Faith has long had a contentious relationship with mental health, especially from the side of clinical practitioners. The mental health field itself is not a particularly strong religious incorporation though we know it is important for clients and so counselors need to wrestle with how they plan to practice with integrating spirituality. It is our believe that faith has a place in the clinical counseling session and Christian practices, when done ethically, can promote change and healing.[Read more…] about Clinical Assessments For Integrating Christian Spirituality
Faith Has A Place In Clinical Counseling
I remember my very first experience with trying to find a job with my newly obtained Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health. I had applied to a couple of places and the first to get back with me was a community mental health center. They asked me a few questions before they would give me the email to submit my resume and one of the last questions was “Where did you get your degree from?” I of course had gone to Denver Seminary and it was clear that I was a Christian which led to an immediate follow up comment of “We have had problems with Christian counselors before, so I don’t know if this will be a good fit.”[Read more…] about Faith Has A Place In Clinical Counseling
Remember What Drives You
When new staff are hired on at the community mental health center I work at, we get the opportunity to introduce ourselves to them and give words of wisdom. Whether this is their first clinical experience, or they have heard about our great team from working as a counselor elsewhere and wanting to join, we want to foster an environment for great professional relationships. For the last couple of years, my words of wisdom have been the same to everyone:
[Read more…] about Remember What Drives You
Remember why you got into counseling.
Church Mental Health Liaison [Video]
You may have heard of a mental health or substance misuse liaison. This person tends to be an advocate for a whole agency in connection to a specific treatment center or a network of agencies and to form stronger community partnerships between the two entities. This may include a probation liaison, school liaison, hospital/inpatient liaison, or Child Protective Services liaison.
Churches may also want to consider getting a mental health liaison (or honestly, a counseling agency hiring their own). Below, Cath from KeyMinistry.org gives a great presentation on what a church mental health liaison would do and you can get the PowerPoint PDF for it here and their is a second part here.
How Religious and Spiritual Are Social Workers?
A friend of this ministry, Dr. Holly Oxhandler, is Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and an Assistant Professor at Baylor University and one of the hosts of the CXMH Podcast. A couple of years ago, she wrote an article that was published in the Social Work academic journal, titled “The Religiosity and Spiritual Beliefs and Practices of Clinical Social Workers.”[Read more…] about How Religious and Spiritual Are Social Workers?
Why Diagnosing Bible Characters Is Wrong
For those who are counselors, pastors, or have gone through any kind of Christian leadership training, you may have come across any number of formal or informal articles about diagnosing people from the Bible with mental illness disorders. We see Job as depressed, Peter as anxious, or Saul as bipolar or schizophrenic. Some go blasphemous by diagnosing God as antisocial or narcissistic.
As a Christian, I have never felt comfortable with this. But from a professional standpoint, this is wrong on several levels. Here is why:[Read more…] about Why Diagnosing Bible Characters Is Wrong
Renewing Your Mind [Video]
For those that have not heard about Grace Alliance, they are a Christian mental health ministry designing curriculum and creating structure/training videos for peer support groups to put into your church. We love Grace Alliance so much we use it in our church and last week’s lesson we did was on renewing your mind. (Clinical counselors, think Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with cognitive distortions within cognitive restructuring.)
When the shelter-in-place began with COVID-19, Joe who founded Grace Alliance gave a great webinar on this topic that I encourage you to check out. It was great for entering into this scary time of coronavirus, but honestly is a great topic even when it is the day to day stressors.[Read more…] about Renewing Your Mind [Video]
10 Signs You Are Emotionally Exhausted or Traumatized
One of the most important populations a counselor can serve is those who are on the front lines of difficult situations where emotional and mental issues are common. This includes police officers, firefighters, nurses and doctors, our own counselors, and pastors. With the coronavirus pandemic happening right now, the mental health field undoubtedly will see a significant spike even beyond the already projected increase in domestic violence, child abuse, trauma from hospitalization, grief from loss, divorce, and substance use cases due to shelter-in-place, deaths from COVID-19, and the need for quaritine.[Read more…] about 10 Signs You Are Emotionally Exhausted or Traumatized
Medical Conditions Can Affect Mental Illness
As a licensed professional counselor, I live within the world of recovery and restoration as individuals who have been struggling with life’s problems for months or years come for relief. Most of the time, I’m teaching coping skills, healthy living choices, or improving support systems like getting to sit down with a pastor and pray for a spouse for a much needed conversation. But I ways need to remind myself that mental illness is very much a medical issue and therefore need to member how medical conditions can affect mental illness.[Read more…] about Medical Conditions Can Affect Mental Illness
5 Ways Counselors Can Support Pastors
I do not take it for granted that there are a lot of Christian counselors in our audience who have a heart to see the Church grow in its efforts towards mental health. I want to issue a challenge to these Christian counselors. What can you do to support churches in their growth of understanding and integrating mental health into their ministry?
I believe we are all given a unique set of talents that can help serve pastors across the world. So to help, I want to share 5 ways counselors can support pastors as a diving board into this conversation. Next month, with KeyMinistry, I have an article scheduled to talk about the flip of this, 5 ways that pastors can help support counselors.[Read more…] about 5 Ways Counselors Can Support Pastors