either side.
am committed to open, honest and respectful relationships in all of
my work. Research is clear that it is the therapist-client relationship
that effects real change, and it is my commitment to ensure that I
do all I can to create a safe and secure environment for a real relationship
to form, and that that relationship be the foundation for the work
that is done between us. It is my goal that the client be helped, and I am dedicated
to that goal. The therapeutic relationship we form, with Jesus at
the center, is the foundation for all change.
the extent allowable and required by law, all dealings with my clients
will remain confidential, meaning, no one will know any of the details
of our conversations, and in fact, unless I have written permission
from you, no one can even know you're in therapy. Please see my 'download'
section for a copy of the contract I ask my clients to sign. In it
you will find the detailed confidentiality requirements.
The client-therapist relationship requires that a professional and
objective posture be kept between my clients and myself. Although
it is often tempting to allow the relationship to develop into a
'friendship,' this is not in the client's best interest. Friendships
require a different dynamic than therapy, and it would be unfair
to the client to allow the therapeutic relationship to suffer by
allowing a friendship to develop. This professional posture is called
a "boundary," and it is modelled in therapy to allow the
client to learn it in their own life.
|Open Heart Christian