top of page
Image by Colton Sturgeon


Have a question? Want to know a bit more about Biblical Counseling? To help you get your answers quickly, we've compiled a list of some of the most popular questions as it relates to Biblical Counseling.


What is Biblical Counseling?

Biblical counseling takes the view that the Bible is sufficient to counsel, correct, and admonish individuals. Romans 15:14 can be considered the theme verse for Biblical counseling: “Personally I am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, amply filled with all [spiritual] knowledge, and competent to admonish and counsel and instruct one another” (AMP). Biblical counselors also point to 1 Thessalonians 5:12, where admonishing the church seems to be the job of the pastors or elders. Biblical counseling is an attempt to return to a strictly biblical method of problem-solving. As such, it is Bible-based, Christ-centered, and local church-oriented. Biblical counseling holds the premise that the Bible is God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16–17) and is totally sufficient for meeting the mental, spiritual, and emotional needs of mankind (2 Peter 1:3–4). Biblical counseling depends on the Holy Spirit to change the believer, using God’s Word to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).

What is True Biblical Change?

Biblical change is far more than just behavioral modification or conceptual change. Biblical transformation is heart change. Your heart, your core – the things that rule and motivate you begin to change.

What is the role of the Gospel in counseling people?

The Gospel ought to be central in all Biblical counseling. It is important to define the term “Gospel” before considering its implications for counseling. The Gospel is the “Good News” declaration that God has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live, die and be raised for our salvation (John 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). Through faith in His finished work for us we gain assurance that we are right with God, fully forgiven for all of our sins, spiritually reborn, and destined for heaven. We are made alive in Him and will forever live with Him. In terms of counseling, the Gospel is central because it is exactly what both unbelievers and believers need to hear. It is the promise and reminder that God has solved our greatest problem, namely our sin problem. It reassures us that freedom from the penalty, power, and presence of sin has been forever secured for us by Jesus. This has massive implications for counseling. It reminds both the counselor and the counselee of God’s sufficiency for every significant struggle of life. Again, our sin is our biggest problem, and Christ is the solution for that problem. Every counseling session should reveal how the counselee’s problem—whatever shape or form it takes—is related to their sin problem in the heart. And, every counsleing ocnversation should include a time when the counselee is pointed to Jesus and new life in Him as the ultimate solution for what plagues them at the heart level.

Can every believer do some level of Biblical Counseling?

As a believer in Jesus Christ, who has a good practical working knowledge of the Word and is committed to doctrinal soundness and a life that reflects the Gospel, thye have the tools and character necessary to do some level of counseling. Because God equips the believer through his Word, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit to help others with the issues of life, they are able to counsel at some level of counseling.

How is biblical counseling different from secular counseling?

Secular psychotherapy is needs-based. The needs for self-esteem, love and acceptance, and significance tend to dominate. If these needs are met, it is believed, people will be happy, kind, and moral; if these needs are unmet, people will be miserable, hateful, and immoral. Biblical counseling teaches that true satisfaction and happiness can only be found in a relationship with God and a pursuit of godliness. Secular psychology is based on the theories and subsequent teachings of psychoanalysts. These include Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Carl Rogers and more recently ideas of post-modernism. In stark contrast, Biblical counseling is based on the revealed Word of God and subsequently on God’s theories and teachings for humankind. Secular psychology promotes mankind as the highest standard of truth and morality and rejects faith, the supernatural, and the Bible. Biblical counseling sees God as the highest standard of truth and morality and that Scripture is sufficient to address the impact on humankind due to fallen human conditions (Genesis 3) as well as equip the child of God for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:4). Secular psychology is based on the ideas that man is basically good and that the answer to his problems lies within himself. The Bible states that humans are much worse than they think, but also loved so much more than they can imagine. Humans are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), and the unregenerate heart is “deceitful and beyond all cure” (Jeremiah 17:9). Therefore, the biblical counselor takes a drastically different approach: rather than seeking solutions to spiritual problems within one’s own mind, he seeks to confront sin, obtain wisdom from above (James 3:17), and apply the Word of God to the situation.

Do secular disciplines have anything to offer to biblical counseling methodology?

Let us clarify first what we mean by counseling methodology. A counseling methodology is a system of theoretical commitments, principles, goals, and appropriate methods. It is a set of interconnected things; it is not a collection of random and eclectic bits of observation or technique. A counseling methodology is an organized, committed way of understanding and tackling people’s problems. Do secular disciplines have anything to offer to the methodology of biblical counseling? The answer is a flat no. Scriptures provide the system for biblical counseling. Other disciplines – history, anthropology, literature, sociology, psychology, biology, business, political science – may be useful in a variety of secondary ways to the pastor and the biblical counselor, but such disciplines can never provide a system of understanding and counseling people. Secular disciplines may serve us well as they describe people; they may challenge us by how they seek to explain, guide, and change people; but they seriously mislead us when we take them at face value because they are secular. They explain people, define what people ought to be like, and try to solve people’s problems without considering God and man’s relationship to God. Secular disciplines have made a systematic commitment to being wrong. This is not to deny that secular people are often brilliant observers of other human beings. They are often ingenious critics and theoreticians. But they also distort what they see and mislead by what they teach and do, because from God’s point of view the wisdom of the world has fundamental folly written through it. They will not acknowledge that God has created human beings as God-related and God- accountable creatures. The mind-set of secularity is like a power saw with a set that deviates from the right angel. It may be a powerful saw, and it may cut a lot of wood, but every board comes out crooked.Given this built-in distortion, how might secular observations, ideas, and practices be useful to Christians? They should play no role in our model of counseling. But, radically reinterpreted, they can play and illustrative role, providing examples and details that illustrate the biblical model and fill out our knowledge. They can also play a provocative role, challenging us to develop our model in areas we have not thought about or have neglected or misconstrued. Jay Adams stated this succinctly in Competent to Counsel, where he explains that psychology can be a “useful adjunct” to biblical counseling in two ways: (1) “for the purposes of illustrating, filling in generalizations with specifics”; and (2) “challenging wrong human interpretations of Scripture, thereby forcing the student to restudy the Scriptures”.1 What do secular disciplines have to offer biblical counselors? God is the expert when it comes to people, and He has spoken and acted to change us and to equip us to help others change. Secularists have a twisted and blinkered perceptiveness that can only be useful to biblical counselors as it is radically reinterpreted according to the counseling methodology revealed in Scripture. (Chapters 11-17 of this book present a biblical methodology for helping people.) (David Powlison)

How is biblical counseling different from Christian counseling?

In general, what is usually called “Christian counseling” is different from “biblical counseling” in that Christian counseling often uses secular psychology while viewing the client and their situation from a Christian worldview. Depending on the counselor, they may or may not use the Bible or even pray in the sessions. This is not to say that a Christian counselor is not also a biblical counselor, but often, Christian counselors are Christians who integrate secular psychology into their counseling. Biblical counselors counsel from Biblical theories and principles. Biblical counseling is committed to letting God speak for Himself through His Word. Biblical counseling seeks to minister the love of the true and living God, a love that deals with sin and produces gospel motivated obedience.

Do Biblical counselors address medical issues?

Biblical counselors believe in the total health needs of the counselee. Your counselor may recommend that you have a full or specified medical examination. If medical assistance is required, counseling will continue in conjunction with medical advice.

Check back frequently as more FAQs will be added
bottom of page