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A growing connection between religion counseling and psychological wellbeing shows that faith and treatment do go together. 

People who have an active spirituality typically have higher levels of career satisfaction, better coping skills, and a sense of what their life purpose is each day. That structure in their life leads to a higher level of happiness.

Helping people who use faith as their guide can be a challenge for those who focus more on secular treatment options. Imagine a woman caught in a domestic violence situation who refuses to leave her spouse because of her personal belief that divorce is morally wrong.

Can the counselor encourage this woman from a faith-based perspective to be “submissive”? No – because that would promote abuse. That means religion counseling must sometimes place people into a position where a difficult choice gets made.

Religion Counseling Gives People Time

Religious views tend to fall along conservative spectrums. That means there can be some fear in the counseling profession around the thinking that gets encountered when help is necessary.

Religion counseling takes that fear out of the equation. It encourages the therapist to listen to what a patient is saying and ask if it is working. Faith can provide someone with an incredible amount of strength.

Spirituality isn’t as rigid as people think. It is not unusual for people to make future decisions that seem contrary to today’s religious beliefs because counseling gives them time to work through complex issues.

Even if a counselor doesn’t agree with a particular faith, acknowledging that a person’s spirituality is still critical to the process. If a professional prejudges an individual without listening to them, then how can the person seeking help draw connections between thoughts, feelings, and choices?

Religion counseling permits people to share their stories.

Religion Counseling Provides a Complete Picture

Whether someone brings up spirituality or God explicitly when they seek counseling or it’s a concept woven into their story, faith is something that is a part of almost everyone’s life. Society doesn’t form apart from a set of beliefs about our origins.

That’s why, from a treatment standpoint, counselors provide a greater service to their clients when they open their ears to the religious tones in each narrative.

We can disagree on faith and practice different religions. Our need for spirituality is also a tie that binds us together, and there’s a famous Bible verse that says a cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Scott Larson