Alienation as the source of human suffering. Human illnesses, including psychological disorders, originate from alienation existing in four principal forms. Alienation from the body, from others, from the self or from God is the core problem underlying personal distress.
Treating people as whole persons. Being human means we have physical, psychological, relational and spiritual components that interact together. Counseling is most effective when it addresses all of these dimensions of personhood.
Authority of scripture. The Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments, is the final authority and principal source of moral and spiritual guidance, and may be referenced in counseling according to client interest, need and belief.
Value of psychology and the behavioral sciences. Much has been gained from over one hundred years of psychological research and therapy practice. Each of us has graduate level training in psychology, and in our work we incorporate behavioral science research findings and counseling methods.
Governance by professional ethics. Our professional conduct is governed by the Codes of Ethics of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). In situations in which either of these codes conflict with scriptural principles, we defer to scripture as a higher authority.
Transformational influence of prayer. Prayer is a powerful and vital force affecting personal well being. Prayer invites divine influence that leads to profound changes in the body, will and emotions. According to client comfort and interest, prayer may be suggested as an activity for counseling sessions or homework.
Therapy as a partnership between counselor and client. Rather than being a one-way relationship, we view therapy as a partnership between counselor and client. Effectiveness in therapy is dependent upon both parties participating in the decision-making process, fulfilling their responsibilities and taking action.
Community engagement as a healing help. Even when practiced at its best, therapy alone will not address the full range of client needs. The value of the counseling experience will be enhanced, however, when supplemented by community resources such as self-help groups, churches, pastors, physicians and other health care providers.
The importance of client autonomy and self-determination. Among the most important ethical principles we observe are client autonomy and self-determination. Client preferences are a primary consideration in setting counseling goals, and informed consent is sought for the methods and strategies used.