Blog Post by Sister Diane Foster
What is a counselor? Is a counselor and therapist the same thing? Is there a difference between them? If so, what are the differences? Should I seek the help of a counselor or a therapist? What is Torah/Bible-centered counseling? These are good questions to ask for someone seeking help for their distress. Though both counselors and therapists use overlapping strategies for service there is a line of separation between the two.
A counselor is defined as a person who gives guidance on personal, social, or psychological problems. Other names of a counselor adviser, consultant, mentor, confidant, instructor, coach, teacher, or tutor. A therapist is one who, though they may perform many services as a counselor also uses the skills such as psychology, psychotherapy, psychoanalyst, counselor, healer. Notice the description of a counselor only uses the word psychology, a counselor is not a psychologist, yet will often employ psychology for assessments and sometimes practice.
Counseling and therapy are so closely related that many, including clinicians, use the term interchangeably. Psychologists counsel and do therapy. Depending on the needs of the client counselors may also use therapeutic approaches of help. Likewise, many therapists counsel. One major difference between a counselor, therapist, and Torah/Bible-centered counselor is that our foundational source of help is the Bible and the Holy Spirit. However, understanding that beings have a will and a mind (psychological) to do good or evil, and given our understanding of biblical worldviews Torah/Bible-centered counselors integrate psychology into our practice. We could be called biblically-centered psychotherapists.
Both a psychologist, and licensed and certified counselor treat problems such as family problems, marital or relationship, behavioral problems, addictions, grief, anxiety, depression, and sexual problems. Counselors focus on everyday aspects of the problem, looking at them now. Psychotherapist search for the deeper meaning of the cause. Torah/Bible-centered counselors integrate both as we incorporate sin as a root cause of most problems. Whether the sin is self-willed or committed against the person, it is always what do we do with the trauma or predicament we find ourselves in.
A father may suffer grief at the loss of his son simply because he allowed him to attend an event. Sin brings pain into our life As Torah/Bible-centered counselors CSCM is aware of both the psychology of sin, and we know that Yahuah’s grace is sufficient for healing. A source of depression can be the result of unconfessed sin. Depression can also come from unforgiveness. Knowing depression comes from many sources the examples given find solutions in Scripture. These are only two examples; the Bible is full of such problems and solutions. A Torah/Bible-centered counselor looks at life and Scripture to bring the client back to restoration. We understand it takes the redemptive power of the Messiah and the Ruach haQodesh to work this miracle.
Some may not necessarily know the Torah walk but desire too. For such people using Scripture and psychotherapy, Compassionate Soul Care Ministry is the ideal starting point blending each when and where needed. Human behavior is in the negative realm of sin and evil. Though we inherently know right from wrong many live with a sick soul. Feelings of fear, guilt, shame, or grief sometimes require psychotherapy as the path to spiritual transformation. The Word of Yahuah and psychology are not on the same level, but some principles of psychology can be useful. This position recognizes the sovereignty of Yahuah’s Word over man’s knowledge. Proverbs 16:9 reads that “A man’s heart devises his way: but Yahweh directs his steps. The second part of this Scripture examples how Yahshua and the Holy Spirit direct man. This example is a fallen sick soul being directed to a place of refuge, where healing begins. Here, the client’s heart and mind are emersed in psychology and the principles of theology, integrated through the Holy Spirit as he works with the Torah/Bible-centered counselor.
What Scripture tells us about the nature and identity of counselors.
First and foremost is Yahshua the Messiah. First prophesied in Isaiah as a counselor we get an idea of our Great Teacher.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
Yahusha is Counselor extraordinaire given to us by our Heavenly Father Abba Yahuah. This verse goes on to read that Government shall be on His shoulders meaning He is the Great Administrator, with all Authority, Leadership, and the rule is His. Yahusha was to rule and govern the nations. A good life is a reward for those who submit to His guidance and leadership. We receive our counsel from Him. (Psa. 16:7). If the nations listened to His counsel, they would be carried and protected by Him. Yahusha is Wonderful, meaning He is Great, Amazing, and Magnificent. Yahusha holds all these attributes making Him a Wonderful Counsellor. No living being teaches, advises, or counsels like Him. As Son of Yahuah He is the source of Redemption.
Prince of Peace
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
As Prince of Peace Yahusha commands and reserves peace. He told us before He left to sit at the right hand of His Father that He would leave with us “His” peace. A peace that the world cannot understand. This is a most comforting confidence we have in Him. The world is in turmoil. Peace appears more and more evasive on all levels of society, from child to nation. For individuals living in a world of brokenness, Torah/Bible-centered counselors understand as we seek to help the client moves towards this type of peace.
He restores our soul as He leads us beside the still waters of His peace and love. Peace heals then brokenness is restored. Peace is attainable through the guidance of the counsel exampled by Yahusha. Not only did Yahusha leave us His peace, He told John in John 14:26 upon His departure He would gift us His Holy Spirit, His Ruach haQodesh.
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
It takes the Holy Spirit to receive power from on high. The Holy Ghost/Ruach haQodesh is Spiritual Power given to us by Yahusha. He spoke of it in Acts 1:8 and Apostle John said that upon repentance and baptism we too are promised this Spirit of Yahuah given us through His Son Yahusha. It takes the Holy Spirit to live in righteousness and it takes this same spirit to help Torah/Bible-centered counselors to help people find their way through their troubles or come to the place of knowing that regardless of their circumstances they have the assurance of Yahusha that He will never leave us and that we should not be dismayed.
Paul Another Great Counselor
After the Ascension of Yahusha, another was appointed to help people understand their depraved state and the solution thereof. Paul was a great choice of beings. First, though misguided by zealousness from the teachings of misguided teachers, he was well versed in the Scriptures. Where this is not required of secular counselors, knowledge of Scripture is tantamount for Torah/Bible-centered counselors. Being trained by the best of scholars Paul understood discipline and steadfastness. Being well-read and studied, he became a staunch Believer in Yahshua.
He knew Torah better than most. Most of us do not have this same level of knowledge of Paul. I would love to be able to recite Scriptures like that. Yet, with study and practice Torah/Bible-centered counselors should be fitted and prepared in Scripture, pulling out the right verses and stories and examples at the right time to help our clients understand that nothing is new under the sun and the solutions to their problems are found in the Bible.
Unlike secular counselors and therapists, our first choice of models is the Bible over scientific principles. Where the system sees depression as a problem to be resolved through cognitive therapy, for example, Torah/Bible-centered counselors’ therapy would be to share Yah’s teaching and examples of forgiveness, grace, mercy, and unfailing love, as He teaches He never leaves us, even in the worst of times. Most counselors know what it feels like to live through the worst of times. We understand brokenness, pain, shame, guilt, anger, addictions, and disappointments. This is what gives us a special love for what we do. We understand and we want you to know there is comfort for your soul.
Compassionate Soul Care Ministry
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another (Roman. 12:10).
Torah/Bible-centered counselors want to see you equipped to live your life in the fullness of Yahuah, regardless of your situation. There were a lot of scared people in the Bible who received