David has written a beautiful song in Psalm 139, he sings of his relationship with his maker. He is known, he is deeply loved and he belongs to God. There is nothing that is hidden from God, he knows his children intimately because he knitted them together in their mother's womb. From the very beginning of life, God was intimately involved in shaping his children. There is a complexity to humans that is different from the animals. We were made in his image, we have a physical body, a soul and a spirit. Humans are triune beings.
Our bodies are literally made of dust, we have incredible senses that allow us to hear, taste, see, smell and touch. A person's soul is what makes up their mind, their thoughts, desires, emotions, decisions, their treasures, it is the 'seat of all affections' this is the part that gives a person self-awareness, when a person is able to understand themselves, they are able to recognise their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Finally, a person has a spirit, the part where we are able to commune with God, where we can understand and reflect on love, purpose and meaning, thus the spirit helps us connect with the spiritual realm.
When a person becomes a Christian they become a new creation in Christ, the Spirit of God comes to live in that person's spirit, they are justified through Christs work and have received the free gift of salvation. Living in Christ is a daily wrestle of placing each of these parts under the Lordship of the Holy Spirit, to be led by Him in obedience to his Word. And this can be hard particularly if a person is recovering from trauma and still relying on old coping mechanisms that helped them survive difficult situations in the past. In a practical way in a counselling session this means creating space to understand a person's body; their physical symptoms such as where they feel pain or tension, whether they are getting enough sleep and eating enough food. We create space to explore a person's soul; exploring their emotions, their longings and behaviours and finally we create space to explore with permission from the client, their spirit, how they see themselves in relationship to God, how they understand God's word and what it means for their life.
A Christian Counsellor has a unique opportunity and privilege to partner with the Spirit of God in ministering to the spirit of the person in order for the person to feel whole and integrated. At Hope Christian Counselling we approach counselling through a holistic lens which considers all the parts of a person as valuable and precious in God's sight yet flawed as a result of sin and in need of his infinite Wisdom. We don't presume to be experts, but we are willing to be prayerful and attentive to seek to understand the heart of a person so that Christ might shine a light in those places that need his guidance. We do this work carefully and sensitively with great compassion and only at a pace that the client is willing to walk. We are also careful in keeping up to date with current research and training and abide by the profession's standards and ethical codes.