WHAT IS AND IS NOT CHRISTIAN COUNSELING?


Gary Collins, in his book "Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide (1988)," outlines four key points that suggest Christian counseling is different from non-Christian or secular counseling. First, he states that Christian counselors have "unique assumptions," which means they have particular viewpoints on sin, human nature, God and His interaction with the world, to cite a few examples. Second, Christian counselors have "unique goals." Their goals include helping others to develop spiritually and not just psychologically, as with secular counseling. Third, Christian counselors have "unique methods." They do not subscribe to techniques or methods that would be Biblically wrong. Christian counseling often includes the use of prayer and Scripture. Finally, Christian counselors have "unique characteristics." They attempt to be Christ-like in all their ways, both personally and professionally. Christian counselors understand that traits like genuine love, empathy, patience and understanding are a part of the mature believer. They understand that these traits positively affect the outcome of counseling. Christians also have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who guides, directs and convicts each believer. The Spirit is central in the process of sanctification or change.

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