What is the difference between “faith based” and “Christian” counseling?
At Doorways, we believe that shared faith and beliefs can provide a foundation for the connection and rapport that can make all the difference in managing mental health. Additionally, adolescence is one of the first times in life that people begin to question the beliefs that were handed down to them from their parents in an effort to establish themselves as a separate being. Religious beliefs are one of these handed down belief systems that may be called into question and having a counselor to talk to who shares those beliefs can make this process less tumultuous.
Faith based counseling can also be very beneficial for those families and teens that have a strong religious belief and practice. For these families, their beliefs are so foundational to who they are and how their children are raised that it is critical to have a mental health practitioner who understands not only their faith but how integral that faith is to who they are and how they were raised. Families and teens can seek the mental health services they need without feeling as though they need to disregard or defend their beliefs.
Faith based counseling programs and counselors approach treatment holistically and look to integrate the mental, relational, emotional, and spiritual aspects of care to help the whole person. Faith-based mental health practitioners may combine faith, spirituality, theological concepts into the traditional therapeutic process. This approach to mental health management believes that treating these types of problems works best when faith and modern science combine to treat the whole person.
If you feel this is the best approach for your family, make sure you look for faith based practitioners who also meet these two qualifications: they need to be a licensed mental health practitioner and specialize in working with children, teens, and families. Mental health problems can be very serious and it is crucial that the person you trust with your adolescent’s well-being is trained in treating mental health issues from a professional and educated perspective.
- How is faith based applied at Doorways? At Doorways, we believe that God is real and that God wants us to be whole and well. We believe that God is at work in all people and can provide comfort and healing. All of the providers at Doorways have a faith perspective based on the life and teachings of Jesus. If you are a Christian, this should be in line with your spiritual understanding and we will honor your faith commitment throughout the process of treatment. If you are not of the Christian faith, we commit to respect your individual understanding and desires without pressuring you to believe a certain way.
- Do you talk about God, pray or read the Bible in your sessions? No, we do not, only if requested by the patient.
- What if I’m Jewish or Muslim or Agnostic? Am I going to feel uncomfortable because I am not from the Christian tradition? We respect all faiths. Your religion will only be discussed as much as you desire. Everyone is welcome at Doorways regardless of beliefs, religion or choices. We accept people as they are, where they are at and do not bring up discussions about spirituality unless it is initiated by the patient.
- So what’s the benefit of a faith-based provider? The staff at Doorways believes that God is the healer of all of us and with that in mind, we commit ourselves to allowing God to work in our lives to help our patients.
- I smoke, drink, take drugs, swear, etc. Are you going to judge me? We are here to help people and not judge. That is not our job. Our job is to help.
If you feel that our philosophy of faith-based counseling is right for you, we invite you to call us at 602-997-2880.