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Ep. 351 Why Most Biblical Counselors Should Not Take on Abuse Cases

Ep. 351 Why Most Biblical Counselors Should Not Take On Abuse Cases

Shows Main Idea – Abuse cases continue to rise in the world and evangelical church. Christians are not impervious to the disastrous effects of abuse or the mishandling of abuse cases. Every week our ministry hears a story or receives a request from the abused, the accused, pastors, and biblical counselors. The noise is loud, and the division between Christians continues to grow. In this episode, I will speak to some of these complicating issues.

Show Notes

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I have produced many articles, podcasts, and videos about our problems with abuse. You may search our site using the words abuse, victim, and counseling. If you would like to interact with our team, please create your free username and password and ask your questions on our forums.

  1. There is legitimate abuse.
    1. The more accurate term is sin
  2. There are other sins that are not abuse.
    1. Some folks have an elasticized definition for abuse.
  3. Some individuals counsel “abuse” situations well.
    1. These people have received basic, intermediate, and advanced training to engage in complex counseling cases.
    2. They are seasoned individuals who have been doing biblical counseling for years.
  4. Some Christians should not be counseling these situations because they do not have the character, capacity, competence, courage, or compassion to do so. See this graphic.
    1. Ep. 225 Why Some Certified Biblical Counselors Harm People
    2. What to Do When the Biblical Counseling Is Harsh
    3. Why I’m No Longer Part of IABC
  5. Some abused folks respond humbly to what happened to them.
  6. Some abused folks are toxic about their abuse and the care they have received.
  7. The need is for competent people to come alongside a reported abuse situation to discern what is true and false, protect the hurting, separate the hurtful, create a plan to bring change to the problem, and see it through to the right end.
    1. Every Christian cannot do this, and most certified biblical counselors do not have the ability either.
    2. It takes the wisdom of Solomon, the competence of Christ, the determination of Paul, the sovereign oversight of God, and a vessel who has the training and experience to navigate these waters.

What the World Does

I spoke with Jenn Chen, who became a clinical psychologist, asking her what it took to gain her license. Here is what she said.

  1. Getting accepted into graduate school. (GRE scores, past grades, shown interest in psychology, letters of recommendation)
  2. Academic classes, dissertation.
    1. 1st year: intensive supervision on 1 or 2 cases (case conceptualization, review of video, sometimes transcribing whole sessions)
    2. 2-5th years: 16-20 hours a week at a practicum, which includes weekly supervision, typically 1 hour of individual and 1 to 1 1/2 hours of group supervision.
    3. 6th year: a year of internship, which is 40 hours a week, including 2 hours individual, 2 hours group supervision)
  3. If you have completed all of your classes, dissertation, and internship, you are now considered a clinical psychologist.
  4. If you want to become licensed, you have to pass the EPPP, the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, and complete another 2,000 hours under a licensed psychologist, including a minimum number of supervision hours. You also have to pass the ethics test for the state/providence in which you are licensed.
  5. You have to complete 36 hours of continuing education every two years to renew your license (at least in CA).
  6. In the practicum, internship, and postdoctoral hours, you are working under someone’s professional license, and thus what you do falls under their ethical and legal responsibility. Under a competent supervisor, you are immersed in their worldview, learning to think (theory) and act (interventions) similarly. The same goes for a professor and teaching assistant or writing a dissertation under a dissertation chair and committee. You are given written evaluations or grades based on how well you can think and work within their framework.

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