More and more people are looking for faith-based counseling. They want to be able to not only discuss the issues they are having but also openly discuss God, the Bible and their belief in the power of prayer.
And I am not the only counselor who has noticed that people prefer to seek guidance from those who support, rather than challenge, their faith. In fact, according to a nationwide survey by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC), 83% of Americans believe their spiritual faith and religious beliefs are closely tied to their state of mental and emotional health. Three-quarters have stated it’s important for them to work with a therapist who integrates their values and beliefs into the counseling process. And more respondents said they would prefer to see a religious counselor (29%) than a psychiatrist (27%), psychologist (17%) or family doctor (13%).
Selecting the Right Faith-Based Counselor to Work With
Just as no two people are alike, no two faith-based counselors are alike either. They will differ on a few different things:
- How much religious training (if any) they have had
- How much religion they incorporate into their practice
- The populations they serve
- Their psychological expertise
Beyond this, some faith-based therapists aim to holistically integrate the mind, body and spirit for people of all faiths, while others focus solely on applying scripture to modern day problems instead of social sciences.
At the end of the day, you need to decide what is the most important qualification you wish your counselor to have. It’s a good idea to do some research and find local faith-based counselors in your area. Get on the phone with them and ask some questions. The most important thing is whether or not you feel comfortable talking with them.
If you are interested in exploring faith-based treatment, please be in touch with me. I would be happy to discuss how I may be able to help. In my practice, all faiths are welcome, and faith will not be discussed unless it is important to you.