Biblical and Secular Models of Counseling

Topics: Psychology, Ethics, Licensed Professional Counselor Pages: 5 (1841 words) Published: July 1, 2013
Biblical and Secular Models of Counseling

Sara Hall

Liberty University

Biblical and Secular Models of Counseling
Deciding how to model your counseling practice is one of the fundamental issues needing to be addressed when a counselor is choosing to begin a successful career as a licensed counselor. There are many different theories, strategies and methods to choose from when developing the foundation of your models, but all must adhere to the ethical standard of behavior set forth by the American Counseling Association. The best way to establish a model of counseling is to compare and contrast several different counseling practices and carefully evaluate their individual methods, goals, premises, strategies and theories. Larry Crabb ‘s perspective on the goal of Christian counseling is to help people mature and worship God with a freedom to serve Him as well as to equip them with the knowledge of how to become more like Him (Crabb, 1977). Both Larry Crabb (1977) in Effective Biblical Counseling and the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics are in agreement stating that great care and concern should be used when making a diagnosis of a mental disorder (ACA, 2006). Both agree that looking at the individual, his history, environment and other precursors will benefit the counselor when being approached by the counselee to help solve unwanted behaviors, beliefs, ideas and thoughts. Crabb (2003) and the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (ACA, 2006) are also in agreement with regards to the importance of being prudent in choosing and utilizing the appropriate assessment process, as well as being cautious when the interpretation of any test is required. Crabb emphasizes this by recommending that troubled counselees be referred to appropriate, capable counselors. However, a concern, to the biblical counselor would be the code referenced in the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (ACA, 2006.) This section is titled Evaluation, Assessment and Interpretation, the sub-section E.5.d. is titled Refraining from Diagnosis. This particular section of the code allows the counselor an option to refrain from making a diagnosis if the counselor believes it could possibly harm the counselee or any other person (ACA, 2006). To act upon this option would be in direct contrast to Crabb’s model of counseling which strongly recommends verbal rebuke and confrontation of the identified problem behaviors, beliefs and thoughts. Crabb (1977) stresses the fact that these two approaches are strategies that have a real and often necessary position in his model of Christian counseling. Another area of concern for the biblical counselor is found under the section E.8., in the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (ACA, 2006). This section is titled Multicultural /Diversity in Assessment. This particular section advises counselors to use caution when using various generalized assessment techniques, especially those tests and techniques that do not specifically address the preferences of the client with regard to sexual orientation, religion and culture (ACA, 2006). Crabb (1977), in his stages of counseling recommends the counselor assist the counselee by helping to change their assumptions or clarify their Biblical thinking. Crabb (1977) does not use different rules or tests, nor does he alter his basis for determining and identifying problem areas of different counselees, based on their preferences in areas which allow the counselee the option to make a choice. He references the verse in Philippians 4:8 (New Living Translation) which says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true”. Crabb’s model for biblical counseling impliess that counseling cannot progress past a certain stage until the counselee behaves consistently with what he knows, and not with just how he feels. Crabb’s (1977) counseling model states we should identify goal-oriented problem behaviors. He also advocates the...

References: ACA code of ethics. (2006). Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD, 84(2), 235-254. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/218970374?accountid=12085
Andrews, L.W. (2010). Cognitive-behavior therapy. Encyclopedia of Depression, 1(1), 112-113. Retrieved from: http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/ps/i.do?id =GALE%7 CCX1 762700076&v=2.1&u=vic_liberty&it=r&p=GVRL&sw= w
Crabb, L. (1977). Effective biblical counseling. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Kensit, D.A. (2000). Rogerian theory: a critique of the effectiveness of pure client-centred therapy, Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 13 (4), 345-351. doi:10.1080/095150701100465 51
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