Maybe you’re working through trauma, grief, marriage conflict, depression, eating disorders, or other issues. Or maybe someone you know is struggling. Either way, finding a Christian counselor who has strong credentials and solid faith is critical when taking steps toward healing and wholeness.
Still, the number of therapists can seem overwhelming, especially when you don’t know who to trust and how to find the right fit. Or you might feel embarrassed to ask for help. You may worry about the cost or feel afraid that therapy won’t work.
That’s a lot to think about — and it’s more than we can cover here.
So we’ll start the discussion, and then we encourage you to read our entire article for full details: How to Find a Christian Counselor: Spiritual, Professional, and Practical Considerations.
Why consider Christian counseling
God designed human beings as physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual beings. But secular psychology doesn’t acknowledge a sovereign God who loves us and asks us to trust and obey His wisdom and authority. That’s why we strongly recommend that believers receive therapy only from practitioners who share their Christian faith.
How to find a Christian counselor
The therapist you choose should be trained, qualified, and highly skilled. And they should also be a match for you in terms of personality, temperament, values, and basic beliefs. But one size doesn’t fit all! So where do you start?
First, pray: Ask the Lord to help you make this important decision with wisdom and discernment.
Then, dig deeper:
- Ask a potential counselor if they are a Christian. How do they integrate biblical and psychological principles?
- Ask about their training and expertise. What are their degrees, licensures, and specializations?
- Ask how they define successful treatment. (No counselor can guarantee improvement. Still, it’s possible to set measurable therapeutic goals. And the message of the Gospel is that we can be a new creation in Christ.)
- Ask about how they approach therapy. Do they integrate the whole person: body, mind, and spirit? (This comprehensive method addresses behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and your relationship with Christ.)
- Ask about their fee and if their services are reimbursed by insurance.
- And after the first few sessions, ask yourself if you trust the counselor. Do they make you feel at ease? Do they listen to you instead of trying to categorize you into an assessment you’re not comfortable with?
How to know if counseling is working
Trained therapists can effectively help you sort through any issue that’s hurting you. You’ll know you’re on the right track if you’ve made measurable progress in the goals that you and your therapist set, and if the coping strategies you’ve learned offset personal distress and clinical symptoms.
Pain of any kind can be scary to deal with, and counseling isn’t a quick fix. But the process can be extremely valuable if you’re willing to be honest with yourself and your therapist — and do the hard work of facing and working through life’s problems.