E-Mail 'How To Support A Friend or Family Member In Counseling' To A Friend

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Genesis May 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm

I am recently going to therapy for my Hypochondria and i am a little nervous and i told my mom if i could get a christian counselor but she said no. Is it important that my counselor is a Christian?

DocReits May 8, 2014 at 10:28 am

Good counsel Pamela,

As a doctor, I see many patients who suffer various maladies. Those include physical and mental disorders. Often times the mental problems have a physical basis and are chemically mediated. Sometimes not.

I mention this to include a thorough examination by your physician in order to rule out chemical imbalance(such as hormonal…egs. thyroid, estrogen imbalances). Further, some anxiety disorders, can also be remedied through proper medicinal therapy.

For family counseling, OTOH, such as marital and family issues, I caution Christians. For those mature enough(physically and spiritually), I recommend prayer and fasting, before counseling is sought.

Often times the counselors themselves need counseling, and are of no benefit and may cause harm. I recall three different marriage counselors which my wife and I sought out in the past. Two actually lost their licenses for improper relationships with their female patients. My wife and I, of 43 years, should have given them counsel….

Your remarks about compassion and prayer for those we know, who are going through difficult times is well received and I thank you for them.



David May 10, 2014 at 9:09 am

As usual Doc, a good response by you.
Yes often councelors need prayer too. Good point about fasting, and imbalance where medication is needed.
David, central Europe

Pamela Rose Williams May 20, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Hello Genesis and Doc and David, I just saw this comment and thought I would respond to all three of you here.

I totally agree with what Doc said regarding a visit to your primary doctor to rule out physical issues. In fact, At Selah Mountain Ministries our Biblical Counselor includes this advice during the initial session with every counselee, and we collect medical information on our “Confidential Client Information” paperwork prior to meeting. In addition, if a counselee is currently taking any medications we emphasize the importance of continuing on the regular schedule of medications and only to change that under the advice of the prescribing doctor. We are not medical doctors and therefore defer to the experts in this area.

It is sad that many counselors who advertise as “Christian counseling” never even open God’s word during the counseling session. We know this because we hear it from folks who had previously attended sessions with a Christian counselor before coming to us. My recommendation would be to seek a “Biblical” counselor because then you know that you will be led by God’s wisdom and not man’s word.

In the case of a female or minor child counselee who is paired up with a male counselor it is very important that they are chaperoned by another female. In fact even if it is a Female counselor they should be chaperoned. In our ministry when a chaperone is needed we do it by camera. The camera in the counseling office is aimed at the lady or minor child counselee and it is monitored by someone in another room. There is no sound and only video because the monitor does not need to hear the discussion they simply act as a security thus helping all involved parties to “avoid all appearance of evil”. We are careful to let anyone whom is on camera know that they are and we have had nothing but gratitude for the security that we provide in this way. Alternately another person can sit in on the counseling session as a chaperone but we have found that counselees are less comfortable with this method.

I hope this is helpful and thank you all for your comments and encouraging words.

PS. Genesis if you need help finding a Biblical Counselor in your area please feel free to send me your location to my email: [email protected] and I would be happy to see what I can find for you.

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