Faith Based vs. Traditional Therapy: What’s the difference?

When I entered into the field of mental health almost 10 years ago, I knew that I wanted to offer a unique approach to the counseling room. One that did not ignore the realities of living in a very real, very present world (“…in this world you will have trouble…”John 16:33) but an approach that also acknowledged the power of a righteous and healing God that came to save us from it all, to include the plague of our mental health (“…But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33). So, what is faith based Biblical therapy and how does it differentiate from traditional psychotherapy.

  1. Faith based therapy acknowledges that all things are created for God and by God.

If you are looking for a faith based therapist, consider how your faith and that of your therapists closely aligns. What are the core tenants of your faith and how vital is it that your therapist understands and/or believes the same core tenants. For example, understanding and/or believing what the Bible says about divorce from your perspective, may make or break the therapeutic rapport when considering how to plan for your treatment. While it is 100% up to the client the type of treatment they receive and the goals they create, how your therapist implements your goals is informed by their worldview, even when doing their best to remain unbiased.

2. Christian faith based therapy shares a biblical worldview

Something that I see often with my clients who are seeking faith based counseling is their need to feel understood on their Biblical worldview. A common complaint is feeling as if they have found a counselor that states they are faith based and yet, they are able to offer very little guidance from a Biblical perspective. One way of gaining confidence in having a counselor that is informed by the Bible is to first interview them. At Mental Health & Christian Counseling Services, we offer a free 15-minute consultation to determine if we are a good fit for you and you for us. Remember, when considering therapy, all therapists are unique and do not fit the needs of all clients

3. Faith based therapy is done in excellence

Faith based therapy that is rooted in Biblical truth is not a therapy that is void of empiricism and research. Nor does it ignore scientific data. It simply ensures that the empiricism and data used in the therapy room us not contradictory to its ultimate, foundational truth – the inspired Word of God. I’ll give you an example. CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches the connection between our cognitions or thoughts and the behaviors or actions that follow. It’s research has shown that if we are able to capture and reconstruct our intrusive or irrational beliefs, we will develop healthier thoughts and behaviors.

From a faith based perspective, we see the evidenced based concept of CBT, with the added element of biblical truth (Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. We must take our thoughts into captivity through the renewal of our minds. Proverbs 4:23 NCV).

Effective faith based therapy is not only evidenced based just as traditional therapy, but it also coincides with the core belief of Biblical truth, and the lense through which you see the world, relationships and others.

If you are looking to begin your own journey of mental health care that is influenced by faith based care, click the link to get started today!

Be well,

Donisa J Hammond, LCMHC

Clinical Mental Health & Christian Counselor