In our fast passed and ever changing society, personal experiences built up over time and often make life difficult to deal with over time. Everyone has their own prospective on what is important and how they will tackle various problems they face from day to day. It is the responses to our harsh environment and experiences that can often manifest into feelings such as: anxiety, resentment and possibly guilt (Crabb, 1977). It is those that have negative experiences in life that seek out the help of counselors, to better understand and change the root of those problems. Each Christian counselor must carefully research and develop a counseling model which best aligns with their education level and spiritual beliefs. The following will be a summary of the models of counseling developed by Dr. Crabb and Dr. Hawkins, addressing the strengths and weaknesses of each model. Through this theory critique a Christian counselor should be able to identify and develop a strong foundation for their counseling theory and better serve their clients while maintaining a strong spiritual foundation.
For centuries Christian counseling and secular psychology has been viewed as models which should be maintained separately due to the fundamental concepts which each is based on. Christian counseling traditionally focuses on guidance and truth from the Scripture, being the only truth (Crabb, 1977). While secular counselors base their techniques on research and often built on “unobservable or hypothetical constructs”, this can lead to a fusion of data and interpretation (Crabb, 1977). Dr. Crabb’s model of counseling addressed in his book Effective Biblical Counseling addresses the need for the attempt to merge Christian and secular counseling in order to effectively get the best of both worlds by using the principles of psychology with the Scriptural revelation of God to better serve our clients spiritual and mental needs. Throughout Dr. Crabb’s work he focuses on the church as the foundation of counseling and Christian counselors should not only provide strong biblical foundation in counseling sessions but also spent time educating themselves on the secular techniques. His integration model of “Spoiling the Egypians” discuses using both Christian and secular techniques hand and hand with biblical counseling as long as they are filtered for context and don’t compromise Christian presuppositions (Crabb, 1977).
Dr. Crabb’s counseling theory is outlined in a three level program, of which to start in the local church. The first level addresses educating the church with basic ideology and procedures to take for effective biblical counseling. His main goal of this level is to better prepare Christians with the basic tools needed to help those that are experiencing emotional and spiritual distress.
The next level of his counseling theory is the use of exhortation or encouragement within the counseling session. Crabb defines exhortation as the...