Christian Counseling

Christian Counseling in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM

Christian Counseling is one of the many therapeutic models we offer at the Center for Growth. If it’s important that your beliefs or spiritual practices are a part of your therapy experience, we have counselors who are equipped to accompany you in this way. Our Christian counselors are trained to integrate evidence-based practices with faith in a way that honors both psychological and spiritual realities. There are many denominations and ways of practicing the Christian faith. Similarly, there are many ways of incorporating spirituality into the therapeutic process. We understand that many have felt misunderstood in religious communities and have even suffered trauma at the hands of those who identify as Christian. If you are interested in maintaining some sort of Christian practice, but aren’t sure how or where to begin, our counselors can walk you through this process. Christian Counseling can be tailored to your mental health needs as well as to your particular understanding and experience within Christianity. Our Christian counselors are familiar with the different nuances of religious traditions and denominations, and how these nuances may inform or reflect your worldview.

So, what is different about Christian counseling? Based on the client’s needs and preferences, Christian counseling may include:

→ Praying with your counselor

→ Talking openly about spirituality and how it guides you

→ Working to create rituals that support your faith and healing

→ Incorporating the concept of “God’s will” into discernment and decision-making

→ Understanding suffering and redemption through the lens of scripture and Christian belief

→ Sifting through past religious trauma and finding new ways of incorporating Christianity into your life and mental health journey

Christian Counseling and Grief Therapy in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Loss is an inevitable part of the human experience, whether it is the loss of a loved one, loss of health, or the loss of a dream. Grief can shake us to the core and make us question the goodness and omnipotence of God. How could God allow such suffering? How could God take this person or thing away from me? How can I lean on my faith when all I see and feel is sadness? How can I ever trust God again? Christian Counseling allows room for these questions and provides a space to find God in the midst of loss and doubt.

Christian Counseling and Anxiety Therapy in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Fear, anxiety, and stress are universal experiences. We may be anxious over a test we are studying for, the health of a loved one, or the state of the world. Most of us fear sickness, death, and loss. And all of us experience the stress of daily living – getting a flat tire, deadlines at work, and juggling family activities. Christianity subscribes to the belief that there is a God who hears us and sees us in our distress and anxiety. There is a God who cares about the small details of our lives and the existential dread we carry about the end of our lives. Christian counseling does not dismiss the very real fear and anxiety we experience. It is not a moral failure to be anxious. For those who struggle with anxiety disorders, it may feel particularly discouraging. Why can’t I just trust more? Anxiety is not your fault; it is part of the human condition. That may be why “fear not” is repeated more times in scripture than any other phrase – even Jesus experienced great fear. Christian counseling can help you develop coping skills to manage your anxiety and it can also help you understand anxiety in light of God’s promises and peace.

Christian Counseling and Depression Therapy in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM

“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

We cannot talk ourselves out of depression or even pray ourselves out of depression. Depression often feels like a great fog, emptiness, or sense of isolation that we cannot shake. While faith is not a magic bullet that takes these things away, there is comfort in knowing that Jesus journeys into the darkness with us. Jesus is often referred to as a “man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3) because of the profound suffering he endured. He was well acquainted with darkness and even isolation as he bore his cross. Christianity does not subscribe to a God who is far off or distant from the human experience of depression. Our Christian counselors can provide you with practical tools to help with your depressive symptoms and also point you towards the comfort and hope of Christ’s light in the darkness of our lives.

Christian Counseling and Marriage Therapy in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."

What does it look like to live out a Christian marriage? What do you do when your marriage isn’t working? How do you square divorce and Christian teaching? What does it mean to love someone with the love of Christ? What does sacrificial love really mean? How do we think about intimacy and procreation in light of scripture and Christian tradition? These are all questions that have many answers and Christian counseling can help you navigate them in a way that aligns with your particular values and understanding of the Christian faith.

Christian Counseling and Pregnancy/Parenthood in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM:

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

Are you pregnant and struggling? Was this pregnancy a surprise that you did not feel ready for? Do you lack the support of a partner? Are you doubting whether or not you are equipped to be a mother or father? Are you unsure if you want to keep your baby? Are you struggling to integrate your Christian beliefs into your experience of parenthood? These are questions that our Christian counselors can walk you through. Finding out that you will soon be a parent can be one of the most exhilarating, but also one of the scariest moments of your life. Do not go this road alone – we are here to accompany you on the journey.

Christian Counseling and Discernment in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM:

“In all your ways acknowledge God and he will make your paths straight.”

How do you make decisions in your life about relationships, work, children, schooling, etc.? Who do you trust for sound advice and what do you do when the way forward is unclear? If you are struggling with a life decision right now, you may be asking yourself “what is God’s will?” This is a tricky question! Where does human desire meet God’s will? How do we choose between two good things? How can we know if what we desire is in alignment with our faith? The will of God is a great mystery, and if it is something you are grappling with, we have Christian counselors who can explore this question with you.

Christian Counseling and Guilt/Shame Therapy in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM

“There is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus.”

We have all made decisions and mistakes that we’re not proud of. The guilt and shame we experience as a result of those mistakes can feel all-consuming. We may even feel defined by the wrong we have done, knowing that we cannot go back and change our past. Scripture reminds us that God can work “all things together for good” (Romans 8:28). Even the most unimaginable wrongdoing – even that! While feelings of guilt can sometimes lead us to a positive change in behavior, shame tells us that we are not worthy of forgiveness. Our Christian counselors can help you explore feelings of guilt and shame in light of God’s unconditional mercy and acceptance.

Christian Counseling and Forgiveness Therapy in Philadelphia PA, Mechanicsville VA, Ocean City NJ, Santa Fe NM

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Are you having trouble forgiving someone? Are you struggling to forgive yourself? When we are living in a state of unforgiveness, either towards ourselves or someone else, it can keep us feeling stuck. We often know that we want to forgive, but we cannot make ourselves get to a place of genuine forgiveness. We sometimes need someone else to guide us through the process of forgiveness. Our Christian counselors can walk with you through this process. Together you can explore what barriers may be in the way of forgiveness. What does forgiveness look like when boundaries still need to be set? How can we channel Christ’s forgiveness into our hearts and lives?