All it takes is one Google search to see that the debate over Christians going to therapy is still going strong.
However, it was seeing a counselor that helped Kobe Campbell, a licensed clinical mental health counselor with a master’s degree in Christian counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, understand herself and start healing.
Campbell, author of the recently released bestseller “Why am I Like This?” said the book began as a way to explain trauma therapy for new clients. She also wrote it because she feels strongly that there needs to be more honesty and vulnerability and a willingness to share personal struggles.
“There’s almost like a cultural belief that God doesn’t show up unless you call on Him, or worship really hard, or pray really hard,” she said.
“I realized that a lot of people, especially people who identify as Christians, were just nervous about therapy and didn’t understand what it was. This book was me coalescing all of the resources and all of the insight I offer my clients at the beginning of therapy and giving it to people who are curious and ready for a healing in a way that’s safe to them,” she said.
Even though Campbell grew up in church and had gone down the aisle to give her life to Christ several times, she battled with severe depression. She drank to numb the pain and hopelessness she felt.
One night, feeling that no one loved her, including God or herself, Campbell attempted to take her own life.
But God intervened.
That night she gave every part of her to Christ. All of the depression and anxiety disappeared.
A week later it returned — along with the shame of wondering how she could feel that way knowing God loved her and even though she had been reading the Bible, praying and “doing all the right things.”
“I couldn’t see that the pain of my past was keeping me from living in the freedom God had just for me. I didn’t realize that the fragmented memories of moments I wanted to forget were clues to why I felt so stuck.”
“Though I said yes to a new life in Christ, I still needed Him to hold my hand through deep emotional, psychological and spiritual healing,” she said in the book’s introduction titled “Will I Ever Feel Free?”
When questioned about trauma not being real, Campbell points to Christ before the crucifixion.
“Jesus was praying when He was sweating blood,” she said. “Jesus was anxious when He was anxious to the point of death. Jesus was in God’s will. Jesus is God’s will. And still He felt overwhelmed at the task at hand.”
Campbell then understood that feeling negative emotions, such as anxiety, aren’t an indicator that a person is out of God’s will or lacks His love.
“We can feel safe bringing those emotions to God because that’s what Jesus does with Him. That’s the example Jesus offers us,” she said.
“Why Am I Like This?” combines Campbell’s personal journey with her education and extensive experience as a trauma counselor.
The chapters address subjects such as trauma, facing fear, recognizing triggers, moving forward and trusting others. Each chapter ends with reflection questions. Though not necessary, having a journal and pen near while reading would be helpful in answering the questions.
While writing “Why Am I Like This?,” Campbell learned that God loves her in every emotional state.
“He loves me the same whether I’m angry and annoyed as He does when I’m grateful and happy. I have to constantly remind myself of that because it’s easy to fake being happy or being in a good mood when it’s just not a good day,” she said.
“I’m learning to let it be a bad day and let God be good in it.
“I’ve had moments where I have just taken a deep breath and then said, ‘Okay, God. You are here right now. You are with me. You’re not far off and only showing up when I do quiet time perfectly. You’re not far off and only show up when the worship music comes on.’”
Currently God is teaching her to trust Him concerning rest.
“I don’t need to take on every responsibility even if it looks great. God values me for who I am and not what I do,” she said.
One day when Campbell was finishing “Why Am I Like This?,” she realized she had actually written a book and “bawled her eyes out.”
“In my head, I always knew I would write a book, but I felt like a different, better, more disciplined, more holy version of me would be the person who wrote the book — not this version of me,” she said.
“It helped me realize I can do anything because I have God with me.”
“Why Am I Like This?” can be found on Amazon or wherever books are sold. To learn more about Campbell, go to KobeCampbell.com. To follow her on Instagram or TikTok, search for @kobecampbell.