If you are a devout Christian and are looking for online therapy, this may likely be your best option. Faithful Counseling is the newest and fastest growing online Christian counseling platform. How many times have you gone to a counseling session that focuses solely on the clinical aspects of therapy? Wouldn’t you like to incorporate spiritual considerations into your therapy sessions? This is something that definitely was not available in the past. That has since changed. Faithful Counseling enables people to connect with a mental health professional who is also a practicing Christian. While the primary advantages are clear, let’s take a comprehensive look at the Faithful Counseling platform.
There’s not much information online about Faithful Counseling, but here’s what we do know: the company was started in early 2017 and is owned by the telehealth giant Teledoc, a company that operates a large assortment of health related businesses including BetterHelp online counseling. Its reputation quickly spread within the Christian community as being a place where counselors can help people address their unique challenges by inviting God into the conversation. Their stated goal is to not only improve the person’s state of physical and emotional well-being, but also their spiritual state of mind as well. Their Statement of Faith, which can be found on their website, is a testament to that. Naturally, it’s no surprise to see more than 100,000 people visiting the Faithful Counseling website each month.
It was surprising to see Faithful Counseling use such a well-thought-out platform. While usability will be covered below, it’s worth noting that signing up was a breeze. Whereas most Christian-related websites seem to be stuck in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s, Faithful Counseling uses a very simplistic signup method that is consistent with today’s modern design and features. It’s all very simple: answer a few short questions about yourself.
The Faithful Counseling Survey
Some of the standard questions are in there (“How old are you” and “Are you experiencing any anxiety”, etc.), however there are several faith-based questions as well. One such important question is, “which best describes the nature of the counseling you are seeking?” You can choose “mental health counseling from a Christian perspective,” “spiritual counseling on primarily faith-based matters,” “holistic counseling addressing both psychological and spiritual components,” or “other.” What’s particularly great about the Faithful Counseling program is that you set your goals and expectations. You determine the amount of “faith-based counseling” you’d like incorporated into your sessions. This is all seen during the sign-up process. In any event, the sign-up process is about 20 questions, which should take you roughly 5 minutes to complete. Once you have finished with the personal survey, you will need to create a private account – no, you don’t need to use your real name.
Creating a Private Account
You will be sent a verification code to your email. Simply verify your email and you are led to another very short questionnaire about your therapy preferences (if you’d like a male or female counselor, what type of experience you are looking for in a counselor, etc.). Once you have completed that, you are led to the secured payment page.
What’s great about Faithful Counseling is that they don’t make you choose a payment plan like most other online therapy services. Instead, they charge you a flat $90 per week – billed on a monthly basis ($360/month). This includes unlimited communication with your therapist via messaging, as well as weekly live virtual sessions. They also offer financial aid for those that qualify.
Faithful Counseling Payment Page
Usability (Desktop & Mobile):
Once you complete payment, you are then led to your own personal and private chat room, where a message from your licensed therapist awaits you (more on this in the next section). It’s important to note that Faithful Counseling’s algorithm chooses a therapist for you based on the initial survey you filled out (you can also switch therapists at any time). The chat room is extremely easy to use; it’s essentially an advanced version of WhatsApp. The layout is standard, with your therapist’s messages on top and your chat box below. You can attach files/photos for further clarity between you and your counselor. You can also change the font size, along with other smaller features such as bold/italics/underline and emojis. If you feel your message needs attention ASAP, you can mark your message(s) as urgent. By the way, messages are never deleted so you can always login and read previous messages.
Faithful Counseling Chat Room
At the bottom of the chat room, you can also schedule live chat, phone or video sessions. Simply pick a date and time from the drop-down menu and click ‘book’. Just a quick FYI: video sessions work like a traditional video interface (e.g. Skype), however it’s through the actual Faithful Counseling platform. Once you pick a time, your counselor will prompt you to start the video call. Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a more intuitive experience.
Booking a Live Session
Counselor Support & Effectiveness:
Not only am I new to online therapy but I was seeking support in a Christian-focused environment. It was a bit hard to be open-minded, and I was nervous about my interaction with my therapist. Would she be helpful? Does she have an understanding of Christianity? Would she truly care about my case? There were so many questions going on in my mind that it was initially very hard for me to bring myself to even start a chat with her (as you can tell by the dates above). I eventually brought myself to messaging Carly three days later and I can’t stress enough how pleased I am for making this decision. For starters, below is just a small portion of the message I received from my therapist Carly. The letter is more in-depth and surprisingly personal. Yes, the intro part of the message seemed a little ‘automated’ but as I continued to read it, Carly took the time out to tell me a little about herself – not only her professional life but also her personal life, and how she can help me.
Initial Message from Carly
Thereafter, Carly and I went into many different exercises, while she showed me different strategies for using Christianity as a foundation for therapy. While faith-based counseling was precisely what I was looking for, it wasn’t just about how she incorporated religion into it. Carly seamlessly unified both faith and professionalism in a manner I honestly can’t quite describe. While I understand that the efficacy of therapy varies by individual, for me the results were astounding. I can confidently say that 90% of this was due to Carly’s overall support and professionalism.
Confidentiality & Privacy:
I’m not a programmer and I have seen the recent “leaks” of supposedly secure websites. In my mind, I guess anything is possible. However, I figured for myself that I can only put in so many security measures in place, even in an offline environment. There is always an element of risk. Thankfully, Faithful Counseling goes the distance by providing state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure in order to protect users privacy. They claim that their privacy and confidentiality standards go over and beyond what’s required by law. Below is a list of how they keep your information secure.
Faithful Counseling’s Security Protocols
As you can see, aside from having the ability to stay completely anonymous, they use the most up to date encryption levels and fully secured servers.
Faithful Counseling’s Counselor Qualifications:
So here is where Faithful Counseling really impressed. For starters, all of their counselors are fully trained and licensed. They are either PhD/PsyD’s, LMFT’s, LCSW/LMSW’s or LPC’s. Every one of them holds either a Masters Degree or a Doctorate Degree in their field of practice and of course have been vetted/certified by their state’s professional board via education/training/practice. They all have, at the very least, three years and 2,000 hours of practicing experience. That was all great to see, but there was icing on the cake here as well. Every one of the Faithful Counseling counselors have self-identified as practicing Christians and affirmed that their beliefs align with the Faithful Counseling ‘Statement of Faith’:
Specialties & Areas of Expertise:
Keep in mind that Faithful Counseling provides therapy with a Christian perspective. This enables you to both cover the physical and theological aspects of therapy – essentially creating a bond in mind and thought. Being united in Christ is one of their primary missions, which can be seen in their Statement of Faith. As for the physical aspects, Faithful Counseling provides therapy in virtually all areas, including:
- Chronic Impulsivity
- Educational Assessments
- Life Transitions
- Social Behavior
- Substance Abuse
- Trauma & Abuse
Faithful Counseling is a fantastic online therapy option if you are looking for clinical expertise in a wide range of areas from therapists with a Christian background. It’s not just your mental and emotional state that you work on, but your spiritual health as well. On top of this, the intuitiveness of it all is supreme to most other online therapy options. And for $90/week for unlimited Christian therapy, it’s a bargain. If this type of therapy is what you are looking for, give it a try. Remember to keep the faith and all will work out in the end.