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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rogerian Counseling and a Mentor's passing

Dr. Newton Wilson died yesterday at age 70 of liver failure. He became one of my Bible profs, with a specialty in counseling, when I was at Belhaven College. I remember fondly learning Rogerian Counseling from Newt. It was a non directive type of counseling where you help someone by asking questions, or leading a person to self discovery by repeating what they just said.

"I am depressed", says the counselee, "Your depressed? Tell me about it", says the counselor. It all seems hokey to me at the time, and I was in just a short time to be led in a completely different direction by the teaching of Biblical counselor Jay Adams who used bible texts like aspirin. All ministers are counselors but I always found helpiing troubled people to be one of the greatest challenges of my ministry. People do not fix easily and one method does not help everyone.

Newt was just a bit older, but like those paying tribute to him, he had a maturity, a gentle sense of humor, an approach-ability that endeared him to a generation of students and later to those who sat under his Presidency of our Alma mater, Belhaven College now University.

He joins my other favorite professor, Dr. Knox Chamblin who died last year of leukemia. Both poured their lives into teaching others, and I commend them for it, as I am sure the Lord is doing.

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