Testing Counseling Approaches

“What counseling models are ‘popular in the church’?,” asks David Powlison of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). “It’s immediately obvious that churches provide homes to countless approaches to the problems in living – more approaches than grains of sand on the seashore, to re-appropriate a biblical metaphor. How will you solve your problems and change what’s wrong? Should you explore how you feel about your family upbringing? Do what God commands no matter how you feel? Follow your feelings? Act on faith, not feelings? Get in touch with your feelings? Get your needs met? Should you take Prozac? Take a vacation? Take control of your life and responsibility for your choices? Should you cast out the demon that inserted itself into the operating system of your soul? Insert positive affirmations into the flow of your negative self-talk? Should you claim your new identity in Christ? Take a season of prayer and fasting? Take a stand on the promises? Get an accountability partner? Get into an exercise program and cut your caffeine intake to get those endorphins flowing? Get a life? Just suck it up and quit being so self-centered?”

Powlison encourages us to develop the skill of discernment and provides four questions that are helpful to ask when testing any of the counseling approaches being used today.

  1. How is God portrayed?
  2. How is human nature interpreted?
  3. How are circumstances weighed?
  4. How are the goals and activities of counseling conceived?

Read the entire article here at 9 Marks.

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