About Biblical Counselling
Biblical Counselling FAQs
What Is Biblical Counselling?
Biblical Counselling holds to the authority, inerrancy, and infallibility of the Word of God, for the Counsel of God, for “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3) That is, upholding God-centred theology over man-centred, humanistic theology.
In my counselling room, clients receive Christ-centred, Gospel-focussed, biblically-grounded directive conversation and counsel as we explore God's solutions to problems, issues, and challenges in His Word. Listen to my Statement of Faith here.
Most of the time the counselling process leads to discipling as counsellees grow in their knowledge of God, and then learn how to counsel themselves in the Word of God, which is the true transformative power in their lives.
My clients receive attentive counsel, discipleship, support, resources, encouragement, coaching, mentorship, and accountability. They are prayed with, encouraged, and challenged to be biblically courageous in living lives to the Glory of God.
How is Biblical Counselling Different From Christian (Integrated) Counselling?
In my view, Biblical Counselling is different from Christian (Integrated) Counselling mainly to the degree with which the emphasis is on God’s Counsel rather than a co-mingling of man-centred theology, ideologies, and philosophies present in the room. (I used to counsel this way!) Some, not all, Christian counsellors may be limited by associations and affiliations with secular organizations that would prevent them from having the freedom to fully explore the Counsel of God (not the least of which could be limits on addressing ongoing sin issues, the need for repentance, spiritual growth and maturity) in tending to the presenting issues of the counsellee.
Why Should Christians Seek Biblical Counselling?
Christians should seek Biblical Counselling if any of these apply:
they desire to address their problems, issues, and challenges through a biblical worldview.
they are wanting to grow in their biblical understanding, knowledge of God, and explore the Scriptures for answers to their challenges.
they are seeking discipleship and mentorship in the counselling process.
they want to be held accountable to God’s Standards as laid out in the Scriptures for "life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3), to walk worthy of the calling to which they have been called (Ephesians 4:1), to walk in a manner of life worthy of the Gospel (Philippians 1:27), to work out their own Salvation with "fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Phil. 2:12b-13)
Often clients come to counselling thinking that they know the problem or origin of the ongoing issues in their lives, only to discover it's something much deeper and the healing and freedom in the truths of God’s Word lead them into a new life, renewed mind, and lifted spirit. (Psalm 119:105)
When Should Christians Seek Biblical Counselling Over Christian Counselling?
Similar to the aforementioned reasons. But furthermore, it should be emphasized that Biblical Counselling is more directive than other counselling methodologies. Christian or Integrated or secular counselling is generally more person-centred, less directive, more self-directed than the biblical counselling approach.
Note: A wonderful friend/mentor/pastor I know, who is educated in counselling and highly experienced and effective in this space, recently texted me after reviewing my podcast Statement of Faith saying, “Contemporary psychology is tainted with secular humanism and while it can address one’s felt needs, it has no power to minister to one’s real need… spiritual rebirth.” Boom, drop the mic! Yes and Amen.
When Should Christians Seek Biblical Counselling?
Christians should seek Biblical Counselling when they have tried other forms of counselling (Secular/Christian/Integrated) and did not realize lasting change, healing, or breakthrough. Perhaps they were not yet ready for true change, the timing was off, or the person-centred approach did not go deep enough for true change at a heart level.
Biblical Counselling would also be helpful for a person who is new to the Christian faith so they are being counselled with Christ-centred truth rather than humanistic approaches, and to help nurture them and grow them in their faith. Biblical counselling would also be helpful for:
anyone who has experienced spiritual abuse (in The Church or a cult)
believers needing to address weak or faulty spiritual foundations
anyone wanting to break free of religious/legalistic pasts, strongholds
anyone coming from new age/new thought or cult-like backgrounds seeking the Christian faith.
When Should Christians Seek Secular Counselling?
A Christian should seek secular counselling if they do not believe that the answers they seek are found in the Scriptures alone and/or value man-centred theology, methodologies, and philosophies over Christ-centred ones.
Does Biblical Counselling Replace Medical Helps?
No. In fact Biblical Counsellors value medical helps, and the medical community. A person may need biblical counselling while being treated for a medically diagnosed disease or mental illness. Because we are not only physical but also spiritual beings, it does not hurt to coordinate with the client and medical community to address any spiritual issues and problems that could be contributing in any way, or making their diagnosis more challenging.
Lastly, I believe that The Word of God is the best cognitive behavioural therapy a person can undergo. (Psalm 1:1-3). The Counsel of God has much to say about our actions, thoughts, and behaviours, that begin on a heart level, and which determine the health of our minds, bodies, and relationships - with God and others. So, this may not be an either/or question but a both/and.