Seeking Counseling

I am a big advocate of seeking a professional counselor. The right person can be a place to talk, explore and dive into your emotional issues. When my sister suddenly died I was a wreck! With the support of my husband and daughters, I was managing until the holidays. My backpack of grief (that was how I explained it) became heavier and I was a weeping, depressed mess.

I had barely made it through the holidays, when the first anniversary of my sister’s death slapped me with anxiety! I wasn’t sleeping, couldn’t concentrate, and was barely functioning. I knew I needed help. I reached out to my workplace and was given the resource for mental health counselors. The list were professional counselors and not necessarily Christian counselors. In the past, I have learned excellent counselors don’t necessarily need to have the same faith.

Here are some tips when looking for the right counselor/psychotherapist:

  • Pray: Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you to the right counselor. Seek out your family, friends, and church community in praying for your healing and the best counselor for you. In fact, pray through the entire process of counseling! Jesus is the Great Physician and the Holy Spirit is our Counselor!
  • Review Counselor Specialties: Many times counselors will have a website that provides their qualifications and specialties. Look through the list and choose one that has experience with your issue. If you aren’t sure feel free to call or email them.
  • Choose same gender: I know this sounds archaic, but I feel strongly about this. Counseling sessions are very private, intimate and personal. Thus, as a Christian woman or man, you should connect with a professional of the same gender.
  • Be clear/respectful: When you reach out to make your first appointment with your counselor, let them know about your Christian faith. I don’t expect them to tell me to pray/read my Bible, attend church, etc., Instead, I let them know my faith is important to me and I will talk about it during the sessions.
    • Your email may say something like this:
      • I am a Christian and my life with Jesus is an important part of my life and therapy. Let me know if you lack experience or would prefer not to see me.
    • Notice how I gave the counselor a way to “decline.” I trust God and want the best person. If someone feels uncomfortable, then it this is not the right person.
  • Your healing: Remember that the counseling session is for your healing and for no other purpose.

My final thoughts are from my testimony. Over 30 years ago when I came to know the Lord, I needed to leave the pain of my past behind and learn to walk in the new life Jesus had given me. My life verse is Luke 5:25 Immediately he stood up before them, picked up the stretcher he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. What isn’t part of the account is the man had to learn to walk in his healing. That is what counseling did for me. It opened up the pain from my childhood and allowed the healing touch of Christ to heal past, present, and future–Amen! Hallelujah! Even today, as this world continues to bring pain and suffering, counselors have helped me to open my heart to the healing balm of God.

Resources:

10 Myths Keeping Christians from Counseling

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