WELCOME TO CHRISTIAN COUNSELING

At the BlueDragonfly Center, Christian Counselling faith plays an important role in the healing process.

WHAT IS CHRISTIAN COUNSELING?

Christian counseling, also known as biblical counseling and Christian psychology, combines your faith with the principles of psychology to improve your mental health and relationships. More specifically, this therapy approach uses scripture and biblical teachings to help you deal with life’s challenges

The truth is, when you are in the midst of troubling life events like the death of a loved one or pet, the loss of a job, declining health, financial problems, and/or relationship issues, a strong and resilient faith may be just what is missing from your life.

The ultimate goal of Christian counseling is to help Christians identify behaviors that are inconsistent with God’s teachings, so they can become more accepting of God’s will – even when it’s not their will. Christian counselors believe that the bible is the ultimate guide on how people, especially Christians, should think and behave. In other words, they view this holy book as the one and only truth.

What you would like to know more about?

How Did Christian Counseling Begin?

The root of Christian counseling lies within biblical accounts. Jay E. Adams, the founder of the Biblical Counseling Movement, discussed this faith-based approach to treating mental health conditions, relationship/adjustment issues, trauma, emotional distress, abuse, addiction, etc., in his novel, Competent to Counsel.

This approach was quite controversial because it differed from the more popular therapy approaches of the time. But, by the late 1960s and 1970s, this new form of counseling took off only to later become one of the most popular therapy options for Christians, and those who want to include their faith in the therapy process.

In 1968, the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation was formed to provide present-day and future Christian counselors with guidelines on how to properly treat those seeking a faith-based therapy approach.It is important to keep in mind that counselors not only have to adhere to the fundamental values and beliefs of the Bible, but also follow the guidelines and ethical rules of the law, DSM-V, and the APA (American Psychological Association).

What Issues Do Christian Counselors Address Service?

The goal of Christian counselors is to use faith-based principles and psychological instruction to help people better manage and/or resolve any issues in their lives. More specifically, these mental health professionals not only assess, diagnose, and treat mental illnesses, they also teach clients coping skills, so they can better adjust to any changes that may occur in their lives.

How Did Christian Counseling Begin?

Anyone, who is experiencing psychological or health issues should seek Christian counseling. It is important to understand that Christian counseling does not center on one particular problem, concern, or mental illness, rather, the goal of this type of counseling is to address a broad range of personal, relationship, parent-child, social, and mental health issues. So, instead of seeking secular or non-religious counseling for these issues, Christian counseling uses your faith to help you resolve and heal from them.

Reasons why you should seek Christian counseling include:

Relationship, parent-child, or marital issues

Parenting guidanceMental illness or psychological distressGrief and loss

Poor goal-setting skills

Low self-esteem and self-confidence

Weak faith and/or a poor connection to

GodSubstance abuse or addiction

What Should I Expect from Christian Counseling?

Christian counseling pulls from a variety of counseling methods – one of which is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). One of the main differences between Christian counseling and some of the more secular counseling approaches is that Christian counselors use a wide range of materials, tools, resources, and psychological techniques, including prayer, scripture, affirmation, bible study, self-auditing or self-evaluation to help you combat your “demons” (problems).

Contrary to most secular counselors and therapists, Christian counselors do not believe that secular counseling approaches adequately cover the range of issues a person may be experiencing. As a result, these counselors combine your spiritual health with your mental health.

In other words, Christian counseling focuses on your spiritual health, personal relationship with God, and the belief that, with therapy, personal problems, mental health issues, and emotional distress can be replaced with increased self-worth and spiritual fulfillment.

Some of the things you should expect from Christian counseling include:
Prayer, scripture, and other supplementary materials during the session and as homework assignments

Family education & supportLearning how to cope with serious life events like death or illness

Learning how to make good judgment calls and decisions

Referrals to other specialists – i.e. psychiatrists, social workers, and/or physicians, if needed

Ceremonial preparations for couples who plan to get married and funeral services for families who have lost a loved one

What is Spiritual Health?

The truth is, spirituality goes beyond your religious beliefs. In fact, it involves a deep connection to a Higher Power – with the understanding that something bigger and better than yourself exists – something that is influencing and/or controlling what is happening on Earth.

It is important to understand that you don’t have to belong to a religious affiliation to be spiritual. In fact, you can be agnostic (believing in a Higher Power, but not necessarily God) and still be spiritual. How is that? Well, it’s your faith, morals, values, and principles that define your spirituality.

Spiritual health is often characterized by the following:

A capacity to love others and the ability to accept love from others

Forgiveness

A commitment to community service

Personal satisfaction

Empathy

Ability to care for others – without expecting something back in return

An ability to experience happiness & spread joy

The ability to perform self-care

The ability to self-reflect or recognize how “sinful acts” play a role in your thought processes and behaviors

The importance of providing services to others

As part of a person’s spiritual journey, he/she will inevitably experience challenges and hardships along the way.

This is a universal experience; no one is immune to life’s difficult times.

When a person is in sync with his/her spiritual health, he/she is open to receiving guidance from his/her faith – guidance that helps him/her to handle tough situations with love, empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and self-acceptance.

Who Can Practice Christian Counseling?

Psychologists of any specialty, counselors, pastors, reverends, religious leaders, clinical social workers, etc. can practice Christian counseling, however, they must have a master’s degree or Ph.D. in counseling, psychology, Christian counseling, or another mental health discipline in order to treat people. They must also be licensed to practice or provide counseling to clients.

However, an individual, who would like to provide Christian counseling to others, but only has a bachelor degree may still be able to practice by graduating from a Christian counseling certificate program. This program teaches future Christian counselors how to properly use the basic principles of the Bible in the counseling sessions, the importance of family therapy, and how to help clients get the maximum benefit out of rehabilitative counseling.

What Are Some Goals of Christian Counseling?

Conquering Marital Problems

Christian counseling places a great deal of value on the sacrament of marriage. When a couple enters a marriage, they are making a commitment to love and honor one another for life. In the Christian faith, divorce is not seen as an option, so couples are encouraged to work through any problems together in marital counseling, rather than giving up on their marriages.

The truth is, many problems can occur in a marriage. These problems can, in effect, have a serious impact on the relationship. Some common marital issues include infidelity, communication problems, loss of intimacy, addiction, and conflicts. Therefore, the purpose of Christian counseling is to help couples repair their damaged relationships.

Coping with Parenting Challenges

While gratifying, raising children is not easy. As a parent, you will experience many ups-and-downs, joys, and frustrations – that’s normal. In fact, there may be times when raising your child is extremely challenging, which is where a Christian counselor can come into play.

He/she can guide you on your parenting journey. However, if your parenting challenges are more in-depth or severe like mental illness, physical ailments, learning disabilities, bullying, eating disorders, and/or developmental challenges, you may be referred to a therapist or psychiatrist. Christian counseling can also be very beneficial when you are unable to identify what your child needs or if you become overwhelmed by the responsibilities that accompany parenting. These counselors can teach you techniques that will help you deal with parenting pressures.

Support For Mental Health Conditions

Having a mental illness is hard enough without having to deal with it alone. Counseling helps those with mental illnesses by providing them with support and an outlet to express their feelings.

It is important to understand that people who suffer from mental illnesses – i.e. depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, often have lower self-esteem and self-acceptance, than those without mental illnesses. With Christian counseling, you learn how to accept that you are a Child of God – just like everyone else. It is this understanding that provides you with some much-needed comfort and solace when you need it the most.

Recovering From Grief & Loss
The death of a loved one is heartbreaking, and the grieving period can seem never-ending. But, for many, this is the time they lean most heavily on their faith to help them get through this taxing time. However, sometimes the grief is just too deep to find the Light of God.

Sometimes the surviving loved one becomes “stuck” in a phase, during the grieving process – a stage that feels impossible to move past. In these cases, Christian counseling helps the bereaved accept the loss, remember and honor the loved one, accept reality, and heal from the pain.

Healing From Substance Abuse & Addiction
Seeking help for addiction requires courage. But, admitting that you have a problem with drugs, alcohol, and/or gambling is often the first step in receiving the help you need to turn your life around. Once you admit that you need help, a Christian counselor can provide you with the support you need to kick your “habit.” Moreover, Christian counseling can help you unearth deeper issues that could be contributing to your addiction like childhood trauma, sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, and/or low self-esteem.

During Christian counseling sessions, you learn just how important and valuable you are in the Eyes of God. You also learn that you have the strength to overcome your addiction. Furthermore, Christian counselors teach you techniques that can help you turn towards your faith, instead of illegal substances or destructive behaviors, when life becomes overwhelming or unbearable.

Strengthening Your Faith & Improving Your Relationship with God

In today’s fast-paced, materialistic world, it’s easy to lose sight of your faith and become “caught up” in the daily pressures of life. With all of these stressors, your faith can get pushed to the side. However, it is during these high-pressured times that you need your faith more than ever.

Christian counselors understand these challenges and are able to help you reconnect with God and your faith. Moreover, they can teach you practical tools that you can use when you lose touch with your faith and become lost.

Will Christian Counseling Benefit Me?

Christian counseling may be most beneficial for Christians and those who have a strong faith or spirituality – although you don’t have to be religious or spiritual to benefit from this therapeutic counseling approach. In fact, anyone – religious or non-religious can partake in Christian counseling. If you struggle with grief and/or relationship problems, and can no longer cope with these issues alone, Christian counseling will most likely benefit you.

In addition, if you have a strong faith and belief in God, this type of therapy will most likely benefit you because it centers on biblical teachings. The hope is that by sharpening your knowledge of the Bible, strengthening your connection with God, and understanding God’s commandments, you will be able to turn your life around and conquer your problems.

You may benefit from Christian counseling if you are experiencing the following issues:

Anxiety that prevents you from completing everyday tasks

Panic attacks

Insomnia or being unable to fall asleep and/or stay asleep all night long

Social isolation or avoiding spending time with friends and family

Sudden extreme weight loss or weight gain

Feeling hopeless, helpless, and/or overwhelmed, or feeling unable to manage your problems on your own

Out-of-control, irrational anger

A loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy

Feeling disconnected to your faith or God

What Happens During a Christian Counseling Session?

During the initial sessions, your Christian counselor will try to get a “feel” of who you are through structured intakes (interviews) and detailed conversations. Then, he/she will observe you, while you tell him/her about your problem(s) and how those problems make you “feel.”

Next, your counselor may ask you what you would like to accomplish by the time you complete the therapy process. After that, you and your counselor will discuss your goals and develop steps to help you achieve them. And, lastly, you will either verbally agree to commit yourself 100% to the therapy process or you will sign a document affirming your commitment to treatment.

After the first couple of sessions, you’ll be ready to jump right into therapy. During the later sessions, you will be assigned biblical homework and tasks, and you will discuss the results in the next session. You will also have biblical passages to read at night – ones that will strengthen your faith in God and His plan.

The counselor will use these passages to help you see the error of your ways. In other words, he/she will use the bible to show you how your behavior and thought processes are inconsistent and incompatible with biblical teachings. Christian counselors believe that for people to truly heal from trauma, psychological distress, mental illness, etc. they must turn to the bible.

They also believe that in many cases, mental health conditions stem from “sinful acts” or acts that go against God’s teachings. When people commit these “sinful acts,” it causes them to experience turmoil and mental anguish. Therefore, the only way to ease emotional distress is to reaffirm one’s commitment to God – and remove sin from his/her life.

What Should I Look for in a Christian Counselor?

Anyone, who is experiencing psychological or health issues should seek Christian counseling. It is important to understand that Christian counseling does not center on one particular problem, concern, or mental illness, rather, the goal of this type of counseling is to address a broad range of personal, relationship, parent-child, social, and mental health issues. So, instead of seeking secular or non-religious counseling for these issues, Christian counseling uses your faith to help you resolve and heal from them.

Reasons why you should seek Christian counseling include:

Relationship, parent-child, or marital issues

Parenting guidance

Mental illness or psychological distress

Grief and lossPoor goal-setting skills

Low self-esteem and self-confidence

Weak faith and/or a poor connection to

GodSubstance abuse or addiction