About Safe Haven Counseling
- Safe Haven Counseling Associates is a para-church, nonprofit, pastoral, biblical counseling organization created to meet the need for Christ-centered counseling in Horry County, South Carolina.
- Safe Haven counselors operate under the designation of a religious nonprofit organization and therefore have the freedom to counsel from a Christian worldview and work closely with local churches.
- All counselors have at least a Master’s degree in biblical counseling or are certified by the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. In addition to the above educational training, counselors may be licensed therapists as well.
Core Values & Beliefs
We affirm that the Bible is God’s self-revelation in relation to His creatures, and, as such, truly explains people and situations. . . that Scripture is God’s revelation of who He is and how humanity, created by Him, relates to Him. Scripture explains human beings and their circumstances.
We affirm that the Bible, as the revelation of Jesus Christ’s redemptive activity, intends to specifically guide and inform counseling ministry. . . that Scripture, in describing Christ’s restorative actions, can and should undergird and direct counseling ministry.
We affirm that wise counseling requires ongoing practical theological labor in order to understand Scripture, people, and situations. We must continually develop our personal character, understanding of persons, pastoral skills, and institutional structures. . . that discerning counseling needs continual theological work in understanding Scripture, humanity and circumstances. Counselors need ongoing character improvement, discernment of human beings, deepening of shepherding methods and improvement of practical structures in the churches and para-church organizations in which they serve.
Regarding Christ’s effective, penetrating and comprehensive solutions for all people and problematic situations.
We affirm that human beings are created dependent on and responsible to God. . . that people are dependent on and accountable to God.
We affirm that the ideal for human functioning is faith working through love. Love for God and neighbor is the standard against which to specifically understand what is wrong with people. . . that the best way for all people to live is when they have faith in God and accept His love for them and learn to love others.
We affirm that evil, done by us and happening to us, is the fundamental and pervasive problem in living. Our own sin, in all its facets and dimensions, is primary and self-generating. The circumstances that happen to us provide both provocative context (“trials and temptations”) and just consequences (“reap what you sow”) for our moral response, but do not determine the quality of our moral response. . . that evil when we do it, or other people do evil to us, is sin. Evil as the result of natural circumstances is the result of a broken world. Human beings are accountable to God for their reactions to evil.
We affirm that Scripture defines and speaks to the entire scope of life’s problems for all people in all situations. . . that Scripture describes and answers the difficult issues faced by all human beings in all circumstances.
Regarding the solution to humanity’s problems.
We affirm that the Bible teaches, invites, warns, commands, sings, and tells the solution for what troubles humankind. In the good news of Jesus Christ, God acts personally. In word and deed, He redeems us from sin and misery through the various operations of His past, present, and future grace. God uses many means of grace, including the face-to-face conversations of wise counseling. . . that Scripture shows us how the Gospel is God working throughout history in undeserved mercy and grace towards humanity. One on one counseling is a means of God’s gracious work.
We affirm that God’s providential common grace brings many benefits to people, both as individual kindnesses and as social blessings: e.g., medical treatment, economic help, political justice, protection for the weak, educational opportunity. Wise counseling will participate in and encourage mercy ministries as part of the call to love. . . God provides grace to all of humanity through what are called ‘mercy ministries (health care, financial assistance, social justice, protection and education). Discerning counseling will include mercy ministries as a means to demonstrate God’s love.
Regarding how people change.
We affirm that the growth process for which counseling must aim is conversion followed by lifelong progressive sanctification within every circumstance of life. Our motives, thought processes, actions, words, emotions, attitudes, values—heart, soul, mind, and might— must increasingly resemble Jesus Christ in conscious and evident love for God and other people. . . that the goal for counseling is saved souls and ensuing discipleship through which motives, thoughts, feelings, speech, actions and way of seeing the world, reflect Christ Jesus’ love for The Father and humanity.
We affirm that the Bible explicitly teaches the fundamentals of counseling method by precept and example. Through speaking the truth in love, we act as instruments of God’s grace to others. . . that Scripture demonstrates the basics of counseling through its general principles and the human stories it contains.
Regarding the social context and scope of counseling.
We affirm that the Spirit and the Word create the church of Jesus Christ, and that the people of God should provide the personal, social, and institutional loci for speaking the truth in love. . . that the church is born through the work of the Spirit and the Word. Local churches are where His people speak the truth in love to one another and to the world.
We affirm that the aims, content, and means of counseling ministry are all part of public ministry, spiritual disciplines, and mercy ministry. All of these are aspects of Christ’s redemptive ministry. . . that the goals, the spoken truth of God and methods of a counseling ministry are carried out through a public ministry, through spiritual disciplines and through mercy ministries.
We affirm that the primary and fullest expression of counseling ministry occurs in local church communities where pastors effectively shepherd souls while equipping and overseeing diverse forms of every-member ministry. . . that the best model for counseling is through local church congregations where the pastor shepherds, trains and supervises members as they engage in ministry.
Regarding God’s providence and the interplay between His common grace and the intellectual-practical effects of sin.
We affirm that numerous disciplines and professions can contribute to an increase in our knowledge of people and how to help them. Scripture’s viewpoint enables believers to learn from unbelievers. . . that state licensed mental health professionals and professionally gathered data can give valuable information regarding human beings and ways to help them heal. Scripture’s truths allow believers to adjust secular attitudes and information into God-oriented counseling approaches that result in a salvation experience and whole person healing of body, mind, and soul.
We affirm that a commitment to secularity intrinsically distorts disciplines and professions. . . secular approaches to healing, if used alone, offer no salvation experience and distort the whole person healing experience of body, mind, and soul.
We affirm that personality theories are essentially false theologies, and psychotherapies are essentially false forms of the cure of souls. All need to be reinterpreted by a biblical worldview. . .that theories regarding personality development and psychotherapeutic approaches to healing need to be reinterpreted through Scripture’s worldview.
Regarding Good News for psychologized people in a psychologized society.
We affirm that mature, pre-suppositional, consistent, loving, and efficacious biblical counseling will be a powerful evangelistic and apologetic force in the modern world. . . that discerning, loving, faithfully sound, scripturally based counseling is a world-changing power in the contemporary world.
Our Purpose: To see individual lives and marriages heal and flourish in the here and now; to see souls saved to enjoy perfect love when Jesus Christ returns giving believers new resurrected bodies in which to live in a new heaven and new earth with Him.
Our Goals: To bring this knowledge and experience of Jesus Christ to the Horry County Recovery Community through Safe Haven Counseling Associates; to provide biblical counseling resources for the people local pastors and Christian professionals such as lawyers and other court officials, law enforcement agents, medical professionals, teachers, and first responders meet and minister to in the course of their jobs; to assist local pastors to create biblical counseling ministries in their local churches; to educate the people of Horry County regarding the differences between state licensed therapy and biblical counseling and the importance of the two working together ecumenically, practicing unity in the essentials, liberty in the non-essentials and grace in all else.
 Affirmations & Denials: A Proposed Definition of Biblical Counseling, by David Powlison, The Joirmal of Biblical Counseling, Volume 19, Number 1. Fall 2000, Pages 18-25.
- When there is personal responsibility for client struggles, counseling focuses on relinquishing the core beliefs, values and behavior patterns underlying those struggles.
- When there is no personal responsibility for client struggles, counseling focuses on understanding and countering the impact of suffering while establishing a strong social network for encouragement and support.
Statistics repeatedly prove that the longevity of change depends on the quality of relationships outside of the formal counseling session. Therefore Safe Haven places a strong emphasis on the benefits of counseling lived out in a healthy, local Christian church community that is:
- guided by Scripture
- the leading of the Holy Spirit into the life application of the Gospel
- undergirded by healing prayer.
- Safe Haven provides pastoral, biblical counseling to Horry County residents and local church members.
- Counselors facilitate various Anonymous groups.
- Formal counseling sessions address cases across both the emotional and relational spectrum.
- Christian Healing Prayer is offered as part of the counseling process.
- Psychological reassessment and medication adjustment are available pro-bono with a licensed psychologist.
Please be aware Safe Haven does not:
- Currently work with minors below the age of thirteen and will gladly refer clients to other providers.
Partner with Us
- First, you can contact SHCA by phone and/or read everything posted on this website to learn more about biblical counseling.
- Second, once you understand SHCA’s mission and methodology, spread the word among your professional contacts, your pastor and church family, and your extended family. Ask for printable information to hand out.
- Third, consider volunteering at SHCA. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few (Matthew 9:37).
- Fourth, consider becoming a lay counselor in your church or even a certified biblical counselor. SHCA is looking for local and remote biblical counselors.
- Fifth, donate to SHCA’s Kingdom work so that those in painful crisis and chaos can receive free biblical counseling and all the other practical help they so desperately need.
To be a life and soul saving, trusted, Christ-centered, biblical counseling ministry to the Horry County Recovery Community.
To provide Christ-centered biblical counseling to individuals, couples and small groups referred by local pastors and concerned, Christian professionals who come into contact with the Recovery Community; and provide information and advocacy for counselees regarding governmental and nonprofit organizations who aid the Recovery Community.
Safe Haven Counseling Associates was incorporated in South Carolina May 2019 and granted nonprofit status by the IRS in 2020. In 2021, we have moved from seeking to work primarily within local churches towards a para-church model in order to allow broader partnership expansion with local churches, Christian professionals and both governmental and nonprofit aid organizations..
This model enables Safe Haven to address a counseling field weakness — the limited scope of care available in one-on-one counseling sessions. Partnering with local churches, Christian professionals and both governmental and nonprofit aid organizations brings the strength of pastoral, biblical counseling — trained, experienced people committed to studying the complex problems of life — together with the strengths of the church and extended community — caring, involved people willing to “do life together” because of the grace available in the Gospel and the truth of Scripture — all around the unique needs of the Recovery Community.
Cheryl E. Dale, Executive Director