Thank you for your interest in being a counseling advocate. It may be that you are unfamiliar with what this role entails; therefore, our first task is to define the role. A counseling advocate is:
- A peer-based relationship (i.e., friend, mentor, accountability partner, encourager, etc.)…
- … who serves as a periodic guest in counseling…
- … providing support and reinforcement to formal counseling, and…
- … serving as a long-term encouragement and accountability.
In the video below we define each of these key phrases and answer six key questions about being an advocate.
- What are the characteristics of a good advocate?
- What should an advocate do when attending a counseling session?
- What should an advocate do between counseling sessions?
- What should an advocate do when counseling has concluded?
- What paperwork needs to be signed for an advocate to participate in counseling and what does it mean?
- What additional training is advised for an advocate?
Here is a PDF copy of the training manual to accompany this video: Summit Advocate Orientation Manual
There three types of people who may be visiting this page:
- A counselor – If this is you, then this training should overview a potential tool you can use in counseling. It is recommended you watch this video while asking yourself, “For which of my counselees, would this be a good way to supplement their care and set them up well for long-term change?”
- A counselee – If this is you, then this training should orient you a possible supplement to your counseling. If you think an advocate would be a good fit for you, then your next step is to discuss this possibility with your counselor.
- A potential advocate – If this is you, thank you for being the kind of friend who would be invited into this type of role.
Additional Training Resources
This packet is meant to orient you to your role as an advocate. It is likely that your friend’s counselor may recommend beneficial resources related specifically to your friend’s struggles. Below are a few resource recommendations that may be a helpful supplement to your role as an advocate.
- Side by Side by Ed Welch. This is a brief book (176 pages) on how to be an intentionally helpful friend.
- Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand by Paul Tripp. This is longer book (376 pages) on how we can be “people in need of change helping people in need of change.”
- In Our Lives First by Diane Langberg. This is a six week devotional (160 pages) written for counselors about how helping others through hard times effects the soul of the counselor/helper.
- If you are concerned that your “helping” may become “enabling” consider bradhambrick.com/10keyshelping
- If you are looking for subject specific resources, there is a topical index on the side bar of my site.
If this post was beneficial for you, then consider reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on the Church and Counseling” post which address other facets of this subject.