You have finally decided to get counseling. It took a little time, but with a little research you selected a Christian Therapist. You finally arrived at your first session. After 20 minutes you know you’ve made a wrong decision. The session was nothing like you expected? How do you find a therapist who is not just a Christian, but someone who actually does Christian counseling? You need to know the difference.
In fact, I would categorize Christian therapists in three levels. If you don’t know the difference, you will be disappointed to discover that your counseling session with a Christian therapist doesn’t differ at all from regular traditional counseling. Let me describe the various levels. It will help you in selecting the next Christian Counseling Center you will attend.
Level One – Christian counseling services where God or faith is rarely discussed in the counseling sessions.
Although the therapist may be Christian, these counseling sessions will not differ a whole lot from non-Christian, traditional therapy sessions. There is no prayer or use of bible scripture in the counseling session. If you never bring up God and Christian principals, it will never come up in a counseling session. Even if you bring up your faith, this therapist may do very little with it but listen.
Level Two – Christian counseling services where the therapist may mention God or faith in a counseling session and is comfortable if a client talks about God.
This therapist may ask a client about their faith and may disclose that they are themselves a Christian. If the client does talk about God, this therapist is very comfortable with it and may even encourage discussion about the person’s relationship to God and their faith. Whenever possible, this therapist will incorporate discussions on prayer, principals of forgiveness, and other biblical concepts either in the counseling sessions or as homework assignments.
For example, a therapist may ask a client to pray, read scriptures on a particular topic and journal their thoughts and revelation.
Level Three – Christian counseling services where the therapist actively and intentionally incorporates Christianity in the counseling sessions.
There are some clear distinctions on how a Level Three Therapists operates:
- Early in the counseling process, the therapist will ask you about your faith and ask if you are interested or comfortable in incorporating Christian principles and prayer into the counseling sessions.
- The therapist learns about your faith and Christian experiences so that he/she incorporates Christianity in line with your comfort level. .
- Level Three therapists only give advice consistent with the Word of God and yet they know how to carefully, loving, and non-judgmentally work with you making it easy for you tell them anything, everything. . It is an art to incorporate Christian principals as part of your decision making thought processes without shoving it down your throat.
- Level Three therapists know how to balance Christianity and traditional counseling techniques so that you are able to bring the best of both worlds into each counseling session.
- This therapist knows the Bible well enough to explain how it relates to real life situations. They can teach you how to read and study the Bible if that is an helpful
- You pray before and at the end of each session.
- All through the counseling session, this therapist is sensitive to voice of God who will often give them insight and instructions.
- I have many examples of times, when God will place in my heart something to say or do. The results would be amazing and I would stand in awe at how wonderful that particular session turned out.
- Level Three therapists completely understand that prayer is a two-way conversation with God and they are able to teach you how to pray conversationally. There is no better counseling experience than to be able to ask and hear what God thinks about a situation. When you get revelation, insight, answers, direction right from the throne of Grace, it is life changing.
Don’t assume that all Christian therapists operate the same. When you know what you’re looking for in a Christian counseling setting, it will helps you avoid disappointment. Asking specific questions about how a therapist incorporates Christianity in their counseling process will help you to determine if a particular counseling will meet your needs.