By Nouthetic (Biblical) Counseling, we at RNLF Counseling Services Counseling depends upon the Holy Spirit to relate God’s inspired truth about people, problems, and solutions to human suffering and sin to empower people to glorify God by cultivating conformity to Christ and communion with Christ and the Body of Christ.
Nouthetic Counseling includes at least three elements:
The word, nouthetic, comes from the Greek word -nouthesia. This is the word from which the name nouthetic counseling comes. It is simply a designation for Biblical counseling. It is a comprehensive term which denotes a use of the Scriptures foremost in the counseling process.
"It contains the three elements: change through confrontation out of concern. It presupposes,
* that there are sinful patterns and activities in the life of the counselee that God wants changed .
* that this change will be brought about through a verbal confrontation of the counselee with the Scriptures as the counselor ministers them in the power of the Holy Spirit.
* this confrontation is done in a loving, caring, familial manner for the benefit of the c counselee. There is deep concern."
Some Basic Elements in Nouthetic (Biblical) Counseling:
Nouthetic counseling suggests that there is something wrong with the person who is to be confronted nouthetically, or Biblically. It arises out of the fact that there is a condition which God desires changed. The fundamental purpose of nouthetic confrontation then is to effect personality and behavioral change-- conformity to the image of Christ. God wants change. All counseling aims at change. Without this element whatever we might be doing, it is not counseling. In the word, "restore" we had a term which required change. Usefulness was lost. The change must take place because of the Christian who is caught in sin (Galatians 6:1). The change that is contemplated in the restoration to usefulness is a change in life patterns in which sinful beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors are replaced by righteous ones (see Ephesians 4:22-24).
A. All counseling has to do with changes in beliefs, judgments, values, relationships, thoughts, behavior, and other such moral elements of life. Sin in human life has led to distortions of life in each of these categories. There is the resulting sinful thought and action that is the object of change in Christian counseling. The counselor "aims" at straightening out the individual by changing his patterns of behavior to conform to Biblical standards. The sinful responses are to be replaced with righteous ones.
B. Also in Biblical counseling there ought to be the aim of preventive counseling. If we would labor in this area both in teaching and preaching, maybe many of the problems people face could be alleviated in the first place.
C. Problems are solved by verbal means, that is, there must be some Biblical confrontation of the problem at hand. This implies personal, verbal contact in which the Word of God is applied to the counselee. There is no idea here of nastiness, or harshness, or a know-it-all-attitude, in the concept of confrontation. We will deal with this further a bit later. There is training by the mouth, that is, it is a person-to-person verbal use of Scripture-- sometimes by encouragement and sometimes by reproof. There must be a "speaking the truth in love" a truth telling which pleases God (Ephesians 4:15, 25).
D. There must be the element of concern or otherwise confrontation will be sterile, lifeless, cold, professional, harsh, and probably out of a critical spirit. In this care for another there ought to be strong desire and untiring effort to relieve the person of the misery that sinful life patterns have brought upon him. This is true biblical counseling.
note: The counselor seeks to minister the Scriptures, to help the person interpret and apply the principles and practices of the Word of God in an attempt to help bring about the changes that will relieve him of his miseries. Such a ministry is conducted prayerfully, in the power of the Holy Spirit. The counselor will seek wisdom to minister the Scriptures with the goal to bring change which will lead to restoration unto usefulness.
The counselor in the contact or personal conference and discussion (counseling) will direct toward change in the direction of greater conformity to Biblical principles and practices. The goal must be to meet the obstacles or sin problems as the Holy Spirit directs, helping the person to understand the problem. The purpose is God's glory in the life.
E. Nouthetic counseling may be defined in short as ... 1) meeting the person where he is.... 2) pointing out what is wrong.... 3) and helping him obtain the desirable personality and behavioral change -- based upon Scripture. This will also necessitate helping him to understand his sinful thinking behind the actions.
F. Nouthetic Counseling is always Biblical counseling: In II Timothy 3:16,17 we find the ultimate purpose of the Word of God in the life of every Christian. Not only is the Word of God given to make us wise unto salvation and to be the instrument God uses to bring this about (I Peter 2:23; Titus 3:5), but also He would use it to bring about sanctification in daily life.
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