For years I’ve told people I have the best job on the planet. As a biblical counselor my job has always been to watch God be God. There’s nothing greater than God being God. He’s perfect (Ps 18:30). He strengthens (Is 41:10). He redeems (Ps 111:6-9). He restores (1 Pt 5:10). He renews (Is 40:31). He helps (Heb 4:16). He comforts (2 Cor 1:3). He’s the ultimate counselor (Is 9:6).
At Anchored Hope, we know and believe the Bible is sufficient to help God’s people. The Bible is sufficient regardless of time or issue. This means it has what we need to be equipped for a faithful life. But we are not sufficient people. Which means it is to our advantage that with the sufficiency of Scripture also comes the Holy Spirit, God’s people, and his creation. The Spirit works in our hearts to comfort, challenge, heal and grow us. Often, this help is done through the wisdom of other people and the knowledge that God has given us through the study of all his creation. These truths make Anchored Hope an incredible gift of help to God’s people.
I often get asked: is virtual counseling effective? “Doesn’t counseling need to be done in person?” The short answer is yes… and not at all. There are incredible benefits to virtual counseling. Here are a couple:
You can be anywhere.
I can be in Texas and counsel someone in Brazil. I can be in Brazil and help someone in California. I can be in California and serve someone in Africa. I have counseled home-bound women, mothers during naptimes, teachers in their cars, missionaries in an internet cafe and lawyers during lunchbreaks. Virtual counseling redeems technology by participating in his care for his people. Our virtual platform gives access to biblical counseling to anyone in the world with internet. A counselor can see body language, facial expressions, and most external responses on screen as a counselor can in person. In some cases, even more. When people are receiving counsel in their own homes or places of comfort, they are more at ease. This creates a more vulnerable person because of their secure environment. They tend to share the reality more quickly of what they think and feel.
The Spirit uses all our time and space, not just one hour.
Another reality of any kind of counseling or therapy session is that one hour a week is not going to change you or save your life. It’s applying what you receive in that one hour to the rest of your life that makes the difference. It’s taking time throughout the week to apply the homework and takeaways from your counselor. If you are having communication issues in your marriage, which you talk about with your counselor for one hour a week, but never apply anything you learn outside of that hour, you won’t see growth. Change takes work and effort. You might do it well once, but then you mess up the next two times. Transformation takes the power of God’s Spirit, in conjunction with his Word and his body, to help us be more like him—whether in marriage or at work or even when we’re alone. That one hour matters, but it matters way more what you actually receive in that hour.
You should include the community God’s put around you.
No man is an island. To grow and change is best done in a community of people who love and care for you. This is no different with virtual counseling. Maybe you want to bring a friend to your session. Perhaps you’d like your pastor to sit in. Maybe you would benefit from your spouse speaking with your counselor. Or maybe, it’s just that you need a confidential, outside perspective to help you navigate your life and community. Perhaps you’re in a conflict and you’d like a trained counselor to come alongside you. A virtual platform makes this easier and more convenient for everyone involved.
A virtual platform reaches unreachable places.
Our counselors often meet with pastors and a church staff. Anchored Hope provides a safe, confidential counseling option to those who may not feel the freedom in other places. We also meet with missionaries from around the world. People serving in hard-to-reach places are resourced with quick, affordable, and expert resources to best fit their needs. We have people from rural places that would have to drive two hours to the nearest biblical counselor, and we have residents of large cities that can’t afford the cost of a high-end therapist. Our virtual platform makes counseling accessible for the most unreachable of places. Anchored Hope provides expert care regardless of your geographical area.
Counseling virtually makes it a more affordable option.
Therapy is financially costly. While Anchored Hope doesn’t take insurance, we have churches, companies and ministries that subsidize counseling for their members and employees. This is an incredible option that allows community to practically care for its own community. Because we are a non-profit ministry, our number one goal is to care for God’s people. This means that we have the flexibility to do this in a variety of means. When paying for an Anchored Hope counselor, the overhead cost is smaller. You aren’t paying for an office building or for the lights to be on. You’re not paying for your counselor’s couch or the gas they used to come to the office. Our counselors have the benefit of counseling from wherever they are, while you receive help wherever you are.
God works anywhere.
Most importantly, God isn’t limited to be in one place at one time. We have seen the benefit of helping hundreds of clients get help and hope from Anchored Hope in our young existence. I still have the best job in the world, even if it’s on a computer screen. God is still God. He still uses his Word, his Spirit, and his people—in real time and space.
If you’re interested in receiving counsel from Anchored Hope, we’re here for you and we are excited to partner with you, with your ministry, with your church—for the glory of God and the good of his people.