To be an effective counselor with a biblical integration it is essential to provide consumers with the necessary tools in order to better worship and serve God. Crabb’s integration of Christ into counseling is a unique approach. He offers various models to use towards consumers that will help in guiding their lives in a desired direction. It is important to use an approach that is pleasing to the counselor, in order for optimal achievement of goals consumers have and plan to obtain.
It is clear in Crabb’s approach that he is against a secular worldview portrayed towards consumers within the counseling setting. He stresses the importance in understanding human functioning, establishing a caring relationship, and reaching a goal of maturity as effective counseling techniques. “Christian maturity is developed by (1) dealing with any immediate problem circumstances in a manner consistent with Scripture: MOVE OVER; and (2) developing an inward character which conforms to the character (attitudes, beliefs, purposes) of Christ: MOVE UP” (Crabb, 1977, p. 30).
These concepts are one that allow individuals to take a direct stand on their life in relation to the life that Christ provides and guides us to lead. Individuals must posses a genuine relationship with Christ in order to follow his truth, it may not be a relationship based simply on intellectual understanding and concurrence of His word and works. Scripture leads one to understand and share a trusting relationship with Christ. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105, New International Version. “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight” (Psalm 119:35, NIV).
Crabb’s approach, in this regard, is related to the approach that Hawkins integrates within counseling. Hawkins model of counseling incorporates an approach he identifies as ‘concentric circles’ (Hawkins). This approach explains the makeup of an individual from their innermost to outermost elements. The “core of each individual is the image of God, the breath of life, where life itself abounds” (Hawkins). He further clarifies that the core is what separates regenerate and unregenerate beings because the Holy Spirit is in the core of a regenerate being. Hawkins then identifies the soul.
The soul is made up of “the conscience, emotions, thinking, feeling, and volitional aspects” of individuals (Hawkins). A concept I feel relates to the ‘MOVE UP’ approach as explained by Crabb. Surrounding the core and the soul is the body, which serves as a middle between the soul and exterior world. This exterior world is one that Hawkins explains to be made up of systems that “dramatically impact the shaping of [individuals] thoughts and emotions” (Hawkins). These exterior elements can best be understood as physical elements that individuals may become consumed in living with and by.
Throughout Hawkins approach, it seems apparent that, as counselors, we understand these physical elements and how they contribute to the lives of consumers. By conceptualizing the spiritual elements, emotional elements, and physical elements of individuals, the successful transformation of consumers into the image of Christ may be initiated. Hawkins’s process in therapy is to engage with the consumer in a way so their story is revealed and all emotions are placed out on the table, so to say.
The counselor provides encouragement to release the burdens one may have in order to better understand the consumer’s point of view. A plan and goal are then set based on the desires the client reveals and the counselor feels are suitable for achieving success in living life for Christ. Hawkins approach clearly identifies that “counseling lead to action” (Hawkins). Therapeutic Process Crabb portrays the counseling process as identifying the needs of individuals, and their basic assumption of those needs as leading to a problem or creating a solution.
Crabb illustrates that there are “two basic needs of people, significance and security” (Crabb, 1977, p. 68). He clearly explains that a relationship with a personal God is a must in order to achieve the personal needs of significance and security. The process of counseling is to identify the problem and create a solution for change in living the life God provides you. “True significance and security are available only to the Christian, one who is trusting in Christ’s perfect life and substitutionary death as his sole basis of acceptability before a holy God” (Crabb, 1977, p.
71). “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21, NIV). “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV). Discussion The integration of Christ and counseling is an approach that Crabb and Hawkins routinely incorporate into practice. “The goal of biblical counseling is to promote Christian maturity, to help people enter into a richer experience of worship and a more effective life of service” (Crabb, 1977, p. 29).
As well as “to promote Christ-likeness, promote spiritual and psychological maturity, and to lay a foundation for continuing growth in maturity” (Hawkins). I agree with the approach that both Crabb and Hawkins incorporate in their counseling processes. Although, I find that I follow more of Crabb’s approach. I certainly agree with Hawkins that it is critical to consider the elements of an individual as a whole in order to provide adequate healing to the self. I feel that the approach Crabb presents is one that is more appealing to the consumer in terms of accepting the necessary changes life requires to live for God.
The integration of Christ and counseling is beneficial to clients as it places significant meaning and a securing path in their lives. Both approaches have models that I feel may be incorporated into my personal theory for counseling. References Crabb, L. (1977). Effective Biblical counseling: A model for helping caring Christians become capable counselors. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. Hawkins, R. E. (Speaker). (n. d. a. ). Model for guiding the counseling process. (Streamed video lecture). Lynchburg, VA: Liberty University.
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