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” .
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” .
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 https://biblicalcounseling.com/
2. McMinn, M. R., & Campbell, C. D. (2007). Integrative psychotherapy toward a comprehensive Christian approach. IVP Academic.