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By Kevin Belsby
LMFT 32075 

Christian counseling versus other forms of counseling, Part 2

DPER Life Center


At the DPER Life Center we are often asked about the different types of counseling we offer. Primarily we are a Christian Counseling Center that offers specific Christian “based” licensed Marriage and Family Counseling and “Christian Life Coaching” for those in the faith community. However, we also offer Licensed Marriage and Family Counseling for those who do not necessarily consider themselves Christians or members of any type of religious grouping. In essence then, we offer licensed counseling, life coaching and psychotherapy (otherwise called marriage and family counseling) to both the faith-based and the non faith-based community.

Each of the above listed types of counseling has similar and dissimilar elements to them. Typically, whether you are receiving psychotherapy, life coaching or Christian coaching (discipleship) the leader/therapist/coach uses active listening techniques to help a person understand what they are communicating, to discover what is really troubling the person, to give support and to then help them discover strategies to deal with their problem. What makes them dissimilar is the primary focus of the counseling.

Licensed Marriage and Family Counselors, psychologists and other psychotherapists use different techniques and have differing schools of thought. But they all primarily help people to either cope with their emotional or perceptual or relational problems or to “heal” from past trauma or to learn new personal skills. They offer a variety of other services such as personality testing or forensic services to the legal community or efficiency programs to businesses, but their overall goal as a profession is basically the same, to help people live a better and more productive and fulfilling life.

A life coach, whether Christian or not, is more like a person who makes disciples of a certain personal or relational skill. Psychotherapists will coach change in people after they have helped a person deal with a particular problem, but people who strictly coach are more concerned with simply helping a person make desired changes. For example, a person trying to lose weight might start with a trainer who gives them a particular diet and aerobic and weight training program to lose the desired weight. But if the problem persists the coach may refer them to a support group like Weight Watchers and also to a therapist to deal with their compulsive behavior.

Finally, Christian therapy and coaching does all of the above but also helps those of the faith-based community go beyond simply trying to live a better life toward living a better death. Christians know that as disciples of Christ we are called to crucify the flesh, to die to self and let the life of Christ grow in us. We are not just to look to ourselves but we are called to ask: “What is God doing in my life?” and “How can I co-operate with His will and call for His life in me?”

If you have any questions on the differences and types of counseling we offer or for more information on what we do or if you or a loved one is having a difficult time please don’t hesitate to give us a call at the DPER Life Center. (818) 521-6477. We offer affordable counseling. Special rates are available to seniors and participating churches and most insurances are excepted.


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