The Role of the Certified Christian Counselor
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals (AIHCP) offers a certification in Christian Counseling to help counselors with Christian beliefs to better guide their spiritual clients. Unlike other counseling professions, Christian Counselors are not required to possess a licensed counselor certificate. Ministry licenses however are definitely an excellent license to possess if one wishes to be certified in this field. The AIHCP Christian counseling certification program is designed to provide health care professionals, as well as clergy who have a health care ministry, to acquire the skills, knowledge and theory base for assisting clients who are in the health care system with spiritual assessments and needs.
What makes Christian Counseling unique is its world view. The world view is biblically based and Christ centered. Hence, issues regarding abortion, drinking, or sexuality are presented in a Christian light. While psychology is very important, Christian Counseling parts way with any secular views of psychology that fail to conform to the teachings of Christ.
Within this unique ideal, social workers, counselors, priests, ministers, lay leaders, grief counselors and others can help spread the teachings of Christ to the lives of the troubled and dis-hearted. Most utilize their Christian Counseling services within their already existing ministry or private practice. Some serve the Church and give their services to other members.
Christian Counselors utilize the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their sessions. They impair wisdom, knowledge and counsel to the afflicted. In some cases, they become confessors, spiritual mentors and spiritual directors to their spiritual children. The Paul-Timothy relationship as found in Scripture develops between spiritual parent and spiritual child.
The program at AIHCP in Christian Counseling attempts to teach or enhance already existing knowledge of counselors or clergy who everyday give counsel to the doubtful. The courses are aimed at introducing the student to Christian Counseling themes and ideas for mentorship. The program also carries a pastoral level of care which is complemented in other programs at AIHCP-notably, Christian Grief Counseling and Pastoral Thanatology.
It is the hope of AIHCP that those who become certified in this program continue to share the light of Christ to their spiritual clients and find in Christ, the ultimate paradigm. Christ ultimately is the greatest counselor who can heal our inner suffering and despair.
Some of the Role Responsibilities of a Certified Christian Counselor:
- Provide spiritual assessments of clients
- Provide spiritual support based on a Christian perspective
- Assist clients with spiritual issues that may be affecting their health care status or conditions
- Teach clients principles related to Christianity when issues come up regarding health care and health decision making
- Participate with clients in prayer as requested by the clients and/or families
- Provide spiritual assessment and support to health care professional staff when requested
- Provide a common spiritual bridge for clients who are facing challenging issues with their health care and need support in decision making
- Refer clients to appropriate clergy based on defined assessment of the client's spiritual needs
- Provide spiritual support and education to client's families when appropriate and requested
- Assist clients by providing spiritual support and education when they are faced with issues related to death and dying
- Be a liaison with the client's church community when they are away from the community due to health challenges
- Maintain ongoing education in spiritual practices and in Christian counseling for professional development and continued competency in spiritual work and counseling
While the above highlights major role responsibilities, they are not exhaustive. Over all the role is developed as the relationships with the clients are established and is based on client's needs and what the client and certified Christian counselor agree upon as appropriate and value based for both parties. The role is always in a dynamic development and is practiced with strong legal and ethical considerations at all times. The role is strongly supported by solid and sound spiritual and Christian teachings, principles and philosophies.
Settings Where Certified Christian Counselors Might Practice:
- Health care organizations
- Acute care hospitals
- Long-Term care facilities
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Home health agencies
- Social service agencies
- Outpatient care centers
- Private settings
CHRISTIAN COUNSELING BLOG: Please visit our interactive Christian Counseling web blog. Our blog contains article, news and current events and information related to case management practice in health care.
Are you interested in becoming a Certified Christian Spiritual Counselor? If this practice specialty interests you then please review our program and feel free to speak with our advisors regarding our complete education program and courses leading to qualifications to achieve the certification.
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