FAQ

FAQ
1. Why do people decide to seek counseling?
2. Why do they choose pastoral counseling?
3. How long does a client typically meet with a Pastoral Counselor?
4. Do clients have to believe a certain way or have a certain religion to talk to a Pastoral Counselor?
5. Do Pastoral Counselors work only with individuals, or do they also work with families?
6. How do Pastoral Counselors differ from other mental health professionals?
7. Are fees of Pastoral Counselors comparable to those charged by other health care professionals?
8. Are Pastoral Counselors covered by health insurance plans?
9. What is Pastoral Counseling?
(This link will take you to the website of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors for a full explanation of Pastoral Counseling.)

 
Why do people decide to seek counseling?
People decide to come to counseling because they want to get the most out of life. Many people choose to come because they want to improve the quality of their marriage or their family relationships. Some are struggling with depression or anxiety that diminishes their quality of life. Others have suffered a serious disappointment or the death of a loved one. The transition stages of life prompt others to invest their energies into discovering new sources of meaning and purpose. Others are motivated to discern how God is acting in their lives and how they might appropriately respond. People come because life is important!

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Why do they choose pastoral counseling?
Most people seek out pastoral counselors because they want someone to respect their individual values and to take a holistic view of life that integrates body, mind and spirit. Pastoral Counselors are certified mental health professionals who have in-depth religious and/or theological training and thus can address psychological and spiritual issues. Pastoral counseling is not a disorder-focused discipline and people do not have to be sick, weak or dysfunctional to receive help. The focus is on growth and fulfillment as we seek to become the unique individuals we were created to become.
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How long does a client typically meet with a Pastoral Counselor?
Sessions are typically 50 minutes in length. Most persons come for counseling once a week, although this can vary due to factors such as finances, schedule constraints, and emotional needs. While some people come a few times and others come for several years, we have found that an average number of sessions is about 25 over a period of 6 months to a year.
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Do clients have to believe a certain way or have a certain religion to talk to a Pastoral Counselor?
No. Pastoral Counselors talk to people of any and all faiths, as well as to people who do not claim a faith stance. They are ready and able to discuss religions and spiritual issues, but the Pastoral Counselor will never “push” religion with a person.
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Do Pastoral Counselors work only with individuals, or do they also work with families?
Pastoral Counselors are trained mental health professionals and, as such, work with individuals, families, and groups. The nature of the therapy is agreed upon by the person seeking counseling and the Pastoral Counselor.
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How do Pastoral Counselors differ from other mental health professionals?
There are three key distinctions between Pastoral Counselors and other mental health professionals.
First, Pastoral Counselors are trained in two disciplines, psychology/counseling and theology.
Second, in some cases, Pastoral Counselors have more education. For example, many pastoral counselors at the Fellow level in AAPC have completed a three-year Master of Divinity program, plus an additional degree or equivalent of four years of graduate academic work. In comparison, licensed clinical social workers have completed a two-year Master of Social Work degree beyond undergraduate coursework.
Third, Pastoral Counselors are not medical doctors and may not prescribe medications. In situations where a pastoral counselor believes medication can be helpful, a person will be referred to a psychiatrist, a medical doctor who specializes in treating mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. In most cases, therapy will continue with the Pastoral Counselor, and the psychiatrist will supervise the person’s medication.
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Are fees of Pastoral Counselors comparable to those charged by other health care professionals?
In general, the fees of Pastoral Counselors are comparable to those of other mental health care professionals. It is the prevailing ethic of Pastoral Counseling that every effort is made to treat everyone, regardless of ability to pay.
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Are Pastoral Counselors covered by health insurance plans?
Yes, in most cases; however, the coverage depends upon the conditions of your particular health care plan. The Center will file for health care insurance coverage, but you will need to check with your carrier in advance to verify your coverage. Please contact us for more specifics at 252-355-2801.
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