By: Katie Dale 

For most mental health conditions and illnesses, it is strongly recommended that one gets help with not only prescribed medications from a psychiatrist, but also therapy. As a Christian with mental illness, I have found talk therapy with a certified Christian counselor has been hugely beneficial in my recovery and maintenance of my mental health.

Therapy can not only help you feel better but will help you think better and more soundly. Having another party that is unbiased and trained in helping their clients process their emotions, thoughts and behaviors is essential to a return to healthier emotions, thoughts and behaviors.

When the therapist is a Christian therapist and employs Christian, Biblically-based principles in their sessions, a Christian client can gain so much understanding behind their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Godly wisdom develops in the client when they begin to apply Biblical principles in their thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

In addition to the changes a client makes in Christian counseling, they have the added benefit of making life changes that count for eternity. In other words, when Christ-like habits are formed in place of old sinful ones, the Christian client can employ the power of the Holy Spirit, the strength of Christ, and accept God’s mercy and grace to change permanently and powerfully.

Here are some starter questions in three areas we can explore with a Christian therapist to start on our journeys to permanent change and powerful transformation in light of the Truth of Christ, despite living with a mental illness.

Emotions

  1. What do my emotions have to do with my spiritual walk with the Lord? How are they related and how are they different?

  2. Why might I have such deep depression? Is this related to a sinful thought-life, behavior or generational curse? If not, how do I know it’s purely chemical imbalance?

  3. Why do I feel so far from God right now?

  4. What can I do to avoid a roller coaster relationship to God (highs feeling close to Him, lows feeling far from Him)

  5. Is anger a sinful emotion? If not, how do I appropriately and healthily handle it?

  6. What are triggers and how can I know what mine are?

  7. If I have felt this way for so long, how can I know my feelings will change?

  8. How do I feel differently if I’ve tried to change my thoughts and feelings but I’m still struggling with (fill in the blank: anger, sorrow, grief, etc.)?

Thoughts

  1. Are my thoughts supposed to change once I am a Christian?

  2. I know what I should be thinking about (Philippians 4) but I struggle with what I shouldn’t be thinking about (fill in the blank: jealousy, self-image, self-worth, sexual immorality, etc.). How can I change my thoughts?

  3. What are some tools I can employ when I face a temptation to dwell on what I shouldn’t?

  4. How do I continue to dwell on good, pure thoughts continuously? I seem to always get distracted or give up.

  5. How can I pray about my thought life?

  6. Does prayer count as training my brain to think more healthily?

  7. I feel like my thoughts gravitate toward (fill in the blank) and I know I struggle with this and have in the past. How do I stop this?

  8. What can help me if I am having trouble believing God’s promise about (fill in the blank)?

Behaviors

  1. I have bipolar disorder. Sometimes I get impulsive and act irrationally. How can I manage this behavior?

  2. I have severe depression and am tempted to harm myself sometimes. How can I help myself?

  3. I have severe anxiety and get overwhelmed in public settings. How can I find relief?

  4. I have schizophrenia and can’t always tell the difference between God’s voice and the voices in my head, or hallucinations and Godly visions. How can I know the difference?

  5. I have a learning disability and it takes me a while to catch on to what others are communicating to me. How can I handle my rate of response and frustrations when I don’t understand something?

  6. I take things too personally. How can I be more “thick-skinned” and not be so sensitive? Should I be less sensitive?

  7. I have a short fuse. How can I bite my tongue/control my anger/keep from exploding in the moment and what can help me do that?

  8. I am trying not to lose my job due to my mental health condition. What should I do?

Katie Dale is the mind behind BipolarBrave.com and the e-book GAMEPLAN: A Mental Health Resource Guide. She’s currently finishing up her memoir on her episodes of bipolar disorder, due to launch March 2020. She can be found on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

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