Salem4youth is convinced that the only way to change outward behavior is through a heart change. Our conviction is that, though we can humanly try to change their minds, only a relationship with Jesus Christ can change their heart.
Every young man who comes to Salem arrives with a different slate of problems that needs to be resolved. In counseling, we address behaviors and their consequences and how their behaviors affect those around them, using the Bible as our key reference.
The Counselors at Salem4youth believe that every problem comes from a basic spiritual premise that we are all disobedient. Our primary goal is that every student is open to finding that, through Christ, there is forgiveness, the power and desire to change, and the comfort, healing, and a hope that only His presence in their lives can bring. (Note: It is not a requirement that young men must become a Christian for them to graduate from the program. We do, however, expect that all young men who are in our program are respectful of what we believe and that they are open to learning about how it can impact their lives.)
Our secondary goal is that every family is reconciled to one another. We work with the resident and their families to identify the foundational issues and direct all involved regarding how change can occur for full and complete restoration.
Through regular counseling sessions, with the resident and the family, both separate and together, each counselor strives to accomplish the following goals:
1) The counselor relates with the student through conversation, common interests and shared activities to create an environment in which the student feels comfortable in sharing his experiences and struggles.
2) The counselor offers the wisdom of the Bible, including the gospel message of God’s love in Christ as the path to forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, and change.
3) For those unwilling to accept the gospel message, Biblical principles and precepts are taught with hope that when these students recognize the practical wisdom of God’s Word for daily living, they will turn to the God who authored it for salvation.
4) Our Counselors utilize secular counseling only as a starting point to clarify the precise issues that each individual is dealing with. Most of the young men who arrive at Salem come with a litany of diagnoses. These diagnoses assist us in narrowing those core problems that specifically needs to be addressed.
5) The Counselor mediates in family counseling and through phone conversations with parents, again using Scripture and Biblical principles to advocate for both the student and the student’s parents to bring reconciliation to the whole family.
6) The Counselor assists the student in replacing self-destructive habits with constructive habits and spiritual disciplines and in replacing negative influences with healthy relationships.
7) The Counselor works with the parents to establish a support structure for their son at home and in their community, and attempts to give them the tools they need to both encourage their child and hold him accountable.
All of this accomplished through:
1) Qualified counselors able to deliver Biblical truth in all situations.
2) Counseling at the individual, family, and group level.
3) Mandatory parental participation in counseling and parental workshops.
4) Meeting with parents in the treatment team setting at regular intervals.
5) Making home visits dependent on parental participation.