An Open Letter to Heath Lambert and Leadership of ACBC

An honest critique of nouthetic counseling. We can do better. Please consider what Marie has to say.


victimsToday Dr. Heath Lambert, Executive Director of ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors – formerly “NANC”, National Association of Nouthetic Counselors) sent out a Statement regarding their upcoming annual conference, which purports to support and minister to abuse victims. He seemed especially concerned about how their counsel will come across, in the wake of disgraced pastor Paige Patterson’s recent remarks regarding abused wives and the subsequent scandal (one of many involving the evangelical/Reformed Church and their cover-ups on abuse).

Having been both on the inside as a nouthetic counselor and subsequently re-victimized by an ACBC-affiliated group (one of whom graduated from the same seminary as Lambert), I wrote the following open letter to share some of my years of experience in counseling and talking to survivors of spiritual abuse:

“Dear Dr. Lambert, and Board of ACBC,

It is with great sadness and concern that I respond to your…

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One response to “An Open Letter to Heath Lambert and Leadership of ACBC

  1. Yes, this was really concerning to me also. A couple of things that I think are really wonderful for healing and prevention are peer support groups, addicts helping addicts, survivors helping survivors, parents helping parents. We are the experts on our own story. Counseling tends to set up a dynamic where we are perceived as spiritually flawed or mentally ill, when in fact what we usually are is simply the isolated casualties of someone else’s behavior. Often what victims need is healing and love, not necessarily “treatment.”

    Also, if you can get a healthy church setting going on, where a bunch of women are empowered to be sisters to our sisters, nurturing them as we were designed to do, it makes a huge impact. In oppressive systems women learn to compete with one another for scraps of power, so that sisterly support and encouragement is absent. Toxic secrets and abuse thrive in an environment where there isolation, and an inability to speak the truth to one another.

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