Overview of the Hampton Park Counseling Philosophy
Biblical Counseling speaks of relating the truth of Scripture individually and practically to a person’s circumstances. Three distinctions drive our commitment to this process. Instruction, motivation, and support. The Bible, when properly interpreted, contains authority to instruct the counselor in his or her methodology and the counselee in his or her participation.
The Bible provides all the help necessary for understanding our need for Christ, how to please Christ, and how to live in God-honoring ways regardless of circumstances. Many counseling theories use presuppositions, principles, and methodologies not aligned with our interpretation of the biblical text. These theories contain aspects of truth and prove helpful, but we hold to the belief that the Gospel contains the only chance for true change.
The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit works to convince and motivate counselees toward change. The Holy Spirit has the power to enlighten our understanding of the Bible, to convince us of our failure to live up to biblical standards, and the ability to motivate us toward changed behavior. Change involves more than new behaviors, so we trust the Holy Spirit to sanctify the Christian, to help an individual enter into the “lifelong process in which Christians strive by divine grace to grow in Christlikeness in their entire person.”1 For this reason, genuine heart change must depend on the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The Church Community
The church community functions in a supporting role in our theory of counseling. Christian community provides a place of accountability needed to grow. The “New Testament Greek word parakaleo includes the ideas of admonishment and warning on one hand, and giving comfort on the other.”2 When the church functions properly it loves, encourages, and provides a safe place for counselees to seek change. Our view of counseling practice includes the discipline of prayer, dependence on God, a growing knowledge of the Word of God, and the support of a community.
We also believe God has blessed us with common grace, or extra-biblical observation, knowledge, and technique which can aid in the counseling process when rightly submitted to the authority of the Word of God. Understanding biblical authority, HPBC counselors will utilize clinical techniques which do not contradict the truth of scripture and which will assist our membership in experiencing the wholeness offered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
1 Lambert, Heath, A Theology of Biblical Counseling: The Doctrinal Foundations of Counseling Ministry (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2016), 290.
2 Hawkins, Dr. Ron, and Dr. Tim Clinton, The New Christian Counselor. (Eugene: Harvest, 2015) 45.