Tri-Perspectival Approach to Counseling
Here are excerpts and links to a four-part series written by a counselor who briefly explores how triperspectivalism can positively condition counselors and anyone looking to help and love other people. Perspectivalism is the method that inspired REIMAGES, and I personally hope to continue applying it in multiple areas.
“So it’s good stewardship to see things triperspectivally, from three perspectives: the normative, which has to do with God’s revelation, his standard of truth, his authority to define reality; the situational, which has to do with the facts and circumstances of the world; and the existential, which has to do with human experience. Here’s how they come together, according to Frame: “Every item of true human knowledge is the application of God’s authoritative norm [normative] to a fact of creation [situational], by a person in God’s image [existential]” (Frame, “Primer”).
…My concern is that when it comes to understanding the leading of the Holy Spirit in counseling too much emphasis on the existential, without being “calibrated” by the normative and situational, will lead to error. Emotionalism is not the only error that we want to avoid. There’s also the possibility of being out of step with the Spirit as a result of spiritual myopia, having a nearsighted view of what the Spirit is up to.”
“Counselors who want to know how to follow the Spirit’s lead should be continually growing in a knowledge of Bible and Theology. Why again? Because much of the time what the Spirit wants to do is to illuminate the Word for counselees, “enlightening the eyes of their hearts” (Eph. 1:18). This will require not just a knowing of the Word in a cognitive sense, but also in a way that is deeply connected and relevant to one’s life situation (we’ll see that more clearly from the situational perspective), and in a way that resonates personally and experientially (which we’ll see more clearly from the existential perspective).”
“In this post, we’ll look at the question from the situational perspective and ask: How does the Spirit relate to human situations involving realities like embodiment (including, for example, the brain), and social embeddedness (including, for example, many social influences past and present)?”
In this post, we’ll bring all of these threads together and consider how insights from the normative and situational perspectives add important texture to the basic existential intuition that, in a given counseling moment, The Spirit is probably doing something that “feels right” to the Spirit-formed, maturing Christian counselor.”