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Generally speaking, Christian counseling and secular counseling share the same desire: to help people overcome their life problems. Although Christian counselors use some of the same skills from secular psychology and counseling, they recognize that there are benefits for their clients in approaching counseling from a Christian perspective. Those benefits are:
- Effective Christian counselors meet clients where they are in life and accompany their clients through tough times in their lives.|
Effective Christian counselors respect clients by listening to their stories without judgment. They try to put themselves into the world of the client as he or she sees it. They seek to understand the needs of the client and address them in a way that helps clients to develop their own answers and plans to affect personal growth emotionally and spiritually. This non-judgmental listening includes honoring the beliefs and values of the client.
- Christian counseling recognizes a higher authority. While many counselors go to Freud, Jung and leaders in psychology to find authority, Christian counselors know that the inerrant word of God provides principles and the important spiritual foundation that can lead clients to enjoy the abundant life Jesus spoke of in scripture.
- Christian counseling accepts absolute truth. While some counselors encourage their clients to listen to the guidance of their hearts to have productive lives and do what they think is right, Christian counselors know the human heart can be deceitful. In Christian counseling, clients are encouraged to listen to the guiding principles and truth of God’s Word. At the same time, Christian counselors do not force clients to conform to the personal beliefs or faith of the counselor. They talk about spiritual issues and values only when it is therapeutically beneficial for the client. Christian counselors follow the example of God and Jesus who respect the free will and choices of the client in determining their life direction.
- Christian counseling has a higher goal. While secular counseling emphasizes self-fillment and happiness, Christian counseling focuses
more on helping clients to find joy and peace in life. Happiness and self-fillment are more dependent upon what happens outside the client. Most of us are happy when life around us is what we want. Joy and peace in life are more dependent upon what is happening inside the client and adapting a healthy attitude of being content with life whether it is what we wanted or not.
- Christian counseling offers real healing. Often secular counselors find themselves putting temporary “emotional band-aids” on gaping emotional and spiritual wounds. Christian counselors can often address deep spiritual needs and values in sessions helping their clients to experience long-lasting healing in their lives.
- Licensed Christian counselors are professionals who counsel clients from a Christian worldview without preaching to or judging clients. Christian counselors honor the individual client and his or her free will choices of a life direction.
The grief survival guide is also available in Spanish as “El Amor Nunica Muere: Aceptando el Dolor con Esperanza y Promesa” on Amazon.com.
Larry is a therapist seeing clients at 5th Street Family Counseling, 8641 5th Street, Suite W6, Frisco TX 75034.
FOR INFORMATION ON SCHEDULING COUNSELING SERVICES WITH LARRY BARBER Click here.