What is Biblical Counseling?
Biblical Counseling is a way of providing counseling that incorporates Scripture and is Biblically based. It uses the Scripture to speak to and assist in alleviating the problems and concerns people have in their relationships and individual lives. Some may see it as discipleship or spiritual direction. Usually, a Biblical Counselor has or is working toward a certification in Biblical Counseling and is a follower of Jesus. This Biblical Counselor provides ministry from a Biblical perspective. Scripture is used to help individuals understand how the truths of the Bible apply to their lives. These truths give the client guidance to overcome their stressors and live a life that is healthy and fulfilling.
To get a deeper understanding of what Biblical Counseling is you might read through the Confessional Statement of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. It is very detailed and maybe a little different than what your Biblical Counselor will follow. Another place to find out more about Biblical Counseling is the Standards of Conduct put forth by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.
What’s the difference between Biblical Counseling and other counseling?
One difference between Biblical Counseling and other forms of counseling is how they are trained. Typically clinical counselors have master’s degrees or higher in professional counseling, psychology, marriage and family therapy, or social work. They are usually seeking licensure by their state governing body to provide clinical counseling.
Biblical counselors usually receive training in ministry and/or a deeper understanding of the truths of the Bible through their degree program of choice. These degrees are obtained primarily from a Seminary or Christian University. Training may include soul care, spiritual direction, discipleship, Biblical exegesis, and, more. Although training in this manner does not always include training in clinical counseling, this does not mean that clinical counselors or Biblical Counselors have not obtained training in clinical issues or Biblical understanding. Many have had some extra training to help with clients who are presenting with such needs.
How counseling is provided is another difference that we see. Clinical counselors are usually trained in researched and proven methods to help manage or heal mental health disorders. Biblical Counselors are typically trained in these methods also. However, they also use Scripture and a Biblical Worldview to provide relief for their clients.
Are Biblical Counselors licensed?
Biblical Counselors are usually not licensed or forgo using their license to minister as a Biblical Counselor. Most licenses are managed legally and ethically by state boards that may or may not provide the flexibility that the Biblical Counselor needs to help their clients, especially in regard to faith-based issues. The Biblical counselor, if certified or working toward certification, is still bound by their certification’s ethics. Biblical Counselors have more freedom to counsel from a Biblical worldview and use the Bible as their basis for truth.
What makes Biblical Counselors qualified to help me?
Most Biblical Counselors have been trained in their degree programs and their certification programs to provide loving, gentle, and effective counseling to their clients using truth from the Bible. Their clients appreciate that their counselor holds similar values. They also feel comforted knowing their counselor understands their chosen faith deeply and is able to give them accurate truth and guidance. They also are reassured that their counselor has been trained in counseling techniques that help the client process their struggles in a healthy, loving way, just as clinical counselors are trained.
When should I go to a Biblical Counselor?
Going to a Biblical Counselor can seem daunting. Choosing to attend Biblical Counseling is important if you are a Christian and are struggling with life circumstances. If you need guidance in understanding your options and your hurt in relation to your faith. Biblical Counseling will be able to refer you to other resources if you need something other than them. So they are an advocate for you. Circumstances that you may be facing are: faith issues, struggles with sin, relationship concerns, anger issues, sexuality concerns, grieving, sadness, and more. Biblical counselors can help with anxiety and depression by helping you see what God’s perspective is about your situation and reminding you about your value and God’s promises for you.