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Faith Based Counseling

Faith based counseling is implemented when individuals feel the need to incorporate their faith into their recovery through psychotherapy.  Statistic data obtained through a survey conducted by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) reveals that 83 percent of Americans believe in a strong connection between their religious views or spiritual beliefs and their mental well-being.  Up to three fourths of people in the United States include spiritual and religious concepts in their philosophy and approach to life.

However, only about a third of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists share the same views and implement them in their work.  Individuals who are religious may feel uncomfortable if their counselor makes statements that are in conflict with their spiritual beliefs, which may reduce the effectiveness of their recovery and compliance with the therapy.

Faith Based Counseling Allows Keeping One’s Moral And Religious Values Intact While Solving Psychological Problems

A religious or spiritual person may be sensitive to therapy interventions that somehow interfere with their moral values and religious beliefs.  Faith-based counseling enables the therapist to find a “common language” and stand on the same moral platform with the client, which motivates the client to be more relaxed and receptive to the clinical techniques being used during counseling sessions.

Traditional methods of counseling that don’t take into consideration one’s moral values and religion may produce conflicting results, depending on how the interventions interfere with one’s spiritual beliefs. Faith-based counseling does not involve promoting and stimulating religious practices or adoption of the therapist’s religious views, but it represents a solid starting point in terms of moral values for further psychological interventions and recovery.  This form of counseling enables more effective problem solving because it places the therapist and the client on the same track in terms of personal spiritual beliefs.

A Common Moral Foundation For Faith-Based Counseling Is God’s Sovereignty

Healthcare expert Kathleen Mills points out:

“The idea that God is sovereign is central in faith-based therapy interventions.  Therapists try to emphasize that, from a religious perspective, everything happens for a reason and God has a plan for everyone.  When trying to solve psychological issues that are a result of emotional trauma caused by unpleasant events, faith-based counseling therapists underline the concept that God does not allow things that one can’t handle successfully.  If one is confronted with crisis situations or difficult times, God is there to offer strength, support and guidance on how to overcome those problems.  In other words, faith-based counseling supports the idea that God has the bigger picture and knows where everyone and everything fits in the world’s puzzle.  The mission of the therapist is to expand on that foundation and try to motivate the individual to engage in problem solving rather than dwelling on the negative side of their difficulties.  A faith-based counseling therapist must be able to combine his or her religious views and moral values with the clinical training and experience in psychotherapy in a form that is easy to “absorb” and understand by their client.”

Faith-based counseling is a solid alternative to traditional forms of psychotherapy for clients who want to achieve mental recovery by incorporating their religious and moral beliefs into their therapy.  There is a sizable discrepancy between the large number of potential clients who base their life approach on religion, and the number of therapists and psychiatrists who implement moral and spiritual values into their therapy methods.

For more information call the counselors at Lifetree at (972) 234-6634

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