Discipleship Counseling and Helping Others Find Healing Through Christ

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This was a paper for the Christian Counseling course I took earlier this year.

Abstract

This paper identifies what some causes of thinking errors are, how they develop and affect an individual on a day to day basis. It will also review how some defense mechanisms are used to survive a traumatic event and ways that these can be overcome. Ultimately, it will examine the importance of a relationship with and learning trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and how this integrates into the healing process. It will review how individuals may learn to form a bond with God and thereby overcome the negative situations and experiences they have had in life. Additionally it will clarify how neglecting to forgive offenses can hold an individual back from a true and fulfilling relationship with God, self, and others. The intent is to create a clear overview of the healing process from a walled-up state to an individual on the road to recovery, thereby identifying and learning healthy coping skills and sound thinking processes while building new core beliefs of self-worth and value.

Discipleship Counseling and

Helping Others Find Healing Through Christ

The way a child is raised will determine their disposition towards positive or negative habits, thoughts and behaviors (Anderson, 2003 p.330). They will treat others, including their own children, as their parents taught them. In time, they may come to see the errors in the behaviors, or at minimum feel that something is not quite right and wish to change but are unsure where to go or what those changes should be.

There are many factors which lead a person to seek help or guidance from a counselor, therapist, or clergy. A life-changing event may have occurred, such as a death in the family, or an upcoming marriage. For many it is that they have come to the end of their rope and just cannot handle the stressors anymore (Myers, 2002 p.520). They are looking for hope, help, and a way to resolve the hidden skeletons in the closet (Anderson, 2003).

Faulty Thinking and Thinking Errors

Everyone has thoughts, or a progression of thoughts, which may or may not follow a healthy or typical pattern. Thoughts are the basis of all decision making. How a person chooses to act or react to any situation is indicative of the underlying thought. Actions are a result of the attitude and perception of the environment, or world that surrounds them. These actions have the potential to change when the thought which supports the attitude is changed (Myers, 2002 p.139). A person needs to be guided to understand that their choices are not merely an act but also an “attitude that reflects a belief” (Anderson, 2003 p.291).

Three major areas of concern in counseling are: a dysfunctional family background, personal problems, and spiritual problems (Anderson, 2003). After a traumatizing experience, an individual is prone to develop thinking errors or “faulty thinking” (Anderson, 2003). The trauma could be something as simple as a child losing a favorite toy or even a helium balloon, as severe as what a soldier experiences in the throes of war, or a battered woman or man experiences over the course of years in a problematic or abusive relationship. According to Wheeler (2007) trauma is a natural part of the human or physical experience (p.132-141) and it is important to note that it affects all aspects of the individual.

Sometimes a thinking error is all a matter of perspective, and reality checks can help provide a change of perspective. It can be challenging to step back from the situation to identify that there is more than one solution to a problem. Thinking errors can also come from a lie that someone has been told multiple times, from someone they respect or look to as an authority figure, which they believe as a real truth. These false concepts will lead the individual to form a wall of defense using various methods (Anderson, 2003).

Cognitive distortions are...
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