Christian Counseling in Midland, Michigan
Answers from the Bible
What exactly is Christian Counseling?
Christian Counseling integrates methods with a Christian worldview by incorporating theological concepts according to the type of Christian counseling one prefers. All forms of Christian-based counseling will focus on the navigation of spiritual concerns and everyday life struggles.
Since most Americans identify themselves as having a religious affiliation, a large portion of which are Christian, it is important to have the opportunity to receive Christian Counseling. This article will discuss the various forms of Christian Counseling and how you can make an informed decision on which one is right for you.
Spirituality Can Improve Many Aspects of Your Life and Health
Benefits of Christian Counseling
Religion and spirituality are both associated with greater mental and physical well-being. It is very beneficial to engage in religious/spiritual practices and seek spiritual advisory for mental health challenges as well as additional life concerns.
Integrating religion into psychotherapy is correlated with more positive traits, such as gratitude and optimism, which are linked to less depressive feelings. Religion and spirituality are both associated with greater mental and physical well-being.
Overall, investing in spiritual growth adds great advantages to a person’s life, and a Christian counselor may aid in the development of spiritual well-being.
Christian counseling is effective for spiritual enrichment, strengthening one’s relationship with God, and overcoming or managing mental health issues like depression. It also helps individuals in enhancing positive traits and feeling a sense of purpose in life.
One study found that integrating a client's religion into therapy is just as (if not more) effective in treating depression than "secular treatments" for clients who have a designated faith.
Religion provides a set of beliefs that a therapist can use to help someone replace their own harmful thoughts. In this way, therapy centering on religion can help someone reduce their depressive thoughts and behaviors.
Clergy members can be effective in helping an individual manage depression or anxiety to an extent, but if symptoms persist or reach a certain severity, professional mental health treatment should be considered.
Things to Consider
Christian counseling can be a complex subject matter. It is important to be clear in your expectations of what you hope to receive from Christian counseling because some may have different ideas of what it is than others.
You should also keep in mind that not all therapists discuss religion in sessions. If you want to incorporate this type of counseling into psychotherapy, search for a Christian therapist and inquire about Christian counseling.
It’s possible that what you are looking for is in fact Bible or Pastoral counseling to receive a more theological approach. In this case your search would be geared towards a clergy leader or minister.
Decide Exactly What Type of Counseling You Have in Mind
Christian Counseling can have various subcategories, Clinical Christian Counseling, Neothetic Biblical Counseling, and Pastoral Counseling. You can see why it’s important to identify what kind of counseling you’re referring to.
Types of Christian Counseling
There are three main subcategories, Clinical Christian Psychotherapy, Nouthetic Biblical Counseling, and Pastoral Counseling. Each of these categories are different and offer varying contributions to one's life.
The first one I want to discuss is Clinical Christian Counseling. It is a very powerful way to receive emotional healing by integrating a Biblical worldview with clinical methods and therapies.
The second method is Pastoral Counseling. As The Women's Counselor, I aid spiritually oriented women who are seeking guidance for emotional, relational, social, or religious struggles. Pastoral counseling will offer insights on current as well as traditional topics and concerns which enhances the confidence and knowledge of anyone chosing this form of help.
The third method is Neouthetic Biblical Counseling. This method educates, addresses, and helps you sort out what the Bible has to say about life's questions. It points to finding answers for relationships, mental health, and everyday living.
All of these methods can be discussed during the first session and embedded into counseling accordingly.
Clinical Christian Counseling
Clinical Christian Counseling integrates psychotherapy with a Christian worldview. It incorporates psychological and theological approaches by using biblical concepts. This form of psychology may also include a focus on the subject of God’s grace in that God forgives sins and offers His love. As a therapist I am able to practice this form of Christian counseling due to my background and extensive training.
Techniques of Christian Counseling
Christian Counseling techniques will be similar to that of traditional therapy with the incorporation of Christian practices such as prayer and Bible reading.
Types of Approaches I Apply
Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)
Emotion Freedom Technique
Exposure Response Prevention
Rational Emotive Behavior (REBT)
Solution Focused Brief (SFBT)
Nouthetic Biblical Counseling
Nouthetic Biblical counseling uses the Bible as a guide rather than psychological theories.
It's foundational method is concern, approaching difficult topics, and making significant change all within the context of applying the Bible to one's life. The Bible is studied to connect the changes that God requires as well as to make the principles of Scripture understandable. Nouthetic Biblical Counseling also helps to connect Scripture to present world situations and then relate and apply it to your life. The Bible is used as a learning tool for studying theology while relating its mesage to everyday life. I can teach you how to use Bible study tools and how to destinguish the types of writing methods the Bible uses to understand the context and application of Scripture.
The end goal is to have each client self sufficient in the study and true application of Scripture. Additionally, Nouthetic Biblical Counseling is a very rich and meaningful method for emotional healing and closeness to God.
The Bible is known to be crafted by the Holy Spirit while using the pen of multiple authors throughout biblical times. It proclaims salvation and instructs lessons, warnings, blessings, relationships, wisdom living, and prophesy pertaining to God’s Will in a persons life and corporately.
Competent Pastoral Counseling is marked by those who have an earned master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling which involves theology, biblical integration, case conceptualization, qualitative empirical research, validated methods, and treatment planning for biblical and psychodynamically informed care.
As a counselor with an MA in Pastoral Counseling, I integrate psychotherapy and Christianity in the context of a counseling care ministry. The Bible is utilized to provide support for counseling issues. Scriptures may be referenced for affirmation, enlightment, warnings, consequences, encouragement and most importantly, as a way to connect to God.
As a Pastoral Counselor I can Apply the Following Counseling Methods
Adult Child Disappointment
Anger including Anger Toward God
Child's Medical Condition
Death of a Child
Death of a Spouse
Dependent Adult Child
Domestic Abuse &/Violence; emotional, physical, spiritual, or financial
Mental Illness in Fmaily
Sexual Abuse Victim
Sexual Orientation Conflict
Meditation is just another word for focusing your attention on what concerns you. In the case of Pastoral Counseling we focus on God's attributes and how He has worked in your life.
Meditation also targets destructive thinking that may distract from a person’s relationship with God. I often remind my client to have compassion on oneself and not sit as judge and jury for these thoughts but to acknowledge them and begin the process of understanding where or how the thoughts came in and how to remove them.
Christi-centered meditation can be added to mindfulness which is just another way of saying you're aware of what you're thinking and doing in real time. Consequently, the combination of Christ-centered meditation and in the present (mindfulness) moment with God, can help you feel a deeper connection with Him.
If you like, we may engage in words of prayer before and/or after Pastoral counseling. During prayer, we can ask God for a successful session, as well as invite Him to provide spiritual guidance. I can pray to encourage and uplift the you as well as help you feel the presence of God.
Prayer can be used as a healing and meditation method to communicate with God about burdensome circumstances (Matthew 11:28&29).
Prayer connects Believers to God in a profound way. Through prayer, a Believer is able to speak words of praise, gratitude, and humility to God as well as ask for protection, deliverance, and intervention for themselves and for others.
How to Get Started
If Christian counseling seems like something that you are interested,
here's what you can do to get started:
Decide Exactly What Type of Counseling You Have in Mind
Remember that Christian Counseling can have various subcategories, so it’s important to identify what kind of counseling you’re referring to. If it seems like Bible or Pastoral counseling is what you’ve been looking for, then contact a church or institution that can give you the right information.
Maybe you’re considering Christian counseling with a therapist. If so, search for a Christian psychologist. For those who already have a psychologist, discuss adding religion and spirituality into your sessions. If your therapist doesn’t do Christian counseling, they may be able to point you in the right direction of a therapist better suited for your needs.
Expect to Tap Into Spiritual and Emotional Subjects
Talking about these topics may feel awkward at first but will eventually be easier to open up about. You don’t ever have to share information you are not comfortable discussing. Your counselor will try to go at a pace best for you and they should always approach your feelings with patience and sensitivity.
Have an Idea of What You Hope to Gain From Counseling
Be prepared to express, in your first session, what you want out of your therapeutic experience to understand why you decided to begin counseling. I'll create the best plan for your sessions, and together, we can contribute to your progress.