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David Powlison

Illustrative Counseling

Journal of Biblical Counseling 16:2

In this article, David Powlison applies the ideas presented in Steven Jussely article (“A Case for Illustrative Preaching” (JBC 16:2)) to counseling. Powlison answers the question, “Why must we do illustrative counseling?” First, conversations are largely composed of stories, and a prime goal of counseling is to rework the meanings assigned to those stories. Second, people’s stories hand you illustrations and metaphors at every turn. Biblical truth functions best when tailored to the person, and illustrations are the tailor’s scissors and sewing machine. Third, the counseling conversation is a further chapter of the same story. Powlison concludes with three applications of illustrative counseling.

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