WHEN COUNSEL DOES MORE HARM THAN GOOD
Some experience the trauma of being misunderstood and judged especially by people who are zealous in putting forward their “Christian stands”.
Someone comes up to you with an issue. Even, a moral issue. Do you struggle between providing a shoulder to cry on, and telling them what’s right?
The issues being experienced today especially among youth are many, ranging from sexual temptation, thoughts of suicide and self-harm, to troubles in the family, interpersonal problems and struggles with same-sex attraction.
It is daunting to open up to someone about a deeply personal issue – whether it is to a friend, a pastor or a professional counsellor. The reason could be fear of being seen as weak, or the fear of being judged or belittled. Some actually experience the trauma of being misunderstood and judged instead of receiving help, especially by people who are zealous in putting forward their “Christian stands” for whatever reasons.
How do we help someone struggling through an issue without turning them away? What do people struggling deeply need from those to whom they open up?
Everywhere we look, we find people desperately in need of God’s grace and wisdom to help them make sense of their struggles. If you have been chosen to be the vessel for delivery of God’s grace, you have both the privilege and responsibility to deliver the truth and care in the most excellent and ethical way possible. Are there better ways forward for those who of us who have been called to remind others that ‘the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit?’
Tune in to safespace this month when we speak with chartered health psychologist Dr Hera Lukman for our 2-part episode on “When counsel does more harm than good.”
Dr. Hera Lukman
Dr Hera Lukman is a registered Chartered Health Psychologist with the British Psychological Society. Hera has taught Psychology at several Universities in the UK and Malaysia for the past 20 years. She is currently with the Methodist College Kuala Lumpur working with a team of educators to improve mental health awareness among students, their significant others and the staff of MCKL.
Her goal is to facilitate the formation of informed communities of peers, family members and faculty who can provide effective support to individuals struggling with mental ill-health.
As a Christian psychologist, Hera is passionate in integrating psychology with Biblical principles in understanding personhood and one’s identity in Christ.