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Unread December 13th, 2005, 06:17 PM
Da Friendly Puter Tech Da Friendly Puter Tech is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 60
Default Re: What exactly is Christian Counseling

This is an interesting post - and I think that the question could even be expanded to include other counseling within the auspices of other religious faiths as well. These days we have Christian counselors, Buddhist counselors etc etc.

I will share my personal experiences with you.

I saw therapist 1 in regards to some specific issues that had a large influence on my own faith. When I found her I was initially aware of what her faith was, and I specifically requested that we could use some of the resources that her faith connection gave her because I thought it would directly have an impact on the work I wanted to do. We discussed this both during the initial consult, and ongoingly throughout the work. We did manage to touch on some of the controversies of faith based counseling in our discussion, but the bottom line for me was that whenever we discussed anything related to her faith it was done within the frame work of what I needed to progress in my own work. Her faith knowledge became simply another resource for me to draw on. It was done elegantly, respectfully and had a good impact in my life. When she drew in some of the knowledge or resources based in her faith she always made sure to identify them as such and then opened it up for me to examine how it related to my issues and what was my truth in relation to this.

I saw an other therapist for a short time - he was a trainee. This therapist drew in his own faith, what his guru told him, and faith based quotations regularly. He had very little idea what the framework was of his clients when he did this. At first I wanted to be tolerant of his faith, but i asked specifically which faith or guru he referred to so I could find out where the influence came from, and make my own decisions as to how much I wanted to listen to that part of it. Eventually it became too much work for me to try and sort through his religious glasses, and i requested he left his faith at the door. Which he did. I did eventually decide not to work with this therapist, but that was for other reasons.

I think there are so many fine lines that has to be walked when / if a therapist draws in their own faith to the work. Obviously - when done right I think it can have a big positive impact, but if done incorrectly it can have at least as big a negative impact.

To me - maybe the biggest pitfall is that the therapist who draws in their own faith to the therapy framework might have trouble setting it aside enough to allow the client to work within their own truths. There might simply be too many preconceived ideas. It sounds to me like the Christian counselors you refer to was completely unable to allow the clients to work within their own frame work, and in fact stamped their own opinions on the work, and thats never good therapy.

It would be great if this thread could provoke a discussion of when is religious counseling ethical and where exactly does the lines get drawn.

Da Friendly Puter Tech

Last edited by Da Friendly Puter Tech; December 15th, 2005 at 05:20 PM.
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