Today’s post is from guest blogger, Dr. Vanessa Rojas, a Christian counselor in Orlando, Florida. She is the founder of The Vida Center (thevidacenter.com). She will address a question often asked, “What makes Christian counseling different?”
If you are a Christian parent and you or your child needs counseling help, you may have asked yourself this question. Does it really matter? How different is it? Dr. Rojas will shed some insight on this issue for you with 7 points.
Dr. Rojas says, “I’m often asked that question when I tell people I do Christian counseling. Here are just a few factors that I think make Christian counseling different:
1) A Christian counselor understands your Christian values and worldview.
You want to work with someone who “gets you” and understands why you want to live your life according to God’s principles. You do not want to have to spend time explaining why you do not engage in certain behaviors or activities or why you want to stop engaging in certain behaviors or activities that many secular therapists may see as totally acceptable.
2) A Christian counselor not only discusses with you how others have hurt you but also helps you takes responsibility for how you may have hurt others or may have contributed to your situation in some way.
It is essential for your healing that a Christian therapist listen, empathize, and process experiences with you in which you were wronged, especially when it involves abuse. It is also important to have a Christian counselor who will gently help you look in the mirror and face the truth about aspects of yourself that may need changing.
3) A Christian counselor helps you experience God’s grace and extend it to others.
A Christian counselor helps you understand that if you are repentant, then God has forgiven you. This helps you shed your shame and usually results in much joy! A Christian counselor will also help you understand the depths of how you have been forgiven, which will then enable you to forgive others more easily.
4) A Christian counselor helps you see the “big picture” and act accordingly. As a Christian, your life should not only be about doing what makes you happy but also about living righteously. A Christian counselor will steer you away from “counterfeit gods” such as sex, money, and power.
5) A Christian counselor is open to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
There have been numerous times that clients have commented how I have hit the nail on the head in terms of what they needed to hear. I can not take full responsibility for this. I know that as a Christian counselor who feels that my profession is a calling in life, that God has worked this way through me during sessions. I also pray for my clients outside of therapy sessions and with my clients during therapy sessions if the client so desires.
6) A Christian counselor understands that people are at different places/levels in their spiritual walk and starts where you are at.
I will not shame you if you have back-slidden nor push you into becoming something that you are not ready for or do not want to become. I will, however, work with you in developing a plan that includes spiritual goals if you are interested.
7) A Christian counselor instills hope in your life.
One way that this is done is by reminding you how valuable you are to God and how He has a plan for your life. He can use painful experiences in your past for good in some way now and/or in your future.”
To learn more about Dr. Vanessa Rojas go here to read her extensive bio and answers to more common questions.