Pam Halter
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Keeping It Together - part seven
2/24/2014 1:03:18 PM by: pam

This week, let's talk about counseling. Proverbs 15:12 & 14 says, "A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise. The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly."

Counseling can be a more sensitive subject than sex. We run to the doctor when our body is sick. We take medicines and vitamins. We exercise and eat healthy food. At least, we try to do all these things. But what do we do with our emotions when they become unbearable? This is where a good counselor can be worth their weight in gold.          

Don't settle for anyone. Ask trusted friends or your family doctor. Go and meet counselors and find another one if you aren't comfortable. This is one case where you need to listen to your feelings. A counselor you don't like is worse than no counselor at all.

What should you look for in a counselor? Besides a person you feel comfortable with right away, a good counselor will exhibit traits of discernment, insight and wisdom. I mentioned before that Daryl and I are seeing a counselor - Mike. From the first meeting, we felt welcomed by Mike. He genuinely wants us there. He listens and observes us; he has a good sense of humor. He points us to God and Scripture. He remembers what we've talked about from week to week, even if we have to miss a week. When he asks me something, he watches Daryl as I answer. We like him and we trust him.

Here's an experience I had with a counselor I "fired" : I was struggling with depression and anxiety. My family doctor put me on Paxil, which was fine at first, but as a few months passed, I started feeling worse. I was paranoid, had panic attacks and felt suicidal some days. I contacted Life Counseling. The first contact person deemed me an emergency and I got an appointment right away. Daryl came with me because I didn't feel like I could drive myself. The counselor also felt my case was bad enough to see a psychiatrist right away. So far, so good. I saw the psychiatrist, who said I was reacting to the Paxil. He changed my meds and I worked to wean off the Paxil. During this time, I went back to the counselor by myself. I was not comfortable, did not feel welcome, and sat nervously on the edge of my seat. The first thing the man said to me was, "I'm surprised you aren't in the hospital. You were hospital material."

Um, okay.

The next thing he said after asking me if I felt suicidal sometimes and I said yes was, "You don't want to commit suicide. The Bible says it's a sin and God wouldn't like it."

Huh??

I called and asked for another counselor. I've been seeing Linda for several years now and she is a blessing. And that's how Daryl and I feel about Mike. What it comes down to is this: counseling with the right counselor can be one of the best things you can do to keep your marriage together. Sure, it's not easy sometimes. It digs up past hurts. You learn stuff about yourself you don't especially like. It can feel invasive. It can leave you vulnerable. But it also brings healing and refreshment. So, swallow that pride and get thee to a counselor!


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