So here is a valid question… why counseling?
When I was in college I spent a lot of my free time between classes slowly starting to share my heart with friends. My whole life I had expended a great deal of effort to keep my inner thoughts hidden from the rest of the world, especially those close to me. Yet somehow when I started leading Young Life, a ministry for high school kids, I quickly realized that acting like I had it all together was not going to cut it. I sat in cabins at camp with girls who had an image of me that I was fearless, on top of the world, even excluded from life suffering. Of course, they didn’t put it into those words, but it was that weighty. They simply thought I had it all together. What a false image I was portraying!
It wasn’t long before I felt like I was hitting a wall with the relationships I had with my Young Life girls, friends, my boyfriend, and even my family. I longed to go deeper, yet so much of who I really was wrapped up tightly behind an inpenetrable gate in my soul. I remember sitting on a fellow leaders couch sharing a bit of my heart for the first time. I shared that I felt like I was living a lie. She was the first person to give me the idea to go to counseling to talk through my heart with someone unbiased. She was even honest enough to tell me she was going herself. The willingness that she had to admit that she did not have life altogether, even though it often appeared that way to me, was the first step in my road to recovery from hiding who I really was made to be. Thank you friend, you know who you are!
So here I am, starting my own counseling practice 10+ years later, advocating for anyone & everyone to seek the wise counsel of someone they can trust!
So I must start this journey of this blog by telling you up front: I do not claim to have it all together. I actually would say it’s the opposite. I am thankful that through many years of counseling, with the beloved Paula Rinehart in Raleigh, North Carolina, I can confidently share that I am a major work in progress. She has helped many thousands of women all over the country through one-on-one sessions, speaking, & her books. It was through counseling that I found my calling in the field of psychology. I long to be a “wounded healer” in the lives of many others striving to taste of the land of milk and honey here on earth. Thank you Paula for modeling what a true gift a counselor can be in my life! [see below for details of the giveaway of my favorite book of hers]
So back to the original question: why counseling?
We are going to unpack this jam-packed question in the coming weeks in detail, but in summary:
We all need wise counsel to combat the the many daily broken things of this world that penetrate our hearts like arrows which leave lasting impressions on us. In some seasons of life we may need more of a sounding board than others. It is when I think that I need counseling the least that I typically am longing for it the most.
The greatest gift of my counselor was that she was an unbiased party who was simply advocating for me to enjoy life to the fullest, with zero agenda to have needs met of her own. Friendships serve me in other ways since for the most part they are two-way. For example, I listen to a friends heart & she listens to mine. We both attempt to love each other through support in this relationship. The stark difference in the counseling relationship is that it’s one-way. It’s meant for the client to share his/her heart, which for many of us is a foreign gift to be given. Someone who is solely focused on how to help us in our life.
I hope you will come back & engage with me more as we continue to unpack this question, for now though, please add the M+H blog into your Reader & leave your comments below for M+H’s first giveaway!
*All you need to do is simply share your thoughts, positive & negative, about your perspective on counseling. I will draw one name at random out of a hat Monday & send you a copy of Better Than My Dreams by Paula Rinehart.