"By Way of Introduction..."
by Bud Lambert
The elders have requested that I write an introductory article in the bulletin, periodically, to introduce myself and my work to you. I'm grateful to do so.
James, in James 1:1, introduced himself as "a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ." I like that. Generally speaking, this is who I am and what I do. I am a servant of God using my talents and abilities to serve. There are many aspects to my work but they are all grounded in serving God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
One specific aspect of my work will be to serve as a marriage and family therapist. What does a marriage and family therapist actually do? Most people think he will tell them what to do about their problems. A competent therapist, however, does not offer ready-made solutions, prescribe remedies, or even give advice. He does not play God! He does not "take sides" with one spouse or the other; nor does he ever act as a "judge" deciding which partner is "right" or "wrong!" There is almost never a right or wrong side in marital conflict, only different sides.
Instead, a therapist tries to help both partners come to grips with their difficulties so they can, with the therapist's guidance, work out reasonable solutions for themselves. As one therapist has explained: "The only solution that will be of any use to a couple must arise out of their own thoughts, feelings, and actions." A competent therapist never takes away a person's God given obligation to be responsible for oneself.
A marital therapist has many ways to help couples and families achieve this goal. For example, he...
Encourages the couple to look at their marriage realistically and objectively.
Acts as a neutral "sounding board" for their complaints and dissatisfactions.
Helps the couple to identify the real problems in their relationship. In most cases, what couples report as their problem (such as constant arguing over sex or money) is usually only a symptom of their basic underlying conflict.
Helps both husband and wife realize exactly how each of them contributes to this conflict and to understand that neither of them is solely or chiefly to blame for it.
Acts as a "mirror" to the marriage so that the couple can learn to see it and themselves from new perspectives.
Offers suggestions to help a couple deal with day-to-day tensions while the counseling process is going on. This service is offered, at no cost, to all members of Mt. Juliet Church of Christ. If you or you and your family would like to take advantage of this service, all you have to do is call the church office and make an appointment through one of the secretaries. Others aspects of my work will be discussed in future articles.
April 3, 2002
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