To answer this question we have to understand the similarities and the fundamental differences between Christian counselors and secular counselors. For the purposes of this blog I am referring to Christian counselors as fully licensed and credentialed counselors who hold a worldview of Christianity and secular counselors who are also fully licensed and credentialed but are not Christian. Both types of counselors have a passion and desire to help people in need. They have gone through years of schooling and passed licensing exams. They are well versed in evidence based practice and are able to help the client find real relief from their symptoms. The true difference between the two come from their worldview and perspective on the human condition.
The secular counselor sees the client as a self-empowered entity separate from the necessary dependence on the Lord. The client is ultimately responsible for the changes they feel they need to make. The reasons that I would choose to not go to a secular counselor are that they try to find out what will make you happy, and then get you there. They rarely address the moral issues that could be impacting someone’s functioning and feel pressured to stay up to date with the latest cultural trends and beliefs. In the mental health industry, their authority is the DSM5. Whatever it says is what they have to go by. So when these professionals all get together and decide that being transgender or wanting a sex change is not an illness, but rather something acceptable, then the way they approach it changes. They can’t call it sin, because ‘sin’ is not part of the secular vocabulary.
The Christian counselor holds and abides by fundamental truths laid out in scripture and employs these principles into their therapy practice. Romans 12, “Be transformed by the renewal of the Mind.” The Christian counselor is someone who is in tune with the Holy Spirit and is open to allow the Lord to intervene into their sessions. They seek God’s will while also attempting to know the person more fully and is able to customize the care for clients while addressing all aspects of a person’s life. They are able to address the physical and emotional elements using evidence based practices but they are also able to address the spiritual and moral pieces that are so often either overlooked or discredited. Some of the most powerful sessions I have had professionally are not because of something I have done or said, but rather I was able to recognize the spiritual brokenness in a person and invited the Lord to do His healing. Jesus is the “Wonderful Counselor” as Isaiah so beautifully prophesied. The Christian counselor is someone who addresses the WHOLE person and attempts to restore the broken person knowing full well the only ONE who can truly restore and redeem is the Lord.