De-mystifying Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for Curious or Concerned Parents

The word “autism” was first coined in 1911 by a German psychiatrist who believed autism was a subtype of schizophrenia (spoiler alert: he was very, very wrong). Needless to say, the word has had a tumultuous history [1,9]. Throughout the decades, however, researchers and medical professionals have begun to better understand the inner world of a person with autism, and we have thankfully come to define it much differently today.

Presently, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be described simply as “a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave” [13]. This definition is broad, of course, but with reason, as “ASD exists along a continuum of neurodiversity” and cannot be described by a single example [8].

Throughout the history of autism’s changing definitions, many different schools of thought have been established regarding Autism Spectrum Disorder’s cause, diagnosis, symptoms, treatment, and even the language used to describe it [1]. One of the complicating factors in defining and treating autism is the wide range of presentations and severity of symptoms that persist across its spectrum.

As ongoing research is conducted, professionals, family members, and people with autism all work to make the best decisions regarding healthcare and interventions for individuals in the autism community.

My goal in this article is to provide the reader with opportunities for learning more about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I do not seek to establish myself as an expert on the topic of autism or of its treatment. Instead, I write as someone curious about how to best point clients and families toward further resources and services. I invite you to join me in learning more about how to support and respect people with autism.

Note: To read more about my decision to use person-first language in this article, please refer to the second subtitle below, “Person-first or Identity-first language.”

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder and what does it look like?

Many of us probably have a mental picture of someone with autism. Maybe yours is a replica of a character you have seen in media, such as Dustin Hoffman’s depiction of real-life individual Kim Peek in Rain Man . Or maybe it is of a person that you once knew in school, at church, or as a family friend. Regardless, each of us probably has some sort of connection to a person with autism. These experiences understandably shape our understanding of what autism can look like, but our personal experiences alone do not encompass the spectrum as a whole. What we think autism looks like based on our own limited experiences is only a drop in the bucket.

Most likely your interactions with adults with autism are much higher than you even realize. Recent CDC estimations identify that approximately 2.21% of adults in the United States have autism [3]. Was your mental picture a child? Mine was! But we often forget that ASD is a lifelong diagnosis that often continues to require support and intervention in various forms.

Let’s begin with some quick facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):

  • Can appear before or around the age of 2 [5, 8].
  • Often marked by the following observable symptoms [13]:
    • Difficulty with developmentally appropriate social interactions
    • Repetitive behaviors
    • Hyperfocus on certain interests
  • Symptoms impede normal functioning at school or work to varying degrees
  • A wide array of treatments exists and can be tailored to the individual and their families [6]

The symptoms listed above cast an incredibly wide net; they are generalizations of specific behaviors that may exist for a person with autism. To read more about what specific symptoms may persist in yourself or a family member, I suggest checking out these resources below. But as always, remember that no online checklist is a replacement for speaking with a professional who can offer individualized support.

  • CDC: Signs and Symptoms of ASD
  • CDC: Developmental Milestones
  • CDC: Milestone Checklist
  • M-CHAT-R Autism Screening Tool
  • National Institute of Mental Health
  • The Mayo Clinic
Person-first versus Identity-first language

In the professional community we make a point to use what is called “people first” language about a diagnosis or disorder that a person may have. People-first language, for example, would be to use the phrase “people with substance abuse” instead of “an addict.” This is a subtle but powerful way to avoid identifying a person by their struggle or diagnosis. It emphasizes their inherent personhood. In this article I use person-first language to respect this stance.

Within the autism community, however, there is great debate as to whether person-first or identity-first language is preferred [2, 10]. For example:

Person-first language: a man with autism

Identity-first language: an autistic man

On one hand, some people believe that autism is a key part of their identity, and since it is not a disease to be cured or a disorder to be ashamed of, they welcome the identity-first language.

Others, however, prefer person-first language to identify that they are so much more than their autism.

While someone untouched by the world of autism may feel like this distinction is nothing more than splitting hairs, we must remember that language is a powerful tool that ultimately shapes what we believe about a topic. The reduction of stigma often begins with the way we communicate.

My advice is to let a person who is autistic take the lead on this topic. If you are acquaintances with an adult who feels safe enough with you to share that they have a diagnosis of ASD, then I gather that they would most likely be comfortable with you asking if they prefer person-first or identity-first language. If nothing else, the conversation can also offer an opportunity for that person to talk about a part of themselves that others in their life may avoid mentioning altogether.

How to seek a diagnosis?
Who do I talk to if I am concerned my child has autism?

The best way for parents of children curious about a potential autism diagnosis is to make sure that your pediatrician is conducting developmental monitoring and screening. This essentially means that your regular pediatrician is asking pertinent developmental questions at each well-visit to ensure that your child is meeting milestones. The links to resources listed in the section above can guide you to a list of these milestones.

Yet, remember that you are your child’s best advocate! If you feel uneasy and want to ask extra questions, do not wait for your doctor to raise the topic of a certain milestone. Go ahead and ask about it! You know your child best and have a wealth of knowledge about his or her day-to-day behaviors and functions that your doctor may not be aware of.

Monitoring and screening tools, however, are not tools for direct diagnosis. Instead, these are resources that can be used to determine if it would be beneficial for your child to meet with a specialist who is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of autism.

What will the specialist do?

Most likely, this specialist will conduct a formal evaluation to screen for not only Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but for other disorders that could be at play. The specialist conducting the evaluation should also be able to point you towards specific modalities for support, including local resources that could be a good fit for your child’s needs.

What is a formal evaluation?

Formal evaluations encompass a variety of methods of information-gathering to make sure that the most well-rounded picture of your child’s experience is being considered before any formal diagnoses are reached. Your specialist will not only be looking for the challenges presenting in your child’s life but will also be identifying their strengths. This will be helpful in moving forward with choosing services and programs that will best serve your child.

Autism is not diagnosed with a quick medical exam or test, which initially makes the process feel a little cumbersome and daunting for some families. A formal evaluation considers behaviors, overall functioning, communication, emotional regulation, social background and family history, developmental milestones (and more) to make a formal diagnosis.

But a positive benefit to this way of receiving diagnosis is that, through the process, the professional that you are working with will be going to great lengths to best understand your child (or yourself, if you are an adult). A quick blood test or medical exam could never accomplish this feat!

Reasons to seek diagnosis early

Seeking information about a potential autism diagnosis may feel scary, but early intervention is of paramount importance. Even if your child does not receive a diagnosis of autism, there could be other concerns with sensory issues, executive functioning, or developmental delays that also need to be addressed as early as possible. Evaluations can bring these things to light to help you support your child in a tailored manner.

Diagnoses are not meant to label a child just for labeling purposes or to ostracize, but to offer an avenue of education and intervention to help a child function socially, educationally, and emotionally in a way that is most supportive for themselves and for the family as a whole.

“A growing body of evidence supports the value of early diagnosis and treatment with evidence-based interventions, which can significantly improve the quality of life of individuals with ASD as well as of their carers and families” [8].

What happens after a diagnosis?

With so many presentations of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), there is no way to expect a singular intervention to benefit every person with ASD. Most families and individuals, with the help of their professionals that conduct the formal evaluation, pursue services that make the most sense for the challenges and strengths that they directly face.

A host of treatments and therapies exist to help people with autism function more freely and confidently in daily life. These can include medications, behavioral or psychological therapies, physical or occupational therapy, educational support, individualized or group therapy, and more [13]. Many of these treatments focus on behavior management and the development of interpersonal skills to assist a person in better functioning in his or her everyday social and academic/ work environments.

Finding services that are the best fit is not always a straightforward process; not to mention, a person’s treatment needs can change with each stage of development. This is why early diagnosis and intervention is incredibly important [8].

If you are seeking answers about your child or yourself in regard to autism and do not have a current pediatrician or primary care physician, a good DFW resource to contact is the University of North Texas’ Kristin Farmer Autism Center. They offer a variety of services to help you begin the process of better understanding and supporting your child or yourself.

Finally, don’t fret!

An autism diagnosis (or any diagnosis, for that matter) does not change who your child is at their core. It is a way for your child to be able to receive ample support in areas that are challenging, and to better understand his or herself.

Diagnoses are tools, not labels.

Diagnoses exist to help the people who have them make sense of their worlds and capitalize on their strengths with a little help from people who are trained to do so.


1. Autism in the DSM. The Autism History Project. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2023, from

2. Callahan, M. (2018, July 12). Unpacking the debate over person-first vs. identity-first language in the autism community. Northeastern Global News. Retrieved March 4, 2023, from

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, April 7). Key findings: CDC releases first estimates of the number of adults living with autism spectrum disorder in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 4, 2023, from

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, December 29). CDC’s Developmental Milestones. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from

5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, March 28). Signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from

6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, March 9). Treatment and intervention services for autism spectrum disorder. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from

7. Default – Stanford Medicine Children’s health. What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder? (n.d.). Retrieved March 4, 2023, from

8. Elder, J., Kreider, C., Brasher, S., & Ansell, M. (2017). Clinical impact of early diagnosis of autism on the prognosis and parent-child relationships. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, Volume 10, 283–292.

9. Evans, B. (2013). How autism became autism. History of the Human Sciences, 26(3), 3–31.

10. Identity-first language. Autistic Self Advocacy Network. (2011, August 4). Retrieved March 3, 2023, from

11. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2018, January 6). Autism spectrum disorder. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved March 4, 2023, from,ability%20to%20say%20words%20or%20sentences%20More%20items

12. Timeline- The autism history project. The Autism History Project. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2023, from

13. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2023, February). Autism spectrum disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved March 4, 2023, from

Bridging the Divide: Maintaining Relationship with your Teenagers

Bridging the Divide:

Maintaining Relationship with your Teenagers

For some reason I have this vivid memory from late childhood that stands out on the timeline of my life.

One evening on the way home from a church function, I remember telling my parents, “so instead of playing outside tonight, my friends and I just stood around and talked and it was…. kind of fun.”

In that very moment, I was already brutally aware of a distinct shift happening in myself. I harbored part excitement and part disappointment at the realization that such an adult type of activity of just talking had proven enjoyable for me.

Why that memory stuck with me all of these years is baffling. But I often point to it as the moment I began waving goodbye to childhood and setting my sights on adolescence.


As adults, we easily forget how those adolescent watershed moments, all piled on top of each other, feel when they are happening. It is disorienting how quickly our brains and bodies change in a few short months (or weeks, perhaps) during that time of life.

What can feel almost more disorienting is watching a person we love enter adolescence.

When I taught 7th grade we endearingly called this time of life a mutant stage: There is constant transformation and unrecognizable behaviors and emotions just oozing out of a person. They are no longer who they were, and are still on the way to who they are becoming. It is a wildly dichotomous time of life.

The adolescent years are marked by a combination of risk-taking, emotional upheaval, burgeoning autonomy and independence, intense focus on relationship building and peer connections, exploration, and novelty seeking.

Whew. That is a lot.

But thankfully, as mental health professionals, we know that adolescence does not just have to be a season of life to endure, but a season of life in which to thrive.

I know, I know: If you are a parent of a teen you just threw something at me. Your house does not feel like it is thriving. I get it.

But hear me out.

The way you interact with your adolescent through this stage (which spans from the ages of 12-24, by the way), will in part determine how he or she learns to manage themselves into adulthood [2]. It feels shaky and disjointed. But it is supposed to; this is the training ground, not the race.

Think about it this way. Remember when your child was fresh and little and squishy and newly mobile (and didn’t talk back to you yet)? In new situations or unfamiliar play places he would probably inquisitively crawl away a little bit, but always keep an eye on where you were in the room. He would explore more confidently when he knew that your anchor of safety was still there for him.

In an ideal scenario, the same thing is happening in his teenage years. He is venturing further away with the understanding that you are still available for him to fall back on. He is proverbially looking over his shoulder toward the safety of his home, which gives him the confidence to continue to try out new elements of adulthood.

When we think of the shaky autonomy and independence of adolescence in this way it makes a little more sense, right? It is a way of practicing adulthood within safe parameters.

Risk-taking, in its various forms, is inevitably going to be a mark of the teenage years. It will feel tumultuous. But teens who have attuned parents willing to ride the waves of this season of life with them are going to be far more prepared for the treacherous waters of adulthood.


Two of my favorite resources for parents whose children are entering this stage of life are the following books:

Brainstorm by Daniel J. Siegel


How to talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Brainstorm gives an easy-to-read overview of the neuroscience and practical wisdom of the adolescent stage. In re-skimming it this week I realized how calming of a tone Siegel has in speaking to both teens and their adults, alike. If you especially enjoyed The Whole Brain Child, the adolescent version Brainstorm will be a fantastic resource for you.

How to Talk so Teens will Listen is based off of the authors’ decades of work with families and offers practical, real-life examples of ways to begin conversations with your teens. This book helps you model basic communication skills and conflict resolution for and with your child. A chunk of the book is even depicted in cartoon form for a lighthearted touch.


I have a teenager. Now what? Tips for thriving in the adolescent stage.
1. Own your own “stuff.”

One of my favorite types of counseling relationships is when I get to work with a parent whose child is also attending their own counseling. These are parents who are dedicated to modeling healthy relationship patterns for their child.

You see, it is easy for a parent to point toward the stage of adolescence as the sole contributor of relational troubles in a family.

The teen is, after all, the one who is in a tumultuous developmental stage and overtly learning to regulate emotions and manage relationships.

But a wise parent recognizes that his or her half of the relationship could be strengthened, too. It is often possible that certain teenage behaviors are triggering deep-seeded hurts for a parent that need to be addressed. Jumping to put a teen in therapy without self-reflection on a parent’s part only drives home the message that adolescence is a problem to be fixed.

Imagine how powerful of a message it would be if a parent says, “this is a hard time for both of us. I am going to see a counselor, myself, so I can be the best version for you right now.”

2. Consider the nuances of this unique developmental stage.

One of the major neurological aspects of the adolescent stage is the increase in the brain’s drive for reward. The neurotransmitter lovingly referred to as the “feel good hormone,” dopamine, which spikes when we experience pleasure, is working overtime in the brain of a teen. This leaves him or her frequently seeking stimulation and sometimes ignoring the potential risks of seeking these pleasurable experiences.

Siegel explains in Brainstorm that “this enhanced natural dopamine release can give adolescents a powerful sense of being alive when they are engaged in life” [p. 67].

Meanwhile, an adolescent is also experiencing great leaps in cognitive development, emotional intelligence, and capability for abstract thought. He or she is learning to think and process information in new ways, which eventually will assist in balancing out that natural excess of dopamine. But until that balance pans out, these new cognitive skills, juxtaposed with an intense drive to seek new and enjoyable experiences, results in the stereotypical picture of a teenager that we know and love: part adult, part child, figuring out who they are along the way.

And somewhere nearby, there stands a confused parent watching their child exist as a walking set of contradictions.

At the end of the day, know that your teen most likely craves to know that you recognize their growing cognitions and understanding of the world, and not just their impulsiveness. Ask them what they think about things: big topics, varying worldviews, the family discipline system, or frustrations with local government. Invite them into your adult world, however shakily they may toddle through it at first. Your job is to coach them through it, but coaching is hard to do if you do not allow them to play.

3. Do not avoid difficult conversations.

Be a safe space for open conversation before your child ever becomes a teen. You want them to come to YOU about difficult and sensitive topics, not Google or the locker room. Ignoring topics will not make them disappear, but will instead ensure that your child learns about them from peers and media instead of in a safe, nurturing space guided by your family principles.

Meanwhile, make time to connect with your teen without an agenda, too. If the only time you spend one-on-one time with your teen is when you are trying to have a semi-awkward conversation about the dangers of sex or drugs or rock-n-roll, they may begin to bristle when you ask to spend time with them.

I love how the authors of How to Talk to Teens say in their forward that “Teenagers need to be able to express their doubts, confide their fears, and explore options with a grownup who will listen to them nonjudgmentally and help them make responsible decisions.” [1].

4. Value the growing autonomy and independence

One of the biggest frustrations between teens and their parents that I see in the counseling room is the tension between a teen’s developmentally normal desire for autonomy, and a parent’s view of this growing autonomy as a direct attack on their role as a parent.

One major way to value this growing independence is to make space for your teen’s voice to matter in the management of the family. Obviously, you are still the adult in the room and you make the rules for your house. But that does not mean you cannot have open discussions with your teens about aspects of your parenting style or ways of operating. Maybe ask your child what they think an appropriate punishment is for something. Hear them out. You may not agree with what your teen says, but holding space for their voice to be heard allows them an opportunity to practice decision-making and problem-solving skills in real-time.

Also, avoid disciplining from your emotions. Your teen will notice if the consequences for their behavior vary according to your mood of the day and not the behavior itself.

I highly recommend chapter 3 of How to Talk to Teens, titled To Punish or not to Punish.

5. Do not parent in a void.

Dr. Siegel says it best in Brainstorm when he discusses how our single-family-centric, modern culture can sometimes provide a disservice for parents and teens alike.

When it comes to village life for the teen, during the time he or she is pushing against parents, there would be other adults in the tribe to whom the teen could turn for security and connection. But when the only close adult is your parent, the natural way to go in adolescence is entirely toward other adolescents (p 35).

Finding like-minded families to grow alongside can feel like a difficult feat in our modern lives. But the benefits for our children in growing up in a community are huge. Who are the people who will pick your kids up from somewhere they’re uncomfortable being on a Friday night? Who will feed them soup and listen to their breakup story when they’re embarrassed to tell you about it directly? Who will uphold your family values when you are not around because they want your children to succeed just as much as you do? Find that family. Be that family. Surround your teens with the adults you want them to emulate.


1. Faber, A., & Mazlish, E. (2016). How to talk so teens will listen & listen so teens will talk. William Morrow.

2. Siegel, D. J. (2013). Brainstorm. the power and purpose of the teenage brain. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin.

3. Wahlstrom, D., Collins, P., White, T., & Luciana, M. (2011, February 1). Developmental changes in dopamine neurotransmission in adolescence: Behavioral implications and issues in assessment. Brain and cognition. Retrieved February 9, 2023, from

Can I receive counseling at ChristianWorks if I am not a Christian?

Can I receive counseling at ChristianWorks if I am not a Christian?

And answers to other frequently-asked faith questions about CounselingWorks!

During the years that I have been associated with ChristianWorks, I have always struggled to describe the agency in any kind of “elevator pitch” style. There is just so much to share! With a constantly-growing number of ministries, staff members, volunteers, and contributors, ChristianWorks is ever-evolving. A quick overview always fails to fully do justice to ChristianWorks as a whole.

However, if my time is limited, I try to make sure people know about the accessible counseling services offered at ChristianWorks through the CounselingWorks ministry.

One of the first things individuals often want to know about CounselingWorks is who is able to access these counseling services. While you can find some quick facts here, allow me to expound on some of our most frequently asked faith-related questions.

1. Can I receive counseling at ChristianWorks if I am not a Christian?
Let’s start off by answering this with a definite YES. Under no circumstances will religious affiliation, or lack thereof, disqualify a person from becoming a counseling client of ChristianWorks for Children.

We recognize that “Christian” is an obvious part of the agency’s name. This is intentional! There is nothing secret or hidden about the core values of ChristianWorks. In fact, when you receive paperwork to fill out as a counseling client, you will be given a copy of the ChristianWorks Statement of Faith that all ChristianWorks employees sign upon being employed here. Our beliefs are freely shared.

However, that does not mean that you as a counseling client must agree with this Statement of Faith, nor does it mean that your counseling experience will be expected to center around discussions of the Christian faith.

Your counseling sessions are your very own. Our counselors of all licenses are trained specifically in respecting the individual views of clients.

Now, if you do want your faith and spirituality to be a central aspect of how your counselor works with you, that is fantastic! We have therapists who are trained to guide you in exploring that sacred part of your identity.

It is also important to note, however, that ChristianWorks’ counselors are not to serve as a replacement for faith leaders.

In my own time working as a counselor for ChristianWorks I worked with many individuals seeking to process their counseling goals through the lens of their spiritual identity.

But that does not mean my role was meant to replace a faith leader, such as a minister, mentor, or pastor in that person’s life.

A well-trained and ethically sound counselor will help a client pursue counseling goals within client-lead conversations about their spirituality. However, a counselor will not give direct advice regarding doctrine or denominational creeds.

Why? Because we believe that you deserve a well-rounded circle of support, including a faith community, peers, family members, and work relationships.

Hopefully, your counselor is encouraging you to seek that well-rounded circle of support. Your faith leaders and peers are part of this community; we do not seek to be stand-in replacements for them, in the same way, we would hope that your minister or mentor does not try to act as your mental health therapist.

If you have direct questions about doctrine or theology, we will sometimes encourage you to reach out to your faith leader or mentor within that part of your community.

2. Does ChristianWorks provide Biblical counseling or Christian counseling?

It is easy to get caught up in the lingo of faith-related counseling. Sometimes individuals (and even counselors, themselves) use these terms interchangeably or in different contexts than their peers. So let’s discuss these terms first!

Biblical counseling uses only Biblical scripture as guidance. It is a beautiful relationship between two Christ-followers in discipleship, seeking truth from the gospel. Biblical counselors usually do not discuss tenets of modern psychology in their practices and do not typically hold degrees or licenses in mental health counseling.

The Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) states that it “exists to equip you to minister the Bible faithfully to those all around you who are in need of God’s truth” [1].

ACBC certifies Christians to counsel others specifically in a discipleship manner. These individuals are vital aspects of many churches and organizations who minister to others but are not necessarily trained in mental health services.

Christian counseling integrates Biblical truth alongside certain theories and tenets of psychology. Christian counselors are most likely trained in mental health counseling and are practicing, trained therapists who hold state licenses.

That being said, I generally encourage individuals to confirm for themselves that their counselors hold degrees and licenses in mental health services prior to entering into counseling relationships.

Note: All of CounselingWorks counselors are licensed in the state of Texas to offer mental health services.

One of my personal favorite resources is a book called Integrative Psychotherapy toward a Comprehensive Christian Approach. The writers explain the work of integrative psychotherapists (Christian counselors) as such:

“Integrationists believe that some sort of reciprocal interaction between faith and psychology is the best way to gain a comprehensive understanding of personality and counseling. This is not to say that psychology carries the same authority as the Christian faith, but that understanding and wisdom can be discovered in both” [2].

Ok so what about CounselingWorks, then?

CounselingWorks, while described as a Christian counseling center, does not work only with individuals of the Christian faith.

Many of our clinicians have specific training in helping clients integrate their spiritual worldviews into their counseling goals, but they do not offer direct advice on Christian doctrine or theology, and are also open to working with clients of any background.

You could more accurately describe CounselingWorks’ team as “a group of licensed clinicians who are Christians.” In the same way an engineer, a teacher, or an accountant operates in his or her occupation as a believer in Christ, so do we in ours.

When you are ready to do your taxes you may not specifically seek out a “Christian accountant,” but in working with him you may easily notice the manifestation of the fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.

Our goal as clinicians at CounselingWorks is to do the same. We are willing and able to process your faith journey with you in light of your counseling goals. But unless that is something that you are open to doing, we simply operate as people of the Spirit in all that we do. Our prayer is that every client experiences the fruits of the Spirit exude from us, regardless of whether that client is specifically seeking Christian counseling.

As Rob Pine, our Chief Advancement Officer and former CEO likes to say, “when you meet with our therapists, the Spirit is in the room too.”

3. Can I choose a counselor from a certain faith tradition or denomination?

Our ChristianWorks counselors and staff members are Bible-believing, practicing Christians from a variety of denominations, all of whom have signed and committed to the practice of our Statement of Faith. We encourage you to read this Statement of Faith. Often this will already answer your questions about what your counselor may believe!

We do understand that clients sometimes find it important that their counselor shares and respects their specific Christian worldview as it relates to their counseling journey.

However, out of respect for our counselor’s autonomy to self-disclose their faith practices at their own discretion, we encourage you to pursue this question with your counselor during session.

We also invite you to remember that our counselors integrate tenets of psychology within a Christian worldview, and are not meant to give direct advice about doctrine or theology. Our sessions are not meant to be a replacement for Bible study or a discipleship relationship.

If you are seeking more of a Biblical counseling approach, we encourage you to reach out to your faith leader or visit

If you would like to have a 10 to 15 minute consult with a therapist to determine if he or she is the right fit, feel free to talk to our CounselingWorks intake team.


1. Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. (n.d.). Retrieved January 10, 2023, from

2. McMinn, M. R., & Campbell, C. D. (2007). Integrative psychotherapy toward a comprehensive Christian approach. IVP Academic.