I don't think that Counseling (Christian or otherwise)never works- let's get that straight first..Its just that most of what passes for counseling is the teaching of coping skills and communication techniques. Those are great things and helpful. Counseling also involves revealing or leading the counselee to see a truth. The problem is that counseling demands absolute honesty. I am amazed at the number of Christian couples who come in to my office and whose story varies from one couple to another. One might come in saying my wife, Suzy, never responds to my sexual advances. Then when Suzy comes in she tells of the rough approach, or the verbal abuse that accompanies the relationship and the story begins to make sense.
Your own honesty is the lynch pin of your counseling. When you don't tell the truth, you affect the counselors ability to give good advice and direction. This is all the more true with Christian counseling because the person your speaking to is a mentor and a guide for your soul. No problem, you say, I always tell the truth. Well, often we are deceived. Sometimes from the enemy of our soul, sometimes we are blinded by the patterns we have observed, sometimes we are deceived by our own wishful thinking, sometimes by the lie of another. How then can the heart be absolutely honest with the counselor when it is deceived?
So the difficulty is that truth is not always seen by either the counselor or the counselee. The Holy Spirit needs to be involved in the process. Here the Christian counselor has a great advantage as he may receive words of knowledge and wisdom from God and the Holy Spirit's impressions. Yet when believers come into the counselor or pastors office there must be full disclosure- first to self, then to the counselor. To hide certain truths is to work against the healing process.
I guess what concerns me most is that there is always a blame placed on the concept of counseling. (IE., we tried counseling but it didn't work...) When the real issue is a matter of personal integrity. A commitment to tell the truth and an openness to the Holy Spirit.
The Scripture teaches that healing comes AFTER the confession of faults to one another. James 5.16