What is Christian Counseling?
Christian counseling aims to use a set of methods or strategies that are more Bible based or Holy Spirit inspired/led in order to help their clients find greater life balance, but also emotional and spiritual maturity. For people that consider themselves Christian or that are fans of Christian principles, this very often a preferred format, methodology and goal. While, for non-Christians, although they do often prefer or choose the more secular, traditional counseling path…they do sometimes for a lack of success, decide to try the Christian and Biblical based counseling or counselor in hopes of greater success.
How Does the Secular and Christian Counseling Process Vary?
Beyond the Biblical and Spiritual based goals that most would say are a level deeper or further than traditional counseling goals, the greatest difference would be related to a). who does/directs the counseling b). the methods used and why and c). the likelihood and possibility of significant long-term success.
Who Does or Directs the Counseling?
So in secular counseling, success is thought to be the result of great training as discovered by more experienced counseling professors/trainers combined with the counselor’s own personal knowledge, wisdom, experience and ability. by default, this line of traditional thinking leaves the success primarily the result of the counselor, his knowledge and skill while secondarily, the patient’s willingness and commitment to the process and following through for long-term growth and/or change.
The Christian Counselor, by the nature of his or her own beliefs and experiences as a Christian, adds to this standard recipe the presence, power and assistance of God Himself. More of a partnership, but pretty easy to figure out who the lead is right? Plus, for those that believe in the Trinity, they would look for the Holy Spirit to lead them in the process and to also assist from inside of the client by causing them to be open, willing, like fertile soil to receive “the mind of Christ” and submit what’s broken or not working to God Himself.
This process of counselor humility and giving over of control to the Holy Spirit is based on the belief that God can do anything, that God cares about the counselor’s client more than he or she ever can or will. That God can partner to work with and on the counselor’s client from the “inside out” in a way that no early counselor can. Many Christian counselors say, that the Holy Spirit can guide them, like an emotional and spiritual x-ray, to find the primary or “root” issues upon which most of the clients other wrong thinking or negative emotions are built upon. By finding and resolving those issues in the right order, the process can be much faster and more successful long-term.
Many, but not all Christian counselors have had experiences where if asked, Jesus will enter into or show Himself having already been present during a client’s traumatic memories and moments in their life. Jesus will often tell them that He was there, they just didn’t see Him, how he felt in that moment and what he wanted to have done or had happen instead if only the people involved had asked Him. He will often offer up a Holy exchange, where he takes the negative, hurtful feelings or things and then gives us back a gift, talent, understanding or something else positive to take the place of that less than perfect place in our hearts and lives.
In addition to all the other ways in which inviting God, Jesus and Holy Spirit into the counseling and healing process, the vary nature of the process in fact helps to expose our clients to the love of God, something many of them have not previously experienced in a tangible way. The truths and promises of God that they hear and come to believe in as part of the process, end up themselves to be a Godly foundation for a continuing life of becoming more Christlike, emotionally whole, productive and happy throughout their lives.
Is this Like Magic?
No, this is not. Why? Because magic, witchcraft, sorcery and all of those types of things are based on man deciding what is best for himself and those under this care/control and then using words and actions to try and control them to “be so” or come into that reality they have decided they should.
When a counselor, coach or pastor is asking God to reveal a thing, asking God to show you, asking God to restore you and bring you into the life purpose as He the creator made you for…then it can never be magic, witchcraft, etc.
But, can be faster, work better (miraculously so in many cases) and last longer than traditional counseling and psychotherapy? Sure it can, because with God anything is possible. The key, is for you and your Christian counselor to agree to invite and welcome not just God the Father, but Jesus and Holy Spirit in, believe in them and release them to have their way in our lives just as in the counseling or coaching experience itself.
What to Look For
God is the Great Healer. Christian counselors are just his hands and feet, here as a vessel to serve you, growing and learning from Him even as they work with you. After all, any counselor who thinks they know it all or “have arrived” is at a dangerous personal place and should be avoided. Pride cometh before the fall. And, if as you interview counselors, they are not loving and accepting, but candid then be cautious. If you feel patronized, that’s not a good sign.
Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain
It’s true, let us arrange an initial interview with one of our Christian counselors, pray about that meeting, I can promise you they’ll be praying too. Listen to the Holy Spirit in you, and if the first counselor isn’t a good fit emotionally or spiritually, let us know and we’ll find another on our team that will be a better fit. Invite God into this early part of the process, into the beginning of this adventure, and therefore you and your counselor will expect and look forward to His participation throughout.
Whatever you do, stop holding yourself back, top believing that it can’t get better…by faith, pray and ask God to give you the courage and strength to take you very life up onto the Holy Mountain. Then draw out your knife and sacrifice your dreams, your control, your troubles and tell the Lord that you trust Him to bring back to life the dreams and parts of your life that are from Him. Call or submit a contact form today to start this incredibly fulfilling process of letting the things that aren’t of God go and receiving from Him Life and Life to the Full!
PS: Sometimes, when you meet with one of our counselors, much to your surprise, they confirm for you that you are on track, that you already have a good plan. Often, the 6 months or year that a clients expected it to take to move to the next level of wellness happens in a month or 3 months because, well, God is just that much better and when He’s involved we sometimes see breakthrough come way quicker. In either case, your counselor would typically a). let you know and b). often recommend you to move to “life coaching” with them or if they don’t offer that service to find a life coach online for the purpose of holding you accountable and helping you strategize for aggressive growth and not repair or maintenance. When that happens, we just want you to know that our whole team is hear to help make that connection and make sure you’re find the right person again, so keep in touch and we look forward to many months, years and levels of growth in YOUR LIFE 🙂