What is the difference between Biblical Counseling and “Christian” counseling?

Biblical CounselingSecular & Integrationism
1. Source of authorityGod, BibleExperience; Reputation; Science; Theories of man
2. View of Human NatureCreated for God’s glory; Fallen; Sin nature; Depraved & deceived heart; “Goodness” as defined by man is “filthy rags” in God’s eyes; Greatest need: Redemption in ChristBasically Good (Rogers, Ellis); Blank slate (Skinner); Needs Self-actualization, Self-esteem (Maslow); Instinctual (Freud)
3. The Problem identified (Diagnosis)Inside: The heart; The inner person; worship disorder. We are created for worship of God & God alone. When that purpose is not fulfilled, problems arise & accumulate. When secular solutions are attempted, problems compound. Outside: Problems are commonly blamed on outer circumstances & other people & diagnosed as a medical disorder
4. SolutionOutside: Jesus Christ; The Gospel of Jesus Christ is required for both Salvation and Sanctification (heart change); Justification (salvation) is first necessary before Sanctification can take place. Addressed only by biblical couns.Inside: Varies from theory to theory/world view to world view. (Ex: Maslow – meeting needs, self-actualization vs. Jung – digging deeper into self)
5. MethodologyProgressive Sanctification; Renewing of the MindEclectic; Varies with counselor
6. Power to changeHoly Spirit through the Living Word; Bibles open in couns session; Relevant homework designed to bear on the counselee’s heart & circumstances to increasingly become a “doer” of God’s WordHuman Motivation; willpower; medications; catharsis (talk therapy; venting); hypnosis; behavior modification
7. System of helpThe churchInstitutions; clinics; support groups; “experts”
8. Defense (apologetics)The Bible and its power defends itself

(2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:3-4; 1 Cor 1:18-2:16; Ps 19:7-11, Ps 94:12-13; Ps 119)
Marketing strategies; Popular trends; experience; medical journals; theories; scientific studies; testimonials
9. ResponsibilityMyselfBlame others; justify; disease/disorder model
10. GoalEternal Goal: Christ-likeness (bear God’s image); Grow as the worshiper of God I was designed and created to be; Increasingly die to self & submit to God and others for God’s gloryEarthly Goal: Happiness; Relief from difficult feelings or circumstances; Comfort; Attaining Self-focused priorities
11. Relationship between counselor and counseleeBrothers/sisters in Christ; both are sinners needing sanctification through God’s grace; both are members of the body of Christ doing life together; both need one another in the church; 2-way relationship; sharing with and praying for one another; may grow to be fast friends. Men counsel men; women counsel women. (Titus)
The counselee may be unsaved, in which case he is a lost sinner in need of God’s grace to be delivered through the counselor. Once saved, possibilities for genuine change are unlimited.
Must maintain distance & defined boundaries; must not develop a 2-way personal relationship; Relationship is professional not personal. Gender often not considered in the assignment of a counselor so men often counsel women & women often counsel men.
12. Counselor CredentialsFollower of Christ committed first to God, His Word & His Will; Understands & committed to first 11 points above; Able to “open” the Scriptures to help counselees see relevance of God’s Word in their circumstances; Empowered by the Holy Spirit; Commissioned by God as a minister of God’s Word

(Matt 28:19-20; Rom 15:14; Titus 2; Col 3:16; Acts 20:31; Gal 6:1-3; Heb 3:13; Lk 17:3; 1 Tim 4:12; 2 Tim 4:1-5; Ps 1:1-3; 1 Thes 5:11)
College degree(s); State certification which restricts reliance on the Bible as the source of authority for the counseling.