What You Can Expect From Us
What is Biblical Counseling?
Biblical counseling can be condensed into these four basic commitments: the rendering of gracious care and hope, the acquiring of personal information with a biblical interpretation, biblical truth, and specific application. It is intensely practical and relies heavily on the comprehensive gathering of information for understanding (Prov. 25:11, 13).
Biblical counseling is counsel based on God’s Word as the ultimate source of truth and restoration for the believer in Christ. For The Grace Center counselor, there is an operative conviction that God’s Word is relevant to all of life and can be practically applied to every heart and every circumstance of difficulty. While this does not imply that Scripture is the only source of information in the counseling process, biblical counselors are consistent in their detailed biblical analysis of information and their overwhelming focus on the Bible, which alone is infallible, authoritative and sufficient truth for matters of eternal life and godliness (2 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pt. 1:3ff)
Biblical counseling does not set aside real life issues, but works to understand their origin, impact and involvement in the counselee’s life from a biblical perspective. It acknowledges that the counselee possesses both physical and spiritual components that interact and affect one another because the counselee is a whole spiritual person (2 Cor. 4:16-18). It seeks to hear and understand the counselee and apply the truth of Scripture (gospel truths, who God is, and all the biblical elements of change) to the counselee’s life, so that through Jesus Christ there can be restoration where there is brokenness (Rev. 21:5). The biblical counselor will also often refer the counselee to get a medical check-up to see if there are physical complications involved in the issue at hand.
The biblical counselor strives to relate the counselees not to themselves to bring about healing, but to Jesus Christ and His Truth that sets men free (Heb. 4:14-16; Jn. 8:32). In doing so, biblical counseling is dependent on the collaborative, supernatural resources that God has provided for change (the work of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the grace of Jesus Christ through the gospel, and the involvement of the local church). As the counselees contemplate and apply who God is and His Truth to their hearts and lives, they are over time transformed further into God’s own image by the Holy Spirit’s power (2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 2:12).
While behavioral change is important to this process of transformation, change within the counselee’s heart (affections, thoughts, intentions) is essential as the counselor guides the counselee to a right understanding of God, his/her situation, and how Christians change. Through cultivating the counselee’s faith, gospel motivation, and desire for God’s glory with prayerful diligent work, real change from the inside out is possible.
This redemptive transformation that takes place as the counselee’s heart interacts with the Word of God brings hope, encouragement, conviction, repentance, and/or healing. As individuals find Christ sufficient, put to death the things of the flesh, and strengthen the things of the Spirit, joy and peace become realities in their Christian walk (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10). The biblical counselor is humbly privileged to see God work and assist in this process of spiritual growth and freedom toward God’s glory.
Biblical Counseling and Psychotropic Medication
While we hold to the sufficiency of Scripture for counseling problems, we know that many who will come to us will have been prescribed medications by a physician. The biblical teaching on the importance of the body affirms the use of medication for physical problems. As biblical counselors, we do not offer medical advice including advice on withdrawing from medications. Our care for counselees may lead us to ask questions about the side-effects of medication, or whether the counselees have allowed the medication to take the place of the Lord as a refuge in their life. Nevertheless, we will always encourage counselees to seek the advice of competent medical professionals for help in the use of their medication.