…..Counseling is not a science; it’s an art. In biblical terms, that means it is a function of divine wisdom. It does not conflict with true science, but reaches beyond science into venues about which the latter has no competence to speak…..
… three major factors stand out:
1. Nouthetic counseling is the wise application of biblical truth to persons whose lives dishonor God through the cessation (or slowing) of the progress of sanctification.
2. Nouthetic counseling functions so as to reinstitute the normal process of Christian sanctification in the counselee.
3. Nouthetic counseling seeks, in addition, to capitalize upon overcoming hindrances to spiritual growth by using the opportunity to promote greater ongoing growth….
Read the entire article here.
I love your initial observation re: the art of counseling… And the logical, unavoidable, conclusion that Grace must be involved. It makes sense to me that the best form of counseling would directly tackle spiritual concerns in the way that many secular options simply can’t.