Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Do I Need a Christian Therapist?

posted by Linda Mintle

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.

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.

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.

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

Teens and TV: Are They Overdoing It?
By now, most of you are aware that too much screen viewing for children and teens is linked to  elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of sleep, school problems, aggression, and being overweight. And we know that teen viewing habits often carry over to adult viewing habits. So how are

posted 7:00:54am Jul. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Body-Brain Connection: When Bigger Really is Better
"As your weight goes up, the size and function of your brain goes down." This, according to psychiatrist, Daniel Amen. It's true, smaller doesn't always mean better, especially when it comes to the size of your brain! Dr. Amen, author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, wants us all to get o

posted 9:27:01am Jul. 17, 2014 | read full post »

5 Proactive Steps to Get Rid of Job Worry
Downsizing, added work loads, difficult co-workers, budget cuts and poor leadership can cause even the calmest person to worry on the job. On way to deal with stress and job worries is to control the things you can and trust God for the rest. Here are 5 proactive steps you can take in order to g

posted 7:00:22am Jul. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Hair Raising: Kids Getting Bikini Waxes
When the New York Post reported that 14-year-old Glynis Coyne has been getting her legs waxed since she was eight years old, I just gasped. Apparently, I am not up on the trend--hair removal for prepubescent girls! Instead of a trip to the candy store, a growing number of moms choose spa visits. The

posted 7:00:32am Jul. 14, 2014 | read full post »

10 Reasons Couples Therapy Needs a Spiritual Base
Let's say your marriage is hurting and you know you need help. If you are a Christian couple, does it matter who you see and what approach the person uses to help you? Absolutely. So much of couples therapy is based on a secular humanistic approach and not on the truths of Christianity. Here i

posted 7:00:27am Jul. 11, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.