Saturday, July 22, 2006

For My Preacher Friends

With tongue in cheek, Paul Bailey writes: Not every pastor enjoys counseling. [Or, like me, I suspect they feel terribly inadequate - FW] But, other than skipping town, how can you decrease the demand? Here, based on specious clinical research, are a dozen methods guaranteed to keep counseling off your to-do list.
  1. Recite tales of people who are a lot worse off, and call the counselee a cry baby.
  2. Engage the counselor's mother-in-law as a co-therapist.
  3. Don't put a door on your office.
  4. Sing songs such as "Put On a Happy Face" and "Don't Worry; Be Happy" to counselees.
  5. Step out of the office and start laughing uproariously.
  6. Tell the counselee that although you can't figure out a solution to the problem, you'll bring it up in the sermon on Sunday and see if anybody has any ideas.
  7. Casually catch up on your reading while counselees bare their deepest problems.
  8. Tell the counselee you are videotaping the session for replay on the local cable program "Candid Clergy."
  9. Put a bumper sticker on your car: I'D RATHER NOT BE COUNSELING.
  10. Refer them to a helpful article in your favorite professional journal: the National Enquirer.
  11. Suggest counseling by fax machine.
  12. In front of the counselee, phone your spouse and ask for his or her opinion on what to do.

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