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Christian Counseling - The Differences and Similarities Between Christian and Secular Counseling

There are major similarities and differences between Christian and secular counseling. The overarching goal of both is to help others identify and resolve personal or corporate problems and enhance their well-being and productivity. Besides some state and church positions, all counselors or therapists are educated with at least a master's degree in the field of psychology or in a related field, such as social work or psychiatry. Also, each counselor operates from their own developed theory about who people are, what they are capable of and what helps them change and heal.

Most clinicians adopt a counseling orientation of someone well-known primarily in the fields of cognitive (changes maladaptive and false ways of thinking), behavior (modifies maladaptive or ineffective patterns of behavior) or psychodynamic (develops self-understanding by making conscious thoughts, feelings and experiences that have been cut off) treatment. There are also eclectic therapists who blend different theories and techniques. Clients should know about a counselor's orientation before making a first appointment.

What makes Christian counseling unique is that counselors have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, receive at least some Bible training, have a positive view of religion, hold spirituality to be about one's relationship with God rather than the secular view of whatever one's values are, incorporate prayer, operate from Judeo-Christian values, believe truth is primarily found in scripture with information from science being helpful, and recognize and make use of the Holy Spirit.

At our center, we primarily provide spiritually-based psychodynamic therapy to our clients, although we also do some cognitive and behavior work as well. Every counselor has a unique set of values and beliefs, which always greatly influence treatment. We believe clients should know and have the right to know what their therapist believes and the values to which he or she subscribes. We are not hesitant about sharing them with first-time callers, during sessions and in our writings. However, you will not find a counselor, or any one for that matter, who believes exactly as you do. Sometimes I don't even agree with myself. For more information, visit our website (cccrd.org) and go to "About CCCRD" where you can read about our faith and philosophy.

It is our firm belief that central to effective counseling and client healing is the idea and practice of "it is the relationship (between client and therapist) that heals." This is why we have put the word "Relationship" in the name of our business and ministry. Most problems people face are the result of past and present relationships gone bad, therefore, it's a new relationship that has the potential to be of significant help.

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