Christian counseling that leaves one with a better limp is not a true reflection of our God.
He is God of the impossible so nothing less than complete and permanent healing from trauma and abuse should be acceptable.
Christians are to be separate, different, peculiar in life. Our counseling should also reflect that. Those that come for Christian counseling should expect their lives to be changed to better reflect who they are in Christ. And, as counselors, that is our job to ensure that they do.
We have a God of restoration, joy, and power. When a client leaves the office, they should do so with praise on their lips and amazement at their great God and what He has done for them. They should know themselves better and connect with Christ in ways that they only dreamed possible.
The problem is that we teach secular, humanistic ways of therapy as “Christian” counseling. We place ourselves under a state that insists we use their ways even as they oppose our God. Why do they get to set the standard for us? We should be radically different.
I spoke at a breakfast for professional Christian counselors a few years back. My topic was “Partnering with Christ for full healing of trauma and abuse.” As I spoke, the counselors looked at me like deer caught in the headlights. So I asked, “How many of you are bringing Christ into your sessions?” Not one of the forty-two counselors raised their hands. Then I asked, “How many of you know how to bring Christ into your sessions?” Again, not a single one raised their hand.
How can we call ourselves Christian counselors when Christ is not an integral part of our work? A prayer bookending a session with the world’s ways in the middle is not Christian counseling.
Christ said that He came to heal the brokenhearted and to set the captives free. Either such healing and freedom are possible as He said or He lied and we better use worldly ways after all. We either believe Him irrelevant or omnipotent. It cannot be both.
Where is the true power in your Christian counseling? It is not in CBT or EMDR or any other modality. It is in His person and presence in the counseling office. HE is the great Healer, the great Counselor. Is He not invited into the session with us?
If He spoke truth then where are the amazing testimonies of His healing?
Sadly, I don’t hear them come from standard Christian counseling. Yet, my clients for the past two decades have those testimonies. They are receiving astonishing healing and complete freedom from their past. I’m not helping them to tolerate their life, I’m connecting them with Life Himself and they are being transformed.
The most horrendous of trauma experiences are so completely healed that they no longer hold pain, shame, or power. The most broken hearts are so healed that we can’t find the scars after our sessions. PTSD is no longer running lives and anxiety is changed to peace. The most imprisoned soul is easily set free with Christ in the room.
These should be expected outcomes for every person that comes for Christian counseling.
Without Christ in our sessions, no one gets truly healed yet the church insists their counselors use worldly ways and have state approval. Their standard is set by a world that hates our God.
I had a church tell me that I am not qualified to counsel at their church because I deliberately don’t hold state licensure but rather hold a national Christian license. My not having state approval disqualified me for Christian counseling? I don’t answer to the world and never will. But, this megachurch does. It does not matter that my clients are getting healed. That state paper has to be worshipped and obeyed.
Yet, I have a Ph.D. in Clinical Pastoral Counseling, a Master of Divinity, and clients that are receiving full healing from the pain of their past. That church is right, I’m not qualified to bring the intolerable, worldly “recovery” upon which they insist their “Christian” counselors practice.
My heart breaks for those seeking Christ and His healing touch only to receive what the world has to offer. I personally can’t stand before Him having held the world’s standards above His.
Those with severe trauma are told that they will always be broken, that they cannot fully recover but life can be made better with some secular counseling methods. It is a flat-out lie that one never can recover from trauma. I’ve seen hundreds so healed. Not only is full recovery possible but nothing less should ever be acceptable to the client or to the counselor.
There needs to be a counseling reformation
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We either need to stop calling ourselves “Christian” counselors and admit that we really use only secular methods or learn how to be true Christian counselors that bring His healing and freedom.
Don’t get me wrong, learning the modalities and methods of the world’s teaching can be a huge help. Understanding the human psyche and even pharmaceutical interventions needs to be a part of our training but, without Christ, we do a huge disservice to our clients and we can never bring them to a full restoration. We are not true Christian counselors without Christ.
I want to ensure that nothing less than full healing is available and acceptable to every Christian seeking help. And, I also want to ensure that every Christian counselor knows how to achieve this healing for their clients. What if we all were so equipped? Now a powerful, healed and whole body of Christ would be possible in every local church.
There is nothing more satisfying, more joy-producing than seeing your clients truly set free from their pain. They have lived out an identity based in brokenness and shame but that can be transformed into a new identity based in awe and in hope. Their future opens up as their past is healed. Every client. Every time.
There is such a huge difference between what is possible and the poor substitute offered today. It doesn’t have to stay this way. All it will take is for an additional type of coursework to be done in training counselors. That work is training in true Christian counseling. We don’t have to replace what is being taught but we do have to add to it. Not the ways of the world but of the Lord.
True inner healing work with Christ changes lives but it has not gone mainstream and has been opposed as not real counseling. But, it is meeting with the Lord in a trauma memory that reframes, restores, and repairs the core heart. They are changed from the inside out as if the damage had never happened. If that is not real counseling, show me what is.
I don’t want more people to come to me and say they never got real help from other counselors before they came to me. The only reason that is said is because we aren’t training counselors in the ways that actually heal and restore.
We joined this profession because our hearts want to serve and help. It is painful to fall short with our clients. Watching them leave a session with such brokenness when we so wanted to change their lives can be a thing of the past. We have the answers. At least we can have them.
Every Christian counselor needs to be trained and equipped to join the Lord in bringing true healing, absolute freedom and the experience of joy as a normal state of being for their clients.
I stand ready to teach hundreds of counselors how to truly heal their clients. Are you one of them? Wouldn’t you love to give these results to your clients?
I’m sure the opposition will be great. It goes against what has been taught in universities and even in seminaries to not follow the secular ways. It goes against what the state will tell us is acceptable to say with our clients. It defies the status quo of what trauma “recovery” looks like.
Many will not be interested in learning these truly effective ways and will continue to use only secular methods with their very limited outcomes. But, for those interested, let’s transform our practices. Let’s make true, eternal differences.
Those trained will become part of a network of counselors that can actually heal. Christians will now have a real choice – the old, worldly counseling method or the true way to full healing and freedom.
I invite you to take your training to a whole new level. Know what it really means to live and work as a true Christian counselor. You will be in a completely different class of counselors. You and your clients will experience the joy of the Lord, your faith will explode and we can even double your income.
Want to talk? I can’t wait to meet you.
“I work with individuals to actually find themselves in Christ and have their lives truly function well in Him. Often I am serving those most hurt by the world – those who have experienced severe trauma and abuse and helping them to find complete healing from the pain and the memories.
I have seen the Lord heal hundreds. Nothing has been too difficult for Him.”