The Day My Counseling Techniques Shattered
Over twenty years ago my counseling techniques were shattered.
Let me fill you in...I was sitting at work super excited to meet my clients for the day. I had prayed over all of their folders, asking for words from God to lead our time.
This was my routine. I knew what I was doing. I was licensed to do this stuff. And I was pretty good at listening and helping.
One of my precious clients came in almost floating on air. She shared a profound and life-altering session she had with a lay counselor who used some kind of "magic" prayer woo woo stuff (I call it that for the newbie. Once you are in it, it goes from woo woo to wow wow!).
As she was describing her emotional healing, I knew I wanted all my clients to feel that way when they left my office.
Then a few weeks later, another client came in and shared that she also had a turning point session. They both called it Theophostic prayer (Theo: God. Phos: light = God's light). Since then, this name has been changed to Transformational Prayer.
God healed both of them of some deep emotional pain.
Hearts healed by the hand of God. What can beat that? Not my tiny finite brain.
I was already a Christian therapist and wove in scripture and prayer, even some cool meditations. But I had no idea about deep healing -- the kind that we are not able to do -- The kind that takes a miracle from the Maker Himself.
After hearing their experiences and seeing such change in them, I felt like all the training and skills I had no longer measured up. I knew the Lord was showing me something amazing.
My clients both had their sessions in other states (did I mention my clients did not know each other?). So I was out of luck finding a training or a person to give me a session.
It took a few years and a move to another state for the Lord to bring me to my teacher. The class was held down the street from me (in this new state). Coincidence? Nope. A God wink.
I finally had my first session with a lay counselor using Spirit-led counseling techniques. I KNEW this was what the Lord wanted me to do in my professional life --connecting to God and having Him heal.
My session and then training turned my counseling upside down.
So, what is this all about?
This is a simple overview:
The counselor asks the Holy Spirit for direction before and all throughout the session. When this happens, the Holy Spirit gives the counselor the knowledge to know what to ask and which direction to go in (this is called words of knowledge. See 1 Corinthians 12:8).
The process involves listening prayer. See John 10:27. This type of prayer involves using your senses to connect to God.
The typical senses are:
Visual...seeing something in your mind.
Hearing...like a spontaneous thought that lights up your brain.
Feeling...positive, joy-filled, warmth, electricity, etc.
Smell...like flowers or an uplifting fragrance.
To really understand and learn how this works, check out one of my favorite spiritual resources here.
Every session looks different. Even though there is a rough outline the counselor follows, God has a plan for the session so it may not look the same each time.
The goal is to uncover lie-based thinking and allow God to replace lies with His truth (see Romans 12:2,
2 Corinthians 10:5). It can also be to release emotional wounds to Jesus and have Him heal you.
Let's take a simple example. Let's say I freak anytime I see a dog. My belief could be that all dogs will hurt me. Dog are not the problem, but my thoughts about dogs are. Make sense?
In this example, maybe I do not know when the fear of dogs started. Doesn't matter, because the Holy Spirit knows. We ask the Holy Spirit to show us. He brings up the memory and my anxious feelings start to surface.
The counselor may walk you through some other things...as the Spirit leads.
I then would share what I believe about dogs and myself due to the memory or fear (these are the lie-based beliefs). I would give this over to God and ask for His truth.
God replaces my fear with His truth. I feel a sense of peace/release and I am healed of that fear.
Easy peasy, right? Kind of....read on.
Here's the tricky part.
We "hear" from our own thoughts, God, wounded parts of ourselves, and the enemy (aka Satan, Lucifer, the evil one, etc). Your counselor will need to be well trained with tons of clinical hours to help you discern which voice you are hearing.
Sometimes we think up what we believe God would say. This does not provide healing. Or the enemy will tell us something that sounds like it could be truth but misses the mark by a smidge. That does nothing.
But when we hear from God, there is a release, peace, or comfort that comes over us. That is the healing.
What happens when you do not hear from God? It just means there is a spiritual block and more work is to be done. Could be sin issues, forgiveness, false beliefs about God, etc. These can all be dealt with.
What if I am not a Christ-follower? Totally fine! God heals anyone regardless of what you believe. Hopefully, after you experience God and His fierce love for you, you will want to nurture that relationship.
For example, I had two non-Christian clients who allowed me to do this "woo woo" stuff with them (this was when I was not exclusively a Christian therapist). They experienced healing miracles within minutes of our sessions.
I am a believer in that Spirit-led counseling is the ONLY way for deep healing to occur. I believed it so much that my career focus became just this.
After I used Theophostic prayer for several years, I learned about Sozo and other methods. I was trained in many ministries, and I am still learning! Quite honestly, Jesus has taught me some profound healing tools that I have not found in a book. Jesus has also trained some other counselors in the same way He's taught me.
If you want your own awesome session, make sure you read my post on interviewing your counselor here. Or contact me to set up a session (in person, phone, or video).
Cheering you on!