What is Christian Counseling?
Often people who are pursuing counseling and coming from a Christian faith tradition are interested in finding a counselor who shares their faith beliefs, but what exactly is meant by counselors who say they are able to offer “Christian counseling”? At Restoration Counseling there are six main things we mean when we advertise ourselves as Christian counselors.
A Christian Counselor
The counselor providing the counseling is a Christian. Our clinicians at Restoration come from a variety of denominations and backgrounds within the Christian tradition, but all of our staff are followers of Jesus who consider their faith an important part of their life and of the counseling that they offer.
A Christian Worldview
Counseling is provided within the context of a Christian worldview. A Christian worldview can encompass many aspects of the world, at Restoration we find that the elements of that worldview that inform our counseling the most are things like the belief that all humans are created in God’s image and therefore of immeasurable value and worth, and also that all humans are impacted by the Fall and the impact of sin in the world whether that is ways they have been sinned against or sinful choices they have made themselves. Counseling from a Christian worldview also allows us to hold on to and offer hope for every client and situation knowing that no situation is hopeless in God’s eyes. Having a Christian worldview does not mean we do not utilize research or theories from the “secular” world, but that we are mindful of how we incorporate that information into our counseling in light of our Christian worldview.
The Holy Spirit
The work of the Holy Spirit is expected and acknowledged in the counseling process. Counselors at Restoration operate under the assumption that the Holy Spirit is at work in every client and every session and seek to pattern with him in the counseling process.
Traditions and Resources
Resources and interventions from the Christian tradition are available to be used within the counseling process. The Christian faith has a rich history of spiritual disciplines and practices that have the potential to be a meaningful and effective part of the counseling process. Our counselors are ready and willing to incorporate prayer, Scripture memory/meditation, and other spiritual disciplines into the counseling process as desired by the client.
Excellence is pursued in every aspect of the counseling care provided. Because of our commitment to Christ, the counselors and staff at Restoration counseling seek to pursue excellence at every level of the counseling process from attention to detail with paperwork, to the observance of all ethical and legal guidelines, to the use of evidence-based interventions and therapy models. We want to honor God in our work and that leads us to have excellence as our goal in all facets of the counseling process.
Respect and welcome are offered to all clients regardless of the presence or absence of religious beliefs. Our Christian identity enters into every session our counselors provide, and the way that manifests in sessions with clients who differ from us in regard to religious beliefs is in the respect, care, dignity, and welcome we offer them as we meet them where they are and seek to work with them toward the goals they have identified as important. We take seriously the autonomy of our clients and never seek to press our religious beliefs on those who are uninterested in incorporating Christian faith beliefs into their sessions.
If these aspects of Christian counseling sound appealing to you, we’d love to get connected and join you on your healing journey! If you have questions or want to learn more about whether or not incorporating your faith beliefs could be a meaningful part of your healing journey, we’d love to talk more with you about it.
written by Sally Smith, PhD, LPC
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