What Makes Counseling, Christian?

Deb Toering, MA, LLPC, NCCby Deb Toering, LPC, NCC

Some may think Christian counseling consists of a counselor sharing a Bible verse and a prayer at the end of the session. It might look like this, but really it is so much more. The counselor must have an understanding of life from a Biblical perspective. Knowledge of God and His nature, and man in relation to Him, is foundational. Seeing problems and solutions from God’s viewpoint is what makes counseling Christian. The counselor’s role is not to offer simplistic answers such as, “ trust  more” or “ pray harder”, but to help clients  think Biblically; consistently encouraging clients toward a deeper relationship with God, an accurate understanding of themselves, and a more practical application of His Word to their lives.

Themes of forgiveness, grace, trust, holiness, obedience and prayer may weave their way through the tapestry of the counseling process.  The Bible has much to say about how we are to think, speak, and act as well as what our relationships should look like. The human heart longs for a secure identity, a meaningful purpose and a love that is unconditional. As human beings, we need to know we can be forgiven. A relationship with God through Jesus Christ provides all of this and so much more.

So often there is a disconnect between what we know is true and what we experience.  The disconnect is minimized through prayer and meditation on the Scriptures. A skilled Biblical counselor will help clients understand their core beliefs and then dismantle those that are faulty and replace them with the truth. Romans 12:2 tells us that our minds need to be transformed. True wisdom and insight is found in God’s word, not in human understanding or feelings. Our thoughts, feelings and behavior need to be examined in light of the Bible, which, for the Christian, is the ultimate source of truth and instruction (2 Timothy3:16-17). Depending upon human wisdom alone is risky business. The One who created us has provided a manual for us to live by; it is the truth that sheds light on all the dark places in our lives.  It is the truth that reveals the depth of God’s love and grace, and it is the truth that sets us free.  Human beings were designed to be in relationship with their Creator; however sin has gotten in the way. Jesus Christ is the Mediator between a holy God and sinful man. It is through acknowledging our sin and accepting Christ’s gift of salvation that we are born from above and given a new identity in Christ.

A Christian approach to counseling offers hope and meaning when there seems to be no hope or when life doesn’t make sense. No matter what challenges life brings, hope comes from knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39) and that in every circumstance He is working for good (Romans 8:28-29). The good is that we are becoming more like Christ.

Christian counseling is respectful, understanding, patient, kind, always seeking to see the best and always in prayer for wisdom and direction. It does not push but waits for the Holy Spirit to convict, reveal truth, direct and heal. Perhaps the greatest gift the counselor can give is to see the client though the eyes of Christ and continue to direct the client toward Him; the desired end being more and more dependence upon Christ.

Trinity Family Counseling Center
45445 Mound Rd, Suite 111 Shelby TwpMI48317 USA 
 • 586-254-3663

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