Are women better listeners? Talkers? Should a pastor counsel women? Only when he’s alone? When she’s with someone else? When he invites someone else into the office?

These and many other questions pop up when a woman needs the support and empathy of a counselor. David Powlison and Nancy Guthrie address several of them and suggest some practical steps a pastor can take to remain above reproach. But unless a pastor knows why he’s in the room during a counseling session, carrying this vision with care and clarity, no safeguards will suffice. He won’t be able to help, and he just might fall into sin.

Powlison and Guthrie also discuss the benefits of several different counseling arrangements besides one-on-one meetings. Rigidity can sometimes undermine the potential for fruitful interactions, Powlison cautions.