Rick, why won’t you counsel another way?

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. – Mark 10:21-22 (ESV)

A few weeks ago a counselee of mine asked why I won’t counsel another way. I understood what she was asking. Since then, I have thought about her query nearly every day.

She discerned a death feel to my counseling and she was struggling. Though she does not disagree with my counseling approach, she did feel compelled to share her internal angst with me.

It was not that she wanted me to change my counseling style. She needed to audibly acknowledge what she is going to have to do in order to find true freedom. I’ve heard this before. I’ve heard this often.

Please tell me something different

Often in counseling a person will say, “You have not told me anything I did not already know.” Sometimes I think people come to me hoping there is another answer or an easier way.

They come to me and I tell them what they already know and sometimes in a last ditch effort of avoidance, they ask a question they already know the answer to: Can you counsel another way?

At one level of their hearts they want to know if there is another path to freedom–a different path than death. Their query is proffered in a half-hearted way because they know the truth.

My friend was really saying in an odd way that she agreed with what needed to be done, but she was struggling to walk through death’s door in order to find the most successful life a person can experience.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. – Luke 9:23-24 (ESV)

I would have loved to give her seven habits for highly effective people so she could apply those habits to her life and live happily ever-after.

Recently a parent came to me asking how to change the behavior of his son. He had put him on restriction. He took away his cell phone. He scared off his friends. Still yet,

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About Rick Thomas

Rick has been training in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1997. After several years as a counselor and pastor he founded and launched his own training organization in order to encourage and equip people for more effective living. In the early ’90’s he earned a BA in Theology. Later he earned a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry and in 2000 he graduated with a MA in Counseling. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow with ACBC. Today his organization reaches people in every country through consulting, training, blogging, and coaching.
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