What you should know about Christian counseling (2023)

What is Christian Pastoral Care?

Christian Counseling

Christian counseling is a type of therapy that integrates traditional methods of talk therapy with Christian faith practices by incorporating theological concepts.It focuses on navigating spiritual concerns and everyday life struggles that Christians encounter.

A person may choose to seek Christian counseling when seeking spiritual guidance. This form of pastoral care can be seen as valuable for those already of the Christian faith hoping to receive further guidance, as well as for those seeking a better understanding of the religion itself.

Christian counseling can be embedded in the usual sessions with atherapistor psychologists when this agreement has been discussed with the client and the psychologist. It can also be administered by a spiritual leader such as a pastor, minister, priest, etc.

Religious counseling has been provided by spiritual advisors for centuries, but has only recently been introduced into psychotherapy. Ironically, the history of psychology actually began with theology. Because most Americans identify as religious followers, a large proportion of whom are Christian, having the opportunity to receive Christian counseling is important.

Types of Christian Pastoral Care

While there are not necessarily any one type of Christian ministry, there are several subcategories into which Christian ministry can be incorporated, such as: B. Psychotherapy, Christian Psychology, Biblical Counseling and Counseling. Each of these categories is very different and offers different contributions to a person's life.

Christian counseling with psychotherapy

It is possible forpsychotherapyinclude Christian pastoral care. A psychologist or therapist may practice some form of Christian counseling if they have sufficient experience to provide spiritual counsel.

Some therapists may see spirituality and religion as important issues to discuss with clients, but some still hesitate to cross that boundary. The decision to include religion in the sessions must be made by both the client and the therapist.

Christian Psychology

Christian psychology usually involves therapy sessions with a Christian psychologist. These psychologists are also known as integrationists because they try to integrate Christianity into psychology.

Christian psychology includes bothpsychological theoriesand theological approaches to talk therapy through the use of biblical concepts with psychotherapeutic practices.

(Video) Biblical Counseling vs. Christian Counseling: What’s the Difference?

This form of psychology can also include a focus on the theme of God's grace in that God forgives sins and offers His love.

Bible counseling

Biblical counseling uses the Bible as a guide for counseling individuals, as opposed to psychological theories.The contents of the Bible are examined as an example of virtuous deeds.

Counselors seek to connect their meaning to the contemporary world and to personally relate their content to a person's life. This form of Christian pastoral care is more likely to be practiced in Protestant denominations within a religious framework or theological institution.

Pastoral Counseling

Pastoral care is counseling conducted either by a pastor or by someone who has received a degree in pastoral and pastoral care.This is comparable topsychotherapybut takes place within a religious institution and focuses more on spirituality while also integrating psychology.

Although biblical pastoral care is related only to Protestantism, pastoral care is more diverse and a common practice throughout Christianity.

Techniques of Christian Counseling

The techniques of Christian counseling are similar to those of traditional therapy with the inclusion of Christian faith practices such as prayer and Bible reading:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)could participate in Christian counseling with a therapist. This type of CBT is called Religious Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (RCBT), which helps an individual process irrational thoughts related to religious matters, such as feelings of guilt or religious doubts.

In the RCBT, religious concepts are used to enable healthier thinking and acting. The client is encouraged to use their religious beliefs to transform depressed feelings into a more positive worldview. RCBT can also help you understand your faith. It coincides with the idea that virtues such as hope, meaning,optimismAndPurpose.


Meditationcan be a powerful strategy taught during counseling to help focus one's attention on the grace of God and how He has blessed their lives.

It can also be combined withmindfulnessTechniques that teach to be more in the present moment with God and to feel a deeper connection with Him.

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Meditation also targets destructive thinking that can distract from a person's relationship with God. Therapists often remind the client not to judge themselves for these thoughts, but to acknowledge them and start the process of understanding the thoughts a little further.


Spiritual leaders may engage in prayer before and/or after a Bible study or counseling session. During prayer, they can ask God for a successful session and invite Him to provide spiritual guidance.

Prayer is also used as a healing technique and meditation method that Christians believe allows them to communicate with God about distressing circumstances. Prayer is a very sacred practice for those within the Christian faith that essentially connects believers to God.

Through prayer a person is able to speak words of praise,gratitudeand humility towards God, but also ask for protection, deliverance and intervention in their lives and the lives of others. Counselors offering pastoral care can participate in prayer to encourage and uplift the client and help them feel the presence of God.


The Bible is used during Bible ministry as a learning tool for the study of theology while relating its stories and philosophies to daily life.

It can also be used in other Christian counseling sessions as additional support for what is being discussed and worked through in counseling. Scriptures or chapters in the Bible can be referred to clients as words of affirmation of encouragement. Christians also use the Bible to connect with God as it is seen as a guide he left for believers.

The Bible is known to be a book created by God from collections of letters and books written by several authors during biblical times. It teaches lessons about God's will and uplifting messages.

Fear may play a role in the formation of religious beliefs, a study shows

Christian counseling can help

Christian counseling can be helpful in addressing conditions and life issues such as those listed below:

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  • spirituality
  • Self-esteem
  • Emphasize
  • Chronic illness
  • Depression
  • Angst
  • Wut
  • grief
  • Relationships
  • Marriage
  • divorce
  • Domestic Violence

If you or a family member have been the victim of domestic violence, contact theNational Domestic Violence Hotlineat1-800-799-7233for confidential support from trained lawyers.

For more mental health resources, visit ourNational Helpline Database.

Benefits of Christian Counseling

ReligionAndspiritualityare both associated with greater mental and physical well-being. It is very beneficial to engage in religious/spiritual practices and to seek spiritual guidance for mental health issues as well as additional life issues.

Integrating religion into psychotherapy correlates with more positive traits, such as gratitude and optimism, which are associated with less depressed feelings. Religion and spirituality are both associated with greater mental and physical well-being.

Overall, investing in spiritual growth adds great benefits to a person's life, and a Christian counselor can assist in the development of spiritual well-being.


Christian counseling is effective for spiritual enrichment, strengthening one's relationship with God, and overcoming or managing mental health problems such as depression.It also helps individuals enhance positive traits and feel a purpose in life.

One study found that incorporating a client's religion into therapy is just as (if not more) effective in treating depression than "secular treatments" for clients who have a particular belief.

Religion offers a set of beliefs that a therapist can use to help someone replace their own harmful thoughts. This is how religion-focused therapy can help someone reduce their depressive thoughts and behaviors.

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To some extent, clergy can help a person cope with depression or anxiety, but if symptoms persist or reach a certain level of severity, professional mental health treatment should be considered.

things to consider

Christian counseling can be a complex subject. It is important to be clear in your expectations of what you want from Christian counseling, as some may have different ideas about it than others.

You should also keep in mind that not all therapists talk about religion in sessions. If you are interested in incorporating this type of counseling into psychotherapy, seek out a Christian therapist and inquire about Christian counseling.

It is possible that you are actually looking for Bible or pastoral care to get a theological approach. In this case your search would be directed towards a clergyman or clergyman.

how to start

If you're interested in Christian counseling, here's what you can do to get started:

Decide exactly what type of counseling you have in mind

Keep in mind that Christian counseling can have different subcategories, so it's important to identify what type of counseling you're referring to. If it seems like you have been looking for Bible or spiritual counseling, contact a church or institution that may have the right information for you.

Perhaps you are considering Christian counseling with a therapist. If so, look for a Christian psychologist. For those who already have a psychologist, discuss incorporating religion and spirituality into your sessions. If your therapist is not conducting Christian counseling, they may be able to point you in the right direction to a therapist better suited to your needs.

Find a counselor or therapist

If you do not currently have a therapist and would like to find one that includes Christian counseling. You can search the internet foronlineor individual therapy. Contact your GP or other healthcare professional, or contact yourInsuranceto find specific therapists in your network.

Expect to explore spiritual and emotional themes

Talking about these topics may feel awkward at first, but will eventually open up more easily. You must never share information that you are not comfortable with. Your advisor will try to find the pace that works best for you and should always be patient and sensitive to your feelings.

Do you have an idea of ​​what you hope to get from the consultation?

Be prepared to possibly be asked during your stayfirst sessionwhat you expect from your therapeutic experience. The counselor will create the best plan for your sessions, but they need to understand a little bit why you decided to start counseling. Together you can both contribute to your progress.

(Video) 3 Signs God May Want You to Get Christian Counseling

What is spirituality?


What are the basic principles of Christian Counselling? ›

Five Principles of Effective Biblical Counseling
  • Keep your counseling public. That does not mean always in an open-air place where anyone can walk up and interrupt the conversation or not keeping confidentiality in counseling sessions. ...
  • Know your limits. ...
  • Listen. ...
  • Point to the scripture. ...
  • Pray.
Jul 22, 2014

What is distinctive about Christian counseling? ›

At the heart of Christian counseling is a Biblical view of personhood. The Christian counselor sees the client as a person made in the image of God. But the world is broken and so the client needs assistance in order to navigate life.

What are three types of Christian counseling? ›

While there aren't necessarily any types of Christian counseling, there are multiple subcategories in which Christian counseling can be integrated into such as psychotherapy, Christian psychology, Bible counseling, and Pastoral counseling.

What is the importance of Christian Counselling? ›

Christian Counseling can be a great help in overcoming addictions, dealing with mental health or mood disorders, navigating personal struggles, grief or loss, and healing marital and family issues. It is a great help in walking through this life's challenges—a hopeful road to healing and change.

What are the three concepts of Counselling? ›

Based on the principle of the counsellor providing three therapeutic 'core-conditions':
  • empathy (imagining yourself in someone's position)
  • unconditional positive regard (warm and positive feelings regardless of behaviour)
  • congruence (openness and honesty).
Aug 9, 2016

What is the most important in counselling? ›

1. Opening: The initial portion of the counseling process is one of the most important because it provides both counselor and client the opportunity to get to know each other. It also allows the counselor to set the tone for the therapeutic relationship.

What are the five stages of counselling? ›

The basic stages of counseling are: 1) Developing the client/clinician relationship; 2) Clarifying and assessing the presenting problem or situation; 3) Identifying and setting counseling or treatment goals; 4) Designing and implementing interventions; and 5) Planning, termination, and follow-up.

What are the 4 stages of counseling? ›

The Four-Stage Counseling Process
  • Identify the need for counseling.
  • Prepare for counseling.
  • Conduct the counseling session.
  • Follow-up.

What are the 6 principles of counseling? ›

This chapter describes the six core ethical principles underlying ethical analysis in the profession of counseling. These principles are autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, fidelity and veracity.

What qualities make a good counsellor? ›

The Qualities of a Good Counselor
  • Communication skills. Communication skills will play a key role in your relationship with your clients. ...
  • Patience. Patience will become a critical trait as a counselor. ...
  • Confidence. ...
  • Non-judgmental. ...
  • Observant. ...
  • Listening Skills. ...
  • Trust. ...
  • Respectful.
Jun 21, 2021

What is the most important skills of a counselor? ›

5 key counseling skills
  1. Active listening and responsiveness. As a counselor, a vital part of your job is to help clients feel heard, respected and validated. ...
  2. Questioning ability. Counselors should be as skilled in asking questions as they are in listening. ...
  3. Ability to interpret information. ...
  4. Trustworthiness. ...
  5. Empathy.
May 10, 2022

What are the five basic principles of counseling? ›

The five bedrock principles of autonomy, justice, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and fidelity are each vital in and of themselves to a healthy counseling relationship. By exploring an ethical dilemma with regard to these principles, a counselor may come to a better understanding of the conflicting issues.

What is the golden rules in counseling? ›

Research suggests that for emotional well-being, you should treat yourself the way you'd want others to treat you.

What are the qualities of a good counselor? ›

The Qualities of a Good Counselor
  • Communication skills. Communication skills will play a key role in your relationship with your clients. ...
  • Patience. Patience will become a critical trait as a counselor. ...
  • Confidence. ...
  • Non-judgmental. ...
  • Observant. ...
  • Listening Skills. ...
  • Trust. ...
  • Respectful.
Jun 21, 2021

What are the seven ethics of counselors? ›

These principles are autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, fidelity, justice, veracity, and self-respect (American Counseling Association, 2014; British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2018).

What are the 9 goals of counseling? ›

However there are five commonly named goals of counseling.

What are the 8 assumptions of counselling? ›

Principle of acceptance, Principle of communication, Principle of non judgmental attitude, Principle of empathy, Principle of confidentiality, Principle of individuality, Principle of non-emotional involvement, and Principle of purposeful expression of feelings.

What are the 4 components of counselling? ›

Even during informal counseling, leaders should address the four basic components of a counseling session:
  • Open the session.
  • Discuss the issues.
  • Develop a plan of action.
  • Record and close the session.


1. Why Christian Counseling is Harmful
(Sarah Rocksdale)
2. 7 Signs of Christian Narcissist
(Kris Reece)
3. What Does It Take To Become A Christian Therapist
(The Oasis Mental Health )
4. What is Christian Therapy and Counseling?
(We Heart Therapy)
5. Should Christians stick with Christian counselors?
(Keydogo - Keys For Life)
(Lion of Judah)
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