Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Do I Need a Christian Therapist?

Question: I’ve got marital problems. I feel down all the time. Nothing seems to be working in my life. Maybe I need to get some professional help. But how do I pick a therapist? Do I need to see a Christian or will any good therapist do?

Dr. Linda: You need a well-trained Christian therapist who has good relationship and clinical skills. Here’s why? The world-view of a therapist makes a difference. You need someone who understands your faith and can guide you from a biblical perspective. Someone who is not familiar with your faith is at a disadvantage in directing you to health.

Advertisement

Therapy is not value free.  While therapists are trained to respect the values of their clients and work from the client’s worldview, it is impossible to be totally neutral when it comes to values. A therapist’s belief system matters. And in couple work, we have data that shows that when a therapist is neutral or negative about marriage, there is a higher rate of divorce.

A Christian therapist integrates faith with psychological principles, something a non-Christian therapist cannot do. Your faith is a source of power, a lens from which you view the world and relationships. Faith is integral in healing.

You are the consumer of therapy services.  It is perfectly appropriate to ask a practice or insurance company to give referrals for Christian therapists. You can also check with local churches and professional organizations like The American Association of Christian Counselors for possible referrals.  Don’t be afraid to ask. It’s vital to work with someone who understands how to integrate faith with everyday living.

Advertisement

Be specific when you ask about faith. Many therapists say they are “spiritual” but that covers a wide variety of religions.  Here’s an example.

A Christian woman called and wanted to see me in therapy. I didn’t have an opening and she was desperate for help. When I checked with my regular referrals, no one had room to take a new client. One of my colleagues told me she was available.  She called herself Christian but also believed in using astrology and other eastern religions.  I knew she had previously sent patients to psychics so I politely declined her offer. The young women referred specifically requested a born again Christian therapist and did not believe in psychics or astrology. Even though the therapist had good credentials and training, she would have not been a good match.

Advertisement

The point is you need to find someone whose values are compatible with yours. Be assertive. You want the right guidance. So much of what you do in therapy involves the way you think and believe. Someone with different views and values can create more problems than good. Look for the right therapist. The best way to find a good Christian therapist is through word of mouth. Personal referral is usually a great start to finding a good therapist.  Ask around and get started!

  • http://extendedreach.org/ Children mental health

    Those affected by conduct disorder resort to truancy or run away frequently, and they even commit crimes of theft, assault, or in extreme cases, rape. With the effects of conduct disorders being so extreme, it’s natural to wonder if you, the parent, is at fault and what you can do to help your child.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Dr. Janet T. Alario

    Dear Dr. Mintle:

    I couldn’t have explained it better myself. Thank you for such a clear and integral distinction. It saved my daughter’s life. :)

    Many blessings,
    Janet

Previous Posts

Is Avoiding Conflict a Bad Idea?
Mary and Bill are arguing again. Mary hates how she feels when conflict happens. She wants to retreat, run or hide, or simply  avoid. Too often, she chooses to avoid, but is this a good idea? For the most part, NO, at least when we are ...

posted 7:00:19am Feb. 12, 2016 | read full post »

How God Helps With Relationship Insecurity
Like many people, you may have been hurt in a relationship because of trust violations. Or maybe growing up, you couldn't trust those around you to keep their word or treat you kindly. As a result, you struggle with insecurity. Don’t despair. ...

posted 7:00:53am Feb. 10, 2016 | read full post »

The Warning Signs of Family Stress
The Jones family has been under a great deal of stress lately. Dad's corporation is downsizing and jobs may be eliminated. Mr. Jones could be one of those jobs. Mrs. Jones' mother passed away suddenly, leaving a deep vacuum of support and help. ...

posted 7:00:19am Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

A Super Bowl Outcome You May Not Like
Super Bowl week! Yes, we are obsessed with the game. And part of that obsession includes our Super Bowl menu. But what if I told you that your menu and eating habits are influenced by the game. Super Bowl  has an eating outcome you may not ...

posted 7:00:32am Feb. 05, 2016 | read full post »

Conflict? Who Should Make the First Move?
Hannah hadn't spoken to her mother for a month and the tension between them could be cut with a knife. It was Saturday morning and Hannah was contemplating picking up the phone and making a call. She wanted to resolve the problem. But here ...

posted 7:00:31am Feb. 03, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.