Biblical Counseling versus Secular Counseling

Biblical Counseling versus Secular Counseling.

Biblical Counseling versus Secular Counseling

The Christian and secular approaches to professional counseling have similarities in the way counselors handle clients, and there are distinct characteristics in how they operate. Secular counselors are guided by the American Counselling Association (ACA) ethical guidelines whereas the Christian counselors are bound by the American Association of Christian Counsellors (AACC) code of ethics.


Although biblical counselors and secular counselors differ in their approach to counseling, there are areas where they agree. The counseling professionals must practice within the boundaries of their competencies about training, education, and experience. The associations agree that the professionals should not work in areas beyond their expertise. When Christian counselors encounter work that is beyond their jurisdiction, they are bound to refer to the experienced and qualified Christian counselors before seeking help from other professional counselors (AACC Law and Ethics Committee, 2014). AACC bases its policy on the premise that effective interventions must be based on biblical principles and truths and not on self-expertise, as is the case with secular professionals. Moreover, both associations recognize that client confidentiality is based on the individual’s right to privacy and the counselors must use the appropriate settings when communicating with their customers.

Biblical counselors face potential conflicts with ACA guidelines about the sanctity of life. The ACA code of ethics outlines that there should be no discrimination based on age, culture, disability, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, language preference, socioeconomic status or any basis as prescribed by law (ACA, 2014). Concerning issues such as homosexuality, marital affairs, and abortion, secular counselors have the right to choose and hold such matters to the highest level of confidentiality. The biblical counselors hold certain values in the highest esteem, and they refuse to participate in things that threaten the sanctity of life such as abortion activities, assisted suicide and euthanasia (AACC Law and Ethics Committee, 2014).


Christians believe that sin is the cause of problems encountered by the human race. Secular counseling focuses on healing the symptoms of sin, using their training in psychology to study the client. Usually, secular counseling aims at solving man’s problems using own resources and research to find answers and solutions to problems (Jones, n.d.). Unlike biblical counseling, secular counseling does not address the spiritual dimensions of human beings nor rely on outside source to address sin. A spiritual approach to sin digs deeper to the external consequences of the problem they are dealing with and giving a God-centered answer to help resolve the situation. A biblical approach identifies the cause of the problem and shows the biblical solution to the problem, helping the client grow spiritually in God so that they get spiritual guidance to help them solve other problems that they will encounter along the way. Therefore, the loss of a God-centered approach to sin would mean that relying on man’s solutions alone would lead to failure since God is the source of wisdom for all problems human beings encounter.


Christians believe that sin is a result of deviating from the grace of God. The problems faced by individuals and families is due to a person or a member of the household committing sin, leading to turmoil and suffering. Examples of sin comprise greed, lust, stealing, pride, adultery, lying, cheating, incest, arrogance and murder, which God, through the Bible, commands human beings not to commit (Shallcross, 2011). Sinners who commit sin and accept to rebuild their sins with God are restored and those who don’t repent undergo a lot of suffering, destruction, and death. God is the source of wisdom for all problems that human beings face, and leaving God out of the equation would result in failure on the part of people.



AACC Law and Ethics Committee. (2014). AACC Code of Ethics. American Association of Christian Counselors.

ACA. (2014). 2014 ACA Code of Ethics. Alexandria: American Counselling Association.

Jones, P. (n.d.). Biblical Counseling vs. Secular Counseling. Retrieved from Dove Christian Counselling Center:

Shallcross, L. (2011, April 1). Do the right thing. Retrieved from Counseling Today:



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Biblical Counseling versus Secular Counseling

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