Things to Remember while Visiting a Christian Counseling Center

Christian counseling

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Christian counseling centers are often staffed by social workers, pastors, rabbis, and the like that have a special interest in working through marriage issues from a spiritual perspective.


With this in mind, let’s begin with a caution…


A religious leader cannot be a substitute for professionals

Remember that only few religious leaders can claim credentialing in family therapy, clinical psychology, family litigation, and the like. While often gifted in therapeutic triage, the religious leader is never a substitute for professionals who spend their careers working with individuals recovering from destructive partnerships, and those walking through a fiery divorce.


While it is certainly okay for an individual or couple to express marital problems with a clergyperson, the healthy church leader knows the job is to listen, pray, and quickly REFER the one or ones seeking counsel to experienced mental health professionals, emergency personnel, and the like.


Christian counseling is an effective entrypoint

Christian counseling is often a very effective entrypoint for couples seeking help with relational issues. That said, Christian counseling often rises from the perspective that marriages should be preserved at all costs. Further, some Christian counseling perspectives assume that the “man” runs the relationship and should be granted the space and license to “do what needs to be done” on behalf of the family. If the Christian counseling agency you seek is more interested than prayer than a rigid, biblical viewpoint, you should be just fine.


Proceed with caution

Hopefully christian counseling, if engaged by the parties, becomes one of many providers of support and therapy. However, do not assume that the church, churchgoers, and religious leaders will deliver the care and guidance you seek.


Communities that espouse inerrancy as a core tenant of their identity are especially prone to promoting a “until death do us part” approach to the marriage union unless narrow grounds for dissolution are met. This may become an emotional death sentence – or worse – for those caught in the spin cycle of abuse and/or addiction. Bottom line? Proceed with caution.