Christian Counseling means different things depending on who you ask. To understand the differences you’ll need to understand some terminology for comparison sake. Below you’ll find a chart listing some of the leading Christian counseling resources followed by an explanation of the differnt points of comparison.
Then we will take a look at each organization individually to help you determine which resource may be the right fit for your needs.
|Focus on the Family||✔||✔||—||Directory||?|
While all Christians respect the Bible as their sacred text, not all understand its role in the life of the Christian the same. In this comparison chart, we have used the term “Biblical” to mean that the counselors associated with this organization all claim to be professing believers and that the organization has some sort of screening and accountability for their theological orientation. Specifically, organizations with a “✔” in their column for Biblical believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God and believe it has authority in the life of Christian.
Clinical refers to formal training through the academic study of mental health practices. Typically this means at least a Master’s degree in a mental health field of study (ie. professional counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, etc). Most organizations that are clinically informed have counselors that are also state-licensed in a mental health field, whether or not the counseling they provide requires a license (i.e. faith-based counseling).
Training in the practice of Christian counseling is not provided by all organizations and it can vary greatly from one organization to another. Typically “Networks” do not provide any training or accountability for the kind of training that their network counselors engage. That being said, some networks do require you to complete certain training with their organization before including you in their network. Neither do many private practice counseling centers. In fact, if a private practice counseling center’s therapists are “independent contractors” the law restricts the kind of training that the practice can provide. If the therapists of practice are “employees”, on the other hand, a company can require extensive training and accountability.
A key difference between counselor resources is whether they are a “Practice” or a “Directory”. Practices actually provide Christian therapy services whereas directories are only a listing of counselors. It is important to know the difference. Counseling practices have more control over the counseling that you receive whereas networks only control the screening process for their directory listings. When you connect with a counselor through a directory you really do not know much about how the counselor practices counseling, only that they meet the criteria of the network to be listed.
Pricing models vary greatly between resources. Some counseling resources offer free Christian counseling, some allow their network-affiliated therapist to set their own pricing, while still others set pricing and handle billing for their affiliated counselors. Most private counseling practices price their services based on a “therapeutic hour” of time that ranges from 45-50 minutes of clock time. More recently some network-affiliated counseling resources are pricing their service in weekly or monthly periods for messaging services with additional charges for video therapy sessions.
*MyCounselor.Online and ChristianCounselor.Network are affiliated.
MyCounselor.Online is a Christian counseling Practice that hires all of its therapists as employees. For MyCounselor being Biblical means the counselors of the practice love Jesus and are committed to providing counsel that is consistent with the Bible both implicitly and explicitly. As a Clinical practice, all the therapists are trained as mental health professionals with at least a master’s in a counseling-related field. The therapy provided is clinically-informed faith-based counseling, online and in-person. Session range in price from $0 for a Risk-Free first session to $195 per 45-minute session with Advanced Practice therapists. You can schedule an appointment with a MyCounselor.Online therapist by Clicking Here.
Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselor Network is a Network of counselors with various training and background. The therapists in the directory complete a detailed application inquiring about their Biblical approach to counseling regarding important matters of the Christian life, including marriage and abortion. The counselors in this network are Clinical, possessing verified state licensure for a mental health profession. Each counselor in the directory sets their own pricing for services. Find a counselor through the Focus on the Family Christian Counselors Network by Clicking Here.