Discipleship Counseling Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1712 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Psychology

Discipleship Counseling by Neil Anderson

Discipleship Counseling book by Dr. Neil T. Anderson is a balanced material that explains the Christian counseling process, which is usually based on the biblical truths of discipleship. Through a review of this book, this paper presents a brief analysis of the major themes and contents explained by the author. The first section of this paper provides a summary of some of the major contents in the book and serves as a basic introduction of discipleship counseling. This is followed by a lengthy discussion of three major themes found in the book which are the concept of mental health, God as the real counselor, and Steps to freedom in Christ, which is the goal of the counseling process.

Discipleship Counseling by Neil Anderson:

Summary:

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One of the major aspects in Christianity is discipleship, which is the art of receiving instruction from a Christian leader and following the truth obtained from the teacher's doctrine. In the contemporary world and society, discipleship can take place in the form of Christian counseling, which is psychotherapy that is rooted in the Christian faith. The Discipleship Counseling book written by Dr. Neil T. Anderson is a practical step-by-step guide that provides necessary information regarding biblical counseling. While the main source of information for this book is The Complete Guide to Helping Others Walk in Freedom and Grow in Christ, it presents a strong foundation of counseling.

Term Paper on Discipleship Counseling Assignment

Throughout the book, Dr. Neil Anderson presents a strong basis for Christian counseling through truth and a relationship with Jesus Christ. Additional aspects that the author mentions as the foundation for discipleship counseling are the Holy Spirit's work, the faith of counselees, and support from the Christian community. In the process of the counselees' healing, freedom, and recovery in Christ, the author explains the role of counselors or encouragers and counselees during counseling.

The book enables the reader to better understand the process of discipleship counseling and provides steps for establishing a counseling ministry in church. Discipleship Counseling book is a very useful tool for individuals interested in Christian counseling such as lay leaders, church leaders, and counselors. In order to emphasize on the significance of discipleship counseling to his readers, the author focuses on several areas that are vital in the process. Some of these major areas include the mental health of an individual, counseling in Christ, overcoming various issues like false guidance, and assisting others to experience freedom in Christ.

Themes in the Book:

In his explanations on how discipleship counseling works and the process of creating a counseling ministry in church, Anderson uses several themes throughout the book. According to him, the concept of discipleship counseling is based on the following important themes as explained in the book & #8230;

The Concept of Mental Health:

One of the major concepts defined in this book is mental health because biblical counseling has a major impact on the entire person i.e. body, soul, mind, and spirit. In explanation of this concept, the author begins by defining the world's perspective of mental health. Based on the perspective of mental experts in the world, an individual is mentally healthy if he/she is in touch with reality and quite free of anxiety. However, the author questions the definition of reality arguing that secular counselors can sometimes be regarded as out of touch with reality when providing their services to counselees.

The author states that secular counselors are out of touch with reality based on God's perspective since God is the ultimate reality. This is largely because secular counselors describe the battle of the mind as chemical imbalance or neurological disorder since they lack any biblical view on mental health (Anderson, 2003, p. 44). Due to the lack of biblical explanations, many people including Christians normally accept the psychological evaluation of neurosis. In most cases, secular counselors have no awareness of the spiritual battle in the counselees' minds unless they tell them. Without the biblical perspective, explaining the unseen world and things is difficult for secular counselors.

Anderson states that the unseen world is as real as the physical world because God is the ultimate reality. Therefore, there is a great need to scrutinize every thought based on God's Word and choose the truth. Consequently, the mental health of an individual is dependent on the truth of God's Word with which every decision in discipleship and biblical counseling should be based on.

On the contrary, the author also explains the concept of mental health based on biblical knowledge where he argues that biblical mental health starts with the knowledge of God and knowledge of the individual as God's child. With this in mind, Anderson states that the main reason for mental-illness is a distorted idea of God and ourselves. Therefore, the basis of a person's mental health lies on two main critical beliefs i.e. true nature of God and the nature of his/her relationship with God. In conclusion of his explanation of this concept, Anderson explains that there are two basic elements with which discipleship counseling can be evaluated. These two primary bases for biblical counseling are the centrality of the Gospel and having a biblical worldview.

God is the Real Counselor:

This is one of the major assertions by the author who argues that integrating God in the counseling process is important because He is the real and wonderful counselor. Anderson recognizes the fact that Christ is the wonderful counselor who must be integrated in the Christian counseling process because He sets captives free and heals the broken-hearted. Actually, while Jesus Christ is the best mental health counselor across the globe, the Bible is the best counseling book (McHenry, 2008, p. 11).

According to the author, the need to integrate God in the Christian counseling process emanates from the perspective that Christians can't do anything by themselves. Therefore, discipleship counselors need to resist the temptation or any attempt of encouraging counselees independently of God. In addressing this theme, Anderson recognizes that acknowledging God as the real and wonderful counselor is what differentiates Christian or discipleship counseling from secular counseling. As the real counselor, God helps Christian or discipleship counselors to encourage counselees through guidance by the Holy Spirit and providing the solution to the individual seeking for help. On their part, discipleship counselors recognize that the solutions and encouragement they provide to counselees is not their own since the real counselor has been involved significantly.

The concept of God as the real counselor is endorsed by biblical studies that portray the relationship between Christian truths and the discipleship or Christian counseling process. Some of the various truths in these studies include God's sovereignty, and the relationship between truth, sin, and general grace. While they serve as the safe enterprise for the basis of the Christian counseling process, the themes show the relationship between theology and Christian counseling psychology (Beck, 2006).

The author uses Christ's authority as the basis for discipleship counseling because this authority is clearly stated in the Bible. Whereas people have divergent mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional problems, God relates with us as whole people. Since God takes into consideration all reality of every time, people need a wholistic answer from His perspective (Anderson, 2008, p. 190). Therefore, a biblical worldview is essential in the counseling process because the Bible speaks directly to the mental, physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual issues. It's with this foundation and background that there is such a great need to integrate God in the Christian counseling process.

To further explain the role of God as the real counselor in the discipleship counseling process, the author describes the organizational structure of this process. The discipleship counseling process is made up of the counselor, counselee, and more importantly, God. While the counselor and counselee have their specific roles in the process, God is at the helm because of His unique role as the real counselor who informs the counselor and encourages the counselee.

Steps to Freedom in Christ:

The third theme in Dr. Neil T. Anderson's book is the practical steps to freedom in Christ since Jesus not only died for man's sins but He also died to give us freedom in Him. Given that Christians are new creations, they are set free from their pasts and are free to become what God designed them to be. The climax of the discipleship counseling process is when counselors enable counselees to establish their identity in Christ, renounce lies from their past lives, choose the truth based on God's Word, and identify the personal and spiritual obstacles. Anderson states that the main aim of taking the counselee through the steps to freedom in Christ is to assist him/her to have a personal connection with God.

These steps to freedom in Christ are basically rooted in overcoming various obstacles or barriers that may hinder a Christian from living a productive life. They include overcoming false guidance from past or current activities, deception, bitterness, rebellion, pride, habitual sins, and ancestral sins. It's important for discipleship… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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