UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE
There is a theological and philosophical difference between traditional psychological counseling, integrated counseling, and Biblical counseling.
In traditional psychological counseling the focus is extensively on psychotherapy and treating emotional and mental suffering in patients with behavioral or medical intervention and management. Traditional psychotherapy often sees the client as a victim to his or her circumstances and behavior rather than one responsible for it.
Integrated counseling seeks to integrate Christian principles into the world of psychological approaches (including but not limited to Jung, Alder, Frued, Skinner, Maslow). This model is not always clear, as it neither resembles the original psychological models of theory nor biblical principles.
Biblical Counseling (which is practiced at Whole Hope) sees the individual as one made in the image of God who is not just a spiritual being but one with a physical, cognitive, emotional, behavioral and relational side. Humans function first from the heart and are responsible for their behavior, responses and attitude. Biblical Counseling does not deny medical treatment; it only sees it not as a primary solution. Biblical Counseling seeks to address the pain and suffering but recognizes the suffering (whether by means of commission, omission, or as a result of another’s doing) is not the primary problem but rather a reflection of a root issue that needs to be addressed. Biblical counseling is sensitive to the individual, pursues the other in love, is grounded in God’s Word, empowered by the Spirit, and reliant upon prayer.