Christian Counseling & Faith Based Therapy
WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN COUNSELING APPROACH?
Spiritual discussions are not rare in counseling rooms, especially if you consider them broadly. For example, someone might discuss the following: life meaning, values, life/death discussions, guilt/regret, right/wrong, ultimate purpose. A counselor is expected not to impose personal values or beliefs upon the patient they are treating, but often just opening the topic of meaning and values creates an environment in which the patient can search and explore topics not considered before. Yet when counselors get their training, they rarely have classes that tackle these spiritually-oriented topics. Some Clarity Centers psychotherapists intentionally selected graduate training programs that focus on Christian Counseling, on matters of faith. Such programs include Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University and the Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University. It is the spiritual search that is supported intensely by counselors at Clarity Centers who provide Christian counseling.
WHY CONSIDER CHRISTIAN COUNSELING?
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There are many descriptions for the type of counseling you may find if you are searching for Christian counseling: pastoral counseling, Christian psychology, faith-based therapy, spiritually-oriented counseling. Many of these terms are an attempt to describe something that can actually be quite hard to describe: the integration of faith with clinical psychotherapy. You must first consider how complicated each of those terms can be. There are many strongly held definitions of Christianity. Depending upon your search online, you could find 5, 7, or 10 “major denominations,” including Roman Catholic, various Orthodox churches, Lutheran, Anglican, Baptist, etc. There are core beliefs, however, that bring Christian denominations together around the primacy of Christian scripture, focus on Jesus, acknowledgement of the Trinity.
At Clarity Centers, those who practice Christian counseling are attempting to emphasize the core beliefs of the faith as much as possible. For this reason, many see the term “pastoral counseling” or even “faith-based” counseling to describe the openness they feel towards religious people wanting to integrate their spirituality into the work of improving their mental health. It is really quite rare to find a counselor that is open and respectful of spiritual, religious, and faith-based topics. This is why counselors at Clarity Centers are only hired if they can honor and support the spiritual side of their patients. There are also competing definitions of counseling. Some psychotherapists have strict ideas on counseling that it must be “evidence-based” and so often cognitive-behavioral (CBT) methods are supported. Other therapists emphasize the neuropsychological foundations of counseling, and use methods that provide support through empathy and body-based processing of emotions and thinking. At Clarity Centers, those who practice Christian counseling will use the specific modality of therapy from their training that gives them the maximum impact on client improvement. Psychodynamic, Interpersonal Neurobiology, CBT, mindfulness, family systems, hypnosis, and emotion processing, are therapy approaches we use as we integrate faith and therapy.
WHAT ISSUES DO CHRISTIAN COUNSELORS ADDRESS?
As a general rule, both Christian counseling and counseling share the same desire to help people overcome their problems, find meaning and joy in life, and become healthy and well-adjusted individuals, both mentally and emotionally. You may benefit from Christian counseling if you are experiencing the following issues:
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Anxiety that prevents you from completing everyday tasks
Insomnia or being unable to fall asleep and/or stay asleep all night long
Social isolation or avoiding spending time with friends and family
Substance abuse or addictions
Depression or feeling hopeless, helpless, and/or overwhelmed
Out-of-control, irrational anger
ADHD, or a lack of organization or reduced concentration.
Feeling disconnected to God, or to your religious community, or spiritual practices
Some of the counseling methods may be similar, but often the homework suggested in Christian counseling will relate to the person’s spiritual growth and development to promote their relationship with God and others.
BEGIN CHRISTIAN COUNSELING IN TOWSON
At Clarity Centers, our Christian counselors and staff can use the tools of psychology to help Christians find healing. Through counseling sessions, you will begin to understand more than what psychology alone can provide. The goal of Christian counselors is to use faith-based principles and psychological instruction to help people. If you are ready to begin counseling and are looking for someone who will support you on your faith journey, we are here to help. At our Towson, MD counseling clinic, we have several Christian counselors.
To begin call us at 410-853-7773, or 800-254-3926, or reach out to Clarity Centers through our website at [email protected] Check out our list of counselors to discover those who are able to provide Christian Counseling.