“Counsel in a man’s heart is deep water; but a man of understanding draws it up.”
I believe that “deep water” has to do with drawing water up from a deep well, because that’s what they would have done in those days. What I had on my mind when this verse grabbed my attention was actually being an effective counselor to somebody; you exercise some intuition, listen carefully, and ask insightful questions; not prying questions for the gratification of your own selfish curiosity, but questions that prompt them to clarify their own thoughts, for their own benefit.
I view the “counsel in a man’s heart” like his deepest motives, and also his deepest capacities. I was not so much thinking about this verse in terms of exposing deep dysfunctions and insecurities, though those should be exposed so that they can be overcame. Instead, my greater desire is to be a man of understanding who is able help people draw up their deepest treasures. That’s what the “counsel” is; clarity, purpose, confidence, and effectiveness in accordance with the person’s own unique gifting.