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Agape Christian Counselling, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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George Hartwell M.Sc.


HML 101; Counselling Session Component # 4 - Focus of the Session

© George Hartwell M.Sc. 4/3/2006 all rights reserved

Counselling through Christian Prayer Therapy

A Christian prayer therapy / counselling session begins with prayer, establishing goals and a discussion of background and current life experiences.  We share and gain insight and understanding.  This is the counselling component of the session.

To move from counselling to prayer therapy I need to find the focus of the session.  One's skill, experience, training and the Holy Spirit are called into play to find the focus point.

Making Life Transformation the Focus

Life Transformation Therapy is about identity and identity change. Identity is the core and foundation of who we are and what we do.  Therefore healthy shifts in identity have major significance.

I use the term "Life Transformation Therapy" to refer to prayer counselling intentionally focused on healthy identity transformation.  I prefer to focus on personality and character patterns - identity issues - whenever possible.

When people bring a problem to a Christian prayer counselor it is usually something in a person's character and identity - a personality pattern or family role. It is not just a matter of new skills and insights. 

One can use different names for the typical dysfunctional personality types.  For example, there is the People Pleaser, the Super-Responsible, the Saviour and the Martyr.

In marriages there are those patterns typical in family or primary relationships: The one who needs to dominate, or be morally superior. The one who puts their partner on a pedestal - a form of idolatry, or who expects their partner to fulfill what only god can fulfill - another form of idolatry. There are Thinkers who refuse or unable to access and respond from heart feelings.

Identify the Pattern

Identify the pattern that you want dealt with. If you can, the client provide a name for it, otherwise, you name it.

Sometimes, it is helpful to clarify the past, present and future pain associated with the personality pattern. What would life be like without the personality pattern? Can the you visualize a healthier life? What would it be like if that pattern did not change. How would it feel if it did get healed?

Note:  This focus on identity as the core issue is a distinctive of Life Transformation Therapy.


In prayer counselling you seek to move beyond good counselling to therapy or prayer therapy. Psychology developed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy when Behavioural Psychologists 'discovered' that what a person thinks and believes is important. Christian Prayer Counselling developed Cognitive Prayer Therapy when we 'discovered' that core beliefs must be healed for effective inner and emotional healing.

Core beliefs are at the core of core issues.  If you want to deal with core issues then you must deal with core beliefs. Core beliefs generated feelings, behaviour and identity. If you fail to identify and deal with core beliefs, then negative feelings will continue; problematic behaviour will return; identity confusion will be prolonged. .

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