There are many types of counselors, and one type is the Christian counselor. As the name implies, Christian counseling is when you have therapy from a Christian perspective. Most people who seek Christian counselors do it because there is an element of faith tied to their problems, but others may seek Christian counseling for different reasons.
What Is A Christian Counselor?
A Christian counselor is a therapist whose advice and teachings are rooted in a Christian perspective. They believe that many of life's answers can be found in the Bible, and teaching the values from there, can enrich the lives of their clients and anyone else interested.
History Of Christian Counseling
The origins of Christian counseling are rooted in the Bible and the values of Christianity today. Many reverends, preachers, and other religious figures have offered guidance and advice since the dawn of Christianity, but the modern form of Christian counseling started 50 years ago. In 1968, the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation was formed, where counselors are trained and abide by a code. Just like secular counselors, they have a series of principles they must follow to succeed.
Reasons To See A Christian Counselor With A Biblical And Psychological Education
Many seek out a Christian counselor for spiritual reasons. For example, if you feel like you're losing your faith or your connection with God, a Christian counselor can help find the problem and get you back on the right track.
However, a Christian counselor is more than just helping you with the Christian side of your life. They can help you in other ways, just like a normal counselor. These ways include:
Marriage problems. Christian counselors can be couple's counselors and solve any issues you have, be it fighting, miscommunication, or not enough connection to God.
Losing someone. Even when your faith is strong, the death of a loved one can be hard to fathom. A counselor can help you heal from that death and allow you to continue with your life.
Any mental illness problems you may have. A counselor can teach you techniques to turn your thinking around and manage your illness.
Helping you accomplish your goals. You may be living an eternal life when you die, but your time in this life is limited. Accomplishing everything you can before you enter the next life is quite an achievement.
A Christian counselor can help you deal with any substance abuse you may be experiencing. Your body is a temple, and you should keep it clean for yourself and God. However, it can be hard to treat yourself, and a therapist is here to help you get clean and stay clean.
A Christian counselor can help you manage your anger. Sometimes, life can make you angry, and wrath is never a good thing. They can help find the cause of your anger and take steps to help you manage it.
Things Christian Counseling Can Help With
If you seek the help of a Christian therapist, here are a few ways they may treat you.
A secular therapist sees addiction as a disease that needs to be treated. They may teach you behavioral techniques you can use to avoid relapse, teach you to associate whatever you're addicted to with something you don't like, and help you up whenever you fall from a relapse. A secular therapist may look for certain triggers that may contribute to you craving the drug.
A Christian therapist believes that addiction comes from sin and the lack of devotion to God. They will teach you ways to avoid your temptation and stick to the plan that God has given you. For example, they may teach you how to pray whenever you're feeling tempted, and prayer may help you shake off any urges you may have.
The cause of depression can differ depending on the situation. Sometimes, depression is caused by a life situation. It can be an obvious situation or one that is more hidden. Sometimes, it's more of a chemical imbalance. Whatever the answer is, a therapist can teach you ways to improve your depression, such as eliminating the source of your depression, teaching you how to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones, or teach you how to be more mindful of your surroundings.
A Christian counselor will still try to help your situation and apply a more Biblical lens to the problem. They may believe that depression is due to you feeling like you don't have a purpose in life, and by seeking God, you can find that purpose that you need. This can come in the form of you trying to pray more, read the Bible more, or finding other ways to stay connected.
Both Christian counseling and secular counseling offer couples counseling to help deal with any marital issues. Parenting problems, infidelity, miscommunication, finances, the list goes on. A Christian counselor believes in the foundation of a strong family unit and believes that if your faith in God is lacking, it can cause the family's fall. They will help resolve any problems you're having while renewing your faith in God.
A secular counselor will look at the issues you're facing and find the cause of them. For example, if there are miscommunication issues, you may need to write them down and figure out the flaw in your communication.
There won't be any spiritual needs you will have fulfilled when it comes to a secular counselor. A secular counselor should respect your religion and not try to convert you to what they believe, but they won't promote it, either.
A Christian counselor is all about their faith and will help fill the hole in your heart left by a lack of faith in God. Sometimes, a Christian therapist will do this through prayer or by helping you study scripture.
The Education Of A Christian Counselor
You may wonder how much education a Christian counselor needs to have before they become a professional. A counselor will need to have a master's degree in almost all cases, just like a secular counselor would have. A clergy member is the only exception to the rule. They also need to know the Bible and the Christian faith to be a counselor, as you probably would have expected. There are many interpretations of the Christian faith and the Bible so that each therapist may have their spin on it, but for the most part, they know the general knowledge the Bible has to offer.
Like regular counselors, a Christian counselor needs to be licensed as well. In six states, there is a specific license for a Christian counselor. These states are New Hampshire, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Maine, and North Carolina. In the remaining 44 states, their license is the same as a secular counselor. They need to take licensing exams to receive their license, so you know you'll be in good hands.
A Christian counselor usually has a lot of education and is usually just as educated as a normal counselor. This can give you some peace of mind when you go in. They are spiritual but still educated in the field of psychology and how the mind works.
Finding A Christian Counselor
There are many ways to find a Christian counselor if you want to speak to one. You can search
online for a faith-based counselor or look locally. One place you can look is at your local church. They may have a Christian counselor or know someone who is. You can also talk to people at your church and see if there is a Christian counselor they go to. Check your local Christian schools for a counselor or a homeless shelter. Even if you're not homeless, they can help you find a counselor for you. You can find them in hospitals and funeral homes, where they can provide wisdom to grieving families.
Usually, a government office will not have a Christian counselor due to church and state separation.
Which Is Better For You - A Christian Counselor Or A Secular Therapist?
This all depends on your worldview. If your faith is strong, you may benefit from seeking a Christian counselor to help you with your troubles. They can provide help through a spiritual lens and can strengthen your relationship with God.
If you're not that religious, you won't find as much benefit with a Christian therapist. Those who feel like they're losing their faith may benefit, but if you never had much faith to begin with, you probably won't benefit.
Christian Counseling May Help You
A Christian counselor can help you find the path God has intended for you and help solve any problems life throws at you. If you are a Christian, it's worth it to see one. You'll be surprised at how much they can help you.