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Counseling for Catholics

Counselors are licensed psychotherapists who work with you to improve your mental health, relationships, and life challenges. Catholics have a variety of options and sometimes are concerned about how counseling might affect their faith. Finding and working with the right counselor to make positive changes in your life takes time, but is worth it. 

Will a Counselor Respect My Catholic Faith?

  • Good counselors (of any faith) should respect your Catholic faith.  If you feel like your faith is being belittled, you can look for another counselor

  • Some counselors in general practice who happen to be Catholic will incorporate faith upon request

  • Some counselors identify themselves specifically as Catholic counselors and incorporate Catholic teaching, practices, Scripture, etc as a normal part of their approach

  • Christians counselors of other denominations can also be a helpful resource

 

It is better to find a counselor who is qualified and experienced with your concerns than to find a counselor who, while he or she may be a good Catholic, is unskilled with your particular issues.  You can tell your counselor at the first session that your Catholic Faith is important to you and you can discuss together how it relates to the issues you are bringing.

A Licensed Counselor Can Help You:

  • Recognize and express your mental health needs and set goals for healing

  • Work through family of origin and past trauma issues

  • Work through relational and marriage conflict

  • Heal your self-image and address issues like anger, grief and anxiety

  • Grow in self-awareness and take and interpret temperament and personality tests

  • Give referrals to spiritual directors, pastors, or doctors for medical support, like medication

  • Payment can often be covered in whole or in part by insurance.  Appointments are often once a week to begin with and gradually spaced out.

If your counselor is not Catholic and/or you want additional spiritual support, you can work with a spiritual director. You can visit the Catholic Spiritual Direction resources page for more information.  Sometimes people meet with a spiritual director alongside counseling or afterwards to help integrate their mental health healing with their faith.

How Do I Find a Counselor in the Twin Cities?

  1. Pray, ask God to lead you to the right counselor

  2. Check your insurance listings for in-network counselors

  3. Ask your parish priest or Catholic friends for recommendations

  4. For a specifically Catholic counselor: Catholic Psychotherapy Association and catholictherapists.com

  5. Local parishes with good resources and/or links: The Basilica of St Mary, Pax Christi, Our Lady of Grace, St Joan of Arc, All-Saints

  6. Archdiocese clergy sexual abuse Victim Assistance Program: 651-291-4475, related mental health offered through Canvas Health.

  7. Ecumenical Christian resources: Mental Health Ministries, New Pathways Mental Health, Pathways Spiritual Counseling Resources, Mental Health Connect.

  8. Community Resources: Mental Health Minnesota, SAVE Suicide AwarenessNational Alliance on Mental Health MN, Alcoholics Anonymous MN, Gamblers Anonymous, Red Cross Virtual Family AssistanceCrisis Text Line

  9. Psychiatric Emergency contacts by County: Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Carver, Washington, Scott, and Dakota.

 

Think beyond local: especially since the pandemic started, online counseling is readily available from anywhere in the world!

Kathryn Wehr

Is in the Spiritual Direction Certificate program at St John's School of Theology in Collegeville, MN and is currently in the practicum phase.  She is not a counselor, but created this and other related resource pages as part of her studies - so that she knows what is available locally and can make referrals for the various needs of any future directees.

You can send her a question or suggestion via the contact link above.