What Does That Mean to Me?
I have always known in my heart that one day I would sit with fellow believers and ask God to lead me to be the counselor He wanted me to be. Since graduate school I have been practicing what we call “Evidence Based Treatment Modalities”. These types of therapies have several positive qualities and have helped many people cope and heal in different ways. You may have heard of therapy acronyms: EMDR, CBT, TFCBT, DBT, CPT, and the list goes on. Many humans have dedicated their professional lives to study the validity of these modalities. I am thankful that God created science and research, and I do not discredit the work of my fellow mental health practitioners. In fact, I am grateful for the research and time they have spent finding ways to help people heal and grow. I feel the Lord has called me to take what I have learned and go an extra step…. He wants me to invite Him into the counseling sessions.
For believers, I feel healing and advancement can come from the Lord. Through a deep and intimate relationship with Christ a person is able to discover freedom from pain and bondage. This type of spirituality is not measurable, and it is very unique to each person practicing Christian faith. I did not attend a Bible college for my counseling degree; God took me down a different path for my education. However, I’ve had a personal relationship with Christ since I was very young. I can’t say I have a cookie cutter way of doing Christian Counseling. For me, I ask the Holy Spirit to speak to me in the therapy sessions and show me how he would like me to help my clients. I don’t preach to my clients, rather I collaborate with them and we process together what we think the Lord is trying to show them. Sometimes I feel the Lord asking me to pray with my clients, and with their permission, we pray together. If there is a scripture or quote that I think the Lord wants my clients to hear I will share it with them. You see, for me, it is a divine process where the Lord is the expert and I am His helper. Christian Counseling offers a spiritual connection with the therapist, and through their common beliefs the therapeutic relationship is grounded in Biblical philosophy and truth.
I know I have a lot more to learn about how to practice Christian Counseling, and I am asking God to show me where he wants me to get additional training. I am excited that I have the freedom to practice counseling the way He wants me to, and in time I will grow and develop stronger therapeutic skills. I will never forget the “Evidenced Based Modalities” I have learned throughout my career; I will gladly blend them with my faith based skills. However, it is my goal moving forward to become molded into His HELPER in order to do Colossians 1:28
“I proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that I may present every man complete in Christ.“ (Orginal verse uses the word “We” instead of “I”)
*** Please note, I do not impose or force my faith on any client. I am happy to see people of other spiritual backgrounds. I present a non-judgment environment where anyone can come and seek counseling if it is within my scope of expertise. I want all my clients, regardless of their spiritual beliefs, to feel comfortable and safe when they enter my therapeutic space.***