What is advocacy?

Community is essential for healthy living, and it is core to the biblically-faithful life. It provides invaluable resources, especially in difficult times. Struggles should be shared, not hidden. Therefore, community is also core to the counseling process.

Every counselee who comes to our campus must also bring someone with whom they are already in close community to help them carry the load. We call this friend an advocate.


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What is an advocate?

Advocates serve as an important relational bridge in the context counseling. An advocate is a concerned friend, fellow church go-er, small group/life group leader, counselor, or other church leader that comes alongside you in this difficult season.

This person should be a follower of Christ who knows you, loves you and is eager to help care you. Galatians 6:2 encapsulates it well: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Note: while family members can be an option, we would qualify that category as follows:

  • Spouses: We ask your spouse to find a same-gender friend to come alongside them for the counseling retreat and beyond. Your spouse is welcome to attend the retreat but as added support, not as advocate.
  • Parents/Adult Children: Similar to spouses, parents to their children or adult children to their parents typically are not the best choice for advocates. They may attend as added  support, but each counselee needs a same-gender advocate.
What does an advocate do?

PRAY: Prayers leads us to rely on God for openness, wisdom, clarity and lasting change as we seek to bring help to others. Advocates are prayer warriors in the counseling room who stand in the gap for you.

GIVE INSIGHT: A person in your community who already knows you and understands your current struggle will be able to provide valuable input to the counselor about how you are doing, where you are struggling, etc. Advocates also can help you ask questions you may not feel comfortable asking. So, in every way advocates help us have deeper insights.

TAKE NOTES: Good notes provide you with tangible reminders of core issues addressed, important principles reviewed, and most importantly, key Scriptures to be meditated on in the days and weeks ahead. Advocates can help take that burden off your shoulders.

FOLLOW-UP: We encourage advocates to commit to about six months of intentional follow-up with you after your visit at Twelve Stones. We will provide you with a summary and action plan that give you additional guidance and direction. Beyond that, after our time, your advocates can help you get plugged in deeper into your community or reach out to us for additional help and direction.

Why is the advocate vital?

The role of the advocate is essential to the type of counseling we do at Twelve Stones.

We believe that counseling should happen in the context of community and not be an isolated, sterile process (Romans 15:1-2, Philippians 2:1-4). The advocate is a natural extension of your existing community, because they know you and deeply care for you.

We want to leverage that relationship for your good by encouraging them in their role as friend, guide, and encourager through your toughest days (Hebrews 3:12-13; 10:24).

In our experience, the presence of an advocate drastically improves the success of what takes place in counseling and after. Many times, those is crisis have been isolated from community. Advocates help to bring them back into healthy, biblical community.

Empowering the Advocate
If you will be joining a counselee on a retreat as an advocate, you can fill out the Advocate Form at the link below.

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Three Signs an Intensive Counseling Retreat is Right for You

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