Should you and your spouse make an appointment to come in for professional biblical counseling? That depends. As counselors, Elsie and I see many couples each month for a variety of reasons. They come with a broad range of issues such as depression, anger, addiction, sexual dysfunction, and financial struggles. Some of the reasons why they seek professional biblical counseling as opposed to another kind of counseling are:
1. Professional biblical counseling is Bible-based counseling. It combines biblical and doctrinal counsel with marital counseling. Professional biblical counseling approaches issues from a Christian perspective, viewing them through a Biblical lens. For example, we know that as counselors we cannot fix anyone or solve anyone’s problems. Only God can. That’s His job. He can, however, use us in the process if we are humble and yielded to His Spirit.
2. Our professional biblical counseling is limited. We are not generalists. Elsie and I specialize in 6 basic areas of counseling: sexual addiction, eating disorders, anger management, marriage counseling, parenting adult children, and marriage preparation. As such we are not as highly trained as many counselors in the field such as psychologists and psychiatrists. Because of that we cannot help everyone. We have to refer those who are complex clients and beyond our ability to a competent Christian therapist in whom we have confidence.
3. Professional biblical counseling is confidential. The counselor is sworn to confidentiality. However, confidentiality has its limits. Exceptions to the policy of confidentiality are noted in the statement of understanding which clients are asked to sign. These exceptions include: mandatory intervention if a child (under 18 years) or a senior (over 65 years) or a vulnerable adult is endangered by abuse or if the client is a danger to himself or others.
4. Professional biblical counseling is trustable. Clients who come to a counselor learn to trust him. They trust that he will give them answers from a Christian perspective that is consistent with the Bible. They trust that he has their best interests at heart. It is a special relationship of trust which must not be violated.
Should you and your spouse come in for professional biblical counseling? It depends on whether you feel that a counselor can best handle the kind of issues you are facing. Biblical counselors delight in serving God’s people and counseling couples is a particular passion for Elsie and me.