Perhaps we should begin by saying that any one of us, at one time or another, has experienced enough prolonged sadness, fear, anger or confusion in our lives which probably would have benefited by some sort of professional counseling. Whether any of us, individually, would be willing to admit that, might be an entirely different story. The fact remains, as human beings, we are very fragile creatures. We can emotionally buckle under the strain of a death in the family, a job loss, an unfaithful spouse, an out-of-control child or our own, personal feelings of inadequacy, depression or anxiety that don’t seem to have any cause we can put our finger on.
God offers any number of people in our lives to provide bodily healing such as doctors, surgeons or physical therapists, for example. God, also, places other gifted professionals in our paths to help us cope emotionally with psychological challenges; and that’s where counselors come in. Christian counselors, however, unlike secular counselors, will incorporate a client’s desire for prayer as well as Holy Scripture and biblical insight to help navigate through emotional trauma or spiritual concerns a Christian might be facing.
Who Seeks Christian Counseling?
But how do we really know when seeking a Christian counselor like those available at www.heartfeltcc.com, is appropriate? It should be stated that seeking Christian counseling at Heartfelt Christian Counseling vs. secular counseling would certainly be a personal choice. Some individuals would have absolutely no interest in receiving insight from a Christian perspective or approach while others would consider that as the only option. It would probably be safe to say, however, that most Christians who are in need of counseling would choose a Christian counselor over a non-Christian therapist since that would be in line with incorporating God, prayer and biblical teachings into the healing process. There’s another group of people– those who aren’t sure what Christianity is all about and have sought secular counseling that has, quite possibly, proven to be ineffective for them. They might be dabbling with the idea of learning more about what the Bible has to say concerning life’s challenges, and are willing to open themselves to a biblical approach, even if it means they are simply testing the waters regarding Christian intervention.
In any event, life can get rough for any of us! No one is exempt.
When The Red Flags Fly:
According to the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, more than 80% of Americans believe their spiritual faith is closely tied to their state of mental and emotional health. Yet even new or mature Christians can experience upheaval in their lives that seems to overpower one’s abilities to think clearly and feel joy and contentment. It is here where Christian counseling can offer hope and healing. There can be times when we realize that professional help can be a light at the end of a dark tunnel—and that light can become very illuminating when we feel we need to:
1: Strengthen relationships that are functioning inadequately—If your marriage or your relationship with your children, other family members or even co-workers is taking a toll on you emotionally, you can delve into the causes, both known and unknown, and come to grips with how to effectively improve interaction at any level.
2: Manage feelings of chronic stress and anxiety—Stress and anxiety can be debilitating. Becoming aware of any triggers that produce these feelings can be explored and analyzed.
3: Control anger in positive, non-threatening ways—Anger is normal and reasonable; out-of-control anger is not. Extreme anger is a loss of control and learning how to manage anger instead of anger managing you can be revealed and applied in day-to-day living.
4: Cope effectively with depression—Nothing can quite compare to depression. When a person feels like the life has been sucked out of them, each moment of time from sunrise to sunset can become 100% meaningless and joyless. Depression should never be left to disappear on its own since suicide can, at times, become a consideration for the person afflicted.
5: Discover how to become a more effective problem-solver—Many times the stressors in our lives are due to not so much the problems in front of us, but how we choose to handle them! Every problem has a solution; but the key is understanding which solutions work and which can cause even more dilemmas! This can apply to both home and the work place.
6: Improve communication and listening skills—Lack of communication in a relationship can be disastrous. In a marriage, particularly, a lack of communication can be the nails in the coffin and contribute to the death of what should be a lifelong relationship. Learning how to speak with someone instead of to someone is crucial!
7: Enhance self-esteem and boost self-confidence–Many individuals go through every day feeling totally inadequate or inferior to others. Whether it’s the way one perceives himself physically or the way one feels about himself emotionally, negative self-esteem can be a roadblock to self-contentment, inner peace and even personal achievements.
8: Deal with trauma and post-traumatic-stress-disorder—Living with the past, especially when the past includes events that are especially traumatizing and disturbing, one’s mental health can suffer severely. A whole slew of issues can surface as secondary problems which can adversely affect not only the person with PTSD, but those around him.
Support From God’s Word:
In Proverbs 15:22, the Bible tells us: “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” And some of those plans deal with our desires to heal emotionally. It’s not always possible to do it alone; and finding compassion, empathy and healing through professionals who understand and can share relevant teachings of the Bible can make all the difference in the world in a person’s life! Seeking counsel for life’s challenges is not only prudent, but is advised by God Himself, as Proverbs 8:26, also, tells us: “He who trusts in himself is foolish…”
If you feel the need to become closer to God and want to use God’s word and follow God’s will to help you heal–whether it’s dealing with emotional trauma, eating disorders, or simply wanting to learn how to effectively parent your child–you never have to handle it on your own! Christian counselors can help to make the journey a whole lot easier and give you more of that inner peace we all strive for!