Christianity and Counseling Don’t Have to Clash

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I believe that my Christian faith and my chosen job field, counseling, do not have to clash.  In fact, they can often mesh well together and complement one another. Today, I want to provide you with a couple of ways that they do this.

One way that they complement one another is that both are concerned with the wellbeing of people and call us to be genuinely interested and active in helping others. I think it can even be said that both call us to show love, or at least what Carl Rogers called “unconditional positive regard”.  As a Christian, I am called to love God and to love others. In one of the gospels, Jesus goes as far as to say that whatever you do for others, the least of these, in his name, you are doing unto him.  So if we help out others, we are also serving him. Additionally, we are told in scripture that Christ came for us to not only have life but to have it abundantly. As a Counselor, I am expected to educate and guide people toward tools they can use to help improve their emotional state and sense of wellbeing. Not only am I expected to be knowledgeable, but also ethical.  This means that I must act in the best interest of my clients. Also, I am to utilize practical skills to convey to people that I am genuinely interested in listening to what they have to say.

Another way that Christianity and counseling often complement one another is their mutual focus on thinking patterns. Christians are encouraged in the book of Corinthians to think on things that are true, pure, lovely, honorable, reputable, and things to praise rather than things to curse. In counseling, particularly when counselors utilize a Cognitive Behavioral approach (which is an evidence based modality that is commonly used by many counselors), counselors encourage clients to change their ways of thinking, replacing negative and self-defeating thoughts with more realistic and empowering thoughts.

Personally, I believe that being a Christian and a counselor are compatible.  This does not mean that certain theories or aspects do not conflict at times, because they do.  However, in general, I have found that being a Christian actually helps me be a better counselor and being a counselor helps me serve others in a way that helps me grow as a Christian and enhances my relationship with God. Overall, I believe that Christianity and Counseling have the potential to compliment one another beautifully.

 

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