An Open Letter

Dear Prospective Counselee:

  1. Every person is born with essential health and happiness needs (biologically, psychologically, and spiritually) which must be met, or we suffer brokenness. 
  2. God has made provisions to meet these needs - through resources in creation (the soil and atmosphere), community (supportive relationships in the home and church), and especially Christ.
  3. These Provisions flow fully and freely from God to us, but only to the door of our heart (Revelation 3:20) - which means they are not imposed, but must be received (John 1:10-12).
  4. The goal of our counseling is to support you for identifying your essential inborn needs and God's Resources for providing them, and also to support you for making the wise choices that connect you to those Resources so that you are renewed in health and happiness.
  5. Your deepest and most important need is to be renewed each day in your understanding and confidence that 
    • While God, of course, is in a power position over us, he relates to us during this Age of Grace, in a support position beneath us, as a shepherd;
    • He seeks relationship to us, not for what we can do for him, but for what we will give him opportunity to do for us;
    • He loves (values) us unconditionally - which means his Love for us is based on who he is, not on who we are;
    • His interest in every detail of our life is passionate and intense; and
    • His commitment to our health and happiness is unfailing.
  6. Basically, there are two types of counseling: The first (which we do not offer - Plan B, I call it) focuses on helping couples learn how (basically through improved communication and coping skills) to manage their conflict issues so that they can somehow survive their unhappy marriage. The other (Plan A) helps the husband and wife identify their inborn temperament needs for information, affection, and structure (support for scheduled decision-making) and God's Plan for meeting them.
  7. Support for meeting unmet temperament needs is critical. When they are not met, we don't "just get over it!" Instead, we hurt. The problem is compounded when we make inappropriate choices to meet those needs in order to superficially relieve he pain. That's because, those choices always result in increased brokenness, including bondage (addictions).
  8. Again, the goal of Plan B counseling is pain management and sometimes crisis control, and although these are worthy goals, the most essential need is support for making the choices that lead to personal healing and freedom, which is the counseling we offer. This means, our first focus is not on the marriage itself, but on the individual.

Let me know how I can help.

Don Whisnant
GraceRenewal Counseling

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