Saturday, November 30, 2013

Two Biblical Counseling Video Observation Courses Compared

As part of my longterm goal of developing skill as a Biblical Counselor, I have been taking training from a local Biblical counseling ministry affiliated with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC, formerly National Association of Nouthetic Counselors).

Part of the training requirement is to observe 10 hours of counseling.  You can watch live counseling or watch videos that have been approved by ACBC.  In September, I attended a class in which we watched observation DVDs produced by Faith Bible Church.   The DVDs were excellent overall and I was surprised to learn afterwards that the recordings used amateur actors, not real counselees. That made me wonder how realistic the counseling sessions were to "real life".  Is it like evangelism?  When I was learning to share the gospel, I watched some video reenactments of evangelistic encounters.  When I actually began evangelizing, I learned that the "real life" evangelism was not nearly as "cut and dried" as the reenacted videos made it look.  (On the other hand, Ray Comfort's videos use real evangelism and are very true to life.)

Then I learned that the Biblical Counseling Center has produced videos using real counselees (with counselee permission).  They were kind enough to let me review theirs as well.  I wanted to know which set of videos would be best when our church holds its own observation classes.

There were definitely differences between the two sets of recordings.  Here is a chart comparing some of them.

Produced by
Faith Bible Church
Biblical Counseling Center
Biblical Counseling Observation
Portraits of Biblical Counseling
Number of episodes
Number of counselors
5 (4 male, 1 female)
4 (3 male, 1 female)
Number of counselees
8 (4 male, 4 female)
9 (1 male, 8 female)

Online viewing
$127 + shipping
$50 per viewer

Marriage problems
Medical problems
Identity In Christ
Guilt (etc)
Wrap up
Post-session analysis interview with counselor

Didactic (a lot more teaching and less listening)

More intense
More relaxed

More varied

Deciding between the two is proving to be really hard for me. To me, the counseling approach of the Faith Bible Church DVDs seemed slightly more biblical. I also liked how they seemed a bit more aggressive in working with counselee problems. But I really like the realism of BCC's videos.  Perhaps after I actually get to do some real counseling myself, I will have a better feel for which one to recommend. (Does anyone out there have a problem you'd like some free Biblical counseling for? :))

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