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  1. How can/should I counsel suffering people?
  2. Is the point of counseling to remove all suffering?  Why or why not?

 80% you-- with critical thinking applied, backed up with 20% (no more than that!) course material and Scripture.

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Explanation & Answer

1.)First of all, you should not counsel anyone if you don't have prior knowledge to the different counseling techniques and/or if you are not a registered counselor. If you do so, you will only end up "advising" the client, which is prone to bias and self-judgments. It is better to leave it to the professionals since dealing with someone else's life isn't to be taken lightly.

Nevertheless, if you are to counsel someone that is suffering,
First step is to let them share everything they want to share. As they do, ask a few questions. Avoid "why?" questions and offensive or too personal questions, focus only on what he/she has shared. Empathize while they share, put yourself on their shoes and try to simulate to yourself how you would feel.

The next thing is to choose the technique to use in counseling. A few techniques can be found here: (Schimmel and Jacobs, 2011)

even though the techniques there state that they are for "Anger" they can also be used for those who are suffering from any kind of pain. We used some of those techniques on our demo.

There are a lot of other techniques out there. You may have to spare some time asking from a counselor, as counseling is not something you can teach online or solely read from a book but it needs practice.

2.) It can be one of the sub-points of counseling.

But the main point of counseling is to let the client "self-actualize" and let them have a clear and proper mind to formulate a solution based on their problems. The counselor cannot remove any suffering or solve any of their problems, but he/she is only to assist the person and help him/her have the proper state of mind to do it himself.

Dr. Sacky refers to the goals as:

Spirituality-associated with wholeness/wellness; a sense of meaning/purpose 
Evaluation - assess the problem by taking it apart and putting it back together
Relationships - Your relationships define and represent who you are.
Emotions - What are you feeling right now? It's important to know. 
Needs - Identify your needs; they are directly related to what you are feeling.
Interpersonal skills - Life is a series of conversations. What is your style?
Treatment - Your personal plan of thinking, feeling, and acting differently.
You - Since you are the expert on you, you are the key to your success.
(Disclaimer: This belongs to Dr. Sacky of The Counselor's Cabin)

I could present you with more articles and scholarly papers about counselling. Just message me. :)

ernyerqfgrry (26)
UC Berkeley

Great content here. Definitely a returning customer.