Christian Counseling and Therapy
When you need support there are many different types of therapies you can turn to. Your choice of therapist can be impacted by a number of different factors in your life, one including your faith. If you are Christian or interested in religion, you may want to try Christian Counseling. Both the gospel and counseling seek to meet people where they are in relation to their physical, mental, and spiritual health. Many people feel they have lost connection to the spiritual side of themselves and are suffering emotionally and physically due to this disconnect.
Christian Counselors have been professionally trained and qualified to help you overcome many life challenges while also incorporating a Christian worldview. They may use different models of counseling, depending on their training and also meeting their clients where they are with the tools and skills that meet their needs.
Christian counseling can help with a number of struggles including anxiety, depression, trauma, and marital problems. The goal of Christian counseling is not simply overcoming pain it is to help individuals, couples, and families to move towards healing, wholeness, mental health and spiritual maturity.
Christian counselors use biblical principles alongside their counseling techniques. However, it is not necessary to be a believer in order to benefit from Christian counseling, as the principles and methods are interwoven into both sound psychological theories and faith.
What is Christian or Religious Counseling?
Christian counseling, also referred to sometimes as biblical or religious counseling, combines both faith and psychological principles to help people improve their mental health and relationships. A Christian counselor will not only use psychology to support a client but also be guided by scripture and biblical teaching to help one deal with life’s challenges.
When you are struggling in life with the loss of a loved one, going through a large life transition or facing challenges often what is missing is one’s faith. Trusting in a higher power and being guided by his wisdom and love helps one trust and have a path to follow out of suffering and pain.
Christian counseling aims to help people identify behaviors and beliefs that are not consistent with God’s teaches so they can live in alignment with God’s will. Christian counselors use the Word of God the biblical teachings to help guide them in supporting others through life’s challenges.
What Christian Counselors Do?
Christian counselors take into account the mind, body and spirit of an individual when supporting them. They are similar to other counselors, but they integrate a spiritual element which is key to people’s health and happiness. Here are some unique perspectives and elements that Christian counselors use to help individuals overcome their problems.
Christian Counseling Recognizes a Higher Authority
According to Christian counseling, God is the ultimate authority. They look to him for ultimate guidance. God’s word provides the key principles that can help individuals live their best lives. Jesus teaches can help people understand and overcome their problems. Christian counselors help individuals connect to God and to recognize they are not alone; they always have someone to accompany them on life’s journey.
Christian Counseling Accepts Absolute Truth and Guidance
Although some people may believe they can just follow their heart and do whatever they feel is right, Christian counselors have a different approach. They instead turn to God’s principles as a way to guide one’s life, decisions and direction. Using God as an ultimate guide can help people prioritize what is most important in life and feel guided to make the changes needed to be live in alignment with God’s absolute, love, truth and guidance. When you have his principles and truth you do not have to guess or feel alone on your life’s path.
Christian Counselors Have a Higher Goal
Most counselors will guide their clients in pursuing happiness, but Christian counselors take a different approach. They help clients pursue God. It is through God that we can find our meaning and purpose in life that results in true everlasting happiness. God offers grace, unconditional love, forgiveness that can set people free from their problems and suffering.
Christian Counseling Offers Healing
Through one’s relationship with God, one is able to access deep spiritual and emotional wounds that need healing. Through ones, understanding and connection to God clients are able to experience and feel deep healing.
Christian Counselors Can Offer Everlasting Hope
The Christian faith offers the hope of enjoying an eternity in heaven with God. Gaining this eternal perspective offers hope and the option of peace and joy after this life.
Benefits of Christian Counseling
Christian counseling is able to help with a number of different problems such as struggles with anxiety, depression, trauma, marital problems or behavioural issues. The goal of biblical counseling is not just to overcome pain but to bring individuals, couples and families into mental stability, wholeness, interpersonal competence, and spiritual maturity. They take a mind, body and spirit that brings people into relational wholeness with God, self and others.
- Develop a deeper relationship with yourself through God
- Discovery how much god does for you
- Find a graceful space without judgement
- Develop greater guiding moral values informed by God
- Learn how scripture can help guide your heart and mind
- Helps in applying God’s word into real-life situations
- Professional counseling that is informed by Gods will and support
- Learn to let go and forgive as Christ demonstrated
- Develop greater compassion for yourself and for others
- Combat lies with truth
- Access Unconditional Love
- Increased Hope and Trust
- Improve your relationships among those closest to you
- Connection to a wider community with faith
- Be given referrals to additional support when needed
What Christian Counselors Can Help With
Christian Counselors use scripture to support couples overcome challenges. Through the Word of God, couples can lean on their relationship with God to help them navigate their relationship. Christian Counselors also rely on other psychological tools to help couples.
Too often people leave their relationships because they feel lost or stuck Christian Counselors can help guide you back to not only yourself but your partner too. Although there are some times where there is abuse or violence and it may not be safe to be in a relationship but a lot of the time it is due to not knowing a path back to each other.
Depression and Anxiety
Christian Counselors can help guide people to understanding the deeper causes and levels of anxiety and depression. Many people forget that we are also spiritual beings and that neglecting this part of us and our relationships with God results in anxiety and depression.
Connecting to God is more than just prayer or scripture sometimes it is living these principles in your daily life and relationships. Also, it is common that depression and anxiety can be caused by unhealed guilt from the wrongdoing we have caused others. Sometimes it is due to feeling like one has failed to live up to the will of God resulting in increased shame and self-criticism. A Christian counselor can help you find these beliefs and fears and help you heal them.
Christian Counselors can help you develop parenting methods that are based on biblical principles. Understanding how God can help guide you in your connection to your child and guiding them can be done through therapeutic guidance and support. Life can get busy and overwhelming as a parent, having a Christian Counselor can support you in integrating God’s teaching into your parenting and family life.
How Did Christian Counseling Begin?
Christians have believed that knowing Jesus Christ is the “cure of the soul” but the church has provided often unskilled and not personalized care and counsel. In the 1960s there was the start of the biblical counseling movement that worked to reclaim counseling from the church and provide a Christian alternative to mainstream psychotherapy and psychiatry.
The modern Biblical Counseling movement was spearheaded by Jay Adams who worked hard to bring modern counseling approach’s back to the biblical teachings. It is through the bible that we are able to find ourselves and how God can support us in overcoming our problems. He was able to create Christian counseling curriculum that could help therapists guide their clients to greater health and well-being based on biblical teachings.
Spiritual Self-Care Based on Biblical Guidance
Over the years Christianity has not guided people well through self-care and self-love. Many people grew up in families where they were taught to prioritize others’ care over their own so much that it ended up hurting themselves, their family, and their relationships. Some were taught they had to give of themselves, which is true, but it was not mean to replace your own self-care. Many people though were brought up to believe that self-care was self-indulgence or selfish and struggle to talk about it. True self-care strengthens your relationship with God by taking care of yourself you are able to take even better care of those around you as well.
Biblical guided self-care is different than regular self-care. Regular self-care includes things like eating well, exercising, or getting enough sleep at night. Although these are important elements of self-care there is more to taking care of ourselves and our hearts and souls. Self-care is not self-indulgence it is about taking time to refresh and renew one’s body, mind, soul, and spirits through our connection to God.
Part of spiritual self-care involves spending time with God and committing to knowing him and having him in your life. To have a relationship with God you must have intentional effort. Here are four passages that help with biblical self-care.
- Make Time For Prayer
Mark 1:35 says,
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Taking care of yourself means spending time with God through intentional prayer. Having a habit either in the morning or before bed to spend time in prayer is a key self-care practice. Jesus has been modelling this to us for a long time, it’s important to join him in this practice.
- Take Care of Your Body
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 says:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honour God with your bodies.”
Our bodies are our temples and thus we should take care of them. This means not just eating well and exercising but being compassionate and loving with your body, it does not just belong to you.
“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
Even God took a day to rest and so should you. We live in a culture that pushes us to keep going and not take time to rest but we need this to recharge, even God needed it. Give yourself permission to find time to recharge and do things that help you replenish.
- Practice Love
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”.
God is love and to connect with God you must practice not just loving others but yourself. Through practicing acts of love for yourself you will begin to know God better and be able to offer more love to others. When you are struggling fall back into the love of God. What helps you connect more to love in your life?
- Practice Trust
Proverbs 3: 5-6 (NIV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your
heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”.
Too often we can get weighed down by worries and fears, but an important part of self-care is giving these up to God. Having a practice of becoming aware of these fears and worries and then giving them up to God will help with your health and well-being. You can trust and God and making this a self-care practice will help you build your relationship with him, and he will guide you in life.
If you are curious about how Christian Counseling could support you feel free to reach out and find out more about how LiveBeyond Counseling & Coaching can help. You can find LiveBeyond Counseling & Coaching offices Fort Worth, Alliance, Southlake, Keller, Texas areas.
Also, take a look at our Christian Counseling page for further information about our services.