As a new and budding clinician, I soon became aware that in the regions where I was employed, a majority of the clients served stated having a Christian spiritual orientation yet there were a limited number of mental health organizations available with staff trained to incorporate specific elements of a Christian worldview in treatment. For those who profess any type of spiritual worldview, those worldviews play an integral part in shaping values, decision making processes, parenting, career choices, relationships and ultimately all aspects of life.
Soul Care was created by Chantelle Johnson to offer clients a professional mental health alternative that incorporates Christian faith based values into the treatment of psychological concerns. While most mental health options address issues of the mind and the body as it relates to mental health, many of those options are not designed to fully address the interplay of faith between one's mind and body. At Soul Care, we are able to integrate Christian faith principles with psychology, speak the language of the faith and incorporate elements such as prayer, meditation & other spiritual disciplines into the treatment plans.
3 John 1:2 (above) is the scripture that provides the foundation for the creation of Soul Care Christian Counseling Services. When our souls are well, then we are well. When you care for your soul, you care for your life. The opposite is also true; when our souls are not well, we are not not well and our life will show it. Signs of a soul that is not well may result in the following manifestations: sadness, crying spells, depression, anxiety, mood swings, trouble sleeping, appetite problems, irritability, decreased energy, relationship problems, just to name a few. These symptoms may originate from one of more of the following: medical reasons, difficult life circumstances or spiritual reasons. Caring for one's soul, the essence of who you are, includes engaging in activities that provide healing. Counseling has been proven to be helpful when other coping skills or methods may not yield the desired results. \Read on to learn more about what defines Soul Care and to learn who may benefit from having it.
What is Soul Care?
1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
According to 1 Thessalonians 5:23 humans exist in three parts as a Body, Soul and Spirit. Each part exists separately with their own functions yet they all work together, complementing each other as a whole. Our bodies allow us to have direct contact with the physical world around us and our spirits, supernatural in nature, allow us to have perception, insight and potentially allows for communion with God through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The soul resides between the physical and spiritual aspects of humans and includes our psychological and mental functions. The word “soul” is derived from the Greek word “psyche” and is often used synonymously as the “self “ of a person- our mind, will and emotions.
Soul Care is defined as the support and restoration of the wellbeing of persons in their totality (mind, body & spirit) with particular concern for the inner life. The goal of Soul Care is to foster psychospiritual growth that consists of 4 elements: Healing, Sustaining, Reconciling & Guiding.
Who needs Soul Care?
Anyone can benefit from some form of soul care which can be provided in a variety of relationships. As humans, we are social creatures and our lives take on purpose and meaning through our relationships with others. Soul Care can be provided through our mutual friendships (marital and non-marital), clergy, pastors, lay counselors, counselors, psychotherapists and other spiritual leaders.
Soul Care from a therapeutic perspective is often sought out by people:
• When they seek freedom from inner bondage.
• When they seek greater depths of psychospiritual maturity and vitality.
• When they seek guidance in developing a moral perspective on their life.
• When they seek to provide soul care for others.
What is the difference between Christian Counseling and Christian Psychotherapy?
Both Christian Counseling and Christian Psychotherapy are offered by dedicated Christians trained to have an understanding of human nature from a biblical perspective and guided by the Holy Spirit with the intent of helping others to:
• Move towards personal wellness in mind, body and spirit
• Deal with severe losses, conflicts and emotional distresses
• Improve interpersonal relations with others with restoration of damaged relationships
• Grow more into the likeness of Christ
Christian Counselors include a broad array of practitioners that have varying degrees and diverse levels of psychological and Christian theological training. Christian Counseling is generally more concerned with soul cure, is short term and problem or solution focused.
Christian Psychotherapy involves counseling and psychospiritual activities provided by licensed professionals, from a Christian perspective, that are longer termed and more oriented to uncovering, exploring and resolving root issues of concern. Christian psychotherapy is concerned with both soul cure and care of the issues being addressed.
Who needs Therapy or Counseling?
Seeking therapy or counseling does not mean that you are crazy. It takes courage to ask for help and to take risks to make changes that may lead to a more fulfilled life. Often, people seek out therapy or counseling:
• When their feelings are affecting their sleep, appetite, job or relationships.
• When they feel stuck in situations that are not getting better.
• When they need help coming up with solutions to problems.
• When they are overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness or helplessness, feeling sad or worried most of the time.
• When it becomes difficult to function in daily activities because of prolonged emotional distress.
• When they engage in behaviors that are harmful to themselves or others.
• When experiencing distress related to problems with other people that may include children, mates, spouses, family, friends, coworkers, etc.
How long does therapy last?
Therapy sessions generally last 45-50 minutes. The frequency and length of treatment depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of the issues, the motivation of the individuals involved, and the goals. Short term therapy typically has a more specific goal or issue of focus, and can last from a few weeks to a few months. Longer term therapy may involve more complex issues or concerns and can last up to a year or longer.
How does therapy work?
Soul Care provides a caring, confidential and safe setting where we help you look objectively at your behaviors, feelings and thoughts and to support & educate you in ways to deal with different situations. Christian therapy gives you the opportunity to explore personal issues from a Biblical perspective with a dedicated Christian who has unique listening skills, and is more neutral than those who are more directly involved with the situation. This leads not only to a deeper understanding of the issues, but also promotes the conditions that make long lasting change possible. At Soul Care, we do not judge you or believe in forcing our beliefs on anyone. We believe in client respect and the freedom we all have to choose what is best for us.
Your relationship with the therapist plays an important and crucial role in benefiting from treatment. That’s why it’s important to find a person you feel you have a good fit with. A good fit means that you feel heard, understood and accepted. As the trust deepens, this person would be someone you would feel comfortable exploring deeper sources of conflict or pain.
What kind of therapy is offered?
We conduct therapeutic services for school age children, teens, men, women, families and couples in both brief and longer term settings. Soul Care's therapists have experience in a number of mental health diagnoses and concerns. Our primary therapeutic orientations include Client Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Reality Based Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Play Therapy.