“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” (Matthew 7:24 NLT)
There are about 75 different approaches counselors can use as they help people live their lives. One of these approaches tells us that living is as simple as ABCD. The letter A represents adversity or the problem that a person may have. B represents the belief system of the person with the problem. C stands for the emotional consequences the person is experiencing because of their problem. And D describes the role of the counselor.
Because the economic downturn in America and elsewhere has put many people out of work and forced them to abandon their career, many counselors are hearing people say their adversity is that they have lost their jobs. Since they get their worth and their identity from their work the emotional consequences for them is serious depression.
These people are saying their adversities are leading directly to their emotional consequences; however, the ABCD approach purports this is never true. Rather, it is the way people process their adversity through their belief system that causes their irrational emotional consequences. The basic idea is that if you have an irrational belief system, you will have irrational emotional consequences. The therapist is a Disputer who challenges the irrational belief system of the client.
The counselor would dispute that belief system with statements like “We are not human doings but human beings. We should not get our worth or our identity from our work.”
I like this approach for two reasons: I hear Jesus saying the same thing in the verse above and you can use this formula to be your own best counselor.