Because little is said about our counseling program, we are providing below answers to questions most frequently asked.
1. Does The Catch counseling program have a Mission? — Yes!
- To remove barriers in relationships and to initiate a new relationship prototype with Christ for both men and women — to increase awareness and to generate the desire to meet others with the same level of respect one would have when meeting Christ;
- To shift ingrained thinking away from issues and on to individuals; and
- To renew life and generate enthusiasm towards a relationship with Christ.
2. What is the strategy to accomplish this?
By reaching outside the walls of the church, we are helping people recognize and learn how to participate in God’s business to bring men and women into a closer relationship with Him.
To do this, we have a two-pronged strategy:
- When counseling, we assist our certified counselors in living out our counseling mission, and
- Assist volunteers (who do not counsel in or outside of the sessions) to create friendships with those being counseled.
Because the proliferation of both spoken and unspoken judgment is perceived by many men and women to come primarily from within the Church, we teach communications strategies to assist the counseling team and volunteers to recognize and discover how to:
- Counter shame. Although Christ’s own actions and statements support forgiveness, acceptance, and incorporation into the Christian community, support for people whose lives have come under duress whether by choice or environment, is almost nonexistent. The language and attitudes they are surrounded by gives them social messages that often drive them towards even greater problems in an effort to reclaim the hope for a normal life.
- Counter negative male and female images. Assuming men will be unsupportive and irresponsible is self-fulfilling. The environment that maintains the language and the attitudes that have been passed down regarding female behavior reinforces negative images on the male and does not encourage dialogue, mentoring, or responsible decision-making.
- Listen to our culture and identify and correct the many negative stories about the dignity of woman and men.
- Instruct and empower men and women. There must be developed alternative core images and messages to replace the negative ones that have dominated society. The entire Christian society needs to begin to internalize new core images and messages — a new language. If the essence of the
- Create a new paradigm of renewed life that generates for all an enthusiasm towards a relationship with Christ. Real relationships like friendships are required when introducing a relationship with Christ.
3. Who seeks counseling at The Catch?
Most are disenfranchised from the church or mainstream Christianity. They are seekers, wanting honest expressions of faith. Like many of our Catch Citizens, most read The Catch daily. Most want a connection and find our interactions very helpful. Most work in the marketplace and struggle with how best to care for others and specifically those who do not know the Lord.
4. What do they want help with?
Some see The Catch and its counseling program as a beacon of hope, the only one they can see in their sometimes dire struggle to live out their convictions and their relationships with Christ. As a whole, our counseling involves hidden issues too difficult to share with their immediate community. Concerns involve suicide, loss of faith, sexual and abortion conflicts, and numerous fears including contamination, lack of self-control, the unknown, betrayal, and denial. A typical expression we hear is that the Catch counseling team as an “Oasis that can be trusted.”
5. Are The Catch Counselors Qualified?
No one supports the Counseling program that is not a licensed, certified professional through required education and reoccurring training.
6. What is the Counselor’s Approach?
- Listen. Painful as the moment is, (s)he is disclosing something deeply personal and painful. We keep in mind that (s)he has probably wrestled with this concern and is just summoning the courage to tell us about them. It means they perceive us as trustworthy.
- Affirm the Lord’s love while expressing gratitude that he would entrust such a weighty disclosure, and a risky one, in light of deeply held Christian beliefs.
- See the person and not the identified issue. Christ’s message of love, understanding, acceptance, and the fact that there is a place at the table and true respect for all in His family is one of the keys to The Catch counseling program’s successes.
- Ask opened -ended questions
- When assisting anyone to resolve and/or solve their problems, we treat them with the dignity and respect due an ongoing creation of God. Their final choices are not for anyone to judge, but to walk alongside. In offering such an environment to anyone in a most vulnerable or confusing moment in their life can change lives and hearts, because acts of love are taking place, not simply words.
- Recommend the help of a caring, truthful community and professional assistance when necessary.
To be committed to this two-pronged initiative is nothing short of involving The Catch Ministry in the vanguard of significant social change. Rather than allowing for regressive and repressive responses to the developments within our culture, The Catch is a leader in forward thinking, and Christ-centered change, that helps to assist us in making the future one that makes room for respect for all and a welcoming introduction to a relationship with Christ.