Counselling is a carefully arranged opportunity for people to talk through issues that are affecting their life, with someone specifically trained to help.
ACC defines Christian counselling as activities which “… seek to help people towards constructive change and growth in any or every aspect of their lives, through a caring relationship and within agreed relational boundaries, carried out by a counsellor who has a Christian worldview, values and assumptions.”
Counsellors can be found working in various settings such as GP surgeries, hospitals, educational settings, voluntary organisations, churches and in private practice.
Counsellors use many different approaches or models in their practice, depending on their training and what they find to be effective. Some but not all Christian counsellors may use specific Christian models or theory to underpin their practice and this may be something you wish to enquire about during your first visit.
Christian counsellors are those who hold a personal Christian worldview. However, they do not make any assumptions or have any requirements about your faith, belief or values, and they will not impose their faith on you.
The Association of Christian Counsellors (ACC) is a registered UK charity. Founded in 1992, it is the leading organisation representing Christian counsellors, and pastoral carers, in the UK. ACC aims to be a catalyst for excellence through the standardisation of good practice, accreditation, recognition of training, its journal accord and its conferences.
ACC does not seek to make all Christian counsellors think the same or counsel in the same way. It is expected, however, that ACC members hold a recognised Christian worldview that is consistent with the ACC Statement of Faith and is generally expressed in the words of the Creed. ACC counsellors are from a wide range of Christian traditions.
ACC counsellors are also required to work under and follow ACC’s guidance on Ethics and Practice and related policies and statements that are issued (e.g. January 2014 Statement), from time to time, by the Board of Trustees.
ACC acknowledges that ethical dilemmas can arise at times or that ethical principles may clash in a particular situation. These may need to be held in tension until a suitable way forward can be found. As every situation is different it is not possible to set out a specific hierarchy of norms. However, ACC believes that applying broader Christian ethical norms such as love, grace, holiness and forgiveness may help in resolving dilemmas.
Occasionally, things may go wrong and are not easily resolved. In such cases, ACC has a Complaints Procedure