As you address your anger issues, you may reach the point I did, and decide that the problem is bigger than you can handle. So you Google Christian Counselors, and eight billion come up. Now what! How do you choose?
Given that adult children of divorce have significant trust issues to start with, choosing a counselor is an important decision. And I’m going to be blunt here. Simply because they are a Christian counselor doesn’t mean they are a quality counselor.
There’s an expression; “wounded people wound people.” I’d like to add my own twist and say, “wounded people often become counselors.” This makes sense. Those who have experienced deep hurts often have a natural desire to help others with their hurts. They also have empathy with those in pain. However, having a cross on the door and a certificate on the wall doesn’t automatically mean he or she can help you.
That having been said, I still recommend searching in the Christian counselor pool. It is very, very, very, (and dare I say it again), very important to have God’s truth as the foundation for your healing process. However, a solid foundation in God’s word must also be combined with solid principles from psychological methods. Though this is touted as heretical by some, it is unwise to ignore the vast body of psychological research and methods that can help us heal. But, only as long as any techniques are filtered through the unchanging truth of the Bible.
So how do we narrow the eight billion down to one? Here are three helps for finding a counselor:
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
- Ask if he or she has dealt with patients who struggled with anger? Also if they were able to help them?
- Ask if they believe that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives, and it corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right?“1 If the counselor doesn’t believe this, they won’t use the Bible. Or they will use it incorrectly.
- Ask if they believe in sin? This is important because issues like pride (that can contribute to anger) are sin-based and need to be dealt with from that perspective.
- Ask if they have had anger issues and if and how they have dealt with them? Basically, you want to know if they have addressed their own woundedness. This is very important. If the answer is no, they are not going to be able to help you. I’m not saying they need to be healed completely, but if they are still angry at their dad for divorcing their mom, for example, they’ll probably prove inadequate for helping you with your anger.
- Don’t be afraid to have a trial period. Nothing says you have to stay with them. This is about you being healed, not how they will feel if you choose to find another therapist. However, what I am NOT saying is, if your counselor is giving you good biblical and psychological counsel, but you don’t like what they are saying, you should try someone else. They are there to help you, not coddle you. But, if it isn’t a good fit, keep looking.
3. Don’t give up trying to find the right counselor
*Pray without ceasing
*Ask friends if they have heard of a good Christian counselor. (You’ll be surprised how many people you know have seen one.)
*Call Focus on the Family for recommendations
*Contact the AACC – American Association of Christian Counselors
Anger can be very destructive. Psalm 37:8 says, “Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper. It only leads to harm.”2 But this can be tough to do by yourself. So if you have anger issues, start with your church for help, but don’t hesitate to find a good Christian counselor. Also review the anger helps on our Resource page. You’ll be glad you did—and so will your family and friends.
12 Timothy 3:16, NLT.