Whether you use the term "nouthetic" or "biblical" counseling, Jay Adams was the man who got the whole project started with his first book on counseling, Competent to Counsel: Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling. The word nouthetic in the title comes from a Greek word meaning to confront or admonish. When Adams applied this language to counseling he argued that it included three elements:
- confrontation happening in a face-to-face manner;
- confrontation done out of loving concern for the counselee; and
- confrontation done with the purpose of bringing about change that God desires.