Spirit, Word and Sacrament
Emmaus Centre for Christian Counseling
Who should take this course?
Any pastor, leader, counselor, and Christian who has a calling to help others. First, let's take a quick look at pastoral counseling historically vs. the shift we see today.
In the early establishment of Christianity, the Church was solely responsible for the counseling of its people. Because of the perception that the Christian community is not qualified to counsel its people, the humanists have largely taken over the responsibility of counseling. Humanism is an approach to life based on reason and our common humanity, that all that exists is nature, recognizing that moral values are properly founded on human nature and experience alone, rather than God. Humanists believe that we (the Christian community) do not have any REAL solutions to human problems—depression, anxiety, abnormal stress, etc. In reality, no one is better qualified to counsel than those who know and understand man’s unique position in the plan of creation and realize the place which God has for man in eternity. The Bible is full of solutions for dealing with emotional problems. God is revealed in through the Old Testament, Christ is revealed through the New Testament and the Holy Spirit is revealed through the Church. Altimately we as Christian counselors are revealer's of God's truth to those seeking help.
The Christian community has simply taken the therapeutic methods developed by the secular community, such as Reality Therapy by Glasser or Client-Centered Therapy by Carl Rogers, which is used in CPE programs all over the world, and applied them in an integrated biblical approach. You probably already know that in most seminaries the therapeutic counseling technique taught and most widely used among clergy is Client-Centered Therapy. Most seminaries teach this therapeutic method because it is where the pastor can “do the least amount of damage.” Carl Rogers believed that the greatest and most positive changes that could take place in the counsellee were brought about by allowing the counsellee to talk. Seldom did the counselor or therapist say anything other than to re-focus and re-direct what the counsellee just said, i.e., the counselor might say things like, “uh huh, how do you feel about that?” or “You feel angry,” or “You feel frustrated.
Client-Centered Therapy, along with all the other techniques, including Gestalt, Rational Emotive Therapy and Psychoanalytic Therapy, are all based on one assumption—that man has evolved and that man is his own god. Therefore, a person has within himself/herself the solutions to his/her problems. We feel it is impossible to take therapies built on these assumptions and modify them for use in a Christian counseling setting.
The problems of a counsellee are not ALWAYS caused by sin in their life. Many of today’s problems are a result of the complicated, fast-paced world in which we live, a world that threatens man’s emotional stability.
The goal of this course and our NCCA counseling programs is to help God’s children reach their full potential through the counsel of the godly.
The counseling problems of the past remain unresolved and are becoming far worse. The divorce rate, sexual abuse and violence in the home are skyrocketing. Suicide, alcohol and drug abuse have become commonplace. High blood pressure and heart disease (due to stress) have become two of the nation’s biggest killers. Carnality is threatening to destroy the Church, and the solutions given to us seem to be quite ineffective.
Creation Therapy is based on the theory of temperament (understanding of the inner man) and uses this knowledge to help us understand ourselves. Therefore, it allows us to be the best that God has created us to be by meeting the needs of our temperament equally and Scripturally. Although this therapeutic method is a fairly new concept (developed in 1983), it has been extremely successful.
The counselor, no matter how excellent the therapeutic method, must always maintain spiritual freedom in the counseling setting. This is to say, we cannot hold to a rigid therapeutic method and be closed to the Holy Spirits guidance. Ministering salvation to those we counsel must take precedence over this or any other therapeutic procedure used by the counselor/therapist.
Full and complete change of a human being is an act of God. It is imperative for you to realize that we do not want to teach, or even imply, that the application of this therapy, even in its utopia, can change a human being. It is the understanding and acceptance of one’s unique self through Creation Therapy which causes each individual to allow God to effect change in his/her life. Creation Therapy is a tool requiring:
The theory of temperament teaches that our temperament is placed within us by God, while in our mother’s womb, and that this temperament will remain with us throughout our lives. We are spiritual beings created by God with a precise order and balance of body, soul and spirit. The spirit encompasses our temperament, and our heart is the binding, blending and balancing agent within our temperament. This overlaps our soul and spirit and provides God’s precise order within each of us.
The theory continues to teach that every individual has temperament needs of varying degrees. These temperament needs are met by drawing from the lower soul (humanistic) or from the higher soul, most commonly referred to as the spirit. Most interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts are caused by:
Creation Therapy identifies the temperament needs in counsellees and helps them find a balance in order to relieve the inner stress. This therapeutic procedure will help your counsellees find peace within themselves, within their environment and with the Lord.
Many scholars are of the opinion that any therapy, based on the theory of temperament, “types” individuals. That is to say, it is narrow in scope and has “little boxes” in which it places people. Nothing could be further from the truth because there are thousands of different temperament blends. Creation Therapy focuses on the uniqueness of each individual, not the reverse.
We want you to learn this material, not just in your mind but deep in your spirit. We want you to know what you are doing, and we believe that if you understand this therapy and how it works that you will be able to help nearly every person who turns to you. Learning this therapeutic method requires more than just simply knowing the material. It requires application on a regular basis, thereby increasing your knowledge and understanding daily.
Creation Therapy must be used for good. When a counselor learns and understands the temperaments and how they work, he/she quickly realizes that this knowledge is very deep and reveals private things about other human beings. This confidential information could be very dangerous in the hands of the wrong person. We pray that you will use this knowledge and understanding for the good of mankind and for the advancement of God’s Kingdom.