Nouthetic Counseling Essay

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Biblical Counseling: Nouthetic Counseling What is the basic idea behind Nouthetic Counseling? The Greek words, nouthesis and noutheteo, is where Adams gets the idea for calling his system Nouthetic Counseling. Adams (1970) says, "According to Paul, all Christians must teach and confront one another in a nouthetic fashion" (p. 41). People need to be confronted nouthetically. For some, the word "confrontation," is taken in a negative way. For Adams the idea of confrontation involves the authority of God’s Word, and not a shouting match or belligerency. There is an authoritative element in the term confrontation that rightly conveys the idea that biblical counseling has something of importance to say. Because he counsels on the basis of the Scriptures, the counselor’s stance is not that of a mere consultant, but rather that of a servant of God acting as a prophet, speaking forth the Word of God that applies to the need at hand. The idea is that the counselor uses the Bible to instruct and guide the counselee. The counselor is not to beat the counselee over the head with the Bible, but show the counselee the guidelines set by God for dealing with life’s problems. There are three sources of data or information that a nouthetic counselor can use. Adams lists these as the Scriptures, his and others counseling experience, and the dynamics of the counselors own heart. But he is quick to say, "The Scriptures are the primary and normative source from which the Christian counselor’s presuppositions and principles must be drawn; the other two sources will help him to flesh out these principles in the concrete terms of everyday life" (Adams, 1973, p. 21). The Scriptures are to be the guiding and controlling point of all counseling. Outside systems are not to be read into the Bible. Psychologists often go to the Bible to find what they already believe. "But the Bible is used not

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