Many times, it is difficult to find or understand what Christian counseling provides. It is the hope of ICW to share the basics of ethical Christian counseling on this page. As a precursor, within ethical Christian counseling, each person is respected and shown dignity. Each person has the option of what therapeutic model is best for them. If an individual chooses to begin their therapeutic journey and does not want faith-based counseling, professional therapy will be provided without any religious pressures. This includes any possible religious affiliations of the therapist. The focus of therapy is each client’s personal and specific needs.
In receiving Christian counseling, the baseline of thought is determined by Scripture. At Integrated Counseling and Wellness, the perspectives taken is either the Integrationists or Christian Psychology. Both are Scripture specific, not denomination specific, and licensed professional models. Therefore, the points addressed will fall on a continuum between these two models.
In the Christian worldview, the traditional psychological theories and models that are based upon naturalism are insufficient, yet not all of secular psychology is wrong. Indeed, there are many helpful and positive aspects of psychology to consider, which is why there is a strong need for integration. Faith and use of Scripture and the Gospel are perhaps the most prevalent differences between the secular and Christian psychology worlds.
Not only is each person seen as needing Jesus Christ or further growth in their relationship with Jesus, but an understanding of mental illness and disorders is also based upon a Gospel-oriented worldview. Therapeutic practices utilize truths from Scripture in the healing process of clients and glorify Jesus. Therefore, sessions can include psychological interventions, counsel, spiritual clarity, and prayer.
A biopsychosocial model of human nature provides a clear framework for understanding and helping clients. The intricacies of the human brain, the environmental influences on our personality, the social, and cultural impact on our lives are clear factors seen in Scripture and psychology. On the other hand, as a Christian, there is an acknowledgment that all humans are inherently separated from God. This separation causes disruption, sin, suffering, and death. Positively, we serve a loving and just God that provides a way out of our depraved state through Jesus Christ. He longs for all to seek Him and His promise of eternity. In a Christian mental health perspective, a biopsychosocial-spiritual model is used and considers dignity, uniqueness, and depravity as humans.
I have experienced incredible growth with the help of my counselor here. Best counseling I have ever had!
I look forward to each appointment and know that I will be treated with the utmost care, respect, and professionalism. I highly recommend this facility to others.
I've seen a dramatic change in my life since beginning my treatment at Integrated Counseling, and I will be forever grateful for my time there.
In regard to methods and techniques, research and personal testimonies reveal that psychological interventions are successful in the reduction of symptoms. Many successful interventions are research-based and viewed as God’s truth about humanity that is discovered by man. This can be seen in the same viewpoint as the sciences, man discovering what God created and how life operates in the environment. However, the independent use of these secular techniques falls short because they work on the symptoms while there is continued bondage to sin. The end result does not provide dependence on the Lord, salvation, or sanctification. Therefore, the Gospel is not removed from therapy and proven techniques are utilized for the betterment of each person.
It would be a detriment to deny research for many reasons. Research has provided great insight into mental illness. As critically-minded Christian counselors, research-based approaches are evaluated and ensured no theory is placed over or equal to the Scriptures. Comprehending the biological, social, and psychological underpinnings of mental illness is important and creates great compassion for clients. The more knowledge obtained the more service to each individual is provided. Though, when contradiction occurs, application and adherence to the theory or approach are not followed in sessions or teachings.
Most therapists will have ample opportunities to make differences, exalt Jesus, and create changes within the context of their therapeutic relationships. In this perspective, it does not stop in the sessions. Christians are called to seek opportunities to positively affect people, communities, schools, coworkers, institutions, research, and the world. Scripture states, “so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you” (Colossians 3:12-13). A philosophy of compassion and forgiveness, rather than pride and judgment, is part of the core of a faith-based perspective.