The Case For Christian Counseling
By: Samaria Colbert
How many times have you heard in church “You don’t need to see no counselor, you just need Jesus” or some other common term used within our churches. Often times if you take what you hear at verbatim in church, you would never see the doctor, never seek counseling; never go to school all in the name of a Jesus or to only be told the you need more faith. We are taught to believe that because we are Christians we get a free pass through life to do nothing with but wait until God decides to bless us. We are subconsciously given the impression that God requires nothing of us, consequently we have raised a bunch of lazy Christians who seem to believe that God is our personal santa claus and He will bless us for being good. Now what God has for us is far better then where our education, doctrine or theology could ever take us, so in some sense I concur. However, again as I always say God will always take you through a process to get what He has for you. He will place you in a spiritual training ground to get you to the place He wants you to be. Always, Always, Always. No there are no get rich quick schemes in the kingdom, no you will not get rich simply because you are saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost. Yes you will have to work at some point in your life. No there is no spiritual welfare system for church folk. God is still a God of responsibility, diligence and persistence to His will for your life.
The point is often we accept cultural or social synonyms as though they are from God, when they are not. They are mans misinterpretation of scripture. Yes, you should go to the doctor. Yes you do need to submit yourself to your employer regardless of how much of a sinner they maybe until God releases you. No absolutely no there is nothing wrong with going to school. And just because you go to school does not mean you are somehow substituting a greater anointing for an education because you chose to go to college. Hello, they don’t hand out degrees because you are nice, you work blood, sweat, tears and crazy professors all contribute to your process. It doesn’t mean you are a sinner because you want to pursue a Ph.D. Sounds obvious but you’d be surprised. There are no easy passes in life, as a matter of fact when you are a Christian you often have greater attacks because everything God is training you for is apart of your spiritual destiny. I could go on, but I want to highlight Christian counseling.
I have been raised in a Christian, charismatic church all my life. I have had to deal with those feelings of guilt or questioned myself saying “is it really worth it” because I am pursing something that in many churches is not accepted. In my pursuit of a PhD in Counseling I have had to deal with the question within myself “but why do Christians need counseling?” or “Should I pursue a career in counseling, isn’t that wrong?”. Even though I knew and still know that I have an anointing to counsel people. This is something we don’t talk about in church. How many times have I heard “ you don’t need to seek counseling”. Gee thanks but this is my passion.
However in seeking God and knowing His word and His call on my life. I found out an interesting fact. The bible is clear about the need to seek counseling. There is nothing wrong with counseling. And no you are not less than a person if you seek counseling from a professional. Not your hair stylist, or friend, a professional person. So below are the scripture references that prove the fact that there is nothing wrong with being a counselor and there is nothing wrong with seeking counsel. No it is does not take away from who you are or your Christianity if you do. In fact scripture says that if you don’t heed to wise counseling you are a fool. It's one thing to seek out counsel it is another thing to seek out wise counsel. There is a difference. So hence the scriptures below.
The Case for Christian Counseling.
Proverbs –New King James Version
20:5 Counseling in the heart of a man is life deep water, But a man with understanding draws it out.
20:18 Plans are established by counsel: By wise counsel wage war
1:5….And a man of understanding will obtain wise counsel
3:32 But His secret counsel is with the upright
4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding
8:14 Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
11:14 Where there is no counsel people fall. But in the multitude of counselors there is safety
12:25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes glad.
15:22 Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established
19:20,21 Listen to counsel and receive instruction that you may be wise in your latter days. There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel will stand
24:6 For by wise counsel, you will wage your own war; And in a multitude of counselors there is safety.
27:9 Ointment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.
Read Exodus 18:1-27 Moses is counseled.
V:19 “Listen to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you.
Don’t allow the ungodly to counsel you. So if you are going to seek out counsel make sure it’s by a Christian. Preferable a license professional because just because they are Christian doesn’t mean they should be counseling you.
Note: licensed counselors are both anointed and trained to do what they do. They also ensure compliance with HIPPA, confidentiality, and duty to warn laws. They are not the same as your friends. Counselors are not the same thing as a life coach. They are ethically obligated to up hold the standards of their licensure or they could loose it.
Most licensed counselors are more capable of handling diverse issues because of their training. For example I have had a lot of training working with women who have suffered through childhood sexual assault and persons who suffer with severe and persistent mental illness. Both of which traditional church lay persons tend not be trained in. I have also worked with diverse populations of people who may never feel comfortable seeking counseling from a pastor or lay person. The approach is totally different. There is a difference.Counseling can simply mean giving wise advice or to advise, which anyone can do. But a licensed counselor is more concerned about the process of healing rather than the immediate gratification. Which is my most licensed counselors are referred to as therapist or clinicians. Counselors come from diverse backgrounds there are licensed psychologist, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, licensed clinical Christian counselors and so on. These are all individuals who have master’s degrees and beyond, have had to go through clinical supervision for two years after graduating from graduate school and have sat for there clinical licensure within the hours of completing their two years of clinical supervision after graduate school. All are trained as clinical therapist. Clinical denotes training in the mental health field. Life coaches have minimal proffessional training, no clinical supervision is required and no formal academic training is required to be a life coach. Although the use of a coach can be beneficial they are not the same as a professional counselor.
There is nothing wrong with asking a counselor there professional training to counsel. Most will probably be gratefully to tell you. If they respond by offense then move on. If they say something like “I don’t need all that, I got Jesus” definitely move on. Most clinical professionals can bill most insurance companies for services renders. Most are in the business of counseling either full time or part time. Meaning they make a career of counseling individuals. So if you ever are getting ready to make a major life decision, need to get counsel in private, have experienced any type of trauma in life or just want to speak with a proffessional counselor. Go ahead. Never feel like you are alone, to deal with life on your own. God has sent people to assist you along the way. So recieve that assistance.
Samaria M. Colbert Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved