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Biblical Counseling

Many people spend years upon years of their lives undergoing psychotherapy, achieving limited results. Rather than experiencing real life transformation, they simply learn to manage the hurts, habits, and hangups that keep them from healthy, happy living.  But real change is possible. Here at FBCMB, we offer a Bible-based alternative: Nouthetic Counseling.

What is “nouthesis?”
Nouthetic (pronounced “new-thetic”) counseling derives its name from the New Testament Greek word “nouthesis,” which is translated as “admonish, correct, or instruct.” This approach to counseling is based upon the belief that the application of biblical truth by the Spirit is able to radically transform people’s lives. Unlike many secular approaches to therapy, nouthetic counseling turns people from seeking change within themselves to seeking help and healing from God, according to His Word, by His grace, through faith in Him.

What does nouthetic counseling involve?
The three main components of nouthetic counseling are confrontation, concern, and change. In confrontation, one encounters the truth of God’s Word applied directly to one’s personal situation. Issues are not ignored or excused, but they are addressed by the scriptures. Concern refers to the relationship of the counselor and the client. Unlike many secular approaches, nouthetic counseling believes a strong friendship and even familial love should be developed between the counselor and his client. They are truly brothers and/or sisters in the faith. Finally, change is the goal. Specifically, Christians endeavor to be changed more into the image of Christ by the Holy Spirit’s work in us. Nouthetic counseling is ultimately about having a heart transformed by the grace of God.

How does nouthetic counseling differ from secular counseling?
Secular psychology has made valuable contributions to the counseling process. As a science, psychology is particularly good at observing reality and classifying those observations. We have truly learned much about how our thoughts (cognition), emotions (affections), and actions (volition) are interrelated. But as helpful as psychology is in its descriptive ability, it falls short in its healing ability. Secular therapies can lessen emotional pains and help people to manage their behaviors. Nouthetic counseling seeks to replace the lies we believe with the truth of God’s Word, which is able to transform our hearts — something God alone can do.

How does nouthetic counseling work?
The illustrations below depict how the counseling process works. The illustration on the left depicts our lives based on an impaired belief system, which in the end is reinforced by the consequences of our behavior. The illustration on the right explains the results of the counseling process, in which God’s Word is believed, our hearts are changed, and our lives bear the fruits of love, joy, and peace.

If you are interested in entering the counseling process, please call the church office or email pastorjake@fbcmb.org.