By: Psychologist. OLIVIA CORRAL GARCÍA
I am a Christian, and by profession a psychologist. After I graduated from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and began work in my profession, I realised that I could not find a way to reconcile my academic formation with my Christian convictions.
I decided to study a second profession in Theology and Bible. As I became aware of the needs of the Church, I saw the great need for training in Biblical Counselling. The church is the therapeutic arm of God to heal the wounded, however, I did not have the necessary structure to use the tools of care from my psychology studies, and the theological arguments found in the word of God.
The Biblical Counselling Model taught by Berit Christian Counselling & Training, truly was a turning point in my personal and professional life and provided me a way to offer both areas of my professional formation. I found Berit's courses to be not merely academic but rather a training programme that forms effective Biblical counsellors.
In my personal life, the course caused me to look at the true motives that I had for serving God. Indeed, at a crucial junction in my life when I had to learn to serve as a counsellor in my church, Berit helped me heal old wounds, and to reconcile me to myself.
The Biblical Counselling Training clearly distinguished for me the great difference between a life based on a healthy structure and one that is founded on unhealthy bases. The challenge then was to see my own life restored in areas that were clearly part of an unhealthy structure. However, the Biblical Counselling Training offered more than healing, it offered me the opportunity to experience the fullness of life that God had for me.
Psychology understands people as bio-psycho-social beings and only recently, some authors have included the spiritual aspect of human beings. I was especially pleased to find Berit's Biblical Counselling Model believes human beings to be integral, made up of different parts (Spirit, Soul, and Body) that influence each other, positively or negatively. If one area is not restored or is damaged it will affect the other areas. However, God can heal all the areas of our lives.
Berit's Biblical Counselling Model provided me with structure and direction in my professional work. It model begins with an analysis of the present, sensitively works to detect the problematic characteristics of the counselee before turning to the past to detect the causes and effects in each area before bringing healing leading to freedom in the present, in decision-making, changed attitudes, and behaviour based on a complete restoration in Christ, who is our life.
This model is designed to first be applied to the counsellor and brings healing and restoration. Once we are healed, we can then offer healing to others. I have put this in practice for 12 years and I can say that this model is truly effective in helping resolve personal conflicts, problems in marriages, restoration in families, and even resolve the existential crises that occur at every stage of human development.
I have also used Berit's Biblical Counselling Model in the restoration of people with sexual abuse, homosexuality, sexual brokenness, and with families of people who are attracted to the same sex, as part of my work in the ministry of EXLA (Exodus Latin-America and Exodus Global Alliance). I can verify that using this Biblical model allows a clearer conceptualisation of a problem and of the development of personal and spiritual resources to overcome all the damaged areas. It leads the counselee to identify their true identity and to forgive those who have hurt them, thus healing the psycho-affective and relational pain.
In my work with counselees with multiple losses, families of people with a terminal illness, and with people who have lost a loved one I find this Biblical Model also to be effective. I have witnessed people coming closer to God and strengthening their faith through the concepts Berit teaches. Indeed, this model allows people to understand the enormity of their pain and to process the grief or bereavement.
Doctrinally and theologically, it is very balanced. There is not one concept that contradicts Biblical principles. Further, the course balances theory and practice. In my case, after the course I had follow up sessions with case analysis that further amplified the panorama of the service reaffirming its usefulness and effectiveness.
I fully recommend Berit's Biblical Counselling Model and believe it would be a blessing for many at a pastoral level, as church leaders, as health professional, and as lay counsellors.
I will always be grateful to Berit as they were willing to be God's instruments in my life. I found them to be full of wisdom, patient to teach me, to mould my life, and to give me this precious counselling model that we have applied in our counselling ministry and that has brought restoration to thousands of people, Christian and non-Christian alike.
May God bless your lives and may he continue to use you powerfully. I have a deep love and respect for you and I greatly thank God for your lives.
I love you in Christ Jesus,