When we are struggling with life, we often look to professionals for help. When those professionals trained in psychological counseling also share our faith in God and commitment to Biblical teachings, there is a common ground established for mutual understanding and insight. Christian counselors who share our trust and reliance on God for wisdom, direction, healing and the power to make positive changes help us by directing us back to our God.

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Understanding Counselor Distinctions

Professionals can have a variety of educational backgrounds and practice emphases. Here is a brief synopsis of some the more common ones:

Education Doctoral Degree —These clinicians have achieved the most advanced level of education available, which is usually signified by the initials Ph.D., Ed.D., or PsyD. Master’s Degree —These clinicians have completed a graduate degree, usually identified as a M.A., M.S., or MFT

Types of Counselors

  • Psychiatrist —This person is a medical doctor who has completed advanced training in mental and emotional disorders. This professional may prescribe medication and typically is more focused on managing medication than on providing talk therapy.
  • Psychologist —This person has a doctoral degree but isn’t medically trained. He/she may be specifically trained in testing but will also conduct traditional therapy.
  • Licensed Professional — These clinicians have at least a master’s degree and have completed supervision requirements for licensure in their field. Different types include
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist —specifically trained in marriage and family therapy; views an individual in the context of his/her relationships
  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Licensed Pastoral Counselor
  • Unlicensed Counselor —Usually a trained counselor, lay counselor or minister. Unlicensed does not necessarily indicate the absence of clinical therapeutic training —the individual may or may not have some level of training. Unlicensed means that for whatever reason they have not completed the licensing process

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