Every so often, people come to me with comments similar to this: "I went to a woman who said she was a Christian counselor, but she did not seem to know about the Bible and counseling." Disappointed their search began again for a counselor. When they saw I was a biblical counselor, they made the phone call. There are three types of counseling available today: Biblical, Christian and Secular.
Because of my own mental health issues and being an atheist, I learned the difference by experience. As a registered nurse for twenty-two years, nine of those in a hospital with a large mental health population and working in the emergency department and critical care, I burned out. I tried mental health with psychiatrists and counselors and rehab programs, but they did not work. Not knowing what to do or who to talk to, I turned to insanity, suicide, and eventually drugs. In an abusive relationship, and in and out of shelters for several years, one day I left jail and decided to really do something different, so I invited God into my life. Then at the age of 50, I met Jesus.
What I read in the Bible and learned about Christ Jesus and his love totally turned my life around. I left nursing to become a counselor, got my masters in counseling, and began to counsel. In spite of knowing Jesus, however, I was still counseling using secular methods but did not really feel they were helping all that much. So I went back to school for my doctorate in biblical counseling. What a difference!
Immediately, counseling from Scripture, I saw emotional and spiritual healing that was nothing like what I saw as a secular therapist. Biblical counseling relies exclusively on God’s Word - as guided by the Holy Spirit.
It comes down to two very important differences: 1) the source of “wisdom” and 2) the target of counseling.
God's Word is the source because...
“My ways are not your ways, and My thoughts are not your thoughts. As higher than the heavens are from the earth, that much higher are My thoughts from your thoughts and My ways from your ways”. Isaiah 55:8
The second is the Target of counseling. 'The heart' is wicked and deceitful, who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9 The heart (who we really are inside) is the target of counseling – always - and any counseling that does not target it is useless to bring lasting change or transformation.
“Heart change” is a nicer way of saying “repentance from sin”, but it means the exact same thing. GOD says this is the root cause of our problems.
While genetic pre-dispositions are factors in our lives (such as alcoholism, or diabetes, or depression), they are not our destiny.
God promises this in His Word; and He is always faithful to deliver on His promises; His ways bring healing and abundant life today, just as they have for thousands of years throughout both Old and New Testament times.
Biblical counsel is “a process of intense discipleship” (Jeremiah 17:9) wherein we experience deep and genuine heart change.
These are the reasons that authentic Biblical counseling is the only counseling that works – Biblical counsel brings real, permanent healing and transformed lives and families. And nothing the secular world has to offer does!
Addictions (drug, alcohol, food, sexual)
Who I counsel