How Is Biblical Counselling Different?
With so many varieties and types of counselling available today it can be difficult to establish how they differ. For the person who has converted to a personal faith in Christ (John 3:3), this can be especially challenging.
According to the Biblical Counselling Coalition, here are some of the major differences between Biblical counselling and the various other accepted forms of counselling available.
HOW IS BIBLICAL COUNSELLING DIFFERENT FROM SECULAR COUNSELLING?
Secular psychotherapy is needs-based. The need for self-esteem, love, acceptance and significance tend to dominate. If these needs are met, it is believed, people will be happy, kind, and moral; if these needs are unmet, people will be miserable, hateful, and immoral.
Biblical counselling teaches that true satisfaction and happiness can only be found in a relationship with God and a pursuit of godliness.
Secular psychology is based on the theories and subsequent teachings of psychoanalysts. These include Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Carl Rogers and more recently ideas of post-modernism.
In stark contrast, Biblical counselling is based on the revealed Word of God and subsequently on God’s theories and teachings for humankind.
Secular psychology promotes mankind as the highest standard of truth and morality and rejects faith, the supernatural, and the Bible.
Biblical counselling sees God as the highest standard of truth and morality and that Scripture is sufficient to address the impact on humankind due to fallen human conditions (Genesis 3), and equip the child of God for every good work (2 Timothy 3: 15-17; 2 Peter 1:4) .
Secular psychology is based on the idea that man is basically good and that the answer to his problems lies within himself.
The Bible states that humans are much worse than they think, but also loved so much more than they can imagine. Therefore, the Biblical counsellor takes a different approach: rather than seeking solutions to spiritual problems within one’s own mind, they seek to confront problems, obtain wisdom from God and practically apply Scripture to the situation.
HOW IS BIBLICAL COUNSELLING DIFFERENT FROM CHRISTIAN COUNSELLING?
In general, what is usually called “Christian counselling” also differs from “Biblical counselling” in that Christian counselling often incorporates secular psychology, while viewing the client and their situation from a Christian world-view. This is known as an integrated approach. This is not to say that a Christian counsellor is not also a Biblical counsellor.
Biblical counsellors counsel from Biblical theories and principles, and are committed to letting God speak for Himself through His Word. Biblical counselling seeks to minister the love of the true and living God, a love that deals with wrongdoing and produces obedience.