I’m a pastor’s wife, a Bible study leader of 25 years and a Bible study author. But, like everyone else, I need a little help now and then.
About a year ago I saw a Christian therapist for about two months. She was wonderfully helpful. I considered asking her to be my new best friend, but I didn’t want to creep her out. So I refrained. But, like a kind and attentive friend, Heather leaned in, listened to me, affirmed my feelings, sympathized with me and nodded compassionately.
So why didn’t I just go see a friend instead of a licensed counselor? Truly, I did talk with several sweet and compassionate friends about my struggles. They were oh so helpful and I wouldn’t want to have gone through my ordeal without them. But Heather was able to offer me a few things these precious women couldn’t:
- She didn’t take sides. My friends took my side, of course. Bless their hearts. That’s what friends do, right? But Heather had nothing to gain from just rooting for me. She wanted to help me, so she lent an impartial ear.
- She knows things. My therapist has been trained to listen for clues that would help get to the root of my issues. She talked with me about behavior patterns and the roots of our emotions and lots of other stuff that I’m clueless about.
- She kept me on track. Because my counselor didn’t take my side, she also didn’t let me get away with junk. That’s good, because my friends did. (And I’m thankful, bless their hearts! We probably wouldn’t be friends today if they hadn’t!) But Heather, because she was a Christian therapist, insisted that I do yucky Christ-like stuff such as forgive and confess my bitterness and take my share of the blame and work on my end of the equation and not on the other person’s end. Yeah, she was a bully like that.
- She gave me tools. She gave me sympathy and encouragement, but she didn’t stop there. She equipped me to leave her office and put into practice some tangible skills that would help me deal with change, grieve appropriately, manage my emotions and move forward. I like tools.