Can you do Christian counseling with non-Christians? The answer to that question is actually quite controversial - and I remember being trained in seminary and being told an emphatic NO! In fact - a common phrase I heard was "All counseling is pre-counseling until a person is converted." In other words - we shouldn't waste our time trying to help people until they are born again first.
The reason why some of my professors said this was because they rightly believed that only a Christian has the power to truly change. In that regard - they were dead right. Only believers have the holy spirit - and thus - only believers can truly change. With that said - I think they were dead wrong in their refusal to counsel non-Christians. The reason I say that is because I believe counseling is one of the biggest evangelistic tools in our culture today!!!! Yes - unbelievers don't yet have the Holy Spirit - but why not show them how the fruit of the Spirit can change their life, relationships and mood - and and then appeal to them put their faith in Jesus!!!! Why not show them how putting their faith in Jesus would unleash and amazing transformative power in their life and relationships? Seems like a good idea to me! In fact - I believe life-on-life counseling is the new door-to-door evangelism of the 21st century. Check the video below for more details on counseling non-Christians.