Cheryl Frueh received her M.A. in Biblical Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary and her B.A. in Finance from Rutgers University. In addition, she received a two-year certificate from the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF) in Philadelphia. Cheryl has over 15 years of experience with counseling in local churches and at Somerset County’s domestic violence agency. Beyond working with women in crisis, Cheryl has also counseled those suffering from panic disorder, eating disorders, depression, and marital issues. Cheryl’s greatest satisfaction is found in helping individuals and couples believe and live out the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in their own lives.
Because I have experienced the grace of God in my own life, I counsel with confidence that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness through true knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Peter 3).
What is “CCEF trained” Biblical Counseling?
“By biblical counseling we mean that your counselor is a Christian with special training and experience in applying the truths of the Bible to life. At CCEF we believe that the Bible speaks to all of life and to all of its problems, but sometimes it takes careful thought and prayerful wisdom to know how to make those connections. We don’t believe that the Bible is simply a how-to book or a recipe book for happiness. We believe that the Bible ultimately points us to a person and a relationship – Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. We believe that real change comes when people learn to see themselves and their problems in the context of a living, vital relationship with Christ. This does not mean that you must be a Christian to profit from our counseling, although we believe that deep and lasting change is brought about only by God himself. However, the Bible is never brought to bear in an artificial or heavy-handed way.” To learn more about the CCEF, visit CCEF.org
8 Questions you should ask your prospective counselor
These questions were taken from an article by CCEF entitled “Choosing a Christian Counselor” and are answered below by Cheryl.
1. How would you describe your approach to counseling? How do you understand people’s problems? How do you help them grow and change through counseling? Please describe the process.
I believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to reconcile us to God the Father, other people and restore what was broken within ourselves. Because of the Son’s perfect work, we are being made whole and enabled to live a life that is pleasing to God. My first goal in counseling is to build a good relationship with the counselee and understand life from their perspective. I work very hard to create a safe and trusting environment for the counselee to be honest with with me, themselves and with God.
2. What books or other resources do you recommend on a regular basis? What books have most influenced your approach to counseling?
I regularly recommend Gospel by J.D.Greear, Prodigal God and A Reason for God by Tim Keller, Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick, Marriage Matters by Winston Smith.
3. Are you a Christian? How does your faith affect your view and practice of counseling?
I have been a Christian for over 48 years. In all that time God has demonstrated His love to me because of what Jesus Christ has done and not because of my own merit. The love and acceptance of God freely given to me in the gospel gives me great joy and hope for my own life as well as for my counselees.
4. Do you bring Christian truth into your counseling practice? How? What role does Scripture play?
I work very hard to impart biblical truth to my counselees directly and through the way I interact with them. I endeavor to take the “log” out of my own eye first. I ask God for help to see myself as the biggest sinner in the room. I illustrate the story of redemption from Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation and personalize it for my counselees. When I say “illustrate” I mean that I teach and draw biblical concepts out on paper to clarify what are the “spiritual blessings in heavenly places” that belong to us.
5. Do you pray with those you counsel?
I usually pray at the beginning and end of each session. I also endeavor to pray for each counselee at least once a week between sessions.
6. Do you attend church? If so, where? How long have you been a member?
I have been a member of Calvary Baptist Church, East Millstone, NJ since 2000. www.calvaryem.org
7. What is your educational and professional background? What role does it play?
I have a BA in Economics/Finance from Rutgers University and a Masters in Biblical Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary. (WTS) My seminary education from WTS has equipped me to see the Bible as one grand redemptive story of salvation in Christ Jesus. Old and New Testament Biblical Theology classes have equipped me to communicate biblical truth to people in fresh and exciting ways. It thrills me when I am able to help someone hear the old, old story in fresh new ways.
8. Are you married? Do you have children? Have you ever been divorced? How does your marriage and family situation affect how you counsel people?
I have been married for 34 years. My husband, Eric, and I have 3 sons and one daughter-in-law. No, I have never been divorced although I am very sympathetic to people who have been divorced or from a home that has experienced divorced because I grew up in such a home. My husband and I have spent 34 years learning to repent of our own sin and seek forgiveness from each other. We have learned a lot about our own sinfulness from our children and the necessity of believing in the love and forgiveness of Christ for ourselves and others.