Biblical Counseling Services
The Biblical counseling or faith based approach to helping people is built on a Biblical foundation to address the issues in the lives of individuals, couples, and families. The foundational thesis of Biblical counseling is that our thoughts, emotions, motives, attitudes, words, and actions flow from our innate nature. A focus of Biblical counseling is to aid our clients in developing a biblically-based worldview of their life and to recognize what truths guide their thinking and actions. The underpinning of Biblical counseling is the principles outlined in the Bible.
Biblical counseling strives with the purpose and goal to help others discover, process, and move forward to personal wholeness, mental and emotional stability, interpersonal competence, and identity significance. Discovery Counseling's Biblical counseling model is a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Object Relations Therapy, and Person-Centered methods.
The Cognitive-behavioral approach is commonly referred to as CBT. CBT is an intervention that focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions, that is thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes. This results in finding ways to improve emotional regulations and behaviors with the goal of developing better personal coping strategies that target solving current problems.
Object Relations Therapy (ORT) works with the development process between the psyche of the client and how he/she relates to his/her environment. ORT's basic tenet is that individuals create current relationships depending on the experiences they had as a child with their parents, siblings, or guardians. ORT supports the holding that social interactions the client had as a child will eventually build an "object" in the subconscious mind. Every relationship or event in the client's life will be influenced by his/her attachment of the object to the relationship or circumstance. This habitual pattern forms within the client's actions. It impacts their overall health without them consciously being aware of its impact.
Person-centered practices or client-centered methods put an emphasis on the client as the expert. The goal is to create the surroundings for a client to become a "fully functioning person."
The combination of these three approaches specifically lends itself to a more comprehensive approach because the emphasis is on the client and the client working through the issues. The client is supported, with the client taking the lead. It is vital that the client takes responsibility for their own life.
The role of the Biblical counselor is to exhibit unconditional positive regard for the client. In short, this means that the Biblical counselor accepts and cares for the client as they are. The Biblical counselor does not always have to agree with the client. But, it does mean that the counselor refrains from judgment. It is essential that the client feels valued by the Biblical counselor.
The goal of Biblical counseling is to guide the client to balance his/her ideal self with how they experience their real self. When that is achieved, the client obtains what is termed congruence. A client is usually in a state of incongruence when he/she enter counseling. A major part of the work for the client is to achieve congruence.
It is essential that a Biblical counselor exhibit empathy, which is having the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and relate to their experience. Empathy is showing understanding for a person while sympathy is feeling bad for them. Empathy helps the client feel safe in expressing their own feelings and needs. Remaining positive, supportive, and non-judgmental with a client can be difficult. The ability to share and witness emotions, one on one, must be available in the counseling sessions.
The Biblical counselor must also be able to actively listen to a client. This is listening to the client without exhibiting judgment. Active listening is not just listening. It is listening in a way that the client knows that the Biblical counselor understands what is being said. Real-time, visual conference allows for the recognition of body language. The Biblical counselor and client can maintain eye contact and keep an open style of communication.
Biblical counseling also requires affirmations from the counselor to the client. Affirmations can be both verbal and non-verbal. "I appreciate what you are telling me," is an example of a verbal affirmation. Even a small phrase like "go on" tells a client the counselor is interested in what he/she has to say. A non-verbal affirmation can be something as simple as a head nod. Visual, as well as verbal affirmation, is a significant element of this model of Biblical counseling.
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