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6 Ways Therapy Made Me a Better Christian

Vivian Bricker

Contributing Writer
Updated Aug 11, 2023
6 Ways Therapy Made Me a Better Christian

I have been going to therapy for many years, and it has been eye-opening to me on many levels. I have heard mixed reviews on therapy from different people; however, I have found therapy to be helpful in my own healing journey. If you are debating whether or not to start going to therapy, I highly recommend it. It can be a beautiful experience that can help you move forward in your life. 

Here are six ways therapy made me a better Christian:

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Woman in therapy

1. I Get to Talk About God More

One way therapy has made me a better Christian is that I have been able to talk more about God. In my therapy sessions, my therapist allows me to talk about my faith and how it affects me as an individual. After all, our faith should play an integral role in how we navigate our relationships, experiences, and healing. Through my therapy sessions, I have come to the realization that God is always there for me and that I will never lose Him. Within my therapy sessions, I could have left God out of the equation, but instead, therapy has enabled me to talk about God even more. It has made God the integral part of my mental, emotional, and spiritual healing

Sadly, many of us compartmentalize our faith, keeping it from the rest of our lives. This shouldn't be as Jesus should be the center of our lives. Therapy has made it possible for me to include God in my healing journey and openly talk about Him without judgment. While I understand not all therapists allow this, it is something worth looking into. 

Maybe you can't find a Christian therapist, but trying to see a therapist that is at least open to all faith systems might be helpful. By being able to talk about God more outside the church, it has helped me become a better Christian. I'm not as scared to talk about God in a public space. It no longer feels foreign to me. Instead, it feels natural. 

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Two woman engaging in talk therapy, talk therapy and a Christian worldview

2. God Is Involved in the Sessions

A second way therapy has made me a better Christian is that therapy allows me to have God involved in my counseling sessions. Since God is involved in my sessions, and I am allowed to practice my faith, it feels more healing–mind, body, and soul. In addition to helping me heal, my therapy sessions also help me grow in my relationship with Christ. I don't feel ashamed because I never rejected or acted as though Christ wasn't a big part of my healing journey and life as a whole. 

Do I struggle with a myriad of mental health issues and traumas? Yes, we all do. But it doesn't compromise my Christianity or my relationship with Jesus. Through God being involved in my therapy sessions, He helps me grow more and understand things better. I'm not strong enough to grasp all the concepts I've been learning in therapy–not on my own, for sure–but after each session, I'm able to also turn to God and ask for His help. 

If you have been to therapy, you know how mentally draining it can be. It can uncover past hurts that you hadn't thought of in years and require you to work through personal, deep pain. It is in those times that we need to turn to God and rest in His peace. He walks alongside us in our times of need, and He doesn't leave us ever. Therapy has been given a bad reputation by many in the church, but it is actually something that can help you flourish. 

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men in therapy forgiving each other

3. It Helps Me See Other People's Perspectives

A third way therapy has made me a better Christian is that it has helped me see other people's perspectives. Much of my therapy is centered around family issues and bullying from the past. Through therapy, I have been able to see things from the other person's perspective, and I have developed empathy for them despite the hurt they have caused me. This is in agreement with what Jesus teaches because He doesn't want us to hate anyone. 

Sadly, many of us are in therapy because of the hurt someone caused us. The last thing on our minds is forgiving the person or having empathy for them. Even though this is the exact opposite of what comes to our minds, God wants us to forgive as He forgave us. I understand this can be challenging, but therapy can help you get to this point, and as a result, you will grow to become a better follower of Jesus. 

It can be difficult to see other people's perspectives, but therapy helps open your eyes to their view. After going to therapy, I have been able to see through the eyes of my mom, dad, sisters, past friends, and present relationships. It has helped me grow in my walk with Jesus in the sense that it helps me not have negative feelings toward anyone anymore because I can understand why they did what they did. It doesn't mean the hurt they inflicted on me was okay or permissible, but it does mean that I'm able to work through it and forgive as God forgave me. 

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Woman in a therapists office

4. It Helped Me Understand God's Love Is Different Than Man's

A fourth way therapy has helped me become a better Christian is that it has helped me understand God's love is different from mankind's love. Maybe my situation is similar to yours and what you have experienced. My parents let me down, my friends let me down, and other loved ones let me down. This can still get me down at times, but through therapy, I have learned that God's love is greater than mankind's love. Just because loved ones in my life have let me down doesn't mean God will. 

In fact, God will never let any of us down. Instead, He will shower us with His love, and He will always be there for us. Mankind's love is based on conditions. However, God's love is unconditional. Our loved ones can hurt us and leave, but God never will. Through therapy, I have been able to learn this and truly apply it to my life. Even when everyone fails us, God is always there with His arms open wide. 

God's love is known as agape love. Mankind is not capable of this type of love as only God possesses this type of love. Even though we may love our loved ones deeply, it is not the same love God has for them. God's love is always deeper and stronger than the love we can show anyone. In the same way, God's love is deeper and stronger than any love we could receive from someone else. 

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Asian man praying, watchman nee

5. It Challenges Me to Grow as a Christian

A fifth way therapy helped me become a better Christian is that it challenged me to grow in my walk with Christ. Therapy is challenging by itself and can wear you out for the rest of the day because it forces you to face past hurt and trauma, and sometimes, it even makes you face your own bad decisions. It's a lot of deep, hard, soul work. Since most of my therapy was centered around traumatic events from my teenage years, it challenged me to not only grow in myself but also to grow as a Christian. God didn't want me to continue to hold onto these past hurts, and He didn't want me to be plagued by the trauma of the past. 

Jesus died in order for us to have abundant life (John 10:10). This abundant life starts now, and God wants us to make the most of it. He doesn't want us to spend our days in deep sorrow. Rather, He wants us to grow and become stronger people. Not only do we become stronger people, but we also become stronger Christians, and we will be able to relate to people on a deeper level. 

Nobody wants to undergo traumatic events, but for some of us, they happen at a young age. Seeing my mom pass away when I was eighteen years old wasn't something I wanted, yet it was something that was the catalyst for my Christian walk. God is known to turn bad things into something beautiful (Romans 8:28). Allow Him to turn your wasteland into a beautiful field of flowers. 

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group therapy

6. I Have a New Desire to See Others Heal through Christ

A sixth way therapy helped me become a better Christian is that it helped me recognize my own desire to help others heal through Christ. I firmly believe a person cannot have healing except through Christ, and that's why we need more written and spoken information on the subject. As Christians, we need to open the conversation around mental health and help those who are struggling. I personally have wanted to start a ministry that reaches these individuals and helps them heal through Christ. 

Through therapy, you might also discover a calling that you might not have otherwise learned about. God is always speaking to us and nudging us in the right direction. We might be filled with doubts and question "what if," yet God is faithful, and He will continue to walk beside us. He will also place a unique call on each of us to help those around us. It is possible your calling will be made clear after you go to therapy. 

Maybe you will discover that you want to start a ministry to help people who are going through similar things. It could be that you decide on becoming a therapist and specializing in a certain field you have experience with. Or maybe it just sparks an interest to be more involved in the lives of those around you and also help them draw closer to God amidst their struggles. 

Empathy, compassion, and forgiveness are tools we gain when we are willing to put in the hard work and attend Christian therapy, and I encourage you to consider it as part of your walk with Christ too.

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Vivian BrickerVivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

Originally published Tuesday, 08 August 2023.