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A COMPARISON PAPER: CRABBS EFFECTIVE BIBLICAL COUNSELING Dr. Larry Crabb believes that God has ordained the local church to be His primary instrument to tend to his people's aches and pains. He lays out a counseling plan for the local church to use in his book, Effective Biblical Counseling: A Model for Helping Caring Christians Become Capable Counselors (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1977). In this standard textbook for Christian counselors, he reminds us that people will never be happy if [they are] concerned primarily with becoming happy (Crabb, page 22). The real goal of life and thus the path of happiness is glorifying God and serving others. SUMMARY: The authors theory/methodology 1. Primary goal (What is the desired outcome?) Dr. Crabb shares that the biblical goal of counseling goals should be to help people move over to the path of righteousness (Crabb, 28); and help them move up in their maturity to be like Christ (Crabb, 29). Moving over deals with any immediate problems; and moving up is about developing character (attitudes, beliefs, purposes) that conforms to Christ (Crabb, 31). People have one basic personal need (that is personal worth) that requires two kinds of input for its satisfaction: significance (purpose, importance, adequacy, etc.) and security (love) (Crabb, 63). The counselors goal should be to help the person find their significance by helping them understand who they are in Christ (Crabb, 71). A person also needs assistance finding security, which is the demand that they be unconditionally loved, accepted and cared for, now and forever [by God] (Crabb, 72). The counselor should seek to help meet these needs through biblical teaching and counseling techniques. 2. Development of problems and personal need (How do the issues come about?) As shared above, a person has two types of needs (or longings): primary (significance and security) and secondary (acquired needs or those things that have been the means of meeting

our primary needs) (Crabb, 112). According to Dr. Crabb, problems arise when needs are not met. The key element to help in counseling is to help the person learn what obstacle interferes with reaching the individual's chosen goal (Crabb, 125). There are three categories of obstacles: Unreachable Goals (which results in guilt or feelings of self-derogation), External Circumstances (resulting in resentment), and Fear of Failure (causing anxiety) (Crabb, 125). Dr. Crabb also relies heavily on Abraham Maslow's classical need hierarchy to explain how problems develop (Crabb, 81). The hierarchy of a persons needs is as follows: 1. Physical - elements necessary to maintain life. 2. Security - reasonable confidence that physical needs will be met 3. Love (Crabb's "security") 4. Purpose (Crabb's "significance") 5. Self-actualization (development into a full, creative and self-expressing person). The first four stages of human need to be met in order for a person to reach the last. Since only Christ provides eternal security and significance, Dr. Crabb believes only Christians have the resources to reach the fifth stage and be truly well-adjusted (Crabb, 83). Dr. Crabb teaches that significance and security are the basic human longings that can only be met by God. Without God the highest longings which can be met are Power and Pleasure. He warns that there are inevitable long-term consequences of a life without God: Violence and Immorality (Crabb, 74). 3. Biblical integration (How much of the Bible is used in this methodology?) Dr. Crabb strongly warns that anti-biblical and anti-God psychology must be rejected. After he lists several approaches to counseling: separate but equal (where psychology and biblical teaching are equivalent); tossed salad (where a little each of psychology and biblical

teaching is used without evaluation); nothing buttery (where psychology is ignored or irrelevant); he gives his approach entitled Spoiling the Egyptians (Crabb, 49). This is where problems should be viewed using biblical foundations, and integrating only those components of psychology that are consistent with the Bible. This approach includes three levels of counseling: 1. Encouragement - deals with Biblical Feelings one-another-ing performed by the church body; 2. Exhortation - deals with Biblical Behavior - teaching of biblical principles by trained church leaders and couples; and 3. Enlightenment - deals with Biblical Thinking - specialized ministry by trained counselors who involved deeper exploration into stubborn problems (Crabb, 17, 163). 4. Formula for change (the authors stated steps to the desired outcome) Dr. Crabb gives several stages of counseling that are centered on teaching biblical thought patterns, behaviors and feelings. He does not give suggestions as to how long each of these stages would take, or what form they should take. Dr. Crabbs Eight Stages of Biblical Counseling are: 1. Identify problem feelings (Crabb, 146). 2. Identify goal-oriented (problem) behavior (Crabb, 148). 3. Identify problem thinking (Crabb, 150). 4. TEACH (Crabb, 157). 5. Change the assumptions / clarify biblical thinking (Crabb, 152). 6. Secure Commitment to the change. 7. Plan the Difference / Carry out biblical behavior (Crabb, 154).

8. Identify Spirit-controlled biblical feelings (Crabb, 157). 5. Balance of theology and spirituality (Does the author lean more to theology or

spirituality?) Dr. Crabb teaches that problems should be viewed using biblical foundations, and integrating only those components of psychology that are consistent with the Bible. His plan in this book does not address counseling non-Christians who cannot secure security and significance outside of Christ. While he does deal with some helpful theology when dealing with biblical feelings (Crabb, 105), overall the book is more about spirituality (developing your spiritual maturity with God in Christ). He would agree with the sentiment: if we lose our soul to save our mind, we are still lost! 6. Human personality (development and structure) In his fifth chapter, Personality Structure - Taking Apart the Watch (Crabb, 89), Dr. Crabb lays out what he believes the structure of human personality. He believes that humans are made up of: The Conscious Mind, which is the evaluation of what happens to us The Unconscious Mind which are basic assumptions which a person firmly and emotionally hold about how to meet their needs of significant and security (Crabb, 93). Basic Direction (Heart) which is our choice to live for self or to live for God Will which is the choice of how one behaves Feelings, our emotions (even painful ones), which should be tempered with compassion (Crabb, 105). The development of human action are explained in The Needs Cycle, which includes: Step One: Personal Need (Secondary or Primary)

Step Two: Motivations Step Three: Basic Assumptions Step Four: Goal-Oriented Behavior Step Five: *Meeting the Goal Step Six: Partial or Temporary Satisfaction Step Seven: Vague Sense of Emptiness Step Eight / One: Back to Step One (Crabb, 122). *Note: Obstacles can prevent people from reaching goals (Crabb, 130). Note also: There is a branch off here as well. Once people meet the goals, they can branch off and reach the pitiable but honest stage of utter despair (Crabb, 123). Dr. Crabb is clear that nothing apart from relationship with Christ will ever satisfy (Crabb, 122). The most basic problem of every human being is his separation from God, a gulf made necessary by the fact that God is holy and we are not. 7. Counselors function & role (What does counselor/counselee relationships look like?) The function of Christian professionals will be twofold: (1) train gifted Christians in the local church to counsel; and (2) offer backup resources where needed (Crabb, 17). This means the counselor must know Christ and the Bible. They must counsel out of their own spiritual life and provide training for others. Dr. Crabb suggests that the goal of all true counseling is: to free people to better worship and serve God (Crabb, 24). This is what it means to counsel people by helping them to be mature Christians (Crabb, 31). The role of the counselor is to correct wrong patterns of living developed from wrong philosophies of life (see Proverbs 23:7). This means that teaching is the counselors greatest tool (Crabb, 71). This means that the counselor strives for enlightenment and deals with biblical

thinking. They are the professionally trained counselors that can deal with deep persistent problems (Crabb, 163). 8. Major contribution to counseling (How does this theory impact counseling?) Dr. Crabbs major contribution to counseling is his Spoiling the Egyptians approach: using only the best of psychology that fits into a biblical model. This stems from his convictions, which may be an even greater influence in counseling. They are: Conviction #1: God - Life revolves around knowing the Triune God and relating with each Person in the community of God (Crabb, 9). Conviction #2: We have a problem: our rebellion from turning to God. Conviction #3: The Bible is true and sufficient. Conviction #4: Psychology is not sufficient. It must come under the authority of Scripture. Conviction #5: Our deepest problems are most effectively addressed within the Christian community. 9. Limitations of this counseling theory (What are the practical boundaries of this

methodology?) Dr. Crabbs counseling theory has limitations that are self-imposing. He limits counselings benefits to Christians only. He truly believes that the goal of all true counseling is to free people to better worship and serve God (Crabb, 24). This means that the goal is to help people to be mature Christians (Crabb, 31). How do you help people in counseling who do not want to be mature Christians? The answer: you cannot. Dr. Crabb does believe that mental health is best defined in terms of a person's genuine interest in expressing himself for the good of

others (Crabb, 82). If a person cannot look beyond themselves then biblical counseling would not be for them. This is probably a good limitation. 10. etc.) Dr. Crabbs counseling theory is both integrational and biblical. We should integrate psychological tools that do not conflict with the Scriptures, while constantly using the Bible as our guide. Dr. Crabb does not believe that the nouthetic (confrontational) approach as popularized by Jay Adams is sufficient. He believes that counseling should include a paramuthetic (supportive) approach - much like the Holy Spirit is called the Paraklete (Helper or Counselor). This involves love and support, not just confrontation (Crabb, 144). PRACTICAL APPLICATION 1. Give practical application to the authors material as relates to the utility for the Classification (nouthetic, biblical, Christian, Christian psychology, integrational,

overall discipline of counseling and the specific potential influence upon your life and ministry. Dr. Larry Crabbs Effective Biblical Counseling: A Model for Helping Caring Christians Become Capable Counselors is an excellent work. He truly believes that God has ordained the local church to be his primary instrument in healing people through counseling. There was great encouragement to implement certain ministries in the ministry and my life: (1) Consistently preach and teach on the one-anothers in the Bible so that the whole church body practices encouragement. Also: be an example in it. (2) Make sure that the church leaders and certain couples are trained in counseling. Possibly create curriculum for exhortation on Biblical Behaviors. Offer back-up resources for these specifically trained leaders.

(3) Make myself more available as a trained counselor. (4) See that everyone, but primarily men, understand their significance (purpose, importance, adequacy, etc.) in Christ. (5) See that everyone, but primarily women, understand the security and love they find in Christ. Possibly use Dr. Emerson Eggerich's Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs as material. (6) Teach people to identifying problem feelings, behaviors and thinking by helping them to think biblical. (7) Dont just accept any teaching from psychology. Psychology falls under general revelation, and so it is not sufficient. It must come under the authority of Scripture. 2. Give a brief example of how this authors book might impact a counseling moment. In counseling, the presenting problem may be a symptom of a primary need not being met. A Christian counselors job is to help people discover how their primary needs are met in Christ. The world, the flesh (their own innate resistance to seeking after God), and the devil sadly often contribute to teach people false basic assumptions about how personal needs are met. They will state that a false assumption is the problem while really they are seeking security or significance. Dr. Crabb gives as an example common false assumptions (Crabb, 118): I will be significant if: I have money I excel I never make a mistake I am a steady worker My kids turn out well


I am granted recognition by my peer group I am included in important circles.

I will be secure if: I have a loving husband I am never criticized Everyone accepts me No one frowns or hollers or in some way rejects me.

These false assumptions make people to latch on to ungodly goals. Biblical teaching in counseling would help people see that external circumstances or other people will not bring security nor significance; only Christ does!