What is Christian Counseling?
Both Christian counseling and secular counseling share the same desire to help people overcome their problems, find meaning and joy in life, and become healthy and well-adjusted individuals, both mentally and emotionally. HWP offers both types of counseling depending on your personal preference and needs.
It combines your faith with the principles of psychology to improve your mental health and relationships.
Christian counselors understand that the Bible has a lot of practical wisdom about human nature, marriage and family, human suffering, and so much more. These wisdoms are incorporated into your sessions to bring about growth and change.
It focuses on the mind, body and spirit.
A biblical understanding of how we’re made, as psychological, physical, and spiritual beings, means all three of these dimensions play an important part in our health and happiness. As Christians, we believe we are spiritual beings with a soul (our mind, will, and emotions), that lives inside a body. Christian counseling takes all this into consideration when defining your goals and what you want from therapy.
May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together- spirit, soul, and body- and keep you fit for the coming of Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
It recognizes a higher authority.
Christian counselors believe that we are uniquely created by a loving, caring and healing God.
Counting on our own strength isn’t enough. Recognizing that God can and will help is an invaluable concept to believe. Recognize that the Bible, not psychology, is the final authority. True peace isn’t found solely in our positive thinking, our good feelings, or in our relationships with ourselves or others. It comes from God and knowing that He is in control. It is that kind of peace that guards my heart and protects my mind. And can do the same for you. Only God can give you the peace and protection your heart and mind needs.
It takes into account that the human heart can be deceitful.
A Christian counselor’s major strategy is to help their clients substitute biblical truth for human error as they go about their daily lives. They know that the truth, when known, believed, and obeyed, sets people free. When people are set free, they are fulfilling their true calling.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
It doesn’t just focus on happiness.
Christian counselors want to help clients in their pursuit of God and a meaningful and purposeful life. God’s unconditional love, mercy, grace and forgiveness are freeing—both in our receiving them and also in our extending them to others. This concept helps us go beyond happiness, to a joy-filled life, content and whole, even in the midst of suffering or pain.
“You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.”
Christian Counseling Focus Areas
Areas addressed in Christian Counseling include, but are not limited to:
Communication and Conflict
Grief and Loss
Purpose and Meaning
What can I expect with Christian Counseling?
Expect to be challenged.
As with general types of counseling, Christian-based counseling will challenge you to be honest about your behavior, perception, motivation, and choices. In the book of Philippians, Paul makes sure to point out the fact that it’s not enough to hear or read or know about God. You have to live it. This means putting Jesus’ teachings into practice, modeling your attitudes and actions like Jesus, and being obedient to what He calls you to do. A Christian counselor can offer accountability and encouragement in learning to live out your faith, not just believe it.
Expect to know yourself better, as well know your worth.
As Andy Stanley, the lead Pastor of North Point Community Church says, “following Jesus will make your life better and will make you better at life.” Christian counseling can help open your eyes to the person you were created to be, utilizing your strengths and gifts.
Expect a non-judgment, non-blaming approach.
Christians can rest in knowing that our sins have been forgiven and that everyone falls short of living a perfect life. We don’t have to be defined by our failures and weaknesses. Christian counselors adapt this philosophy into their practice.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
Expect to utilize scripture, prayer, and other materials.
Christian counselors use a wide range of materials, tools, resources, and psychological techniques, including prayer, scripture, affirmation, and bible study to help you combat the issues you’re experiencing.
Paul’s advice to us in scripture is to turn our worries into prayers. Take our struggles, our desires, our wishes, our anxious thoughts to Him and surrender it all and trust that He works for our good in His timing. You can learn to pray, then let it go and trust that it is in God’s hands. A Christian counselor can help you practice this valuable principle.
Expect to be made aware of your sin and flesh that cause you suffering.
Every choice you make has consequences and effects everyone around you. Trying to live on our own strength and resources can lead to addiction, unwise habits, and other destructive choices. Don’t be the person who has to lose everything before you realize what you have.
“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to [spiritual] death.
But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
Our minds have infinite power and what we think about, manifests in our lives. In addition, what we think effects our feelings and actions, and those actions decide the state of our connections with ourselves and others. But as Christians, we believe that true peace isn’t found solely in our positive thinking, our good feelings, or in our relationships with ourself or others. It comes from God and knowing that He is in control. It is that kind of peace that guards our heart, protects our minds, and transforms our lives.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”