Once again, from Tim Chester and Steve Timmis in their book Total Church. Keep in mind that this book is a call to every Christian to be a functioning member of an active, involved small group and for churches to design systems to make this a reality if the church is large. This time, on the idea that most “counseling” could be handled by the loving discipleship of a community (extreme cases notwithstanding):
“One of the most significant issues faced by anyone involved in pastoral care is the explosion of counseling within contemporary Western society. There is something of a therapy culture developing…The problem with this therapy culture, according to Frank Furedi, a professor of sociology at the University of Kent, is the way it has made therapy into a way of life. People are encouraged to define themselves as victims who have suffered at the hands of parents, employers, or through pregnancy and any other number of other things. A belief system has emerged, the credo of which is that people cannot cope ‘on their own.’ Furedi argues that a therapy culture is bad for individuals and a significant threat to public health. As long as people are encouraged to seek professional counseling to help them with everything from dealing with an unpleasant incident to raising their children, argues Ferudi, individuals become disinclined to depend upon each other in the normal routine of relationships.”
Have at it, patrons.