What To Look For In Christian Counseling

If you have not read our previous post on how a pastor can make a referral for someone to go to counseling and what pastors need to do to help, check out the article here. So you may know how to make a referral, but what should Christians and pastors look for when referring someone to counseling?

Below are the steps you need to know to ask for not only finding a good counselor but one that will also keep your spiritual needs at the forefront of the counseling. Further, we do not go into specifics of the difference between Biblical counseling and having a Christian counselor but will write about that in the future.

Note: this will be useful whether you are going to attend outpatient or inpatient treatment. If this is a crisis situation, call 911, a crisis hotline (1-800-273-8255) or go to the nearest emergency room for immediate assistance.

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Healing and Mental Illness

Jesus heals. We know He does. We see it in the Bible, and we even see it today.

But He doesn’t always heal when we ask Him to.

I’ve been chronically ill since I was eight years old, and you bet I prayed, and still pray, to be healed. People laid hands on me (um, not my favorite), people prayed over me silently, people prayed for me out loud, people prayed for me without me knowing, people I barely knew prayed for me.
I’m just saying that I was and am, prayed for.

And I haven’t been healed.

I’m still chronically ill a decade later.

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Marriage Encourages Mercy

Barna Group, a Christian-based research group started by David Kinnaman, recently conducted a study on how marriage and parenting impact an individual’s understanding of forgiveness. Per the description of the product, this report covers:

  • New data and infographics about prevailing attitudes and practices of mercy and justice in the Church
  • An overview of how people define, offer and accept forgiveness in their daily lives
  • Gaps between practicing Christians’ and pastors’ perceptions of how churches facilitate hope and healing
  • Details about how life stage, generation and political ideology factor into expressions of compassion 

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Things Christians Say about Mental Health (vs What They Should Say)

Through personal experience and hearing shared experiences of other people, I have concluded that in most cases of any mental illness, people, and more specifically Christians, don’t know what to say. This comes down to a lot of stigma surrounding overall mental health, in the Church and out, but I’ll save that for another post. I’ll just say that what you do or don’t say to someone can really change their life; the Bible isn’t kidding when it says that the power of death and life are in the tongue.

Below I have compiled a few lists of things that you should and shouldn’t say to someone who has just shared with you their struggle.

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10 Facts To Know About Teens And Marijuana

Ever since I wrote the article 10 Facts To Know About Teens and Vaping, it has been at least the second most viewed article on our site. The article itself was actually written out of necessity because several youth pastors in a Facebook group were asking questions and not getting any answers.

This article is more out of having the content and helping the Church out in understanding the facts of the situation. The topic is very tricky because many times the experts on the topic are the people who use. So the fight is a bit of a disadvantage when discussing this, yet those from a Christian perspective tend to argue out of ignorance anyways and many times it’s one of fear.

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Reducing The Stress Of Debt

Money is a huge issue with regards to an individual. For some, it’s their ticket to freedom or barrier to success. It’s what shatters dreams of college, causes significant anxiety and grief with bankruptcy, and yet we can end up turning into gods instead of our focus on God the Father.

For others, money is an issue. My wife and I took the Prepare & Enrich Marriage Assessment and our biggest need for growth? Money. Dave Ramsey has a research company and last year reported this:

According to a new survey by Ramsey Solutions, money fights are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity. Results show that both high levels of debt and a lack of communication are major causes for the stress and anxiety surrounding household finances.

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Warning Signs of Mental Health [Video]

For those of you who do not have a lot of experience or understanding of mental health symptoms and do not know what to look for or if you are a pastor at your church and want to do a quick five minute training for your volunteers on the warning signs of mental health, this is for you.

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Is Drinking Alcohol A Sin?

This is one of those questions that as a youth pastor, I was faced with multiple times. Now as a clinical with a special focus on mental health and substance use co-occurring treatment, I address this from the standpoint of when it becomes a problem. The question is, is drinking alcohol a sin?

The interesting thing about doing this article is that I learned more in the process about Christianity than I did about the mental health side of things. What originally was going to be a thoughtful piece about the original article has become much more.

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Being A Christian With Mental Health [Video]

Mental health is a disease that has a silent and strong grasp on our culture. We don’t want to talk about it which is why we have to do events like May being Mental Health Awareness Month. There is a renewal in pop culture on removing the stigma, yet the church has more it could do.

As a Christian with mental health, it can be isolating and frustrating. Whether you are a missionary with depression, a pastor with bipolar, or someone wanting to attend church with social anxiety or ADHD, there are many barriers to attending Christian events and developing your own spiritual formation.

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