As my Foundations of Biblical Counseling course comes to a close we’ve started to put some of the principles we’ve learned into practice. Although it has its limitations, we use role-playing to help students learn how to ask questions. The scenario we’re working on right now is:
Tim is 19-years-old. He’s had a Christian upbringing and made a profession of faith a year ago. However, his parents are deeply concerned about what they call his “addiction to technology” which they say is affecting many areas of his life. They told him that they would be contacting you to ask if you would speak to him about it. Tim agreed to this because although he feels that his parents are exaggerating things, he does see some problems in his relationship to technology.
We split into groups with one student acting as the counselor, another as Tim the counselee, and the others watch and take notes with regular pauses for feedback. The class then comes together to discuss the lessons learned from the sessions.
Which all raises the questions: How can we measure or grade counseling skills? And how can the students know if they are making progress in their counseling abilities?
In an attempt to answer such questions, the students were tasked with producing a counselor’s checklist, or rubric, based upon all that they had learned in the course so far. I chose the most comprehensive submission, which used the Tripp/CCEF structure of Love, Know, Speak Do. I then supplemented it with input from the other assignments to come up with this counselor’s checklist (with thanks to my assistant, Jo de Blois, for her help in typesetting and layout).
We’re now using this to grade the students’ counseling and to act as a checklist for them in their initial counseling sessions. Ultimately the aim is for this checklist to be internalized so that the counseling process becomes more natural and instinctive.
Feel free to use this checklist yourselves. Also, I’d welcome any input on how it could be improved or enhanced.