SATURDAY MAY 21, 2022.
BASIC COUNSELLING SKILLS: COUNSELLING REFERRAL.
Scripture Reference: Luke 1:1-6.
In every profession, often, experts in a particular field are confronted with challenges that are outside their range of experience, skills, knowledge or expertise. While this is understandable and a common phenomenon for early career professionals (amateur) who are gaining experience but more seasoned experts are also not immune to these cases. This may be as a result from they not having training in the area in question or not keeping current trends and researches.
The author of Luke’s Gospel made it clear how Pilate ‘had a hot potato on his hand’ as to taking decision on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. And so, during the trial, as soon as he knew that Jesus belonged to Herod’s jurisdictions, he immediately “referred” Him to Herod.
In counselling, referral is directing someone to another person (counsellor) or alternative sources of treatment as a result of reasons beyond one’s control. It is when counsellors make recommendations of where else a client might seek treatment. This may happen if counsellors cannot accept the client for some (appropriate) reason or, if after some treatment has occurred, the client’s needs have changed. Counsellors do not refer simply because they don’t “like” a client or disagree with a client. Clients should be given a minimum of three referrals for other providers who are located within a reasonable distance. These referrals should be based on the client’s needs, not because the counsellor has some relationship with the other providers.
As an amateur counsellor, among your peers at any sphere, a referral for counselling should be considered when you believe a client’s problems go beyond your own experience and expertise (jurisdiction) or when you feel uncomfortable helping a client with a particular issue. One way of introducing the topic of a counselling referral to a client is to summarize to them what you understand to be the problem.
For example, “You sound very depressed about your relationship problems. I have found that others who felt that way have been helped by talking to a professional counsellor (say the Youth Pastor, the PENSA Travelling Secretary, the District Pastor, the Presiding Elder or the School Chaplain). Once the client agrees to be referred then the counselling process is discontinued temporarily.
Prayer Guide: Lord Jesus! Please grant me the grace to be able to discern cases that are within my ‘jurisdiction’.
MEMORY VERSE FOR THIS WEEK:
Proverbs 11: 14 (NKJV) – “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”