This is a subjective instrument meant to cultivate (a) self-awareness and (b) quality conversations between those in the biblical counseling movement. The assumption behind this tool is that different biblical counselors will be at different places on each spectrum… and that it is okay, even good, for this variance to exist.
You will notice that there is no numeric scale for each spectrum. That is because this is not a quantitative research tool. The variables being assessed do not lend themselves to being numerically verified. This tool is meant to cultivate conversations rather than data.
Instructions: It is recommended that you download and print this Biblical Counseling Convictions Profile and then complete the follow five steps.
- Place your initials where your current views or practice reside on each spectrum.
- If you have counseled for more than 5 years and you have shifted on a spectrum, use a highlighter to cover the space on the spectrum that represents where you started and where you are now.
- Seeing how you have changed in your theory and practice of counseling should both cultivate greater self-awareness and humility towards to those who do not currently hold your views.
- If you are familiar with the history of the biblical counseling movement:
- Place the initials JA for where you believe Jay Adams’ views existed on each spectrum.
- Place the initials DP for where you believe David Powlison’s views existed on each spectrum.
- Place brackets “[ ]” around the segment of each spectrum that represent where you believe the legitimate practice of biblical counseling can reside.
- The area outside these brackets represents where you believe a counselor’s theory and practice represent something other than faithful biblical counseling.
- On the back of the page, reflect on the question, “What spectrum(s) would you add to this list?”
- Reflect on the question, “What ‘poles’ on each end of a spectrum would you reword?”
Spectrum vs. Poles: Because there are “poles” on this instrument, some people may that to mean the options are mutually exclusively. That is not the intent. The emphasis of this instrument is on “spectrum,” meaning each option exists on a continuum. Where you place your initials on each spectrum, does not mean you are “against” the pole you are further from. Instead, it means you emphasize the pole you are closer to more.
Recommended Next Step: If you are part of a counseling practice or ministry team, send this tool to other members of your team. If you are not, send this instrument to people you know who practice biblical counseling. Ask them to print this tool and complete the same five steps.
- Compare your chart with theirs and notice where differences exist.
- Invite questions about your views, your placement of historic figures in the biblical counseling movement, and where you placed the brackets.
- Seek to appreciate and learn from the differences that exist between you and your friend, determining the strengths and weaknesses that emerge from where each of you are on each spectrum.
These conversations create the real value of this tool. I pray you have many conversations that stretch you in a variety of ways as you explore similarities and differences with others who practice biblical counseling.