Faith and Technology. How Online Christian Therapists Are Helping More People Than Ever

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When the average person thinks of therapy, they likely don’t associate the term with religion. However, receiving Christian counseling can be extremely beneficial for those who are not only struggling and in need of therapy but also have religious beliefs and values. While many churches offer free or highly affordable therapy to those in their congregation and community, it’s not common knowledge that there are private sector counselors who specialize in Christianity. Christian counselors are becoming increasingly popular in truly helping people navigate these tough times. And the best part? Helping others build faith leads to establishing positive perspectives which will endure long beyond these trying times. It should therefore come as no surprise, that as online therapy has grown in popularity, online Christian counseling services have gained momentum in parallel.

Why do people opt for Christian counseling in the first place?

For devout Christians their faith informs their outlook on every aspect of life, as nothing that happens is viewed as ‘random’ or ‘arbitrary.’ So, it’s natural to want a counselor who understands one’s perspective on life. That being said, what’s most important is finding the right fit, and sometimes that has nothing to do with religions. Plus, who knows? Maybe a Christian counselor can help you tap into feelings they didn’t realize existed and guide them in developing a relationship with God.

The same can be said of those that are deeply religious. While it would obviously put one at ease to seek help from a religious counselor who understands Christianity and can provide them with faith-based guidance, it could be the case that a secular counselor is better equipped in terms of their approach to provide therapeutic help.

That being said, for those who are strong in their Christian faith and are eager to receive counseling, a Christian counselor is typically a more relevant choice and one that is growing in popularity by the day. Christian counseling incorporates bible-based beliefs, values, and aspirations. Additionally, there are certain struggles that Christians face with regards to their faith, and a Christian counselor will more likely be able to understand and relate, which is incredibly helpful.

A Christian counselor will understand their trials, tribulations, and can help them cope with faith-based and non-faith-based issues without judgment. This is particularly critical for people who feel as if they’ve dealt with a lot of sin in their lives. A Christian counselor will be able to create a safe space emotionally and physically and will provide help in a nuanced way that a secular counselor or a counselor of another religion may not. There is a certain value and added comfort in being counseled by someone who can provide guidance while sharing the same values.

The transition from in-person to online Christian counseling

While the benefits of opting specifically for Christian counseling are clear, the question is if they also carry-over in virtual, or online sessions. Though it’s still early to tell for sure, the popularity of providers of Christian counseling services, such as Faithful Counseling, seems to indicate that more and more people are enjoying the benefits of engaging in Christian counseling sessions online. Though the intimacy of in-person sessions can certainly be one drawback, for many, the benefits of lower costs and more flexibility in terms of scheduling options can easily compensate. These sessions can still be conducted by qualified therapists with a Christian background and approach to therapy, so their take on counseling should be just as relevant to devout Christians as their in-office counterparts.

So what’s the bottom line?

Though it’s still relatively early to determine if virtual Christian counseling is a strong alternative to in-person sessions, there is good cause to be optimistic. The therapists and providers are learning to better adapt their treatments to virtual sessions and incorporate many, if not all, of their best practices.

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Alexis Dent is an essayist, author, and entrepreneur. Her work is primarily focused on mental illness, relationships, and pop culture. You can find her writing in Washington Post, Greatist, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, and more.
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