After leaving UBF ministry in 2011, one of the first things I noticed was that numerous former members (and some current members too) were going to see psychologists, psychiatrists or biblical counselors. One of the first things a pastor asked me in 2012 after sharing part of my story with him, was “Do you need counseling?” I had to admit, yes I do.
So far professional counseling has been cost prohibitive for the most part. However, during the past two years I found various sources of informal counseling at our church. I have gained a new appreciation for studying human behavior and for analyzing what factors might have caused someone or me to act or speak the way they do. I also found that counseling is a normal requirement for Christian pastors. And our own pastor has been a tremendous source of healing, asking my wife and I questions without intruding into our boundaries. Here are my thoughts on what I’ve learned from various sources of counseling, in hopes that we may find another source of healing for our minds.
These topics below are not in any particular order. Nor are they categorized in any comprehensive way. These are just topics the Spirit has put on my heart and lessons I’ve been learning the past couple years on my own crazy, beautiful life journey following Christ.
So here are four healthy exercises for our minds that I’ve learned so far: define what spiritual abuse is, identify your primary value system, examine the identity someone gives you, and identify and respect personal boundaries. These are helpful both for ourselves and for our interaction with others.
It sounds like you have had a personal experience with the benefits of counseling and have found it to be a valuable tool in your journey towards healing and self-improvement. You have also highlighted some important exercises that can be beneficial for individuals to engage in, such as defining spiritual abuse, identifying primary value systems, examining the identities that others assign to us, and recognizing and respecting personal boundaries. These exercises can help individuals understand themselves better and improve their interactions with others. It’s good to know that you have found some sources of informal counseling at your church that have been helpful, and that your pastor has been a source of support for you. It’s also important to note that professional counseling can be costly, but there are often low-cost or sliding scale options available for those who may not be able to afford it. [ChatGPT]