What is Biblical Counseling?

by Pamela Rose Williams on February 14, 2012 · Print Print · Email Email

I am blessed to have the opportunity to be a writer and editor for What Christians Want To Know, however when I am not writing, the Lord has me busy in our Biblical counseling ministry. My main job at Selah Mountain Ministries is to manage the office. On a daily basis I greet folks, answer phones, schedule appointments and do everything else that is involved in running an active ministry. Being so involved in a ministry like this, sometimes I forget that the question among believers and nonbelievers still remains: “What is Biblical Counseling?” It is my hope by the time you finish reading this article that you will be able to answer this question.

Selah Mountain Ministries

Biblical counseling and Christian education are our main focus at Selah Mountain Ministries (SMM); however we are sometimes also involved in the lives of folks who require other pastoral services, such as Christian weddings, end of life and funeral services and visitation to those who are shut-in. SMM is located in the northeast area of Albuquerque, New Mexico and we are an outreach of Selah Mountain Baptist Church. We are happy to have friends in nearby churches that often refer folks our way. The internet is another way that many find us.

My husband, Dr. Michael L. Williams and I have been serving full-time in ministry since 2001. We have served in churches in Minnesota and Ohio and in July of 2009 we came to Albuquerque, New Mexico to serve in a small Christian school. By the end of 2009 we were convinced that Albuquerque needed a Bible-believing, disciple-making ministry such as SMM. In December 2009 we returned to our home church in Ohio, First Baptist Church of Jackson, and were commissioned by them as missionaries to start a work in Albuquerque.

After working with our pastors in Ohio and other friends of the ministry, Selah Mountain Baptist Church was started on April 1, 2011. Although that is our official “start date”, we have been providing Biblical counseling in Albuquerque since we arrived. We not only want to impact our community by offering this service, we also want to train others how to be Biblical counselors so that they can take it back to their church. We believe that every Bible-believing Christian has the ability to be a Biblical counselor because the Bible says we are “throughly furnished” with Scripture:

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Biblical Counseling Defined

Many Christian counselors incorporate the use of secular psychology methods (the world’s way) into their practice. Biblical counseling uses only the Scriptures (God’s way) as a means to understand and resolve the issues of life. Unlike other models of counseling that require licensing and certifications that are awarded and monitored by the government; a Biblical counselor is simply a faithful teacher and brother or sister in Christ.

While other models of counseling might be based upon the teachings of men like Sigmund Freud, B.F. Skinner and Carl Rogers, etc., Biblical counseling is based upon the teachings of God. Contrary to all other models, the Biblical model views man as:

  1. Created by God (Genesis 1:26) and therefore he is a moral being with the ability to know and choose between right and wrong (Joshua 24:15; Deuteronomy 30:19). God is the one who determines the standards of right and wrong (John 12:48; Acts 17:32 and Romans 2:16)
  2. Created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and man was created without sin but the image of God has been marred by the curse of sin (Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10-19)
  3. Created for God’s pleasure (Revelation 4:11). God promises to grant the desires of man’s heart when man delights in Him (Psalms 37:3-5)

Biblical counseling recognizes that man is responsible for his own behaviors and that guilt is “real” as a result of sin. It also recognizes that man’s problems result from him being a fallen sinner by choice and being drawn away by his own lusts. When man focuses on his own lusts (feelings) sin is conceived (James 1:13-14). The effects of sin causes problems in the man’s life. These problems then lead to bad feelings. The goal of Biblical counseling is to redirect the focus off of the “lust” (feelings) and onto “thinking” that reflects the mind of Christ.

The table below illustrates the contrast between Non Biblical and Biblical methods:

Subject Contrasting Methods
Questions About Past Non Biblical: Ventilate or blame-shift
Biblical:
Identify sinful roots of behaviors and responses
Stress Non Biblical: Stress is the problem
Biblical: Reaction to stress is the problem
Changing Behavior Non Biblical: Modify standards to please self and others
Biblical: Change by standards of God’s Word to become more like Christ and please God
Habits Non Biblical: Bad habits are coping mechanisms learned to survive
Biblical:
Bad habits are the result of sin
Listening Non Biblical: Validate feelings, allow to vent, help identify solution from within, mirror
Biblical:
Be swift to hear, slow to speak; investigate issue looking for and confirming facts (James 1:19; Proverbs 18:13, 15)

Biblical counseling follows this process:

  • Justification by faith (salvation – John 3:36)
  • Progressive sanctification (growing in Christ; putting off and putting on – Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:9-10)
  • Using the Word of God as the basis of truth and the power of the Holy Spirit who gives believers the power to change (Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:12-16)

I am delighted to report that when people choose Biblical counseling as the method of change and they are faithful to do as they are taught to do in the Scriptures, they will see positive change 100% of the time. Here’s the key: The deepest issue of life is one’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When you get that right you will have life and have it more abundantly!

“ … I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”. (John 10:10)

Take a look at this related article:

10 Reasons You Might Need Biblical Counseling

For more information about Selah Mountain Ministries, or for help finding a Biblical Counselor in your area, visit us on the web at: Selah Mountain Ministries. We believe God has given us His Word as a gift to humanity and so we freely share the Word with others. Our counseling ministry is supported solely through the donations and love offerings of others.

Resources – The Holy Bible, King James Version. Selah Mountain Ministries



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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Josh February 14, 2012 at 8:26 am

Great explanation of the differences between secular and biblical counseling Pam. This is such an important topic for those seeking help. I am encouraged by the ministry that you and Dr. Michael are involved with. Keep it up!

Reply

Pam February 14, 2012 at 9:43 am

Praise the Lord for how he is using us right where we are!

Reply

regina ransom February 14, 2012 at 10:23 am

I’m from ozark mo, I’m giving u info on a program we use and its also worldwide.livingfree.org It’s in a setting of small groups. It’s a wonderful program for people to recover in Christ. It’s amazing watching these people heal and learn to live a life w God. W your councling u the subjects could also be used individually, I havnt. The small group setting allows growing in faith w others and their experiences. My church is jamesriver assembly in ozark mo. Ok sure if u wanted more info they’d be happy to answer any questions. God bless

Reply

Pam February 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Hi Regina, Thanks for sharing this with us. Blessings to you!

Reply

Tracy April 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I like this post and shared. I may even refer to it in an upcoming post I’m working on. Thanks!

Reply

Pamela Rose Williams April 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

That would be wonderful Tracy. Link backs welcome. Thanks for the encouraging words Tracy.

Reply

pastor Nicholas March 15, 2013 at 11:33 am

Am grateful for having discovered your website please may God give you much insight to help His people who are oppressed

Reply

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