Christian Counseling Theories Christian Authors Present the Essay

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Christian Counseling Theories

Christian authors present the very unique set of principles and strategies aiming at helping empower individuals going through counseling. Examining Christian literature and theory illustrates clear assumptions that different authors share, yet also pulled out some clear differences as well. For example, Backus and Chapain (2000) present fluidity, while Adams (1986) suggests Scripture. Still, these authors do all show that the word of God is a crucial element to the spiritual healing needed in modern counseling.

Backus and Chapain (2000) present a very simple, that individuals are plagued with discomfort and unhappiness because they think incorrectly. Essentially, when one does not think the proper manner, negative results come from it. Thus, ill-natured thoughts lead to anxiety, unhappiness, and depression, all of which are the main causes for people seeking counseling in a modern context. In order to combat these ill thoughts, Backus and Chapain present when is known as Misbelief Therapy. This is the type of self-help therapy, where the individual seeking counseling can take charge and make internal changes within their thought processes themselves. Essentially, this theory prompts individuals to redirect their thinking in order to avoid future misbelief that ultimately cause bad behavior and anxiety. Internal and personal strength help secure success within the therapeutic model. This does not have to be done with the help of a therapist, but can be done independently by the individual who is so unhappy in the first place. Still, the authors believe that Jesus was the ultimate teacher, and that his life should serve as the ultimate example for a good life.

Adams (1986) asserts that the word of God is one of the most important things for individuals looking to help improve their lives. Thus, he strongly disagrees with Backus and Chapain, believing that self-help never works. Individuals who are suffering have lost their way, and thus need to find the word of God again. From this perspective, Scripture and the Bible are enough to effectively strengthen counseling strategies. Thus, the counselor becomes
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the teacher who walks the individual through the process of rediscovering the word of God, especially to Scripture. According to Adams, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and is useful for teaching, for conviction, for correction and for discipline training in righteousness in order to make the man of God adequate, and to equip him fully for every good task" (Adams, 1986, p 10). Rediscovering God's word will help bring the individual towards what God had willed for him or her in the first place. There needs to be a strong relationship between God, Scripture, and the counselor who teaches the individual in need of counseling about the right way to interpret God's word and implement it within their daily lives. Adams (1986) believes in a four step process that all Christian counselors should implement within the process of the counseling strategies. These counselors must embody the roles of teachers, utilize notions of conviction, focus on correction of poor behaviors, and implement strategies to discipline individuals within the notions of righteousness. These four steps are meant to help the individual rediscover life that is closer to the life of Jesus.

Both works stress the importance of God within modern counseling practices. They provide thorough outlines for their arguments; however, there are also primary weaknesses which take away from the strength of their arguments. While Backus and Chapain (2000) present a much more fluid and flexible theory it is often unreliable if the individual is not wholly motivated to succeed, Adams often uses a condescending tone which takes away from the strength and legitimacy of his argument.

Backus and Chapain (2000) present a very fluid and flexible model for therapy. It is something that is internalized by each individual and requires complete devotion. This form of self-help is less reliant on Scritpure and does not force individuals to adopt a single way of thinking, as Adams does. This ultimately will help individuals change and adapt the Misbelief Theory as needed in order to fit the context of their own lives. Yet, there are some weaknesses here too. This theory is entirely based on notions of self-help, and thus there is no outside accomplice to help guide individuals when…

Sources Used in Documents:


Backus, W.D., & Chapian, M. (2000). Telling Yourself the Truth (20th ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers.

Adams, J.E. (1986). How to Help People Change. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House.

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