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Summary: Four Approaches To Counseling Across Cultures Eph. 4:12-16

Four Approaches To Counseling Across Cultures

Eph. 4:12-16

Encourager - (Exhortative Gifts) - This counselor is gifted in coming up with practical applications for counseling problems. Emphasizing wisdom more than the understanding of knowledge, this counselor is not hesitant to use a trial and error approach to counseling. Concerned that people become doers of the word and not merely hearers who deceive themselves, this counselor stresses practical assignments. Good at motivating counselees to actions, this counselor needs help in teaching accurately the scriptures rather than trying to solve the problem directly. Blessed with a lot of common sense, this counselor is often criticized for putting too much reliance on experience and not enough on the scriptures and the Spirit to guide the counselee. Preferring to speak from practical passages of scripture, this counselor often lacks the patience to listen attentively to people’s problems. Eager to see action, this counselor must guard against relying on his own insights rather than on those of the scripture and the Spirit.

Proclaimer (Prophetic Gifts) - This counselor loves to challenge his counselees with the hard facts about the truth. Generally impatient with anyone who is not willing to come to grips with harsh realities, this counselor is known to preach in any situation. Tending to be confrontational, this counselor is not particularly sought after by his people. However, whenever there are difficult problems to be addressed this person is characteristically fearless in confronting sin. Not shy about taking difficult stands on touchy issues, this counselor sometimes steps on toes unnecessarily. Blessed with a courageous and bold spirit, this counselor can often overwhelm his counselee with the truth. Needing a large does of patience and compassion, this counselor needs the help of a patient wife or partner to balance his ministry. Emphasizing dramatic delivery of his ideas, this person often finds people love or hate him for his forthright manner. Although he may try not to, his counseling often appears to be harsh, judgmental, and too dogmatic.

Instructor - (Teaching Gifts) - This person’s gifts allow them to bring out the truth of the scriptures. They enjoy studying the scriptures and counseling theory. they believe deeply in the importance of accuracy in their advise. They are especially skilled at providing understanding, clarity, and correct interpretation of the scriptures even if they are not able to show much sympathy for the person’s problems. Ideas and principles are more important to this counselor than practical applications. Known to emphasize the whole counsel of God, this counselor is fond of having the counselee’s explore all of the nuances of the scriptural truth. Ever watchful against any form of error in doctrine, this counselor is good at the theoretical parts of counseling, but needs help in making his teaching contextually relevant.

Comforter - (Helping and Serving Gifts) - This counselor is popular among his church members because of his ability to listen patiently to peoples’ problems. Concerned about bringing health, harmony, and renewal to people, this counselor is gifted at genuinely sympathizing and empathizing with human suffering. Sensitive to people’s mood and emotions, this counselor is particularly able to bring comfort to the downhearted, depressed, and disillusioned. However, this counselor tends to lack the courage to confront people about sin, apathy, and immaturity. Shying away from difficult issues, this counselor tends to gloss over problems that call for courageous stands in public. Wanting desperately to be like, this counselor can sacrifice truth for a feeling of acceptance.

d. Why is it important to maintain a balance of these four approaches in counseling?

5. The Complications of a Traditional Burial Ceremony in Yoruba land

Mr O was faced with a dilemma about his son’s burial ceremony that had the potential to damage all of his relationships with the extended family members. Mr. O’s son recently died when a car smashed into him while he was riding his bicycle to the army barracks. Speculations ran wild in his mind as to who and what were the causes. At first Mr. O wanted to force the army to bury his son at the place of his death so as to make them responsible, but eventually the relatives persuaded Mr. O to recall the body back to the family village for burial. When the corpse arrived most of the relatives insisted that the oraclists be summoned to help determine who and what was behind their son’s untimely death. In Yoruba land many people believe that a premature death is an indication of some unscrupulous dealings by several nefarious characters. Culturally these may include:

1. A spiritistic curse might have been placed on the soldier.

2. He might have been a secret member of an occult that tried to undermine cultural values such as the Obgoni fraternity.

3. He might have secretly been practicing wizardry.

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