Breakdown of the Model
Life-changing growth requires changes both internal and external. It often requires that we face the realities of life – who we are, where we come from, what we are doing and believing. It usually requires us to put words to our hearts in order to see where we are, and to see where we need to go. Counseling affords the opportunity to acknowledge the places in life where we are truly victims and face the sorrow and powerlessness appropriate to such. Exploring our own stories helps us to discover the strategies we each have used to cope with life in our unique and fallen world. And fundamentally, it helps us to see where we have turned away from God and the life to which He has called us.
We were made in Gods image. And the dignity that God breathed into Adams lungs still lingers in our design. As we move through life, it left us with an unquenchable thirst to know others, be known and have impact on the world around us.
Because of the Fall of Man, we are all born sinful, life no longer works for us as originally designed by God. We find ourselves at odds with both God and other people. Struggles are therefore inevitable. All of us now live separated from God and victimized by the disappointment and harm we experience in this world.
The central place of change in counseling comes at the point of repentance – by exploring our own stories, we have the opportunity to see our independence and even defiance of God and find His mercy, grace and love in a way both personal and powerful. The power to change comes not just in embracing our victimization but primarily our agency and making a choice to reconnect and depend upon God.
Spirit gives us the power to move against our sinfully designed strategies. He empowers us to embrace disappointment and fear and choose love over self-protection. And He forgives us again when we intuitively return to self-reliant and long-standing patterns of living.
Change usually takes place in the context of community. God uses others to provoke an awareness of our struggle. God requires that we live out this new life in relationship, where our hearts are exposed and changed. It is here that we express this new life of grace, love and gratitude.
We believe that no one can take another further than they have gone themselves. Hence, it is of vital import that the counselor live with personal integrity – wrestling with their own dignity and depravity, constantly in the battle to become more dependent upon Christ. We are in no way are claiming to have grasped all of the unfathomable depths of who God created us to be, but rather, we walk alongside clients as they make their own journey through their story.