As obvious as the combination of its words may appear, Christian Counseling (and Faith-based Counseling more broadly) entails more than meets the eye, so what is Christian/ Faith-based Counseling?
The obvious answer is that Christin/Faith-based Counseling is the approach to a client's needs through the lens of their religious and spiritual beliefs.
What may not be so obvious is the way the counselor investigates with the client how their beliefs inform the difficulties they face.
Both the client and counselor explore sacred and religious texts to exhume profound meaning and encouragement, as well as offer support and guidance through turbulent and troubling times.
Maybe this explanation is sufficient enough, but if you find yourself asking questions such as, "what if the counselor has different beliefs than me?"
"Can't I explore religious texts on my own?" or "What if I'm not sure what I believe?" then this is the blog for you.
This is an excellent question, but is it the right question?
In counseling terms, if a counselor allows their own beliefs to interfere with the counseling process it's known as "countertransference," which is a major ethical transgression.
The right question to ask is, will my counselor's beliefs interfere with the therapeutic process?
And it is this question that should be asked whether you are seeking Christian/ Faith-based Counseling or any other type of counseling.
What is important in Christian/Faith-based counseling is finding a counselor who can help you understand your needs in the context of your own personal beliefs.
Remember, counseling is a personal journey for you, and it is not about your counselor.
Having said that, an effective Christian/ Faith-based Counselor should be familiar and comfortable with the tenants and articles of faith of your belief system to decrease the possibility of countertransference.
Short answer, yes. And a slightly longer answer might be yes, and you should!
However, when times are hard and the light is difficult to see, sometimes the words on the page fall empty.
But, through speaking the words aloud with someone who is genuinely interested in what those words mean to you; through exploration with another individual who is passionate about such a profound exploration, new meaning can be found- or old meaning recovered.
Other times, it can be intimidating to approach such voluminous works as the Holy Bible, Quran, or Vedic texts (to name a couple) without a helping hand to guide the way.
In either case, religious and spiritual beliefs are profoundly personal.
Developing a personal connection to the articles of your faith will deepen their meaning as well as strengthen the foundation of your faith.
Being unsure of what you believe is a natural step in the procession of discovering what you DO believe.
With access to hundreds, thousands, of belief systems at our fingertips it can be exciting but also overwhelming.
A good counselor can provide a space to explore your doubts, questions, fears, and uncertainty without pressure or judgment.
Christian/ Faith-based counseling can be an effective way to re-connect to what is most meaningful to you.
In fact, that's what the word Religion means- from the Latin Re (again) and Ligio (connect) we get Religion or, re-connect.
Christian/ Faith-based Counseling offers you a space to question and interpret how and where you find yourself in the world.
It helps you navigate the profound questions of existence, meaning, and purpose in a safe and non-judgmental atmosphere.
Whether you feel confident in what you believe or are unsure, Christian/ Fatih Based Counseling can help you navigate what troubles the soul.
Christian/ Faith-based Counseling is a unique twist on the traditional counseling formula.
It is the pursuit of healing through the lens of your religious and spiritual beliefs.
Even if you aren't sure what your beliefs are (perhaps even especially) this approach can help you clarify what is truly meaningful in your life.
It can help you find purpose in the trials and tribulations that life has placed at your doorstep.
Most importantly, Christian/ Faith-based Counseling is about strengthening the foundation of your being so that you can bravely face, with support and encouragement, the most difficult challenges life has to offer.
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