On your search for a Christian therapist, you need to identify what are the critical characteristics that you want your Christian therapist to have. For instance, let’s analyze the emotion of sadness. There is a vast difference between grief and clinical depression. If you feel that you go through many waves of depression that don’t seem reasonable, it’s possible that you may have clinical depression. But how would you know if it extends beyond the scope of normal sadness? Only a professional counselor with both theological knowledge and a clinical psychological background will be able to identify the patterns demonstrated by an individual that has clinical depression.
A Christian therapist that has both theological and has a clinical psychological background is a powerhouse of wisdom. Because not only do they possess a faith-based worldview, but also have clinical knowledge of human behavior. When discernment and scientific intelligence meet, God can do mighty things.
Is this important to you? If so, then this will be a critical characteristic that will need to be present in your Christian therapist. The following are the characteristics to look for in your search for a Christian therapist.
Doctrine. Meet with the therapist and ask questions that will help you get a glimpse of their biblical doctrine. Probe and ask questions that will help you get an understanding of their Christian worldview on life — questions to big-ticket items such as the following.
What is your advice would you give to a wife that is suffering physical abuse?
What would you advise a woman you became pregnant to consider abortion?
Would you deny counsel an individual with same-sex interests?
Although these questions are incredibly controversial, the answer to these questions will provide insight whether their advice contains biblical approach. It also gives insight into their love factor for others. Why? Because a true Christian that understands the gospel will not withhold counsel from people with same-sex interests or people considering abortion. Not because one stands in agreement with their lifestyle or contemplations but to provide Godly advice and wisdom to help them develop a relationship with God.
As believers we are ambassadors of God’s love. Love that does not condemn but instead welcomes all flawed individuals, presenting an opportunity for redemption, healing, and covenant. A chance to enter a relationship where love abounds.
God-centered conversations are essential to engage in throughout biblical counseling. Does your Christian therapist have a God-centered conversation? Does the advice that is provided to you contain biblical principles? This is important to notice when you’re looking for a Christian therapist. If all counseling is void of God and your spiritual development process, then it isn’t grounded in a Christian worldview. For as Christians we believe that hope, healing, and restoration is anchored in Jesus.
Other questions to ask and keep in mind as your search for a Christian therapist are the following.
What is your approach to Christian therapy?
What are your credentials?
What is your specialization?
Do you currently receive Christian counseling or in the past?
Are you an integrationist?
How do you integrate biblical principles into counseling sessions?
Do you have clinical knowledge?
Does your counseling approach include support in prayer?
For a Christian therapist to have clinical knowledge must not be confused with secular therapists. Christian therapists that are clinically informed means that they have delved into the study of human behavior. This background can help us understand how we function and the reason underneath our behavioral patterns.
It’s crucial to find a Christian therapist that honors God through counseling. Someone that understands the role of psychology in biblical counseling can help you grow and lead you toward healing in Jesus Christ. Wise counsel will lead to success. Proverbs 11:14, “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.”
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