Biblical Counseling

There are many different types of counsellors that offer all kinds of counseling. If you are looking for a Christian based counselor, or biblical counseling, for your struggling teen keep reading. This article helps define bibilical counseling and offers tips on choosing a counselor.

Biblical counseling means strikingly different things to different people. This article helps explain the range of meanings that people ascribe to the term so that you can understand what the possibilities are and make good choices for yourself and your teen.

An Open Definition

Biblical counseling, also called nouthetic counseling (from the Greek word noutheteo, meaning “instruct, correct, or admonish”), is believed by some to be a ministry of all Christians that depends solely on their knowledge of the Bible and ability to help others. They cite two Bible passages to support this: 2 Timothy 3:16-17, which talks about the usefulness of Scripture for instruction and correction and Colossians 3:16, which expresses the wish that followers will use the word of Christ to teach and admonish each other. While insightful people may be wellsprings of encouragement and wisdom to each other, it can be hard to know. And this stance means that someone calling him- or herself a biblical counselor may be someone with no verifiable qualifications, history of success in dealing with the issue you are facing, or particular training in dealing with teens, let alone struggling teens.

At the other end of the spectrum are those who consider biblical counseling to be a calling for which training and certification ensures standards. The National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC) is the certification organization set up to ensure a standard of quality ( Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) is another group that provides training in biblical counseling (, and Biblical Counseling Institute (BCI) provides a certificate program in biblical counseling.(

It is recommended that you visit one or more of these sites to gain an understanding of the range of meanings attributed to the term biblical counseling prior to making a determination that this would be a useful approach for your teen.

Getting Your Teen Onboard

As with any counseling approach, if your teen is not engaged and participating, time spent with the counselor or therapist are unlikely to produce results. Take a look at all the resources available to you, and talk with your teen about what seems to him or her to be the most useful and productive path to pursue. Explain the benefits that you see in biblical counseling and what it offers that other approaches do not.

If your teen is experiencing any mental or physical health issues, you should consider biblical counseling as an adjunct to, not a replacement for, healthcare professionals with specialties in whatever ails him or her.

Questions to Ask a Counselor

Given that the term biblical counselor will not in and of itself assure you that the person using it is a good match for your situation, here are some questions to consider as you make a choice of counselor:

  • Does this biblical counselor’s worldview equate with mine and my teen’s?
  • Does this biblical counselor’s religious understanding equate with mine and my teen’s?
  • Can I see Bible truths reflected in this biblical counselor’s life, as well as in his or her job description?
  • Does the biblical counselor have a similar understanding of the desirable end result as do I and my teen?
  • Is the biblical counselor trained? By whom? For how long?
  • Does the biblical counselor have certification?
  • Has the biblical counselor had success in the past (your teen should not be a guinea pig)?
  • Has the biblical counselor had experience with teens?
  • Has the biblical counselor had experience with the particular issues you face?
  • How does the biblical counselor treat the teen: in meetings with the parent or in meetings just with the teen? (then ask yourself, Are you comfortable with this approach?)
  • Does the biblical counseling come with “homework”? If so, what is this likely to entail?
  • Is the biblical counselor able to talk about problems without exhibiting a holier-than-thou attitude?                                                           


Related Article: Counselor or Therapist? >>