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Christian counselors are professional therapists and counselors who integrate the core beliefs of Christianity into services they offer to their patients. This form of faith-based counseling can be used to address a wide range of emotional and spiritual issues, and can be especially effective with patients who have a strong belief in basic Christian tenets. There are several ways that a Christian counselor may offer healing support to people who seek out his or her services.
One way that a Christian counselor may choose to function is with a private practice. In this scenario, the counselor works in a setting that is very much like that of a secular counselor or therapist. The counselor offers one-on-one sessions with patients and may also include group therapy as an option for patients when they reach a certain level in their recovery. Within the structure of those settings, the counselor may include elements of Christian faith and practice that are likely to prove helpful for the patient, such as vocal prayer or the use of parables or teachings found in various passages of the Christian scriptures, especially the New Testament.
A Christian counselor may also choose to function as a member of the staff of a mega-church or a jurisdiction composed of congregations of a particular denomination. Within this context, the counselor may provide services to the wider community under the sponsorship of his or her employer. It is not unusual for some Christian denominations or larger churches to provide Christian counseling services at no charge to not only members of the flock but also to the wider community as a public service.
Christian counselor jobs also include motivational speaking. This is often the case when the Christian counselor is also the author of self-help books written from a Christian perspective. In this type of Christian counselor career, the counselor seeks to provide ministry and healing to larger groups of people in a single session, rather than interacting with them on a one-on-one basis. While less personal, this approach to group therapy may be an ideal way for people who are not yet to the point where they are willing to seek private therapy sessions to at least begin to receive some healing from whatever is causing their discomfort.
It is important to note that not every Christian who is trained as a counselor or therapist is automatically a Christian counselor. In order to function in this capacity, the counselor must be recognized as having the formal training provided to other types of counselors, but also have training in applying the basic teachings of Christianity to their work with patients.
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