People usually come for counseling help when they have a hurt or discomfort; they want to make it go away. (Typically, this is also the same reason they start coming or come back to church!) They often see the cause of their pain as "this person" or "situation" that's currently in front of them, but the source is often rooted in a person or situation that is in their history, their past.
I follow pretty much the same format with everyone I meet with for counseling. While that might sound impersonal or formulaic, and while people are pretty predictable in nature, I love when I hear something I don't expect.
After we reveal the core beliefs that have been driving their past or current behavior, I state in the process, "The problem is that all those beliefs that have defined your value, your worth, your significance, were defined when you were a child and then reinforced most of your life. They're not the truth about you.
The truth is that you matter to God. You could be a perfect Christian: pray all the time, read your Bible, feed the poor, and you don't have the power to increase God's love for you."
At this point, people usually nod their head in agreement. However, a person I met with recently didn't. So, I said, "You've heard that before, correct? Do you know that?"
They replied, "No. I've never heard it like that before. I've never heard that. It's pretty cool."
When it gets my attention -- it's where I see God. God injects himself into our stories to provide hope, a catalyst, a new perspective. Wherever there's something that's counterintuitive, not what you'd expect, notice. Acknowledge Jesus as Lord in it.