Christian Counseling

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    At BJU I took a class and read a Jay Adams book and we discussed the differences between Biblical Counseling and Integration Counseling. This website may help explain things better. http://www.gotquestions.org/nouthetic-counseling.html

    But what is the better of the two evils? A Christian Integrationist or a secular counselor? I am gonna see someone next week just to they him out and I will examine and look closely at his books. If I find any New Age, or New Thought leanings I will hit the road, because the wolf in sheeps clothing should not be combing the Bible with his satanic garbage. I will tell him I can see his lies and deceptions he is promoting, and while he may be blind to the New Age movement, its exactly what he is teaching.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    I personally don't choose the lesser of two evils.

    I choose what is correct. (And in the op case, biblical/nouthetic counseling would be that correct choice)
     
  3. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    No question about it being the right choice. But sad as it is such types are in the minority.
     
  4. agedman

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    I agree it would be the best.

    I also hold that in some instances a far more rigorous and even medicinal approach is important to hold as a resource.

    The wise pastor will not be so self absorbed in the Bible having all the answers to every problem not to know that perhaps a troubled person may need more.

    Such areas as depression, anxiety, mental disorders... may have medical intervention needs that should not be ignored.

    Too many have been hurt by those who would rely solely upon Scriptures in disregard if not openly hostile toward the medicinal helps.
     
  5. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    My toes hurt from being stepped on so much in this thread. As you may know, I'm an LAC and LMFC in Missouri and Kansas. I have a bachelor's in health science, a Master's in behavioral psychology, and am accepted to the doctoral program for behavioral psychology at the University of Missouri, where my other degrees are from.

    Years ago, when first considering entering the counseling arena in order to help others who might suffer from the same maladies I did that led me to Christ -- namely, PTSD and addictions -- I engaged in a nouthetic counseling program at a Bible college in Kansas City. The education was solidly biblical in nature and I'm sure the year I spent in that program laid down a strong base for my continuing career. However, I found, in attempting to engage in the addictions community, that I was sadly lacking in knowledge regarding how and why addictions occur in the human mind, and how to deal with them at the basic level.

    Why did I need to do that? Because even Christians aren't looking to God when they are mind-deep in an addiction. Similarly, as I've come to realize, Christians dealing with other issues often have difficulty separating their personal problems from their spiritual issues, and in order to engage them in therapy, it becomes necessary to help them find their way out of the forest of their own mind before they can begin to seek God.

    Because of these dilemmas, I somewhat reluctantly decided to engage in a traditional psychology discipline. I did research, looked into the various approaches, and decided upon behavioral psychology, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The basis for CBT was laid down by Dr. Aaron Beck, himself a Christian, who wanted to develop an approach that honored his views of God as the Creator of the human mind, and therefore the best Authority for treating the mind when it was ill.

    CBT seeks to change your self-talk, and while many secularists see it as self-referential, it is not. CBT sees a normative behavior as having been defined in the world, and Dr. Beck clearly grasped that it was God the Father who defined it. He made CBT about changing how you talk to yourself, but not from a personal, inner perspective. He established that God has provided behavioral guidelines in His word, and he drew heavily upon biblical principles in bringing out the definition of normative behavior.

    OK, so you might want to know, "Why not just say this is biblically principled counseling?" Because Dr. Beck wanted his therapeutic approach to be accepted and adopted by the American Psychiatric Association. Do you believe they would have adopted a "biblically principled counseling" approach? Not in a million years! But they could adopt "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy." Only after they did so did Dr. Beck reveal his inspiration.

    When I counsel you, I don't want you to spend so much time either talking to or listening to yourself. My goals are essentially other-referential and relational. I want to overthrow self-obsession. I want both of us to learn to listen to God and talk with God. That's what all the Psalms are doing. The Copernican revolution put God at the center of everything, and it also changed how we view and treat others. We learn to relate in the same ways and in the same terms as we are being related to. And, along the way, how we talk to ourselves also changes. That is the gist of Dr. Beck's work, and while it bears many marks of nouthetic counseling, it has the advantage of being accepted by all other disciplines as a valid counseling approach that is proven effective and successful.

    Unfortunately, that cannot be said of nouthetic counseling, and if the need for the nouthetically counseled individual to cross paths with the "accepted" disciplines for legal purposes ever arises, he/she will have to start from scratch. Nouthetic counseling is not a recognized discipline among licensing agencies anywhere in the U.S., which is no problem if one is looking for counseling only at the church level. But it will not be acceptable anywhere outside the church, which is why I've gone the route I have.
     
  6. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    Nouthetic counseling, while practiced by well meaning individuals, is a short handed approach at counseling. Not all mental problems are spiritual problems.

    We employ two staff counselors at the church where I serve, neither uses a nouthetic basis and both are thoroughly Chrisitian and biblical. We have had multiple issues where individuals with chemical issues and addictions have come to us after significant time with a nouthetic counselor and no significant changes. After several sessions and proper therapy they regained control and we better, though not cured.

    Nouthetic counseling often uses the mantra of spiritual superiority to press their points and, when we respectfully disagree with them, we are maligned as bring unbiblical. This is troubling. I disagree with the approach of nouthetic counseling. My basis is informed by research and ministry experience. While there are certainly examples and scenarios where a nouthetic approach can help someone, often for severe cases it almost does more harm than good. There are legitimate mental issues that deserve significant treatment that doesn't begin with the nouthetic approach. :)
     
  7. Sapper Woody

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    I understand you fully, Brother. I myself am currently undergoing "prolonged exposure" therapy for PTSD. I see a counselor a couple times a week. The counseling is not a "biblical approach", but just because it doesn't come straight out of the Bible doesn't mean it goes against the Bible.

    (This next paragraph is harsh, but not meant to insult.) In my own case, I tried biblical counseling first. All I got was "pray and trust God". No one I talked to had a clue about how to help me. They all approached me from an angle as if I were lost in sin and could "repent" of my unbelief and cure PTSD. No one explained to me what was happening in my mind so that I could intellectually engage the process and decrease the severity of my symptoms.

    As it turns out, "Give it to God and forget about it" was the exact opposite of what I needed to do. I had to face it and embrace it. I had to accept it. I had to intellectually engage it while understanding it emotionally.

    This "worldly" counselor has helped me make more gains in two months than "biblical" counseling got me in three years.

    On the side, I still have a LONG way to go. But I am encouraged by the progress.
     
  8. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Amen, PiJ. I agree. Adams, Bulkley, Clark and others of who espouse the nouthetic approach have condemned the so-called "secular approach" of psychology without understanding that there are more than a few of us who believe, as God is the designer of the human mind, He is the Authority (as I stated earlier) for helping it heal. The groundwork laid by the various disciplines of the art enable those of us so inclined to reach out with biblical principles through those disciplines to engage and help the suffering.
     

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