by Laura Morgan
Is your marriage suffering? Can you and your spouse communicate as a healthy couple during a crises or argument? Are you religious? Has the thought of counseling entered your mind lately? These are the questions Christian counselors ask the people who come to see them.
If you're thinking about becoming one of the Christian counselors of today... If you’re entering into this field to become one of the fellow Christian Counselors simply because you’re a Christian and your friends and family your entire life said your good at giving advice, then please know the heart of Christian counselors may stem from this, but that is where the similarities begin. It comes from within - your need to counsel others and help them along in their paths to live right by God, and live in a Godly fashion.
Who Needs It? The Importance of Counseling…
The importance of having Christian Counselors in the world today is rising. Gone are the days when counseling is just for “the mentally ill.” In spite of lame jokes and a dying, but lingering, stigma sometimes attached to counseling, many individuals and families are seeking professional help to deal with the trauma of life in a world going bad.
Why is it so important to have Christian counselors among us? Think about it, this world we live in is becoming more accepting of sex, lack of morals, divorce at the drop of a hat… (who cares if you brought a child into this world, mom and dad want a divorce because they can’t get along anymore) Did those couples try to work it out? Did they seek guidance from a counselor who will help them to stay together? Our world is messed up - - BIGTIME! This world is getting further and further away from the Lord. We are to accepting of the corruption and easy way out of practically everything these days. Our children are growing up faster and younger than ever before.
- Christian counselors can contribute to making a difference in another marriage lasting 20 years.
- Christian counselors help aid in bring a family torn apart by infidelity and addictions closer together as they weather the storm of a family problem.
- Christian counselors use the word of God to help those who are seeking answers within the word to find comfort, or to help comfort others.
- Christian counselors play an important role in so many ways; I could simply never finish listing the reasons here if I tried. They do good, they are good, and they are very much needed.
What is the difference between pastoral counselors and Christian counselors?
Pastoral counselors are an ordained person with specialized training in psychotherapy, such as a D.Min degree in pastoral counseling or a master’s degree in counseling. The pastoral counselor usually has formal theological education (M.Div degree) so that he/she can think about counseling issues both theologically and psychotherapeutically and can make a pastoral diagnosis as well as a psychotherapy diagnosis. The integration of theory and practice by a pastoral counselor utilizes both the discipline of theology and a specific discipline of psychotherapy, such as family systems, psychology, or social work.
Christian counselors are usually a layperson who is a born-again Christian and who has a degree in psychotherapy. Christian counselors, who is competent, has training in a psychotherapy discipline, such as social work, psychology, counseling psychology, marriage and family therapy, psychiatric nursing, etc. It is Evangelical Christians who coined the name “Christian Counselors.” The concern is that the counselor has a similar faith experience with the counselee. Most “Christian Counselors” do not have formal theological education. They attempt to integrate their therapy practice with their Christian faith and are likely to define behavior of people as clearly Christian or not Christian.