Seeking Refuge Through Counseling

How to Have a Successful Christian-Based Counseling Experience

No one has all the answers. Sometimes, when troubles arise, people must seek answers outside of themselves. Counseling is a collaborative process that can help people find the answers they seek. Good counselors have the expertise and spiritual strength to guide the people they counsel through tough problems. However, people must be open-minded and willing to make an effort. These are four things that patients can do to ensure success for their Christian-based counseling experience:

1. Choose the type of counselor you'd like to see.

There is no standard set of qualifications that makes someone a good Christian counselor. Some Christian counselors are medical professionals, such as psychologists or psychiatrists. Others are licensed family therapy providers. Some Christian counselors are clergy members, such as pastors or priests. Each counselor has their own strengths and foundation of knowledge. The type of counselor you choose will depend strongly on your preferences and goals. For instance, some people prefer to speak to spiritual leaders about their struggles, while others would rather receive counseling from mental health specialists.

2. Discuss your therapy goals.

Goal-based therapy can bring about measurable results. Setting goals at the beginning of your counseling journey will force you to think about what you want out of the experience. No goal is more or less correct than any other. You may want to achieve growth in your personal, professional, or faith life. You may want to resolve family conflict in a Christian manner, or you may simply want to treat your mental health issues. You should make an effort to talk about all of your goals with your counselor.

3. Be open about your faith journey.

The Christian life is an ongoing effort to follow in Jesus' footsteps. Not everyone is in the same place, spiritually speaking. Some people are newer to the Christian faith and may have some doubts about the basic tenets of Christianity. Others have been following Christ for many years. Knowing where you are in your walk with Jesus can help Christian counselors give you helpful, sound advice. You should strive to be as open and communicative about your faith journey as you are with other parts of your daily struggles.

4. Follow your counselor's suggestions when you're not in session.

Christian-based counselors may give you homework to complete between counseling sessions. These assignments may include things like praying about your problems, reading relevant passages of Scripture, and practicing gratitude throughout your day. It's important to follow all of your counselor's suggestions so you can get the most benefit out of your counseling experience.

Keep these tips in mind when looking for a Christain based counselor, such as one from East Texas Counseling Group, LLC. A Christain based counselor may be able to help you better find the relief you are looking for.