Principles of Biblical Counseling

• The basic problem of hurting people is sin, either committed by or against the person. Sin causes separation from God, whether it is an act of commission, omission, or a sinful response to another’s sin against them. Their pain in and of itself is not the problem, but only a reflection that there is indeed a root problem.

• The purpose for counseling is for each individual to become more like Christ, godly in all spheres of life (2 Peter 1:3-10, Romans 8:28-29). God often uses trials and suffering to accomplish this (James 1:2-4).

• The counselor guides the counselee into a closer relationship with God and others (Matthew 22:36-40) rather than being a mirror to reflect, verify and affirm the counselee’s thoughts, feelings or actions.

• Counseling is a face to face meeting motivated by love and concern for another who is struggling with a problem for the purpose of restoring him to God and others. God has always provided a way to handle every circumstance in which a person finds himself so that he may respond in a righteous manner (1 Cor 10:13-14).

• The majority of our emotional, mental and physical difficulties have spiritual roots (Psalm 1:1 ff).

• A dependence on the Holy Spirit and the use of Scripture is essential to teach, rebuke, correct or train (2 Timothy 3:16) the counselee(s) toward a full and abundant life.

• The counselor’s role is to discern the spiritual root being manifest emotionally, mentally and physically rather than affirming the counselee’s innate goodness (Jeremiah 17:5-10).

• The struggles people carry with them are frequently very involved, difficult and complex, while the root of the problem and the process that leads to healing is simple (Psalm 119:133, Proverbs 3:5-8).

• While many Christians have not been fully trained to counsel all types of issues, all are qualified to counsel one another at some level, based on their knowledge of the Bible and their experience in applying the Bible to their own lives (Galatians 6:1-2; John 5:22-30).

• Counseling is to be sensitive, caring, encouraging and at times confrontational (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

• Healing can take place in weeks and months rather than months and years.

• Medication is a secondary and temporary option rather than a primary solution.