Both faith-based and secular counseling share the same objective of helping people overcome adversity in order to find meaning and joy in their life. Both can help people suffering from a variety of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more. Additionally, both types of counselors have advanced degrees and have spent years learning effective counseling skills.
As I discussed above, one of the main differences between faith-based and secular counseling is that secular counseling believes that mental illness originates from brain chemistry and/or past traumas, whereas faith-based counseling centers around the belief that there are both psychological and spiritual causes of suffering. Faith-based counseling answers to a higher authority, whereas secular counseling relies mostly on science. There is evidence for the effectiveness of both types of counseling, depending on the needs and beliefs of the individual client.
Some people find it beneficial to use a blend of both faith-based and secular counseling. As a certified counselor and licensed marriage therapist with additional certification in Biblical counseling, I can offer clients the best of both of these approaches to healing. I don’t believe that faith and science are necessarily oppositional, and I encourage my clients to let me know if they would like more of an integrated counseling experience. The spiritual side of you may like some Biblical input while the scientific side of you may enjoy hearing about the structure of the brain and research-based techniques for changing your thinking.