When Is It Time To Refer Someone For Professional Counselling?
When the amount and quality of time spent with someone is blurring other boundaries of the relationship, obscuring objectivity
When it is not possible to maintain confidentiality or to foster honest disclosure due to a prior existing relationship (ex: helper also has supervisory, mentorship or disciplinary role)
When more than a few helping “sessions” have been provided and there seems to be no progress
When the helper lacks appropriate time, training and/or supervision to deal effectively with presenting issues and to cope personally with the emotional and spiritual demands of helping
When the helper feels frustrated that advice is not heeded, or that simple solutions are not implemented, and blame and judgment replace a sense of compassion about the person being helped
PROFESSIONAL CONSULTATION IS IMPERATIVE in cases involving allusions to harm oneself or others, potential abuse or neglect of a child, or domestic violence, as there are legal and other ramifications which may imply liability for the church in which a person is functioning as a helper. A knowledge of community resources and legal mandates for limiting confidentiality are also required to adequately assist someone in such a situation.