Too Saved and Highly Favored: The Black Taboo of Counseling

It is a known fact that African Americans are known for being real big on religion. When we are going through trials and tribulations in life, we feel that the cure to the issues is to just pray to the Lord and read a few verses that are in the Bible. Within our culture, it has been embedded within us that if professional help is sought out then we do not have faith in God. It is also embedded in us that if one has a mental health disorder that it is nothing but the devil and that it needs to be rebuked; by prayer of course. The thing that needs to be acknowledged is that counseling is for everyone: especially those who state to faith in God. If there are doctors for the physically ill, then what makes you think that counselors do not serve a purpose for those who have mental instability? We often pray for God to make a way for us, to take away our sorrows, and to help us make better decisions. Well who is to say that he hasn’t answered us by providing people for us to lean on and help guide us to make the right decisions. Some people feel that if they go to the pastor and tell them their issues at hand that they will gain all the insight right then and there. Well sadly that isn’t always true. Now am I saying that going to your pastor is not the correct path to take: of course not. I feel that you should go to your pastor when you are dealing with trials and tribulations and you need guidance with your faith and your relationship with God. But when it comes to mental health, a lot of pastors are not clinically trained to help their members with traumatic issues that could have serious effects in their lives. As a matter of fact, there have been incidents where people have fell of the deep end because they were instructed by their religious leaders that all they had to do was pray and ask for forgiveness. When in counseling, it is very important that you have balance. You have to ensure that your physical, your spiritual, and your mental needs are being met. In order for it to be met, you have to reach out to people that are qualified in each aspect: not one person that claims that you can do it all or state that you do not need all. So the next time you are going through some difficult times in your life and feel that you just can’t go on, pray to the Lord and ask for his guidance which could possibly lead you to the couch of a therapist.

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Too Saved and Highly Favored: The Black Taboo of Counseling

  1. Nice. It’s funny how people are okay with seeing a doctor for a physical illness, but not for a mental one. It’s the same concept. You can pray for a broken leg to heal, but just like God put surgeons here to help with broken legs, he also put counselors here to help with mental instability.

  2. So true. I believe that counselors are to help unstable individuals. Of course prayer does work but God does not always fix the problem right then and there at the moment when you need him to. I agree that praying for guidance in any situation not just when you going through trials and tribulations. If you prayed more on a regular basis you will be already prayed up when trouble strike. Conselors are simply people trained in areas to help you in unstable situations but GOD is the almighty one who can always be there for you to help you through anything good or bad. Me personally I wouldnt seek out a counselor I have a strong faith in God that tells me that MY GOD CAN fix and heal all wounds.

    1. I wouldn’t tell my pastor everything, he is human as well. I do pray that the lead and guide my footsteps everyday. God always shows up right on time for me.Some people don’t feel that they are the problem. Seek counseling to tell your problems to and a doctor for mental help.

  3. Very informing I have never looked at a counselor in reference to a preacher. It makes alot of sense though after reading this I feel like a counselor/therapist would the perfect person to see about certain problems.

  4. This is true…. I have seen alot of people go to church just because they are in a bad situtation but that is not when a person need to go to church only. I also believe that counselors are for people that have been going to trough some things that they can’t fix own they own and they need a third party… I also believe that praying works it might take along time for your prayer to come true but trust in believe it will come true sooner then you think… I believe in god and i don’t think you have to go to church every sunday just to show the lord you trust in him. I will only go to a counselor if i can’t fix something that I been trying to fix for a long time because there is a god.

  5. I agree that a pastor is a poor choice in seeking counseling help. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ask your pastor for help on certain things but it shouldn’t be dealing with an illness or condition. A pastor is a not a trained psychologist! What makes me mad is that when you have a mental illness and ask a pastor for help, the pastor would tell you to just pray about it. How is praying going to help someone with anxiety disorder? Bipolar? Schizophrenia? Depression?Pastor should tell you that you need to seek professional help. Praying and turning to God should be for guidance in your faith and need a path to walk on. Praying won’t cure psychological disorders or diabetes! I wish people would be more realistic and practical about things and not just rely solely on their religion for a cure to their illness. You’re not just suffering from a simple cold, you’re having a disorder which means you need actual professionals that major in that field!!

    1. When you guidance you to your pastor or a decan. You talked with someone at church. So when your mental health is in troble you go to seek professional help. We as african American we need not be a fraid to asked for help. Sometime we need more than a prayed or healing water throught at us. We need not suffer in vain.

  6. I believe n God and I believe in prayer but I agree with you when you say you can’t just sit around and wait for God to fix your problems because he doesn’t come on our time he works on his own. So just sitting around waiting for him to do it all is going to land you straight on your butt you have to put in work too.

  7. I agree that a pastor is not always the answer, yes your belief in God is very important but sometimes professional helpis best because some people have inherited these different types of disorders.

  8. God will make a way out of anything you are going through, but my pastor on the other hand, I would not go to with my personal problems because he is human..

  9. you are right we as black people do always go to God for our problems and when things are going wrong in our lives we do try to rebuke the devil and because of the that some have taking their own lives but if that person would have just open up to a counselor they might would still be with us today and they would have found out why they felt the way they felt at that time.I have learned that talking to someone its ok. It’swhen you don’t talk to someone is the real problem.

  10. I agree with you Ms. Flynn. Thank you for having the courage to write this article. Just as GOD calls Pastors, GOD calls Counselors. There are many qualified Christian Counselors called by GOD. Romans 12:4 says, “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function..” We in the African American Church have often relied on the Pastor for everything, but GOD calls many to the body of Christ to operate in many different giftings. Christian Counseling and Christian Counselors are part of the body just like Preaching and Pastors. The problem is that when we neglect or negate a part of “the body” then the whole “body” suffers.

  11. I agree whole-heartedly! God gave therapists the wisdom and knowledge to help others. It’s the same as going to a medical doctor. He gave them the knowledge on how to treat the sick. Therapists deal with psychological and emotional issues all the time and they can put your issues into perspective and make life much easier.

  12. I believe what you said in this blog is so true. Because i was also raised to think if you had a problem, that only prayer and your pastor were the only people that would understand where you came from. But its not true, because i feel if you do see a counselor it could possibly help. Because sometime you might just need somebody to just listen to you. And let you get everything out on the table. Without judging you and putting a label on your issue

  13. Friend: Girl just pray about it….
    Me: I did but God ain’t talking back right now. Lol….. I said that to say YES its always important to pray to our Heavenly Father, but I
    feel that God did bless someone with that degree and that couch for a reason. Its good to talk to someone that doesn’t know you to give you better insight.

  14. I agree, alot of african americans including myself turn to God when going through a hard time. I feel as though that God is the only solution for your problems because mad can’t fix everything the only can listen.

  15. I feel that God places people on this earth for a reason. I think that therapists are here to help us. I feel that talking to someone that can help you see the light at the end of an dark tunnel, was sent to me by God. Talking to your pastor or church members aren’t the way to go in most cases but going to God first and then a therapists to me better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s