An Overview of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors

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The world, today, has a fascination with mental illnesses. These illnesses range from clinical depression to schizophrenia to bipolar disorder. Diagnoses of these illnesses are rising rapidly, and the world finds little help from the standard treatment: psychotropic medication and/or counseling therapy. Of relevant concern to the Christian today is the topic of mental illness and the treatment thereof. This paper will explore the difference between secular treatment of mental illnesses and biblical treatment, focusing especially on the history and ministry of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.

Definitions: Secular Counseling Psychology

Counseling psychology as defined by the American Psychological Association “Is a general practice and health service provider specialty in professional psychology” with a goal of helping “people with physical, emotional and mental disorders improve well-being, alleviate distress and maladjustment, and resolve crises.” (Description of Counseling Psychology, n.d., para. 1-2). Secular psychologists achieve this general goal of helping people through a myriad of approaches. They may prescribe the patient psychotropic medicines and counseling therapy, but none have been scientifically proven to provide people with lasting hope, help, and change.

Definitions: Sufficiency-Based Biblical Counseling

A biblical sufficiency Christian counselor, however, “uses Scripture to confront people about their sin with the goal of helping to restore them to usefulness” (History, 2014, para. 2). The most striking difference between secular counseling and biblical sufficiency counseling comes from their respective sources of authority. A secular counselor will follow perhaps the Behavi...

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... 45-50). Phillipsburg, N.J: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub. Co.

American Psychological Association (n.d.). Public Description of Counseling Psychology (para. 1-2). Retrieved March 2, 2014, from

Kellemen, B. (2013, September 26). Supporting the NANC Proposed Name Change (para. 2). Retrieved March 10, 2014, from

Powlison, D. (2003). Seeing with new eyes: Counseling and the human condition through the lens of Scripture (p. 4). Phillipsburg, N.J: P & R Pub.

Powlison, D. (1996a). Competent to counsel? The history of a conservative Protestant anti-psychiatry movement (p. 118). ScholarlyCommons.

Powlison, D. (1996b). Competent to counsel? The history of a conservative Protestant anti-psychiatry movement (p. 119). ScholarlyCommons.
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