We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Seems like everybody wants to be a therapist or counselor these days.
Everybody has problems of various degrees, and indeed sometimes it is helpful to talk it over with a trusted person. I have no problem with Biblical counseling. Anybody in a "helping profession" needs to know his limits and needs to be humble about his capacities.
My guess is that biblical counseling as some form of psychotherapy (as opposed to help with relationship to God which I would call Pastoral Counseling) can be most helpful for those whose guilt is honestly come by. By that I mean people who have every reason to feel troubled by guilt and remorse because they have done wrong, have not earned self-respect or earned a feeling of deserving God's love (which is another complicated topic). In other words, non-neurotic guilt.
Many years ago friends introduced us to a very famous local pastor. Small air base town. He was known as "THE BEST" marital counselor. His formula was quite simple: respect each other as you wish to be respected and RESPECT THE NUMBERS (making the budget work)!
Many of our friends and neighbors had gone to him for marital counseling and he said those were the two most important things. He had a quote from scripture that he used and I cannot remember--it was about living within one's budget and making sound investments. He was a very honorable and genuine man, who taken his BA in accounting and done his Master's work in therapy/counseling. I think you would have liked him.
I take some issue with the article linked. One is the fact that the website alleges the "science of society". The implication is that the various counseling theories are hard science rather than notions of human behaviors.
I am a pastor and finishing a counseling degree in substance abuse counseling (another up and coming field full of theories, often ineffectual and half baked)
I would ask you Dr. Bliss, what is the real effectiveness of any therapy model?
I hear of statistics from treatment models that claim 70-80% cure rates after one year. That may be true, but the addict is in the program for all or part of that year. What is the abstinence rate at 5 years or 10?
The Macarthur story is hardly indicative of all church counseling. I come from a Pentecostal tradition and often hear admonitions to people not to tell sick people to get rid of their medicines.
I believe church counseling and secular models can co-exist in a comprehensive approach if both will seek common ground.
As an evangelical who works in mental health, you'd think I'd be generally in support of this. Not very. Of the half-dozen best counselors I have known, three were Christians of a definitely committed variety (the other three were a tepid Episcopalian, an almost-truculent atheist, and a cultural Jew). But none of the three used any of the various biblical counseling programs or schools of teaching out there. I remain suspicious of those.
Assistant Village Idiot
This article is really biased and does not account for the accreditation from recognized agencies for Christian counselors. This is just another bashing of Christians and those who desire to live a Christian life.
How many people going to regular - scientific if you will - counselors go bat crazy? Lots. How many of the recent mass murders used drugs proscribed by those counselors? Every one or almost every one. Too bad that isn't in the news as well.
Heaven help us if some big name news guy says that America was better off when we had a common bond in Christian values. No, America today decides what is OK because of our relative ethical thinking. The base line of right and wrong in America is the 10 Commandments and now we are watching a few in power destroy our nation.