At Connections, all of our counselors are committed to respecting the diversity of clients' values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. This includes avoiding the imposition of the counselors' beliefs onto the clients. Our counselors do not discriminate based on age, culture, ethinicity, race, religion/spirituality, gender, sexual orientation, marital status/partnering, language preference, disabilities, medical conditions, socioeconomic status, immigration status or any other basis prescribed by law (adapted from the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics, 2014).
While our therapists provide counseling that respects clients' spiritual and religious beliefs, as well as the right to non-belief, we also have a few therapists on staff who have been trained in Christian Counseling. These therapists have a heart for providing counseling services with clients who specifically request and permit us to acknowledge, share and explore the integration of our Savior Jesus Christ and His Word into the counseling process. These therapists are trained in how to support the clients who hold the belief that a right relationship with Jesus Christ yields right relationships and healthy individuals. In the Faith-Based Option, with the clients' permission and at their request, we welcome the Holy Spirit into the counseling relationship. We also honor that there are many variations, denominations and theologies within Christianity. Each counselor also has different styles in counseling. Feel free to ask about the each counselor's theory and style!
There are typically three approaches to Christian counseling. The first approach is the “Bible Only” approach. This approach negates the use of the social sciences, like psychology, and typically occurs in pastoral counseling. The second is a split approach wherein Christians seek counseling but separate out the spiritual content and participate in what is basically a secular process. The third approach is an integrated approach of both Christian beliefs and social science (e.g. evidenced-based counseling practices). In this approach, the counselor is careful to select material from social science that does not negate or contradict God’s Word (although holding onto the understanding that interpretations of scripture vary). At Connections, we have specific therapists who can provide either the second or third form of Christian counseling (referenced from “Psychology and the Church: Unequally Yoked Partners” by F. Mancuso, PhD.).
There are many advantages for the Christian client to receive Christian-oriented counseling. First, Christian counselors will strive to not make recommendations or guide in a way that contradicts scripture (but, will also be thoughtful and collaborative in discussing that scripture interpretation is very personal and subjective). Second, the Christian counselor shares with the client common assumptions regarding human nature and sin (although beliefs and biblical interpretation may differ). As such, the Christian counselor is concerned with the spiritual, psychological, emotional, mental and physical development of the client. Finally, the Christian counselor often shares a common desire with the client to live a righteous life of Christian integrity. If you are interested in learning more about the Faith-Based Option, contact us here.