Individuals pursue counseling for a variety of reasons and there is not a prescribed pattern someone follows to ascertain if pursuing counseling is a good idea. Often a person begins counseling for help with a specific problem (for example: difficulties in a particular relationship, help with a career decision, binge eating, pornography use) or for a more generalized problem (for example: loneliness, depression, stress, or bereavement). It is normal for someone to seek out individual counseling to address a problem in one of these areas.
Individual counseling helps because no one can recognize, name or solve their problems alone. “Though good advice lies deep within the heart a person of understanding draws it out” (Proverbs 20:5). There are certain troubles or situations where it is wise to seek out a person that is gifted and trained to help you work through interpersonal problems. Often individual counseling is helpful because you make the time to be intentionally reflective about your life and receive feedback from someone who is doing their best to listen and respond with wisdom and discernment. In addition, the scriptures teach that one believer may be specifically gifted and called for the purpose of building up and encouraging another believer. A good pastoral counselor that is gifted and trained can help direct individuals through their problems towards life-giving solutions that bring freedom and restoration.