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Unread March 5th, 2006, 01:32 PM
sk8rgrl23 sk8rgrl23 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 53
Default Re: What exactly is Christian Counseling

Hi John and thanks for your reply. However, that still doesn't answer to part of my question which is "what does a Christian counselor do that I don't?" From an ethical standpoint, we as therapists are obligated to take a nonjudgmental stance, so the question of me or another "secular" therapist judging someone for their beliefs is ideally a moot point. (Are there secular therapists that deride people's beliefs systems? Of course there are, but there are also Christian counselors like the one I witnessed that deride people who believe differently than they do.)

I work for a public mental health agency. Nothing in our agency policy says anything about not being permitted or in any way discouraged from engaging in therapeutic discussions of spirituality and religion. If I appear judgmental in any way, it's only when I see something happening with the client that appears detrimental. I get concerned when a person is engaged in a belief system that impinges on a person's free will, for example. I also get concerned when I see religion used as a way to oppress a person, such as is sometimes seen in cases of domestic violence, where the concept of "submitting to your husband" is taken to an extreme.

Personally I believe in working within a person's framework and personal set of ethics. I have worked with people of all faiths from Eastern religions, to New Age to Christians who adhere strictly to the Bible.

But I also work hard at keeping the two schools separate. Spirituality can be therapeutic, but it is not therapy, any more than mental health counseling or any theoretical orientation is a religion.

I haven't gotten there yet, but I want to start digging up literature and see if there's any empirical support of Christian counseling as a form of therapy in its own right, or more fundamentally, what do they say they do that the rest of us don't?
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