The Gospel Matters in counseling.
So why do some Christian counselors act like the Gospel has no place in the counseling office?
This Gospel Matters series shares the Christ’s compassion for the broken. It answers the question, Is biblical counseling really a viable, possibly a better, alternative than secular counseling?
Read the first post on competency of Biblical Counselors and state-licensed counselors.
Read the second post on Biblical Counseling, the Gospel, and chemical imbalance that may contribute to mental/emotional difficulties.
Read the third post on the divide between Biblical Counseling and some Christian Counseling that negates the Gospel.
Read the fourth post on the truth that Biblical Counselors are not unethical faith healers.
Claim #5: Christian Psychologists have a professional (competent) and consistent model; Biblical Counselors lack consistency in practice and are often lacking competency to counsel difficult cases.
This quote solidifies this errant view:
In practice, despite its rejection of secular psychology, biblical counseling draws both on psychoanalysis, with its focus on getting to the root of problems, and on behaviorism, with its stress on correcting habits. A constant refrain in biblical counseling is the command for counselees to “put off” bad and sinful thoughts, and to “put on” biblical, God-pleasing thoughts instead.
What exactly happens is a biblical counselors office anyway?
To get an answer, let’s first start with a series of questions:
- Is Biblical Counseling really just bible-based talk therapy or hidden secrets lurking in biblical counseling training binders?
- Do we perform exorcisms or pray the addiction away?
- Do we shame people into change by preaching hell-fire at them?
- Do we really think there is a bible verse for every statement at counselee makes?
- Do we tell all children and wisdom to sit quietly and lecture them about the need to listen to their spiritual heads?
- Do we ignore everything that psychology, psychiatry and science says and refer only to an ancient book written 2000 years ago?
The issue really is about the nature of wise counsel. When evaluating this, Biblical Counselors are concerned about message, methods and motives of counseling. We are often asked the question about “What makes Biblical Counseling different?” Is there anything unique from others who are doing what they call “Christian Counseling”?
This article is intended to clarify common differences between those who practice “biblical counseling” and what most commonly seen in “Christian therapy.” We strive for faithfulness to these Biblical Counseling convictions in order to be faithful to our calling as a biblical counseling ministry. We also train and challenge Christian counselors to embody these principles in the way they care for their people.
Biblical Counseling Convictions
The Power of Hope: Hope is powerful force for change and that comes from God. Our firm conviction is that the hope for Man’s deepest struggles is found in Christ and through living in a satisfying relationship with him. Your hope will be cultivated.
The Priority of Faith: Life’s most difficult struggles are often a test of our faith. Do we trust God enough to follow him through the dark valleys back to wholeness and dependence on him? We won’t treat your faith as a secondary matter to your struggle. Your faith will be challenged.
The Primacy of the Scriptures: If increasing our trust and walk with Christ is crucial to wholeness, what is best path to accomplish this? Only the scriptures reveal Christ for all that he is and wants to accomplish in our lives. In the scriptures we see God’s answers and find nourishment for our weary souls. Your strength will be grown.
The Principle of Wisdom: If we believe that a good God has given us wise guidance, we will be vigilant in our pursuit of the heart and mind of God. The clearest guidance for life is found in God’s word so our pursuit will humbly focus on eyes on pursuing the wisdom that the Bible reveals. Your strategies will be effective.
The Powerlessness of Pop Psychology: Psychological fads, theories and contradictory scientific studies come and go in the mental health field frequently and are often confusing. We at BCC are troubled that instability seems to be their new norm. We regularly read and evaluate current mental health studies and note the constantly changing nature of them. Since we are confident God has not forgotten to give us everything what we need from God to “do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God,” we focus our time with counselees on what God has already graciously revealed. While respecting other Christian counselors whose practice focuses on psychological theories and studies, our focus will not be on changing studies but on practical and faithful application of God’s wisdom leading to spiritual and emotional health. Counselees’ confusion will be lessened as they embrace the truth that sets them free.
The Purpose of Community: Counseling doesn’t really work. You might be surprised to have read that on a counseling website! Long term change happens best when you have support in your family, friends and faith community. We’ll teach you time-tested principles to strength your relationships. Your community will be important.
The Pursuit of Joy: God desires for us to experience joy. Our false pursuits of joy lead to further into dissatisfaction and unhappiness. If the joy of the Lord really is our strength, pursuing joy will take priority over just getting what I want out of counseling. True joy can be found. Your joy will be improving.
The Possibility of Peace: Most of our counselees are restless and struggling with ongoing and painful circumstances. The cry of their heart is to find peace. When your eyes are focused back on God’s good plan, peace swells in your soul. Your peace will be increased.
Join the Conversation
What difference do you see between biblical counselors and Christian therapists?