What is Christian Counseling?

Pastors, spiritual directors, church lay-workers, all have a hand in Christian counseling.  Church members tend to seek help from their pastor before going to a therapist. However, it is not uncommon, after several sessions of counseling, for a pastor to state, “I am at a loss in my counseling with this individual. I believe it is time to refer to a professional, who will have knowledge and skills that I do not have for this particular situation, but I want to be sure the counselor has a Christian perspective.”

Professional Christian Counselors approach counseling and therapy with a Christian worldview. The Christian worldview is the foundational bedrock upon which the counselor relies upon to build the therapeutic alliance and treatment plan.  Upon this foundation, an amalgamation of therapeutic principles, empowered by Christ’s healing love, is provided to help the counselee to overcome negative and counter-productive personality patterns of behavior.

The Christian counselor considers how she is representing the Lord in her relationship with the counselee. She also asks herself if her treatment plan is consistent with Christian values, beliefs and commitments informed by the Word of God.  She will also ask if this plan addresses the client’s current circumstances and conditions, helping the counselee to reach his desired goals.

Psychologists from every walk of life have a worldview from which assumptions are made regarding treatment. The Christian Counselor believes that Christ embraces people in need, desiring to transform their present crisis through the power of the Holy Spirit, by using the relationship of the therapist and counselee. Christian counselees come to a Christian counselor for guidance and direction based on Christian principles and sound therapeutic interventions that are empirically grounded.  Non- Christian counselee’s who seek sound therapeutic interventions but do not wish to discuss Christianity are never forced to discuss Christ. Whether or not there are overt references to Christianity, the Holy Spirit blesses people who humble themselves in seeking greater wholeness.