Alienation as the source of human suffering. Human illnesses, including psychological disorders, originate from alienation existing in four principal forms. Alienation, whether from the body, from others, from the self or from God, is the core problem underlying personal distress.
Treating people as whole persons. The key components of personhood, that being the physical, psychological, relational and spiritual aspects, all interact together. Counseling is most effective when it addresses all of these dimensions.
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. Having earned a doctorate in psychology, I incorporate behavioral science research findings and counseling methods in my work.
Governance by professional ethics. My 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, I defer to scripture as a higher authority.
Transformational influence of prayer. Prayer is a powerful and vital force affecting personal wellbeing. Prayer invites divine intervention 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 either counseling sessions or for homework.
Therapy as a partnership between counselor and client. Rather than being a one-way relationship, I view therapy as a partnership between counselor and client. Effectiveness in therapy is dependent upon both parties participating in the decision-making process, fulfilling responsibilities and taking action.
External resources as healing helps. Even when practiced at its best, therapy alone will not address the full range of client needs. The value of the counseling experience may be enhanced when judiciously supplemented by community and online resources including, but not limited to self-help and online chat groups, informational web sites, apps, educational programs, treatment centers, churches, pastors, physicians and other health care providers. I frequently help clients identify and utilize such outside resources as adjuncts to counseling.
The importance of client autonomy and self-determination. Client autonomy and self-determination are among the most important ethical principles of professional psychology. Client preferences are a primary consideration in setting counseling goals, and informed consent is sought for the methods and strategies used.