Christian Counseling Versus Professional Counseling


When faced with either personal or relationship challenges or mental health issues, people may consider seeking help from either a professional counselor or a Christian counselor. Although both licensed and Christian counselors are similar in some ways, there are distinct differences between them.

The primary distinction between Christian and professional counseling is the emphasis placed on faith during the counseling session. In Christian counseling, faith is viewed as a fundamental component in resolving the struggles that the person or a couple is facing. A Christian counselor uses scripture, church doctrines, and biblical principles to help the individual or couple grow in their faith. While simultaneously utilizing psychological techniques to identify the root cause of the issue and create a plan to address it.

In contrast, professional counseling takes both an evidence-based scientific and research approach to help provide guidance and counseling to clients. The main objective of professional counseling is to restore balance in the patient’s life or couple’s relationship. Using research-based interventions to assist in resolving the patient’s physical, emotional, and mental issues. Secular counselors use evidence-based science in helping patients with psychological and emotional distress as well as marital problems. Professional counselors employ a variety of therapeutic techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), rational-emotive therapy, and other psychotherapeutic approaches. These techniques are designed to help the patients gain a better understanding of themselves, as well as the root causes of the challenges, and develop plans to address their challenges more constructively.

This professional counseling often includes a combination of individual and group therapy, as well as strategies for behavioral changes and self-improvement. Professional counseling can also assist with identifying other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and addiction provided by licensed psychologists, therapists, or counselors.

Christian counseling, on the other hand, incorporates Christian teachings and beliefs. This Christian counseling provides spiritual guidance and counseling, individuals pursue their spiritual vitality. The Christian counseling is typically provided by pastors, faith-based counselors, or specially trained Christian psychologists depending on their theological background.

Another difference between Christian counseling and professional counseling is the emphasis placed on spirituality. While Christian counseling focuses on helping the individual and couple to grow spiritually, professional counseling often de-emphasizes spirituality due to the counselor not being trained in religious beliefs and practices, and not being authorized to make any spiritual judgments.

Finally, when it comes to ethical considerations, Christian counselors and professional counselors differ significantly. Professional counseling is regulated by a strict code of ethics, which is designed to ensure that the client is offered quality care and services. A professional counselor can be penalized or the practitioner’s license revoked for not adhering to the code of ethics and professional conduct. However, Christian counseling is unregulated, leaving the counselor to rely on their moral compass, church doctrine, personal knowledge, and religious beliefs when making decisions.


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