Biblical Counseling is a ministry to all who have need. The range of counseling offered by a biblical counselor is very wide. It deals with premarital counseling, broken marriages, parent-child relationships, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, tension, turmoil, anxiety, fear, worry and any number of other problems resulting in mental and physical distress.
The Training of the Biblical Counselor is in the use of Scripture and the principles of biblical counseling. He is committed to the position that the Scriptures provide the only authoritative rule of faith and standards of conduct ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17). He does not base his counseling knowledge on his own opinions or someone else’s opinions, experiences, or concepts of behavior (Isaiah 55: 8-11). Instead, he seeks to marshal the full range of biblical truth and bring it to bear on the counselee’s need (Hebrews 4:12). In counseling sessions, he will depend upon the Bible without particular emphasis on any practice not specifically advocated in the Scriptures (Titus 2:1).
The Focus of the Biblical Counselor is to provide his time and energy as a service to God and a labor to individuals. After a free initial consultation the counselor will establish a contract for counseling for a specific length of time and an established counseling fee. This fee is currently $50 per session for couples or individuals. If financial hardship necessitates this fee will be adjusted by the counselor.
Discipleship and Maturity Through Biblical Counseling is a primary goal of the biblical counselor. The counselor is committed not only to help you overcome the current problem in your life, but also to train you to live all your life in a manner that leads to increasing maturity in the Lord (Psalm 119:165; Proverbs 2:6-12a; Galatians 6:1-5; 1 Timothy 4: 7-8). Therefore, in the scriptural sense, biblical counseling is a ministry of discipleship that teaches you to walk in God’s way even in the midst of serious problems.
Confidentiality is an important commitment and necessary quality of biblical counselors. Although your counselor may talk with others about your particular situation, you may be confident that the discussion will be restricted to whatever is necessary to help you solve your problems and will not take place without your prior consent. (based on Proverbs 10:18-21; 15:28; 18:8; 25:11; 1 Corinthians 4:2).
Medical Needs and Biblical Counseling – Biblical counselors believe in considering the total health needs of the counselee. Your counselor may recommend that you have a full or specified medical examination. If medical assistance is required, counseling will continue at the same time whenever possible.
Elements of Biblical Counseling – Your counselor will use all of his biblical counseling training and skill to help you solve whatever problem is depriving you of the peace and joy that God has promised you in His Word. Your counselor will concentrate on four essential elements from Scripture:
1. Understanding Your Problem
We believe in the need to apply biblical principles to all of your difficulties, not just “fix your feelings” or change your circumstances. Your counselor, in a spirit of gentleness, will make biblical inquiry into the various levels of your problems and help you gain God’s perspective on your difficulties.
2. Your Hope
In Jesus Christ you have a great High Priest who has been tempted in all things, yet He was without sin. Even though you may currently be going through a difficult test, or even though every sin common to man may be tempting you, God has promised that He will not allow any trial in your life that is beyond your endurance. He has promised to provide a way of escape so that you may be able to endure it without sinning (Romans 6:11-13; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 4:14-16), and He will use trials for your benefit as you respond to them in a biblical manner (Romans 8:28-29).
3. Your change
In Christ you can learn how to put aside the old selfish ways of living and put on the new ways of living in a manner worthy of the Lord. In learning to change biblically you will begin to please the Lord in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 1: 9-12).
4. Your Practice
You need to prove yourself to be a doer of God’s Word and not merely a hearer. Only in becoming an effectual doer of the Word will you be blessed in what you do, and only then will you please the Lord (Hebrews 13:20-22; James 1:22-25; 1 John 3:22).
Length of Counseling – Normally counseling sessions will last one to one-and one-half hours each week and will continue for eight to ten weeks. If you respond quickly to biblical counsel, the number of sessions may be shortened. However, if the counselor does not observe definite change in the first few weeks, he will seek to identify the cause of the failure, discuss it with you, and help you to correct it.
Counseling Appointments – Because the counseling period requires your consistency and faithfulness in applying God’s principles, it is important that you reserve the designated counseling time for the entire counseling period, barring unforeseen circumstances.
If you find that you are unable to come to a particular counseling session, it is important that you notify the office as soon as possible. You may leave a voice mail if the office is closed at the time of your call.
Local Church Involvement and Biblical Counseling – In order to achieve lasting victory over the problems of life, it is vital that each person become established in a consistent Christian walk. The Lord has provided the local church to help in this process (Hebrews 10:24-25). Therefore, it is important that biblical counseling sessions be accompanied by church activities that encourage discipleship and fellowship.
If you do not have a church home, your counselor will help you find a church that will continue to encourage your growth in the Lord.
If you are a part of a church family, the assistance of your church’s leadership may be requested so that you may more fully receive the benefit of all the spiritual resources given to you by God. Such assistance, however, will not be requested with the prior consent of the counselee.
One of your pastors, elders, or deacons may even become part of the counseling team to provide the most effectual help for you. It is our commitment to do what will best help you walk in obedience to God’s Word and thus experience victory over your problems.