Linda G. Smith, M.A.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Professional Counselor
What is Christian counseling? It is a biblical-clinical modality whereby the mental health professional assists clients who desire to integrate their faith in God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, within the process of the counseling relationship. This integration is involves the use of prayer, scriptures, discussions about the person's beliefs, lifestyle, and his or her walk with Christ and guiding one on how God can help.
A Christian counselor should not just be a Christian, but one who is a follower of Christ. I use to be a counselor who was a Christian. By that I mean, I was one who worked in public mental health settings whereby staff weren't allow to pray, read scriptures or discuss biblical principles with clients, even if they desired that. I now practice as a Christian counselor and feel confident to assist clients with this type of counseling experience. It is what I call a truly holistic practice. Meaning that, it is a way to assist one in all of the domains in their lives, mental, social, emotional physical, and spiritual.
Now, I do not want to imply that everyone who comes to see me desires this type of spiritual integration and approach. It is something that is asked about, but never expected that the client must do. I do not pray, or discuss issues of one's faith, beliefs if that is not what one wants.
What I am not is a biblical scholar, although I do read and study the bible. I like to refer clients to their pastors or to biblical resources and commentaries for deep questions that they have.
If you come to me and you desire Christian counseling, then I will ask you about what are your expectations of a Christian counselor. We will discuss your spiritual journey, experiences, and your practices.
What I also strive to do is to give you support, wise counsel, will not "throw my bible" at you, and I will encourage you to have hope. I will remind you how much God really loves you and thinks about you.
As a Christian counselor, I acquire my continuing education hours through attending conferences sponsored by the American Association of Christian Counselors or other faith-based professional organization conferences. I also am a member of a non-denominational church.
My counseling practice is not affiliated with any specific religious denomination.
"GIVING HOPE TO THE HURTING"