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Your Biblical Counselor©

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FAQs About
Biblical
Counselling

Questions

What is Biblical Counselling?

What is a Biblical Counsellor?

Who is Biblical Counsellor Ian Ridpath?

Are Biblical Counsellors Trained?

Are There Fees For Biblical Counselling?

What's Involved In A Counselling Session?

What Are Your Next Steps?

Are There Biblical Counselling Resources Available?

What Is Biblical Counselling?

Biblical Counselling is the process where the Bible, God’s Word, is related individually to a person or persons who are struggling under the weight of personal sin and/or the difficulties with suffering, so that he or she might genuinely change in the inner person to be pleasing to God.

The Bible, given by God, is sufficient for life in that, when properly interpreted, it reveals to the believer all the data necessary for one to understand his need for Christ, how he can please the Lord, and how to live in a God-honoring way regardless of the circumstances whether comfortable or oppressive.

The Bible is also the authoritative source with which all truth claims—including claims made by science and history—must be evaluated.

As a result, Biblical Counsellors reject all counseling theories that use presuppositions, principles, and/or methodologies that are inconsistent with the proper interpretation of the Biblical text. Genuine heart change is dependent on the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Biblical Counselling practice includes the importance of prayer, dependence on God, a thorough knowledge of the Word of God, and an understanding of ministering to people.

Biblical Counselling is the personal ministry of God’s people to others under the oversight of God’s church, dependent upon the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Biblical Counselling seeks to reorient disordered desires, affections, behaviors, thinking and worship towards a God-designed anthropology in an effort to restore people to a right fellowship with God and others.

This is accomplished by speaking the truth in love and applying Scripture to the need of the moment, by comforting the sufferer and calling sinners to repentance thus working to make them mature as they abide in Jesus Christ.

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What Is A Biblical Counsellor?

A Biblical Counsellor is first and foremost a Christian who believes that any horizontal (in the world) situation in life, has a vertical (spiritual) component that drives the human heart. The human heart that is talked about in Biblical Counselling is not the blood-pumping organ in our chest, but is the center of our being that drives our emotions, wills and behaviours.

God knows that our desires, met or unmet, cause our emotions to be stirrred, that eventually drive our outward behaviours. What is inside the heart eventualy comes out for the world to see.

Jeremiah in chapter 17, verses 9 and 10a says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind..." (NIV)

A Biblical Counsellor therefore, relies on the Lord to search the heart. Where there are blockages due to life's situations, he will seek the Lord to direct the focus on root causes.

A Biblical Counsellor is one who seeks Biblical answers and solutions to situations where the heart is not in a right relationship with Christ.

A Biblical Counsellor is an imperfect person who is on their own Spiritiual journey of understanding and application of God's Word in their own lives.

A Biblical Counsellor is trained through recognized Biblical counselling associations in the areas of Christian theology and practice using established Biblical counselling techniques.

A Biblical Counsellor is NOT a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist or medical practitioner (unless so licensed) but is trained to counsel in the area of caring for a soul based on the Bible.

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Who Is Biblical Counselor Ian Ridpath?

Ian Ridpath is a Level-2 ABC (Association of Biblical Counselors) trained Biblical Counsellor who is passionate to see God's children be restored to the wholeness that God created them to be. He counsels from the Bible as the sole source of truth and uses supporting materials authored by himself and other Biblical counsellors and organizations.

He is an active member of ABC and adheres to their beliefs and philosophy of Biblical Counselling. That is, that the Bible is the most reliable place to find real help. His theology is based on sound reformation doctrine in terms of salvation, sanctification and glorification. Ian is committed to seeing real growth and change through the Holy Spirit, in his counselees.

He is listed on the Find a Counsellor Directory of the Canadian Biblical Couselling Coalition and the ABC Network Directory of the Association of Biblical Counselors.

Ian is married and he and his wife have four adult children and twelve grandchildren. He and his wife are both active in their local church's Biblical counselling ministry. Ian is an elder in the church and active in men's ministry, prayer ministry and other church activities.

image of Ian Ridpath

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Are Biblical Counsellors Trained?

Yes, Biblical Counsellors are trained. The training is done by several recognized organizations such as the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC) and usually takes upwards of two years of theological study, written exams and a practicum of at least 100 hours of observing and observed counseling.

Association of Biblical Counselors

Many churches that have embraced Biblical counselling as a ministry, use groups like ABC to train up lay people in their congregations to perfom Biblical counselling for their members.

There are several other training organizations in Canada, the US and in other countries and there are also several umbrella associations such as the Canadian Biblical Counselling Coalition (CBCC), the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and others.

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Are There Fees For Biblical Counselling?

Yes, there are fees for my Biblical counselling. Please enquire using the online Contact Form. A session is a minuimum of one hour but could run into a maximum of 90 minutes depending on the content of the session.

Payment can simply be made using e-transfer. The e-transfer email address will be provided upon completion and acceptance of a simple contract. Fees are not tax deductable and no receipt will be issued.

Sometimes your local church may cover part or all the fees since Biblical counselling in many churches is considered an important ministry for their members. Please check with your local church leaders.

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What's Involved In A Counselling Session?

Biblical counselling is a calling from the Lord. Whenever human interactions are involved, there must be room for spiritual values such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithulness, gladness, self control and added to these, grace. The Bible is clear that for believers these constitute the 'Fruit of the Spirit'. The main objective to all Biblical counselling is discipleship and a drawing closer to Jesus.

There are no set number of Biblical counselling sessions and in general, between 6 to 8, one-hour sessions cover most issues from taking histories to delving into roots.

I often encourage one or more follow up sessions in a month or two after the initial ones. God can work instantly, but He often wants time to allow the Biblical counselling ministry to become fully evident in a person's life. Much depends on the participation of any counselee to complete homework assignments and be open to heart-led discussions about issues.

Please note that Ian, himself, will counsel men only and his wife, also a trained Biblical counselor, will counsel women only. In the case of couples, they both will counsel them together as needed.

It is recommended that the counselee begin journaling life events, Scriptures that speak to them and insights they may have into heart issues and root causes.

Counselling sessions, whether on-line or live, usually include:

  • Opening prayers
  • Scripture readings
  • Discussion of Scripture readings
  • Going over previous homework assignments
  • Talking about the previous weekly life
  • Delving into the pertinent topical discussions
  • Discussing any other relevant documents
  • Giving homework assignments
  • Arranging for the next session

Areas of particular counselling expertise by Ian include:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Conflict
  • Fear
  • Identity in Christ
  • Christian Manhood
  • Stress

Overall Counselling Topics include:

  • Addictions
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Bitterness
  • Burnout
  • Communication
  • Conflict
  • Depression
  • Faith
  • Fear
  • Forgiveness
  • Friendships
  • Gospel
  • Grief
  • Health
  • Honesty
  • Identity in Christ
  • Idolatry
  • Intimacy
  • Jesus
  • Love
  • Manhood
  • Money
  • Prayer
  • Relationships
  • Repentance
  • Sanctification
  • Self-Control
  • Self-Esteem
  • Sin
  • Spiritual Life
  • Stewardship
  • Stress
  • Substance Abuse
  • Suffering
  • The Bible
  • Trusting God
  • Wisdom
  • Worship
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What Are Your Next Steps?

If you are interested in recieving Biblical counselling, please fill out the online Contact Form and tell me a bit about yourself. I will be in contact with you and depending upon your location, we can start counselling face-to-face or online using GOOGLE CHAT.

Once you are accepted for Biblical counselling at YBC, you will be sent the password to get the Counselling Contract and Personal Data Inventory Forms (PDIF) that are on the Resources Page of this website. Please fill these out, scan, and return by e-mail to the e-mail address that I will give you.

Also, please be assured that once counselling begins, all correspondance and files are strictly confidential. You may request a summary report after each session.

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Are There Biblical Counselling Resources Available?

Yes. I have included many resources that I use in my Biblical counselling and they are available on my Resources Page. Some are available to the public and some to my counselees only. The public resources are general in nature and answer questions about Biblical counselling. The ones for my counselees are focussed on their counselling experience and documents that are designed for them.

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Thank you for considering Biblical Counselling with me.