There is nothing that makes counseling necessarily “Christian” unless Christ is at the center of what is offered in therapy itself. Differentiating Christian counseling from secular therapy is better defined as the Christian man or women that work independently within the professional role as counselor that integrates clinically sound or “best practices” with a biblical perspective. This integrated approach is acceptable as long as the method of counseling does not oppose what God teaches from His inspired Word.
Counseling from God’s perspective is crucial because of the premise, if true says that if God created us, He then knows what is best for us, better than we know ourselves. Based on this presupposition, that if determined to be true; we then can conclude that God can solve many of our emotional, spiritual, physical and psychological problems. God is not only a God of history but also a God that helps us with contemporary issues or problems.
Disease and human suffering is a fact of life that seems to favor some people more than others. But as the expression goes, everybody has problems. The question remains as to when ever we have problems that we can’t resolve ourselves where or who do we turn to for help. Another question is who do we want to see that depends on the client’s presenting problems, do I need to see a specialist or personal preference. For another person, perhaps more importantly is the question pertaining to the value system that exceeds the common ethics prescribed by the state in which the therapist if licensed. Counselors who prescribe to the Christian, faith based or biblical values would naturally be of the highest standards. Actually the standards of a therapist who is also a Christian would be expected to exceed the standards of any state board.
Perhaps more than ever before, people are undergoing tremendous changes and stress in their lives including those that have been diagnosed with serious psychiatric and emotional problems. There are few exceptions where people are not either willing to bring up or open to include in their therapy the topic of faith. Coming from a Christian therapist, it seems unwise to not include a Godly perspective. For most, God seems to be the last ob their list of helping professionals even though they find themselves at the end of their ropes. And even when the situation becomes unbearable, we leave God out saying that God has no relevance in helping us with such emotional, psychological or even spiritual problems. Many of those I visit with ask why God does not intervene or prevent their suffering even when our suffering is self-induced or purely circumstantial. God has the answer. God can use our suffering for a dual purpose which includes a benefit for Him and also for our sake.
People continue to search for ways to solve their personal problems in order to find the highly prized commodity of peace in their lives that includes a deeper sense of personal meaning and purpose. The problems that Christian counselors deal with is often the same as a secular therapist but the Christian counselor is better equipped in helping those with problems such as spiritual identity and direction, church involvement and fellowship and emotional forms of self-deception, shame or negative cognitions.
The following are suppositions that make God an appropriate resource in helping us with our problems.
- Premise # 1: God is who He says He is.
- Premise # 2: God is God and God is good.
- Premise # 3: The Bible is the inspired Word of God.
- Premise # 3: God’s Word is totally sufficient to resolve contemporary problems.
Other reasonable explanations to accept a God driven perspective in therapy.
- God gives hope to the hopeless.
- God is always available to us day or night.
- God provides an explanation for the purpose behind our suffering.
- God gives life and a life filled with abundance.
- God provides us with answers to persistent and perplexing problems.
- God is always correct and human beings are often not.
- God is conclusive in defining what makes a person healthy.