You just need to trust God more.
Has anyone ever said something like this to you? Historically, the church has not always done a good job of acknowledging emotional pain and struggles. A shift is underway, but we have a long way to go.
Faith and Therapy
When our bodies are hurt or ailing, most Christians do not hesitate to pray and go to the doctor for help and healing. But for some reason, when our aches and ailments cannot be verified with a test or scan, we are told to simply pray… and pray some more.
As a result, many Christians have come to believe that their emotional struggles stem from a lack of faith. But when we look to Scripture, we see that faith does not become effective at a certain level. No, Jesus said we only need the smallest amount, the size of a mustard seed, to move mountains. Faith is not about quantity. It’s about relationship, dependency and the ache to simply reach out and touch the edge of the robe of the One you know can save you (see Mark 5:25-34).
We also see in Scripture that it is possible for faith and doubt to co-exist. Remember the man with the demon-possessed son? When confronted with his wavering faith, he said to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). This man’s uncertainty did not negate Jesus’ ability to heal and restore his son.
We live in a world where all of creation, including us, has been tainted by the effects of the fall. You are not hurting because you are somehow deficient in faith. There is simply something inside of you that needs tending to. And just like you would go to the doctor for a medical need, it is okay to seek out counseling for an emotional or relational need.
What is Christian Counseling?
Some counselors are Christians. Some counselors believe that the Bible and the Bible alone are all you need to heal. Others carefully integrate their faith with evidence-based therapy models. My approach is the latter.
Yes, I believe that Jesus is sufficient to heal what ails you. And I also believe that His word provides the foundation for truth and understanding of the human condition. But I also know that He allows people, some who are believers and some who are not, to uncover the mysteries of His creation and use those discoveries for the benefit of everyone.
I believe that God can use spirit-filled counselors, equipped with the advances in the field, to be His hands and feet of healing in the valleys and hard places of life.
I had a professor in graduate school say, “Preachers preach it, social workers do it.” That statement still rings true for me. I have come to find that my training and my faith complement each other in many ways and it is my aim to think critically about the intersection of the two.
What will Christian Counseling be like?
The structure of our work together and my overall style is explained in detail here.
God created us in His image as relational beings. Therefore, I see connection as a foundation for good mental health. Our relationships with God, others, and ourselves are important to explore.
Together, we will discuss how you would like to integrate your faith into your treatment. For some, it is simply enough to know that we share the same worldview. For others, I offer prayer, Scripture, exploration of your relationship with God, and a deeper look at your theology of suffering. I also encourage clients to explore God’s heart for them as loving and compassionate Father.
If you would like to learn more about my integrative approach to Christian counseling, please reach out. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. [Please note, I am only licensed to provide counseling to clients in Connecticut]