Top 10 Questions To Ask A Spirit-led Counselor BEFORE You Meet. Part I (of 2)
So, you are ready to start your search.
As you start googling and asking around, keep these questions handy. They are important and will help weed out people that are not properly trained.
Spiritual work is serious business. You do not want a novice or untrained person leading you through your healing.
Before we dive in, I want to sidetrack just a moment to share one of my first experiences with a Sozo counselor. No worries...it totally relates to you.
Have you heard of Sozo ministry out of Bethel? (Sozo is a Greek word for saved, healed, and delivered).
When it was new to me, I was hearing rumblings of amazing outcomes. So of course, I wanted in!
The person I saw for my ministry session was a layperson. I wasn't nervous at all due to the fact that I had all my issues taken care of (ha! Just kidding), so I wasn't worried about confidentiality because I had nothing to share that was gossip-worthy.
This person, however, did explain confidentiality and how the Lord wipes her brain after sessions so she does not remember details. In addition, she does not keep notes after our session. It doesn't matter, I thought. I've got nothing to hide. But it was still nice to know she was taking this seriously.
Three hours later I was exhausted from crying (ok, sobbing). God showed me some deep issues that I thought were taken care of (in a human way). Those deep issues were now healed. My point?
You can see a lay counselor with tremendous results. Or a licensed one. Regardless, here are some ideas for you as you interview (yes, interview) your new counselor.
On a side note, many of my soon-to-be clients would ask me various questions before we've met in person. This is normal and your potential counselor should be totally okay with answering your questions over the phone or email. I personally only answer emails these days.
On a second side note, I once called a therapist about referring a young client. The therapist informed me that she is great with kids and her therapy dog helps her in session. This young client I was referring is highly allergic and terrified of dogs.
Had I not pressed the therapist on her approach and asked some questions, this would have been a lose-lose for the client and the therapist.
Is this person recommended? If so, why?
Are they licensed?
What about confidentiality?
What are they trained in? Where did they get this training? AND did they have supervision?
How long have they been doing this?
1. If your friend recommends this counselor. Ask why. You might be surprised. She's so funny. We have so much in common. These are not reasons to see a counselor.
2. Licensed? This may or may not matter. Are you trying to use insurance to pay down a deductible? Then you will need to see a state licensed person (you will probably still have to submit to your insurance as an out of network provider since many licensed Christian therapists do not take insurance). This information should be on their website.
3. If they are licensed, they should be well versed in confidentiality. If they are not licensed, it is ESSENTIAL you ask them how they handle confidentiality. If they stammer...move on to someone else. This information should be in their consent agreement. If it is not listed, that is a concern.
4. If they are a lay person ask what are they trained in. If they tell you something that you are not familiar with, do your research. Look on this site to see if I have covered it. Or email me and ask. I am happy to help.
Follow up questions: Where did they do their training? Was this a DVD or a manual they read? Those are fine, as long as they have some supervision or an experienced person assisting them. In-person training and practice with a supervisor/mentor are best.
Were they supervised in their learning sessions? Supervision/training is (hopefully) taught for learning good boundaries, how to interact with clients, professionalism, confidentiality, and dealing with spiritual warfare.
I have heard of toxic sessions from clients that sought counseling from lay counselors that were traumatizing.
5. How long have they been doing this? Less than two years?....maybe look for someone else...unless they have someone supervising them and the supervisor is in the session to assist. A lot can happen in a session, including demonic activity (more about that here). You need to have someone that understands what this is, what to look for, and how to get rid of it. Sometimes it takes more than casting it out.
Stay tuned for part 2. This is enough to get you started. Remember, this is your journey.
1. If this was helpful to you, please share.
2. Read up on the Sozo ministry. This link takes you to the book. The book has so much more detail than the website. There are many more inner healing ministries out there such as Transformational prayer, Heart Sync, Courts of Heaven (this post gives an easy explanation, but here is a book to learn from as well).
3. Start your research looking for someone either local or one that offers video sessions.
Cheering you on!