Whatto Do and Say When It Matters Most
Thisbook focuses on how Christians counsel those in a crisis in a mannerthat Jesus did. Dr. Wright’s personal life story of dealing withloss, crisis, and trauma is the foundation of the subject in how tocounsel someone and knowing when to refer a person to someone withmore experience. The aim of the book is to help those experiencinglife’s daily struggles with biblical principles and encourageperseverance through the hard times.
Thebook shows the mission Christians have in assisting those in needjust as Jesus taught. The author provides valuable information toserve as an asset for the layperson or Christian counselors. Hediscusses the life of Jesus where he states that He was and is stilla model to be emulated by Christian counselors. Christian counselorsshould lead by example, and all their efforts should be directed athelping those individuals who are facing crisis and not hurting them.The book continuously demonstrates an understanding of a person’semotions and feelings. An emphasis is made that before counselingpeople under various situations counselor should build place himselfor herself in a position where they can easily relate to thesituations. Wright (2011) uses biblical passages as examples inministering to others. He recommends that ministers use Jesus as anexample of creating a crisis or trauma victim. He notes that once theadvice is given, it cannot be taken back the individual is goingthrough a traumatic event, and if the words are not chosen correctly,it could have a drastic impact on their life. The book remindscounselors that a crisis can occur at any given moment in theirclient’s life. Counseling those in need require one to provide theindividual with unconditional love and hope.
Dr.Wright acknowledges that ministers and other church members will workwith a client several times. Those in crisis can be in a devastatingcircumstance such as being diagnosed with cancer. Dr. Wrightemphasizes on the death that people will run into and provide on howto deal with the demise of a loved a loved-one or friend. He lets thereader know that death can be predictable and elaborates on how itcan appear on some occasions. According to Wright (2011), whenministering to the person in crisis, one has to help the particularsort out his or her issues. It is also noted that working withsomeone through the process of grieving takes quite some time.
Dr.Wright builds on listening as an essential component whencommunicating with others, noting that once the advice is given, itcannot be taken back. Another vital factor in the reading is theCrisis of Suicide. Ministering to those who wish to commit suicidecan be difficult. This is so because these individuals need theintervention right away considering that their lives are at stake.Dr. Wright focuses on taking the first help to keep the person aliveand to help them gain insight on how he or she came to this currentplace. Hope and unconditional love need to be provided to thoseundergoing counseling, but in cases of suicidal individuals, thecounselor needs to remember that the person’s life is not on theirshoulders (Wright, 2011). For children the situation is different aslack of immediate counseling can lead to emotional impairment, whichcan potentially affect their adult lives.
Wrightrecognizes the fears that ministers develop while walking into newsituations, which involves crisis or trauma. He states that learningon ways of handling these situations through practice and educationwill improve the skills of the minister in assisting the victims. Theauthor also advises readers on using biblical principles to help theperson to develop courage. Courage in return helps him or herpersevere through the hard times. One recommendation of the book isthat ministers should use Jesus as an example of how to treat thetrauma or crisis victims. This is because Jesus portrayed his abilityto accept those individuals who were hurting. In this regard, Jesuswas able to help and love individuals through their grief throughthis acceptance. The author also advises the counselors to ask theirclients questions to understand more about the situation of thecustomer before giving counsel (Wright, 2011).
Dr.Wright’s book brings out clearly how individuals undergoing traumacan find themselves in a crisis. It continues to show how overcomingtheir past crisis or trauma requires the compassion of the counselor.Overall Dr. Wright’s book is providing the best advice toministers, counselors, and lay counselors. His book is detailed onproviding the best advice to those in any crisis, trauma, or loss. Itis necessary to read the book for all those within the counselingprofession and others holding the interest in the discipline.
Thebook reminds me of a personal life episode I went through years backwhen I was an 8-year-old boy. Though years have passed, thehappenings of that day remain fresh in my head. Just minutes after hehad left armed robbers attacked the house, my father. Commotion justoutside our gate and the barking of dogs drew my mother’s attentionto the gate, and we followed out of curiosity. The sight of my fatherat the hands of two robbers and one of them hacking him with amachete still lingers in my head, and I remember screaming, “Theyare going to kill my dad.” Our screams drew the attention ofneighbors, and this led to the robbers escaping leaving my father ingreat pain, and severe cut wounds. As we rushed him to the hospital,I remember saying a prayer, “God have mercy and save my dad, I lovehim so much, Amen.” He was stitched up and discharged. I remembergetting to school late that day. This fateful day, we were meant tosit our exams, and I could hardly hold myself together. Tears welledup in my eyes, and I kept crying uncontrollably, the other studentscould not get why I just kept crying. My teacher consoled me as shelet me speak out on what had taken place. Later I sat my exams andcompleted. Even though I made to sit the exams that whole experienceaffected me to the extent that I was last in the exams we sat then. Istill remember times when I was all alone, and I found myself cryingout of nothing since the memories had been stuck in my head.
Theintervention of teachers, church ministers, and parents was what ittook to get over the traumatic experience, but it took a while. Allthis time, many questions kept lingering in my mind as to why I hadto go through this traumatizing experience at such a tender age. Myfamily and friends were equally disturbed by that traumatizingexperience.
Issuesthat grow to become traumatic experiences mark our daily lives, andif no proper care is taken to people in these situations, then manypeople will be living their lives in a crisis. Counselors play agreat role in trying to restore lives to normal. To this end, theyare significant for the continued growth of society. I had developedthe phobia for strangers, I had to be taken to counseling sessions torecover, and although these sessions helped, I still have times whenI get overly cautious around strange people, which can be veryuncomfortable especially in new surroundings. This can be such a putoff especially in the work environment or academic circles, and thisbook has helped me re-evaluate my traumatic experience and come toterms with the issues that surround me.
Dr.Wright states that traumatic events were not common in the past asthey are in the contemporary society. To prove this, a little moreinsight needs to build on traumatic events in the past, a record ofnotable events that were traumatic in the past and that wereaccounted for. The comparison of traumatic incidents in the pastshould not necessarily be as such because, in the past, people didnot disclose their experiences leave alone the traumatic experiencesthat happened to them. In addition, in the past, the media did notpublicize violence since individuals were more private regarding suchmatters. The society now has grown to accommodate technology, whichhas enabled people to go public about their problems and issues. Ithas also brought to light what most people have so secretively hiddenfrom the public eye.
Theway Dr. Wright treated the subject concerning confrontation comes outclearly as well. Before he mentions battle, Wright focuses more oncounseling skills like empathy and connecting these skills to thebehaviors that Jesus portrayed. Wright went ahead to relateconfrontation as showing compassion for a person by assisting them tomake improved choices. Nevertheless, the book fails to point out thethought of biblical rebuke and the ideal situation when this sort ofconfrontation should be used. This is because when confrontation isemployed too early in a case of a relationship, it can spoil therapport of the minister with the client. However, the kind of battlerequired is also a crucial subject, which should be discussed.Therefore, the author provided limited information regarding how toconfront the clients and to decide the ideal timing for suchconfrontation (Wright, 2011).
Overand above these noted shortcomings, the book has many positives: Dr.Wright, who is the author, can provide a valuable guide on how todeal with trauma and crisis. He also manages to relate all thesebiblical principles through his biblical perspective. As a result, heinstills hope to those who are suffering. Through this biblicalstandpoint, Christian counselors can understand the whole process oftrauma or crisis thus they can apply scripture in their counselingsessions. Using biblical principles, people undergoing hard times cangain the courage to persevere. The author advises the counselors onhow to become excellent instructors to be able to help individuals topull through from traumatic events. The author also shows a greatunderstanding of the feelings and emotions of the individuals. Healso advised the counselors to emulate Jesus as a perfect example ofhow to treat the trauma and crisis victims (Wright, 2011).
Iwill use this book as a guide in helping those who are going throughvarious traumatic experiences in their lives. The book brought aboutthe connection between a counselor and the person in need. It henceshows that although counselors offer help, they had tragic moments intheir life that they had to overcome. This did relate closely to mylife story where I needed a counselor to help me overcome the traumaof my childhood experience. To Christians, it contributes to knowingand understand that an example already exists of how we shouldaddress our day-to-day challenges as well as those of others.
Havinggained the courage to persevere through situations, I am prepared todeal with the various traumatic events in life. A new biblicalperspective to base experiences in life has been acquired to helpunderstand and live through experiences in my life and that offriends and family. I have learned to adopt active listening to be agood counselor as emphasized in the book. The author pays closeattention to how to treat victims facing crisis and trauma throughlistening to them, building rapport, having empathy, trust, andinstilling hope to them. I have also learned how to approach topicslike loss of loved ones and suicide among others. I will also bereferring to the book from time to time as a way of polishing myskills as a counselor. Lessons on how and when to ask questions fromthe victims needing help are present in the book. These experiencesassist in understanding the victims` situation so that valuablecounsel can follow (Wright, 2011).
Wright,H. N, (2011). The complete guide to crisis & trauma counseling:what to do and say when it matters most! (Updated & expanded.edition.). Ventura, Calif.: Regal/From Gospel Light.