What Is Faith Based Counseling: Our Perspective
A faith based counselor is a counselor who provides psychological support and counseling services to their clients, combining theology and spirituality with therapeutic modalities and practice coping skills. Clients who seek faith-based counseling are looking for a counselor who understands the importance of their spiritual beliefs. This style of counseling incorporates biblical scripture and teachings to guide you through challenging life issues. When facing turbulent life events, integrating and strengthening your faith may be the missing piece in finding proper treatment. A Christian counselor can help you to navigate life’s challenges in ways that respect your faith. Christian counseling prioritizes your faith as an important part of the healing process.
In our personal counseling approach, I meet people exactly where they are, just like Christ did. I’ve worked with people who specifically seek me out just because of my faith, I’ve worked with people who are unsure about their faith and who they are in God, I have worked with people who have wandered away from their faith due to life events such as grief, trauma, depression, anxiety etc., and I have worked with people who are non believers or who questions whether God is real at all. I utilize biblical principles and practical skills you can use in your everyday life to make changes that could last a lifetime if you implement them. I am constantly researching practical skills and taking training in different therapy models to help my clients. I am also seeking God, reading my word, praying, and have taken biblical classes to increase my knowledge and faith. Do I know everything and have all the answers? Absolutely not, none of us do but I am very confident that you can make progress over time by combining your faith and life skills that you will learn in therapy with me.
Here are some additional questions that you may have pondering in your head about how I implement my faith in sessions.
How does session looks?
As I stated before, I meet my clients’ exactly where they are. I don’t push God on them and tell them to pray about everything. I utilize therapy models to dig deeper into what may be hindering you from being where you desire to be in life. I will even help you to be aware of issues that you may have not noticed before within yourself. I don’t condemn you, the world does that enough already. We will explore more about where you are in your faith and explore practical skills and biblical teachings to address your needs. I normally assign homework and motivate you to make positive changes in your life.
Do I pray with clients in sessions?
Most of the time I do not. I am always silently praying to myself or I have already prayed earlier in the morning on my clients’ behalf. If a client asks me to pray and if I feel led to, I will pray. Most of the time, my clients’ need a place of rest, guidance, healing, and breakthrough and I know that God is already in the midst. Please keep in mind that I am not God. I am merely one person, a vessel, who is doing my part. You should not just see a faith based counselor because you feel as though he/she is your gateway to God or see them as idol but only as a vehicle to steer you into the right direction to healing.
What are my thoughts about medication?
Does medication work? In my experience, I’ve seen it work wonders and I’ve seen it not make much change at all. I am not so quick to suggest that a client takes medications but I have made recommendations for some of my clients’ in the past based on the severity of their symptoms. Each individual is different and have unique chemical balances that may require an extra boost. This is an extensive list and I highly recommend that you speak with your medical provider about questions or concerns. This does not mean that I don’t trust God or that you don’t trust God, it’s called using wisdom. God has placed many great physicians’ here on earth to help us in many ways. Ask yourself this question, if you were physically sick would you see a doctor? What is the difference? If you are mentally sick, you should see a doctor as well.
In my work thusfar, I’ve seen people go from being a victim to being victorious but you have to be willing to put in the work. Faith without works is dead. This is not an all inclusive list or explanation of how I conduct treatment, this just gives you a basic idea of my therapeutic style when implementing faith based counseling into secular counseling.