Intensives or a special format of individual or marriage counseling that we do with Samaritans Well that is shown great effectiveness. For an intensive, people may already be in counseling with us or they may want to begin with an intensive because of something that’s been building up or because of something that is a recent crisis.
When clients come in for an intensive, it may be one of our counselors alone, or sometimes a pair of counselors. We begin with prayer and worship in an intensive, and we move from there to a very thorough history of the individual of the couple that we are seeing. We want to get an in-depth understanding of your relationships with your mom, your dad, your siblings. We need an understanding of moves that you’ve had in your life, rejection, betrayal—all the things that may have hurt you, all the people that may have hurt you, and a general overview of everything in your life that could be bringing a hindrance today.
After we’ve done the complete inventory in history, we work diligently to triage what’s most important and most strategic for us to work on first. As we begin to work on issues, we are especially focused on looking for places that we could do inner healing. Inner healing is a particular type of spiritual counseling in which we focus on getting to the world, identifying all the things that field true, and then getting connected in an intimate way so that we can pray through the wound itself and get to a place of peace. Over and over we have found that when we go to these wounds and invite the Lord into them, we will receive from God, and there will be peace and it just doesn’t make any sense. One of the great verses that is quoted throughout Christendom is peace that passes understanding. That means peace that doesn’t make any sense. If you’ve had something that you’ve been traumatized by or wounded by and there’s never been any peace in that place, It’s truly a work of God that he can bring peace into that place where there has been no peace.
We pray that God shows as the places that need the most attention, the first attention, in one section at a time, we get to a place of peace or breakthrough. Sometimes in these intensives, the most important thing is self-contempt. Self Contempt is when you have something in your life that you haven’t fully accepted God’s forgiveness, and you have it forgiven yourself. There’s a great verse in Galatians chapter 2, the last verse of that chapter. It says “I do not frustrate the grace of God, for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ died in vain.” This is such an important verse, and in all our counseling, but especially in intensives, we’re going to drill down to anything that you hold against yourself. If you hold something against yourself, it means you’re frustrating the grace of God. You’re not excepting the grace of God. And that’s one of the most important things in your life—to accept God’s love and grace for you. We will help you repent of frustrating the grace of God by forgiving yourself, which means accepting God’s forgiveness and getting to the place of Thanksgiving, that he has forgiven you. This is absolutely a vital part of the healing process.
Another essential part of the healing process is forgiving God. Many people have trouble understanding this concept. It turns out that many faces in the scripture show us stories of people that were offended with God, they had thoughts against God. So if you have thoughts against God, if you’re offended with him, we need to search it out, uncover it, and bring it clearly into the light. When Jesus sent word back to John the Baptist, he said “blessed are those who are not offended with me.” Jesus conveyed to John the Baptist, that getting free of offense was essential in his relationship with God and his relationship in life. First week knowledge that we do have those thoughts against God and we’re very honest about it. Secondly we humble ourselves. Third we make a choice to release our thoughts against God. So during intensives, offense toward yourself and offense to our God are vital to address as a part of your freedom process.
Some of the other things we will work on during an intensive are: recurring patterns of behavior that continue to bring problems into a relationship or to an individual; relationship issues that have been there for an extended period of time; affairs and sexual integrity issues; extended depression and/or anxiety issues; and anything that we agree is causing a hindrance in your life that needs to be resolved.
Some of the greatest testimonies we’ve had at Samaritans Well have come through our intensives we do with individuals and couples. We have literally heard of lives in marriages turned around through those 12, 16, or maybe even 24 hours of work that we do over a two or three day period.
Intensives are like individual counseling and couples counseling in that it is very flexible and can be customized in any way that we can agree to. We welcome your input about what is most important to you and we will suggest important issues as we go along. Often we find things that are very strategic even though they may seem small at the moment they are uncovered.
We are hopeful that more and more people will consider intensives. We have often observed that people accomplish as much in a two day intensive as they have in dozens of hours of outpatient counseling. This is partially because of the focused time that we have together and often a result of prayer that has gone into the intensive.
God Bless you and God Bless any and all plans you have for Counseling and help.