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Biblical Counseling

What is "biblical counseling"?

Biblical Counseling involves a Scripture-based value system, application of that system within the counseling relationship, and the explicit and implicit use of Scripture-based value systems and practices in collaboratively working with others to prevent or resolve life struggles.  A Biblical approach holds to the belief that the Bible is God's divinely inspired letter to humanity about His deep desire for relationship with us, His principles for abundant living within a broken world, how good can be redeemed from the negative events that occur, and hope found in the return of Christ and so restoration of all that is broken. 

The Goals of Biblical counseling

The ultimate goal of Biblical Counseling is not the same as counseling focused on preventing or alleviating distress.  This indeed may occur as an outcome of the ultimate goal, but it is not the goal.  The ultimate goal is for Christians to overcome barriers that prevent them from becoming the best workman for Christ they can be so  is He the "First Born" among many.

Methods of biblical counseling

The first effective step in any approach to Biblical counseling is for the counselor to model and provide an atmosphere of compassionate, grace-enabled personal responsibility.  Compassionate grace-enabled responsibility is based on Romans 7:15 through Romans 8:39.  The key elements of compassionate responsibility are as follows: 1) People know right from wrong; 2) Even the most moral of us struggle to live according to what we know to be right; 3) The grace of Christ means we need not fight to maintain our sense of basic worth through engaging in "justifying" wrong choices.  We are justified and made worthy through Christ's freely given grace; 4) We have a responsibility to engage in an active process of personal accountability and transformation enabled through prayer, Scripture meditation, and Spirit-led/enabled passions; 5) The process of becoming more like Christ is a process of owning His grace and enables us to be more effective for the cause of Christ;  and 6) For the Christian, there is no greater joy to sustain us through the challenges of this life than looking forward to hearing from the Father,"Well done."  

 

The second  step is for the counselor to remember James 1:9 "This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger."  A counselor must take the time to fully hear the needs of the counseled before the counselor can be effective.

The next step is for the counselor to help the counseled identify biblical principles relevant to the biological, behavioral, occupational, spiritual, and/ or relational issues with which they are struggling and plans to enact these principles to address these struggles.  In doing so, the counselor must remember that all truth is God's truth.  This is a vital concept. 2 Pet 1:3 informs us that His divine power  through His glory has given us all we need to identify the value systems pertinent to solving our life issues.  At the same time, God has also given us other truths that may also be relevant.  A good Biblical counselor recognizes when a person's has additional needs to that of values clarification and implementation.  They do not hesitiate to get the person the additional help needed (e.g., medication treatment, evidence-based treatment approaches, etc.).

The sustaining step is to work with the counseled to maintain resolution of issues through quick identification and recovery from drifting away from valued life-directions, proactive pursuit of a continued growth plan, and robust involvement in serving within the body of Christ.

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