Christian Counseling As A Form Of Social Work
Social work has a wide variety of career opportunities, from helping the poor, to working in the government, and to counseling. However, there is one career that that stands out from the rest of the forms of social work: Christian counseling.
Christian counseling is considered to be a part of social work because it helps people who are going through a tough time in his/her life. Christian counseling is more unique since it uses a more religiously founded form of counseling. While some of the clients may be Catholic or Christian, counselors do have clients that are not religious and don’t believe in the Christian God. The counselors have to put themselves in a position to be neutral about their beliefs. Counselors try to help their clients become the best version of themselves they can be.
Detailed Analysis: Primary
The Christian faith in Christian counseling. Christian counseling is much more different than any other type of counseling. It includes many aspects of the faith that Christians believe, and how to incorporate them for their clients. It is supposed to be “The incorporation of spiritual beliefs into the counseling experience will function may vary from client to client and from therapist to therapist” (Scott, 2019). Christian counselors will have both clients who are looking for spiritual guidance, and there may be clients will come in are not Christian and want only mental health treatment. If the client is either of the two, then the counselors will have to set aside their faith and put themselves in a spot where they help the client without invoking the faith upon them.
Counselors and time management. Counselors, like almost all professions, have to be on time with their job. For example, counselors should be at the workplace at least twenty minutes before their first session with their client (Centore, 2018). It would be best to start early because if the counselor had a plethora of clients to see in one day, it will be easier to get to the clients and to have an efficient system of staying on track and not making the clients dissatisfied. Although it is excellent to be on time and to start on time, ending the session on time as well is a must. If a counselor were not to end on time, then they would not have any other time to write their notes on their clients until after each session, and what takes them about thirty minutes ends up taking hours to finish (Centore, 2018). Therefore, counselors should have good time management skills if they want to keep an unproblematic structure in their career and to benefit their clients.
Detailed Analysis: Secondary
The text used for counseling: DSM-5. A text that is recommended to many social workers and counselors for their career is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition: DSM-5. The DSM-5 is “The 2013 update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the taxonomic and diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA)” (Wikipedia, 2019). This book has been utilized for a plethora of purposes in the counseling field. This manual is used to help counselors get familiar with most mental disorders and diseases to help them diagnose their patients with. For example, if one day, a counselor had a client that came in and said that he/she had anxiety, the counselor could find the section about anxiety and ask the client about them having the different symptoms of anxiety.
The education required for being a counselor. Counseling, like many other professions, require a special education from a college. First, the requirement is to go to a four year college and get a bachelor’s degree (Writers, 2019). While it is alright to graduate with a bachelor’s degree, sometimes it is required, depending on which path taken could require a master’s degree (Writers, 2019). To also get an enhanced feel for the field, it is required to do a certain amount of hours as an intern (Writers, 2019). For example, if a person were to decide to go into counseling, that person should go and do an internship with a counselor him/her self. This will help the person decide whether or not that counseling will be a good career path for him/her. Once the person has completed their internship, then they will have to find choose which specific type of counseling they want to practice (Writers, 2019). Another example, during the internship, if the intern preferred to work with adolescents and teens, then the intern could choose to become a school counselor. If children are not what they had in mind, then he/she could choose to become a clinical counselor who help adolescents and adults. When the person makes the choice of which counseling career they desire, then they have to earn their professional credentials, by either earning their master’s degree and internship, as well as passing an exam (Writers, 2019). By passing the exam and earning a master’s degree in college, the counselors will have a better chance at getting a job. And lastly, to become a counselor, one must continue their education by entering “A formal recertification process which happens every three to ten years” (Writers, 2019). Although a counselor may have to return to enhance their education at college, there are other alternatives to the education process. Other options include “Attending professional conferences, developing curriculum, publishing books and journal articles on counseling, and participating in other formal activities related to professional development” (Writers, 2019). There are many other opportunities to return and relearn the counseling program rather than paying a high cost to go back to college.
The most ideal colleges for social work/counseling. Although counseling is offered as a degree, it is possible to become a counselor by earning a degree in social work because, “Both degrees require state licensure and will give you the skills to provide one-on-one counseling to people in need” (Childs, 2014). Despite the fact that many colleges offer social work as a degree, some schools have a more recognized, specialized program in their universities.
One college that has one of the best social work programs in the nation is Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. As stated by Best Colleges, “The online social work bachelor’s degree at Wayne State University prepares students for entry-level, generalist social work practice, particularly in urban settings” (Writers, 2019). The content and material taught at Wayne State can help the counselors who are planning to live in an urban area and to get a feel for a career as a social worker.
Another excellent college with an amazing program is the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Considering that Wayne State University has a great program for urban settings, the University of North Dakota offers a curriculum that, “Includes classes in social work research and data analysis, social policy, and general social work practice with communities and organizations” (Writers, 2019). Even though Wayne State has a great social work program, the University of ND has so much more to offer than Wayne State, and it will help the students learn the more of the data and statistics part of being a social worker or a counselor.
Working conditions: Hours and work environment. The work environment can vary among counselors, depending on where they find employment. For example, if a counselor chose to become a career counselor, then the work environment for that position would be more than likely a place, such as high schools and colleges (Cherry, 2019). These career counselors can help with students who are struggling to find their career path and evaluate their interests.
Christian counselors, on the other hand, have a few differences in their career setting. Christian counselors tend to “Work in schools, churches, hospitals, and clinics” (Writers, 2019). Unlike normal, secular counselors, Christian, specifically Catholic, counselors can talk to priests, nuns, and any other religious order with their faith and guide them on their journey for religious life.
Salary of a social worker/counselor. There is no specific salary for a Christian counselor. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average counselor and social worker makes about, on average, around $44,960 (Labor Statistics, 2019). The salary also varies in the field, depending on what the job is. As stated by the BLS, “The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,240, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $72,990” (Labor Statistics, 2019).
The positive and negative aspects of counseling. Every career has its positive and its negative aspects for many reasons. Counseling, in contrast to other careers, has a lot more of the positive aspects, but few negative aspects.
One negative aspect of counseling would be helping a person get through an abusive relationship. As stated by the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), many people have failed at the counseling session because of the therapist taking sides with one of the members (NDVH, 2014). If the counseling does not work with the couple during the first time, then the couple needs to find someone who will listen to their problems rather than favoring one side of the story and not being neutral about the situation.
One of the positive aspects of counseling is that one can help with an aspect of mental disorders. For example, if a person is dealing with anxiety, the counselors have many tools and ideas on how to manage the person’s anxiety, such as creating analogies and healthy coping mechanisms (Bray, 2017). Counselors really do care about their clients, and they will try anything to help them overcome their mental and or physical problems they are dealing with without medications.
Writing artifacts in the field. Writing artifacts can be used to either help spread the communication of a career field to the public people, or to give an insight of their career. Some artifacts include books, business cards, etc. Some artifacts of writing that counselors use are business cards and the DSM-5.
One writing artifact that counselors use are business cards. Counselors, like many other small businesses, have personal business cards because they want to get their name shared and give clients and potential clients their contact information should they ever needed anythin. Also, in an article by Kevin Rabida, “business cards are perhaps the most cost-effective option available,” (Rabida, 2017). Business cards are not only effective by giving information, it will also be beneficial for small businesses for advertising.
Another writing artifact in counseling is the DSM-5. The DSM-5 will give counselors an insight of a lot of mental disorders and “Treatment recommendations, as well as payment by health care providers,” (Wikipedia, 2019). The DSM-5 will help the counselors figure out what the diagnosis of their clients and will guide them into finding out the perfect solution for the client’s problem.
How counseling uses rhetorical appeals. Many jobs can use the rhetorical appeals, such as business and entrepreneurship using logos for numbers and stocks, to philosophy professors using ethos to explain morals to their students. Counseling, like a plethora of careers, uses a rhetorical device as well.
Counseling uses pathos in the career because of its many connections to the emotional part of the brain and problems with the clients. Counseling gives pathos the chance to show by the client letting go of the emotions he/she is holding onto for many days. The career lets people discuss things they would never tell their parents, friends, teachers, etc.
Social work can be many things, from volunteering at a hospital, to helping a soup kitchen to feed the poor. However, there is one field of social work that seemed more interesting than the rest: Christian counseling. Chrisitian counseling is more than just counseling; it helps a person grow more spiritually, and it gives the client a little more sense of comfort and more of a safe place than any other place. While being a Christian counselor, having Christ at the center of a counselor’s treatment can be very therapeutic to many clients needing therapy.