In 2019, I became aware of a biblical counseling certification program that was appealing to me, as it approached counseling from a purely biblical perspective. I’m speaking of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. What sets ACBC apart from other biblical counseling programs is they do not integrate secular psychology/psychiatric methods into either their analysis of the problem or solution for those in counseling. This is not to say they dismiss the need for psychology/psychiatry in the medical field for proper analysis and treatment of a person’s physiology. Rather, they dismiss the need for psychology/psychiatry in the realm of soul care.
Unfortunately, many Christian counselors attempt to treat individuals through an integrationist model where secular and biblical methods are combined. This post is not an attempt to refute those methods or beliefs. Rather I believe the Bible to be sufficient for all spiritual counseling needs (this also has healing potential for the body.) This is of course stated with the understanding that the counselee is not in any need of physiological correction through medications which can only be determined by qualified medical personnel.
But that aside, pure biblical counseling is that which uses the Bible as its only authoritative source. This, of course, assumes a proper doctrinal perspective on what the Scriptures teach (that is to say a reformed perspective.) With that in mind, biblical counseling applies the Scriptures in an effort to reorientate a person’s misplaced desires, affections, attitudes, and behavior. This then affords a counselee to better worship God in the way that he has prescribed and be restored to fellowship with him and others. In a nutshell, biblical counseling is biblical discipleship.
The certification process has 3 different phases. I do not intend to spell out all of what is required to move through these phases, only to basically describe them. Phase 1 requires the counselor in training (CIT) to attend in person training to complete a Fundamentals Training Course and read a minimum of 1000 pages from an approved reading list. Phase 2 requires the CIT to take 2 exams: theology and counseling. Each of these exams contains approximately 25 questions and requires a 1 to 1 ½ page response with Scripture proofs. This is where I currently am. Phase 3 requires the CIT to complete 50 sessions of supervised counseling with an ACBC Fellow. A person has 4 years to complete this from the initial start date.
Because the theology and counseling exams are rich with biblical information and practice, I thought it would be beneficial to share much of this in upcoming blogs. Therefore, I will begin to give an abbreviated synopsis and response to these questions in hopes they may edify somebody and even potentially encourage someone else to either become certified or see how true biblical counseling may be the solution they have been looking for.