What to Expect from Christian-Based Counseling
Posted by Soribel Martinez, LCSW
People who seek out Christian-based counseling typically hope to find a faith-based approach to mental wellness.
While not every Christian counselor is the same, there are certain things you can come to expect before you set foot in the door or set up an appointment online.
It’s important to note that Christian-based counseling offers all the same benefits as traditional counseling services. But, if you’re strong in your faith—or you want to become stronger by integrating aspects of it into your treatment—it’s a wonderful option that can make you feel more comfortable than in a secular setting.
So, what can you really expect from Christian-based counseling?
A Wide Range of Materials
Most Christian counseling services pull from a variety of different techniques and materials, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
The difference between this type of counseling and secular counterparts is that Christian counselors look at the spiritual aspect of what you might be struggling with, not just the mental health concerns. By looking at you as a whole individual and using everything from psychological techniques to prayer, every part of your inner being is being cared for.
From scripture to self-auditing, you can expect a variety of therapeutic skills to be used in this type of counseling, designed to strengthen your relationship with God while finding peace from whatever may plague you.
A Road to Spiritual Health
Many Christian counselors believe that mental health issues like anxiety and depression have a deeper link to your spiritual health. Spiritual health refers to things like:
- Caring for others without expectation
- The ability to spread joy
Do you find yourself lacking any of those things? Ironically enough, they are common problems for those dealing with mental health issues. When you’re depressed, for example, it’s hard to want to take care of yourself, even though self-care is one of the best things to combat symptoms.
When you’re anxious, it can be difficult to be empathetic because you’re so consumed by your own fears and worries.
Mental health issues tend to feel all-consuming, at times. They could keep you from being the person you’re called to be. They could also be major roadblocks on your spiritual journey.
So, mental health and spiritual health are more closely related than most people think. If you consider yourself to be a spiritual person, going to a Christian-based counselor can help you work on techniques that will strengthen you in both areas.
What Should You Look For in a Christian-Based Counselor?
Of course, not all Christian counselors are the same. Like anything else, it’s important to take your time and do the right research to find the right fit for your needs.
A good Christian counselor should obviously have the proper credentials. Proper training and experience is important. But, they should also align with your spiritual beliefs, or you may not get the most out of your sessions.
Don’t be afraid to connect with a counselor for a session or two to see if you “click”. Your comfort level is important because it will allow you to open up more. The more willing you are to be vulnerable, the easier it will be for your counselor to help. Having a good counselor/patient relationship is crucial.
If you’re interested in learning more about Christian-based counseling or want to set up an appointment, please feel free to contact me. Together, we can set up an appointment and talk more about your goals for your spiritual journey, as well as any mental health struggles you might be dealing with. You don’t have to be trapped by them forever, and strengthening your spirituality can help you see that.