4601 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 1B
Raleigh, NC
Tel (919) 781-1800 -- Fax (919) 781-1899

Our Professional Staff
Peter B. van Dyck, MD
Tammi B. van Dyck, RN,C
Maria L. Wood, MEd, LPC
Jennifer H. Ennis, RN,C
Amy H. Elder, MA, LPC
Bobby V. Elder, MA, LPCA
James G. Robinson, MSN, NP

Our Office
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Counseling Resources
Ethical principles
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Christian counseling
APA statement on religion

Dr. van Dyck's Presentations
Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
Treatment of PTSD
What Would Jesus Do?
Role of Psychotropic Meds in



Christian Counseling FAQs

Do Christians need counseling?
The counseling process was established by God. Everyone needs and benefits from counsel. Jesus was described as a Counselor, the Holy Spirit is our Counselor. Yet we still need the counsel of individuals such as pastors or friends. The issue is not whether we need counseling, but what sort of counsel we need and from whom.

Should Christians seek counseling from a professional counselor?
In most situations, Christians receive the counsel they need directly from the Lord or from ministry leaders or other individuals within their church. There are times however, when professional counsel is needed and helpful. This professional counsel should never claim authority over a person's life or attempt to replace God, one's spouse, one's pastor, or one's church.

Does it matter if the counselor is Christian?
Yes. Good counsel is Godly counsel.

What makes Christian counseling different from other types of counseling?
Christian counseling differs from other types of counseling in a number of important ways:
Submission to God. We recognize His presence and authority in your life and in the counseling situation.
The Bible. We recognize the Bible as the source of truth for our counseling work and for your situation (2 Tim 16-17).
The power and presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 16:7-11, 13-15; 1 Cor 2:9-12) is our teacher, our helper, convicting us, leading us.
Prayer. We are in prayer to God (Matt 21:22; Eph 3:13-21; Phil 4:6; 1 Thess 5:17; Rev 5:8) to lead us in every area of our work and can pray with you in your counseling situation if you desire this. ยท
Healing. Healing comes in different ways in different situations, it can be through a natural process which has been established by God, or at times it can occur supernaturally. We believe that there is a degree of healing and a type of healing which God provides to the believer that is superior to what is available in the world.
Change. Every Christian is called to a process of sanctification (1 Thess 5: 23) and transformation (Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 3:18) which lead us to maturity (James 1:4). This process is a central focus of our counseling.

What about other types of counseling that seem to be spiritual or beneficial?
We are warned in Scripture that many individuals will offer teaching, wisdom, counseling, or healing that seems powerful or beneficial or possessing a spiritual component but is not from God or according to His power and His principles. We are warned to be discerning about this (Heb 5:12-14; 1 John 4:1-4) and to stay away from this type of counsel (Deut 13:1-11; 2 Tim 3:1-7; 2 Pet 1-22).

Isn't it wrong to focus on hurts or mistakes in the past, shouldn't I just forget about what's happened and go on with my life?
We are instructed to "put away childish things" (1 Cor 13:11) and "press on" (Phil 3:12-14) toward the future and the "upward call of God." However, when unresolved problems or hurts from the past have not been dealt with, they cannot be put away. The Lord is concerned with the heart, not merely what is on the outside (2 Sam 16:7). The "heart knows its own bitterness" (Prov 14:10) meaning that issues in the heart are real and have an effect, even if a person tries to hide or ignore the problem. A curse was pronounced upon the Israelites because the priests and the prophets healed the brokenness of the people superficially (Jer 6:13-14; 8:10-11). The Lord has established a process for "wound healing" which can be readily understood for physical wounds. The same process works for wounds of the heart as well. In dealing with wounds from the past, we must always keep in mind the ultimate purpose for this process, which is to be able to put these things away and press on toward the things to which God has called us.

Will my counseling sessions be confidential?
Yes. Protecting your privacy is important to us (Prov 11:12-13). We will only discuss your situation or release information with individuals that you authorize, and we need your written permission to do so. However we do desire to involve appropriate members of your family, especially your spouse if you are married, in the counseling process. And we will coordinate with your pastor or physician if you authorize this.

What are your beliefs about marriage and divorce?
We believe in the importance of the permanence of marriage, and although the Bible states that divorce is permissible in two unusual circumstances (adultery as described in Matthew 5:31, and abandonment of a Christian by a non-Christian as described in I Corinthians 7:15), we will do all we can to preserve marriage.

What are your beliefs about sexuality?
We believe that the capacity for a sexual relationship was provided by God to promote intimacy between a man and a woman in a marriage relationship. It is not an animal act to gratify the lustful urges or merely a duty that one person does to satisfy the needs of his partner. Sexual expression before marriage, outside of marriage, and between members of the same sex is contrary to what God intended. Rather, the sexual relationship is intended to be a deep expression of love bringing intimacy and union between a husband and wife in the context of a marriage covenant.

What is are your beliefs about abortion, euthanasia, and suicide?
We believe that each human life is created by God and begins in the womb. We believe that there is a purpose for each person's life an that he should live the full life that God has given us. No person should make the decision to prematurely end the life of another or his own life. No matter what the circumstance, no matter how much pain and suffering a person is enduring, we believe that God can be with us in that situation and provide the comfort we need, and provide a way through that situation. God desires that each one of us come to a place of reconciliation with him and healing of past hurts and mistakes. Individuals who have had an abortion or attempted suicide often benefit from counseling to help them come to terms with what has happened and move on.