The Problem with Nouthetic (or “Biblical”) Counseling

Mental health awareness has been on the rise for some years now. And such was exacerbated even more due to the Covid pandemic. With that, counseling, or therapy, has been a growing field of expertise to serve those with life challenges and larger mental health issues.

To begin, what’s the difference between counseling and therapy?

Counseling is about working on issues in more of the short-term, whereas therapy focuses on the long-term addressing of deeper issues (and mental health disorders) that may be affecting the client.

Still, regardless of whether we call it counseling or therapy, there is another term that needs to have light shed upon it: nouthetic counseling. This is sometimes referred to as biblical counseling. As the title of this post suggests, I believe there is a problem with this kind of counseling.

Continue reading

The Voice of the Heart

Chip Dodd is a trained counselor who founded The Center for Professional Excellence and Sage Hill: A Social Impact Organization (the latter essentially a counseling center). As his website bio states, Dodd helps professionals in all walks of life gain recovery from addiction, depression, anxiety and other behavioral disorders.

Out of this focus, Chip Dodd has given us his most known work, The Voice of the Heart: A Call to Full Living. In it he explores what he (and others) identifies as the eight core feelings: hurt, lonely, sad, anger, fear, shame, guilt, and glad. As he states in the preface:

“These eight core feelings are the beginning of the expression of all human emotional experience. From these core feelings we can expand the expression to name conditions of the heart such as awe, grief, envy, anxiousness, depression, revenge, delight, and boredom.” (XI)

Continue reading