Daily Archives: July 7, 2014

A Dose of Wise Medicine: An Interview with a Licensed Professional Counselor

Do you ever wonder if anything deep within your heart is impacting you (for example, in relationships with yourself or others) in an unhealthy way?  Let’s be honest: we all have some amount of dirt that needs the healing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Have you ever considered taking time to unpack your emotions with an unbiased, highly-trained counselor? While living in this world, we all have faced disappointments, hurts, or losses. But how can we appropriately deal with them to heal those wounds?

Over the next two days, we’re going to dive into the mind of a licensed professional counselor who also loves Jesus. These posts will educate you, challenge you, and potentially demonstrate the value (and wisdom) in seeking counsel from a licensed professional (as necessary).

Meet Tracy Busse. She’s a sharp, honest, witty, trustworthy, and compassionate friend of mine (and also a former colleague at Wellspring Living). Tracy is a licensed professional counselor, and she holds a master’s degree in Christian counseling from Richmont University. Her past experience has included serving at-risk adolescents for the state of Georgia, teaching at the Moody Biblical Institute in Chicago, and developing a program to provide restorative, therapeutic care for girls and women who’ve been rescued from human trafficking in the city of Atlanta. Enjoy!

Tracy, I’d like get your insights about therapy and the Christian community. Commonly I hear objections from other Christians about counseling. Why is counseling necessary, they ask, when Jesus is the True Healer and we can ask Him for healing?

That’s’a good question, and there can be a complicated answer to it. For me, the easiest answer begins with believing that Jesus is truth, and that all truth belongs to God. One simple example would be 2 + 2 = 4. This is a truth (that belongs to God), but can you find that in the Bible anywhere? (I sheepishly whisper, ‘No.’). Do you believe that as part of God’s design, He made 2 + 2 = 4? (Yes, while nodding my head).

In the same light, when we find out that something is true in counseling, and research shows us that it is truth, then I believe that’s part of God’s truth and design. And I believe He has enabled people to find new truths (about ourselves and His creation) that we can share to further His kingdom. When scientists can prove something to be true, all that belongs to God.

When we have cancer or the flu, many or most of us would go to a doctor.  Sometimes our healing can end up being a long process, but other times Jesus may miraculously heal us – He absolutely has that power. But, there is a difference between healing and miraculous healing, and they each have their time and place. Generally, if you have a really bad cut, that cut will take time to heal; it’ll bleed and scab over, and sometimes you’ll have a scar. To me, therapy is part of a process that is similar to how that cut heals. We’ve all experienced emotional cuts in life, and those cuts take time to heal it.

Unless Jesus decides to miraculously heal our emotional wounds and remove the scabs, we tend to ignore them. Unlike a physical cut, they likely will not spontaneously heal over time. I believe that therapy is an opportunity to address those wounds so that we can find healing. Often this ends up being a slow process, but I believe that God’s plan can be to let people heal this way in His timing.

In the Scriptures, a good example of how God can work in our lives is David. When reading the Psalms, we can see that he battles with depression: he is up and down all the time. Another example of depression is Job. In modern terms, we would describe their challenges as mental health challenges. Yet God uses them as examples to show that none of us are perfect; most of us are going to have hurts and challenges, and having wise people alongside of us to help us go through the process is a good thing. Sometimes we may be guided by the Holy Spirit, a pastor, by a Christian friend, or perhaps by a counselor.

God can use anyone as a vessel for healing. Knowing that all truth belongs to God, knowing that counselors have the specialized training to encourage emotional healing, I think there really should be no objection to trying counseling when its needed. Finding a counselor that is holistic – mind, body, and spirit – is important. All three parts come together in each of us as a whole person. And a well-trained counselor will touch on all of these, which creates freedom and healing.

Trust me when I say you need to join us tomorrow on HDD. We’ll continue this interview by defining the (often misconstrued) word of trauma, identifying the warning signs of wounds that have yet to be dealt with in your own life, and providing helpful resources to grow (alongside our Great Healer – Jesus Christ). Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose! See you tomorrow!

Photo provided by thinng.com 

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