Seeking Counseling? Here are Some Recommendations.

Are you currently seeing a counselor?

Have you made the decision to start?

trustNow that you’re ready, willing, and able to begin (or continue) the healing journey, how about some tips for connecting with a good counselor?

Here are my recommendations:

1. Make sure you are seeing a Christian counselor. I firmly believe that God can speak through anyone, Christian or not, but working closely with someone who shares your beliefs makes life easier. I found myself constantly on guard when I was seeing a secular psychiatrist for depression many years ago. His advice was completely non-biblical, and I was nervous about expressing my faith at that time. He did have some encouraging things to say, but we certainly couldn’t connect on any deep level.

faith2. Your counselor needs to express dependence on God for wisdom and knowledge. Any counselor who relies wholly on his training and techniques is short-changing the process. I’ve received a fair amount of training in certain techniques and I utilize them when the situation calls for something specific, often as a visual aid or teaching tool. However, I know that I simply don’t have all the knowledge required in order to see my clients through to healing. I don’t have the answers they need. I can’t. But God can and does. He knows each of us better than we know ourselves, and certainly better than any counselor can know us.

It is humbling but exceedingly profitable to submit every moment of the counseling session to God. So if your counselor doesn’t admit to asking God’s help and listening to His guidance, it’s probably better to work with someone who does.

3. One of the worst things that can happen is that you develop a dependence on the counselor instead of God. A stronger word for this is idolatry. Anyone should be able to trust her counselor enough that a strong and responsible relationship develops–this is different from dependence. It can be a bit uncomfortable, but a counselor (whether licensed, professional, ministerial, or peer) must help you develop your relationship with God rather than solely with her. God is your source of healing. No person can take that position. No one is meant to. footprints in sand

By the way, if you are working well with a counselor who doesn’t meet the criteria I’ve outlined, don’t think you have to jump ship. These are simply recommendations from my own experiences on both sides of “the couch”. They aren’t law.

I do believe, however, that they are wise and Godly.

This is part 25 of a series on abuse recovery

Part 1| Am I Alone in my Pain?

Part 2| Do You Have Hope?

Part 3| Putting Your Hope in God is Safe

Part 4| How Do We Lose Our Hope?

Part 5| Growing up Without Hope

Part 6| Scripture Promises Can Stimulate Hope

Part 7| Hope Can be Found in Journaling

Part 8|Every Journey Begins with This

Part 9| Why Do We Quit Too Soon?

Part 10| Don’t Let These Stop You!

Part 11| Learning Too Much Can Stop Your Progress

Part 12| Is Fear of Change Hindering Your Healing?

Part 13| Are You Afraid You Don’t Deserve Healing?

Part 14| What if God Doesn’t Want Me to Be Healed?

Part 15| What if I Can’t Fight Long Enough for My Healing?

Part 16| Are You Living with Shame from Your Past?

Part 17| Do You Feel Like You Hate Your Own Soul?

Part 18| Shame

Part 19| Getting Rid of Shame

Part 20| God Has Good Plans for You

Part 21|Healing is Simple But Not Easy

Part 22| Is God Mad at Me?

Part 23| Do You Fear Abuse from God?

Part 24| Why Can’t I Believe What God Says?


all illustrations courtesy of