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How To Choose A Christian Counselor
By Dave Lloyd
Christian therapy as a profession is relatively new, having been practiced only over the last few decades. While many in the Christian community adhere to a strict code of Bible-based, scriptural, prayer-focused means of helping individuals, additional methods have proven beneficial. The fear many have who are consider Christian counseling is that they would jeopardize their faith or somehow be disobedient to God or contradict the Bible. Yet through the wise choosing of a Christian therapist, one can find the help they need while still maintaining a Biblical basis for faith and incorporating Scripture and prayer into their personal growth process.
Christian counseling is best done by someone with an advanced (Master's) degree trained in the principles of psychotherapy and grounded in the essentials of Christian teaching. Through this combination, they will be able to discern behavioral or relational patterns that are both consistent with the Bible and lead to healthy spiritual and emotional growth. What many Christian counselors have come to believe over time is that emotional and spiritual growth are not mutually exclusive. In other words, one cannot be spiritual growing while emotionally bankrupt or relationally out of integrity. So while much of the time spent in the therapy room discussing your particular issue will focus on how to solve the primary issue you're facing, the ultimate goal of most Christian therapists is to lead you to a greater aware of tools you can develop to increase both your spiritual and emotional health.
In order to choose the right Christian therapy professional for you, it's best to focus on:
- their education and training
- the role they believe therapy plays in the lives of their clients
- the way they plan to integrate biblical and relational truths into therapy
- their personal Statement of Faith or statement of a relationship with Christ
- whether you feel a connection with them
- how much you believe their expertise and personal character will help them in the practice of therapy
Choosing the right Christian counselor is an important consideration on your way to continued emotional and spiritual growth.