The Need for More Professional Christian Counseling
Why the need for faith based counseling?
I understand the term “Christian Counseling” can be a broad term and for the purposes of this post, I am discussing incorporating the Christian faith into psychotherapy with a licensed therapist. The licensure of psychotherapists has helped provide a high standard of education, experience, and professionalism that counselors, social workers, and therapists need to be able to hold to. This helps give a certain standard of what to expect when seeking guidance from a counselor. The psychotherapist can provide many tools, skills, and resources for how to improve your well-being. As a Christian counselor myself, I am also an advocate for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to help improve your mindset and response to the struggles that life throws our way. As I mention on my Christian Counselor service page, unfortunately the field of psychology has not done a great job in how to incorporate your faith in the process. Many people seeking true faith based guidance get a very limited or vague understanding for how to properly use their spiritually as a resource.
Why the need to incorporate religion or spiritually in the counseling process? Many people of faith will tell you their faith is a key resource in how they find purpose in life, how specifically to live their life, and how to cope during the low points in life. Religion and spiritually can help make sense out of trauma and find something to be hopeful for that is everlasting. Faith provides a means to develop a higher calling in life and help better the lives around us. Many people of faith will mention their spiritually gave them the motivation to work through their relationship struggles and develop a higher standard of how to treat their neighbor. I propose how can something so important be neglected in the counseling process?
The need for specific training with how to properly incorporate spirituality into counseling
On the opposite side there may be a lot of so-called Christian counselors out there that may lead people astray or just lack the skills to help because of not having the proper training, education, and professional standard to hold to. Many people can use religion to twist the truth, cause confusion or manipulate others. Christian Counselors need to have a standard to hold to that helps people connect closer to their faith and be included with the tools from psychology. Also, the need for more professional Christian counselors comes from having faithful objective guidance on many controversial subjects out there.
Can religion/spirituality actually work well with psychology?
The big question is can religion mix with science? The answer is yes, both can work harmoniously together. Theology can help people connect with a higher power in their life and provide truth to what the field of psychology has not caught up with yet. Psychology can help us learn more about our thoughts & emotions how to navigate the specific challenges religion may not specify. The mind can help direct the soul and the soul can help provide peace & order to the mind.
Ideally, if we are using resources from psychology and spirituality, then we a means to drawing closer to our Creator to help us provide strength and virtue you can’t find in the world. We are also being aware of what habits do we need to build to live out the mission our faith provides us. Religion and science can mix for how to understand our relationships more and how we are called to approach one another.
So my encouragement for Christians and people of any other faiths, is to seek guidance from someone who holds to a high professional standard and can pull resources both from science & spirituality. You do not have to feel like counseling is limited in what it can address or you have to put your faith in a closet.