Faithful Counseling Review

Chat with an Christian counselor online

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4.3

Faithful Counseling

Faithful Counseling

 Faithful Counseling

What We Like

  • You can choose the degree to which you want religion involved in your therapy

  • Non-believers and followers of other religions are invited to use the service

  • There is a free seven-day trial

  • You are matched to a therapist before you’re asked for payment

  • Financial aid is offered if you can’t afford counseling

  • Live chats, video sessions, audio sessions, and messaging services are available

  • Simple sign-up process

  • You’re matched to a therapist in fewer than 24 hours

  • Educational seminars are offered free of charge on a variety of topics

What We Don't Like

  • Therapists can be slow to respond

  • The level of Christian teachings doesn’t always match the requests

  • Some therapists give generic worksheets with little interaction

  • Sign-up process is automated without the ability to interact with a human

  • No guarantee you’ll be matched to a therapist who aligns with your requests

  • Some therapists confuse clients and get facts mixed up

  • You may be asked to complete a live assessment before starting therapy

Bottom Line

Faithful Counseling offers online counseling for Christians, and each counselor is a practicing Christian who integrates faith-based guidance with their clinical practice, which include live chats, video sessions, audio sessions, and messaging services.

4.3

Faithful Counseling

Faithful Counseling

 Faithful Counseling

Christian Counseling is one of the few online platforms that cater specifically to individuals who want a therapist that practices the same faith. This way, the counselors (there are 1,000 available on the site) can ask God to join the conversation to help create treatment plans that are not only effective but also align with the religion’s beliefs and values. The nice thing is that if you’re not sure if this service is for you, there is a free seven-day trial so you can give it a whirl to see what it’s all about.

We did just that. We actually had five testers use and review Faithful Counseling to evaluate the site’s ability to provide online mental health treatment. From start to finish, we took a hard look at the sign-up process, customer service, speed of therapist match, price, ability to switch counselors, cancellation policies, effectiveness and treatments offered, and more.

Continue reading to see our complete thoughts on Christian Counseling to help determine if it’s a viable option for your needs.

Faithful Counseling
Faithful Counseling 

Sign-Up Process: Complete a quick questionnaire

To begin the sign-up process, you’ll be asked to complete a short questionnaire. You’ll write about any symptoms you’re experiencing as well as answer some questions about your spiritual beliefs. 

You can select how important it is for a counselor to address spiritual issues in your treatment. For example, do you want Biblical teachings and prayer to be part of your counseling? Or, do you prefer that those things aren’t incorporated directly?

The questionnaire takes about 10 minutes to complete. Your answers will be used to match you with a therapist. 

For the five testers who reviewed the site, it took anywhere from two to five hours to get matched to a therapist. According to the Faithful Counseling website, most people are matched to a therapist within 24 hours.

You’ll receive an e-mail notifying you when you’ve been matched to a therapist. Once you’re given your therapist’s information, you’ll be able to send a message immediately. 

Most of the testers said the process was fast and relatively simple. But, some felt as though their requests were not honored in terms of the type of therapist they were matched with. This seems to be a common issue based on other reviews of the site, too. For example, one person said they were matched to a male therapist even though they requested a female.

Another stated: “While the questionnaire was OK, when it comes to religion and spirituality, having a customer service agent interact with the patient to get a good sense of their needs would be far more effective than just an automated questionnaire.”

With that said, one tester did mention that 'Faithful Counseling asked a lot of questions at sign up, which really made me feel like the therapist they were teaming me up with was matched appropriately.'

So our testers’ experiences did really vary, which is not surprising since therapy is personal and everyone has a different view of what they deem is authentic and helpful.

Also, it’s worth noting that the site makes it clear that you don’t have to be a Christian to use their services, and their sign-up process explains that non-believers and followers of other religions are welcome to seek therapy. One of our reviewers really thought this was a nice touch.

Ease of Use: Simple and user-friendly

After you’re matched to a counselor, you’ll be e-mailed a link to a private chat room where you can leave messages for your counselor. Your counselor replies to messages in the same place, and you’ll receive an e-mail notification when your counselor replies (you must log in to the site to retrieve the private message).

If you choose to conduct a live chat or video session, you’ll be given instructions on how to do so. Live chat sessions are simple to access. 

Live chats allow you to see your counselor typing in real-time. That means you’ll witness your counselor backspace to correct typos. Similarly, your counselor will be able to watch what you’re typing in real-time. 

Faithful Counseling
 Faithful Counseling

Areas Covered: Comprehensive mental health care

The counselors at Faithful Counseling are equipped to handle a variety of problems from a Christian perspective. They report they are happy to help people deal with any problems that interfere with happiness or prevent them from reaching their goals.

They have counselors who specialize in treating specific issues, such as anxiety disorders, relationship problems, parenting issues, addictions, depression, eating disorders, stress, sleep disorders, trauma, family conflict, grief, religion, anger, self-esteem, and LGBTQ matters.

Counseling Qualification/ Effectiveness: Licensed mental health therapists

All of the counselors at Faithful Counseling are part of the Betterhelp platform. They are all licensed psychotherapists who are either psychologists, clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors or marriage and family therapists. Each one also has either a master’s or doctorate degree.

Every one of Faithful Counseling’s therapists has been certified and trained by their state’s professional board and have at least three years and 2,000 hours of hands-on experience.

The testers’ individual experiences with counselors varied greatly. One evaluator said 'My counselor got right into the nitty-gritty of my own personal experience and didn’t waste time trying to teach me the fundamentals of psychology through worksheets. I felt like I was being evaluated as a person.'

While another tester said, “They used generic forms. The therapist never replied to a single message. Instead, she insisted I schedule a live session. She was seven minutes late for the appointment and after 10 minutes, she said, ‘OK, is there anything else I can help with?’ She never asked a single question about my history.”

And some said their therapist responded to messages within a few hours, but others said their therapist was much slower to reply. And when they did, one reviewer said that “The responses I got back from my therapist were almost always just a single sentence, and didn't really provide any advice for me at all, even after a few days of conversing.”

One tester held a live chat session with the therapist but said the therapist typed too slowly to make the appointment effective.

Each counselor has also identified themselves as a practicing Christian. Prior to joining the platform, they shared their testimonies and verified that their beliefs aligned with Faithful Counseling’s Statement of Faith. 

Although if you’re a devout Christian, it might be up to you to start the conversation and bring your faith into the picture. One reviewer said: “During the sign-up process I asked for religious-based therapy so that I could see how this service differs from the others I tested. However, my therapist never even mentioned religion, much less offered bible references or Christian teachings as part of my therapy.”

Faithful Counseling
Faithful Counseling 

Types of Treatment Available: Chat, talk, message, or video conference

The therapists at Faithful Counseling offer the same types of treatment you might receive in a clinic that doesn’t have any type of spiritual affiliation. Counselors may be trained in a variety of techniques, ranging from cognitive behavioral therapy to psychodynamic approaches. 

You can communicate with your counselor in four different ways:

  • Exchange messages in a private room. Similar to an e-mail exchange, you can leave a message at any time, day or night. Your counselor will likely reply one to two times per day.
  • Chat live. You can schedule a live chat session where you can meet in a room at the same time.
  • Speak over the phone. You can schedule a phone conversation at any time.
  • Video conference. If you prefer to see your counselor while you’re talking, you can schedule a live video chat.

There’s no limit to the number of messages you can exchange or the number of live sessions you can have with your counselor.

The frequency of your interactions depends on your availability and the preferences you have about your treatment. There may be times that you require more frequent interaction and times when you require fewer conversations with your therapist.

A tester mentioned that they appreciated some of the additional offerings Christian Counseling makes available to patients. They said: “Faithful Counseling offers extra services in addition to the one-on-one therapy that they have called Groupinars. These are group seminars scheduled at a variety of times and hosted by the counselors, ranging in topics from self-care to trauma. These can provide a number of benefits, such as making sure you get your money’s worth for the service or helping to spark thoughts on a topic that you didn’t even realize you wanted to talk about further one-on-one.”

Privacy Policy: Remain anonymous if you wish

Faithful Counseling reports that privacy is a top priority. Their confidential standards are above the minimum privacy standards required by law. 

You don’t need to give your full name to sign up for services. You can choose a nickname and remain anonymous.

You will be asked to provide information for an emergency contact person but your counselor will only be granted that information if there is a concern that you or someone else may be in danger.

Other things worth noting for added peace of mind:

  • There’s a "Shred" button next to each message that you can hit so they will disappear from your account.
  • Not only are all the messages between you and your counselor secured and encrypted by banking-grade 256-bit encryption, but they are also scrambled so they become useless in the unlikely event they are compromised.

Price: Affordable subscription service

The price varies depending on the length of the subscription plan you choose:

  • $80/week billed weekly (unlimited messages and a weekly live session for seven days)
  • $65/week billed monthly (4 weeks of unlimited messages and weekly live sessions for $260)
  • $45/week billed quarterly (3 months of unlimited messages and weekly live sessions for $540)
  • $35/week billed yearly (12 months of unlimited messages and weekly live sessions for $1,820)

Services are not usually covered by health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. 

The price includes unlimited text messaging and the option of phone and/or video-based sessions with your therapist.

They offer financial aid to anyone who cannot afford treatment.

One reviewer said that after answering a few questions, she actually received 40 percent off, which is definitely a positive.

Simply click on the button requesting financial aid and you’ll be given a questionnaire to complete about your income. If you qualify, you’ll be given treatment at a reduced rate.

Competition: Faithful Counseling vs. Christian Therapist on Demand

While there are a lot of online therapy apps available, few of them offer Christian counselors. Many of the sites that do offer Christian counseling are limited in the areas they serve or the services they provide.

One of Faithful Counseling’s biggest competitors is Christian Therapist on Demand. This site offers unlimited messaging for $32 per week, making it a more affordable option for anyone who isn’t interested in live video or phone sessions. The price goes up to $69 per week if you’d like to add four video sessions per month, making it potentially less affordable than Faithful Counseling for those who want that service.

Since Faithful Counseling is owned by the popular online therapy site Betterhelp, it may offer more sophisticated customer service and online functionality than most other sites. It offers the same features as the bigger sites and offers something most sites don’t — access to counselors who have verified their beliefs are in line with Faithful Counseling’s Statement of Faith. So if it came down to Faithful Counseling for Christian Therapist on Demand, we’d stick with Faithful Counseling.

Final Verdict

Give it try if you’re looking dedicated Christian counseling.

The five individuals who tested Faithful Counseling felt it was a good option for anyone who was specifically looking to work with a Christian counselor (however, you might have to explicitly mention to them that you’re looking to invite God and the bible teachings into your conversation).

While there were some concerns about the therapists’ response time and overall effectiveness from some of the evaluators, others had a positive experience. Its free, seven-day trial and access to financial aid make the barrier a little bit lower for anyone wanting to incorporate their spiritual and religious beliefs into their therapy.

Specs

  • Product Name Faithful Counseling
  • Usability Good
  • Mobile platforms iOS, Android
  • HIPPA-Compliant Yes
  • Payment options Credit card or PayPal
  • Price Varies, but starts as low as $35/week
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