Step 3: Identify / Prioritize Problems

One of the goals of Biblical counseling is to bring God’s truth to bear on the problems people are facing. If this objective is to be fulfilled, problems must be accurately identified, prioritized, and dealt with in order of severity.

Throughout time, people have suffered from any number of spiritual, mental, emotional, social, and/or bodily problems. All of the problems from which people in the world suffer can ultimately be traced to the Fall that resulted from the sins of our first parents; more particularly, it can be traced to the curse of God which was poured out upon all creation in association with their fall into sin. Although all of the problems with which people suffer are ultimately the result of the Fall, not all of the problems with which Christians wrestle are directly the result of personal sin.

While the model of counseling that IRBC has developed takes into account the fact that a large number of common counseling problems are rooted in unaltered personal sinful behaviors (in the Spiritual Domain) and severe organic problems, such as organ damage and related dysfunctions (in the Bodily Domain), we believe that counselors are wise to evaluate five other areas as well. Thus we speak of the 7 Dominant Domains of Origin for Human Problems™



1) Provide Perspective

2) Collect Data

3) Identify / Prioritize Problems

4) Direct or Confront the Counselee

5) Establish Directives / Secure Commitment

6) Provide Hope

7) Assign and Evaluate Homework