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  • Writer's pictureErin Kornahrens

Can You Give me a Recommendation for a Good Christian therapist?


As a therapist, I often get asked the question, “Can you recommend a good Christian therapist?” And my response is often, “What does that mean to you?”

 

The reality is it means many different things to different people. We live in the south and what is known as the Bible belt. So given that context, often people have different ideas of what they want and need in terms of Christian counseling.



 

Because it comes up a lot, I have developed this continuum that often helps people understand the different types of counseling available and how they work in relation to one another.  The ultimate goal is to realize that one is not necessarily better than another or right or wrong.  It is helpful to know that each can be considered a different means to an end, but the journey definitely matters and it can save a lot of time and effort if you can figure out which means fits best with what you are looking for. So, let’s take a look together:

 

 

<__________________________________________________________________>

Biblical                 Pastoral                         Integrationist           Counselor who                  Secular         Counseling            Counseling                     Counseling                  is Christian                 Counselor

                                                                                                                                      (Psychology)


 



Biblical counseling- This is a type of counseling that uses the Bible as its main source of technique, reference, and guidance. A simple definition reads, “Biblical counseling is an approach to holistic soul-care that is informed, bound, and shaped by the Scriptures as the authoritative Word of God.” (https://www.thecrosspensacola.org/blog/biblical-counseling-definition)



 

Pastoral Counseling- This type of counseling is “a form of counseling or psychotherapy in which insights and principles derived from theology and the behavioral sciences are used to help individuals, couples, families, and groups achieve healing and growth. Pastoral counseling is centered in theory and research on the interaction of religion and science, spirituality and health, and spiritual direction and psychotherapy. A pastoral counselor receives advanced training in one or several of the behavioral sciences (often psychology specifically) in addition to religious training, theological training, or both. Also called pastoral psychotherapy.” (https://dictionary.apa.org/pastoral-counseling).


 

 

Integrationist Counseling- “Integrationist counseling is named as such because it seeks to integrate the findings of secular psychology with Christian theology, employed in the process of counseling. Integrationist counseling is not accurately conceived of as a single counseling theory but rather a number of counseling theories that are then integrated with Christian theology like tools in a tool belt.” (https://www.wts.edu/admissions-resources/nuances-of-biblical-counseling#:~:text=Another%20form%20of%20Christian%20counseling,in%20the%20process%20of%20counseling.)

 

 

Counseling with therapist who is a Christian- This can be often what people ask for as they want counseling and lean more towards psychological methods and theories but want to know that their therapist has a similar worldview or religious view. Often this client may not necessarily want prayer or scripture as part of their sessions or work but want to know that the therapist can understand and identify with their view of the world if needed.




 

Secular Psychology (Counseling Psychology)- This form of counseling is going to lean on psychology and not a faith perspective as much.  “Counseling Psychology is a generalist health service (HSP) specialty in professional psychology that uses a broad range of culturally-informed and culturally-sensitive practices to help people improve their well-being, prevent and alleviate distress and maladjustment, resolve crises, and increase their ability to function better in their lives. It focuses specifically but not exclusively on normative life-span development, with a particular emphasis on prevention and education as well as amelioration, addressing individuals as well as the systems or contexts in which they function. It has particular expertise in work and career issues.”

 

 

Again, it is important to remember that the reason we have so many variations is we have so many variations of people and wants and needs. But one of the most important aspects of counseling is finding what works best for you. The goal is to find the therapist and method that you feel most comfortable with as it is an investment of your time, money, and effort.





Spirituality and faith can be an important component of treatment for many people. Here’s to hoping understanding the different options helps you find exactly what you are looking for in terms of treatment.


I hope you find the path that's right for you!!!

Erin

 

Erin Kornahrens is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) at Canterbury Counseling Center in downtown Greenville.  She works mostly with women who have experienced the following:  anxiety, depression, trauma, abuse domestic violence, grief and loss, adjustment and phase of life issues, spiritual issues, interpersonal relationship issues, stress, and women’s issues.  She is certified in Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Global Trauma Recovery. You can learn more about her services at Canterburycounseling.org.




 

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