Biblical counseling is often known for being critical and discerning regarding other counseling approaches. Bob Kellemen thinks we should also be known for our self-assessment. As a movement we need to be regularly evaluating our practices and philosophies to make sure that we are doing the best work that we can. Consider Your Counsel might be the perfect evaluative tool. The book is, however, more than just a critical exploration of common mistakes. Consider Your Counsel is a great guide to the foundational elements of good Biblical counseling practice.
The book does focus on common mistakes counselors make, but it is actually framed in a much more positive manner than the title suggest. Bob is certainly pointing out mistakes, but he doesn’t merely want to pick apart shortcomings. He wants to offer a constructive framework for fixing those weaknesses. As Kellemen states it:
My heart behind sharing these ten observation is to encourage all of us to continue to deepen and develop as biblical counselors. Biblical counselors are well known for emphasizing progressive sanctification – ongoing growth in Christ. We can think of this book as part of that iron-sharpening process of progressively growing together as biblical counselors.
While this is a book pointing out weaknesses in our practice, it is not a book bent towards negativity or fault-finding. Readers will find not simply weaknesses criticism, but alternative responses thoroughly developed in the chapters.
The books ten primary chapters cover the ten common mistakes which Kellemen, over years of training, has seen among Biblical counselors. The mistakes are often the result of an overemphasis on certain points of our theology/philosophy, and so Kellemen offers some much needed nuance to our convictions and practices. So, counselors may be inclined to emphasize sin while diminishing suffering. Or, counselors may devalue emotions instead of seeing them as God’s idea. Or, counselors may confuse the sufficiency of Scripture with the competency of the counselor. In each case we get the critique, but we also get a constructive response. Kellemen’s goal is not simply to be negative, but to hep us grow and improve.
As a tool for practical growth, the book offers us an opportunity for self-assessment. At the end of each chapter he asks a series of questions that give readers the opportunity to evaluate themselves and, hopefully, implement lessons learned from the chapter. The book’s conclusion collects all these questions into a final self-assessment tool that can be useful for annual reviews.
I cannot speak highly enough of this work. It is hand’s down my favorite resource that Bob has developed and one I plan to use with myself and my team annually. I was privileged to read an advanced copy and write an endorsement for it, but I wrote that endorsement because I believe in this book! This is the resource that should truly be read by every counselor (new and veteran). Pick up a copy today, you will find it valuable for years to come!