Christian Counselling (sometimes called Pastoral Counselling) is where the client gives the psychologist permission to explore aspects of the Christian faith tradition that can help the counselling process.
These may include reflecting together on selected passages from the Bible, or texts by Christian authors such as “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, or “Boundaries” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. There may be certain worship songs or hymns, prayers or poems, that a client comes to find particularly meaningful whilst working through a challenging time in his or her life.
It is important to note that Christian Counselling is NOT about evangelism, discipleship or biblical education. It is NOT about leading a client towards committing to a life of Christian faith.
Pastoral Counselling is about meeting a client where he or she is at spiritually, and using Christian as well as other psychological resources to facilitate the journey through a difficult time.
Consider for instance this application of the Bible’s Book of Job:
Job was a man who had everything – a beautiful family, farm, everything. But one day, it’s all taken away. Even his health. He finds himself alone, destitute, scratching his sores. And eventually he calls to God: “Why!”
God did not give Job all the answers. God did not give Job a “quick fix” or a “wave of the magic wand”.
In fact God took quite some time with Job, enough to warrant several chapters of text be written! God took this time on purpose, because God walked Job through a time of significant personal growth and revelation. God opened Job’s eyes to how vast the world is, and the place of every thing, both in nature and in the moral realm. Job’s response? He SAW God.
This may not be the “happy ending” you were hoping for when you began reading this page. Psychologists don’t have a magic wand, and don’t have the power to take away all suffering. You and I both know that the real world is a complex and sometimes unpredictable place – one day we might feel in complete control, and the next it seems like everything has fallen to pieces. But … What about the day after that?
In Christian Counselling for depression, the psychologist walks beside the client, facilitating the journey towards a new perspective.
It may be that you as a client will in time take hold of a greater picture, one sturdy enough that it can contain both joy and pain. As your view of the world becomes wider, you become more resilient, more humble, more gracious, indeed more Christlike.
Please Note: Naomi is not currently practising at Vision Psychology, but is continuing to provide supervision for provisional (including 4+2 and 5+1) and registered psychologists, and for ministry agents in the wider Christian community. If you would like information regarding supervision, or want to book an appointment with a Christian psychologist, please contact Reception on 1800 877 924.
Please Note: Naomi is not currently seeing clients, but is continuing to provide supervision for provisional (including 4+2 and 5+1) and registered psychologists, and for ministry agents in the wider Christian community. If you would like information regarding supervision, please click here to send a contact form to Naomi.