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Common Questions

What is the difference between biblical counseling and Christian counseling?

Biblical counseling is done by a Christian who believes in the authority and sufficiency of Scripture and the truth of 2 Peter 1:3 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. While Christian counseling is also done by a Christian, the counselor often integrates secular ideas and values. The danger in doing this comes when those ideas and values come first or are in direct contradiction to the Word of God but are still followed. 

Oak City Biblical Counseling firmly believes that the Bible clearly addresses all areas of faith and life through both general and specific principles. In Colossians 3:16a, the Bible states, "Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another." In that spirit, it is the goal of our biblical counselors to apply the wisdom and teaching of Scripture so as to admonish counselees in accordance with Biblical truth. 

We are confident that the Bible has all the information necessary for life and godliness. There are no problems between persons that the Bible fails to address either in general or specific principles. While our counselors do not pretend to know all there is to know about Biblical teaching and its application to life, they do know much and will do their utmost to help you. Nevertheless, our counselors will be humble and honest when they need to seek additional help on your behalf and/or need to refer you elsewhere to get the best biblical care.

What can I expect from OCBC?

You can expect discretion and care. We understand that trust is an important factor in counseling, and we will do our best to exercise wisdom in respecting your privacy (Prov. 11:13; 12:23). We also take to heart the command in Galatians 6 that we are to "restore in a spirit of gentleness." Whether we engage in encouragement, correction, or admonishment, we will aim to care about you as a fellow image-bearer of God.

You can also expect our counsel to point you toward Christ-likeness. While many counseling methodologies point toward self-actualization, self-realization, self esteem, and self affirmation, we believe that our identities are founded and fully realized in Jesus Christ. Biblical counseling, as opposed to other counseling methodologies, seeks to bring the inner man, or "heart", into alignment with and submission to Christ. Our counsel will point to our need to "put off the old self...to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness" (Eph. 4:21-24; Col. 3:5-11).

What will OCBC expect from me?

The first thing is honesty. The Bible explicitly shows us that sin grows in the dark. The more we hide, the more shame we experience. 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." James 5:16 says, "Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed." God provides the ultimate healing in Christ when we confess our sins and trust in Him. Likewise, we can experience daily healing as we honestly confess and address our continual sin patterns with the Gospel.

We will assign weekly homework. Change cannot happen simply in the world of the theoretical, but will need to be practiced diligently. James 1:22 challenges us to not just hear the Word, but to apply it our our lives and actively live it out. Homework assignments will aim to put the counsel you receive to practice in your daily living.

We would love for you to commit to spending some time in counseling. Habits develop over time, and developing new, better habits will also take some time. We generally expect for counseling to take between two and four months. 

How long does counseling typically take?

It all really depends on what it is that's bringing you into counseling. Generally speaking, we'd like to conclude counseling within 6 - 12 sessions; after all, our aim is to help you get to a place where our services are no longer needed and you can manage your circumstances well and in a way that honors God. However, sometimes we will need more or less time than this depending on the factors involved.

Counseling sessions will generally last for around an hour. 

How much does counseling cost?

Oak City Biblical Counseling operates on a need-based sliding scale; we ask that those we counsel invest in their own counseling by giving to the center according to their own financial ability. We do not wish to turn anyone away for financial reasons and will do our best to work within your budget. Contact us at info@ocbcbartow.org for more information.

You may be asked to purchase books or other resources as part of your homework assignments between sessions.  The cost is usually no more than $25 per person. 

We accept cash, check, Venmo, or Apple Pay.

Is there a cancellation policy?

We understand that circumstances may arise which prevent you from keeping your appointment. Because our time is limited, we appreciate being notified at least 24 hours before your appointment. You can reach us by phone at 863-732-8899.

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