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

Going Home, With Realistic Expectations
Sitting with women friends at coffee one day, the conversation turned to the topic of mothers and daughters. There we sat, discussing how to feel like grown ups around our moms. Visits home often left these women feeling like they were ...

posted 7:00:23am Apr. 29, 2016 | read full post »

Helping Our Children Keep the Faith
So many parents feel tremendous pain at having children who leave their Christian faith and do not go to church. According to studies by both Barna Group and USA Today, the staggering numbers are almost 75% of Christian young people. The ...

posted 7:00:51am Apr. 27, 2016 | read full post »

God, Where Are You, Do You Care?
About a month ago, I visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC. The experience was sobering, frightening, and chilling. This was clearly one of history's darkest chapters. At the end of the tour, I was struck by one of the survivors ...

posted 7:00:01am Apr. 25, 2016 | read full post »

Stress Help: Think on These Things
Stress affects people differently. Some people carry stress in their physical bodies. Others are more stressed because of their thoughts. They worry and become anxious. When stress originates from your thoughts, you need cognitive strategies ...

posted 7:00:54am Apr. 22, 2016 | read full post »

Why Don't I Have More Sexual Desire?
Sally looked down and a bit anxious. "I don't know what is wrong with me. I'm just not that interested in sex with my husband these days. I feel exhausted with three small kids, I'm working part-time and have been on an antidepressant. Any ...

posted 7:00:15am Apr. 20, 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.