F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)
What do you do at the Hope Counseling Center?
We offer Christian Counseling to individuals desirous for change. Our counseling addresses people facing most emotional and relational challenges from a Christian perspective. However, we do not counsel all of the possible emotional and relational challenges people might face. The emotional challenges we typically address would include: Depression, Anxiety, Grief, Trauma, Insecurity, Anger or other emotional struggles, which lack psychotic features. The relational challenges we typically address would include: Pre-marital, Marital, Parenting and Conflict Resolution. We do not counsel substance abuse cases requiring detox or counseling of minors younger than thirteen.
Do you prescribe medication?
No. Because we are a Church-based counseling center. We don’t process insurance or make advisement on or prescribe medication. However, we regularly work with individuals who are seeking other professionals when medication is desired along with counseling.
Are you licensed counselors?
No. We are not Licensed Counselors, Psychiatrists or Psychologists. We are a Church-based counseling center. While we respect experts and specialists in the counseling field, we think that the Church has a unique role in bringing the Hope of the Gospel, the wisdom of the Scriptures and the care of the local church to bear upon peoples problems and suffering. While we are not licensed, many of our counselors either have a Masters Degree in Biblical Counseling or are pursuing such a degree from an accredited Seminary. We do refer individuals to local licensed Professionals if needed.
What is your approach to counseling?
We are committed to providing a balanced and Biblical approach to counseling. By “biblical counseling” we mean that your counselor is a Christian with special training and experience in applying the truths of the Bible to life. We believe that the Bible speaks to all of life and to all of its problems, but sometimes it takes careful thought and prayerful wisdom to know how to make those connections. We believe that the Bible ultimately points us to a person and a relationship – Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. We believe that real change comes when people learn to see themselves and their problems in the context of a living, vital relationship with Christ. This does not mean that you must be a Christian to profit from our counseling, although we believe that deep and lasting change is brought about only by God himself. Our approach in counseling would be considered cognitive behavioral therapy with a strong emphasis on the influence of living in healthy, encouraging community. Our counsel is based upon the Scriptures and other Christian teaching.
Who qualifies for your services?
One must be an individual desirous for change older than sixteen years of age and not in need of detox for substance abuse. We offer counseling to both individuals NOT meaningfully connected to a local Church and individuals who ARE meaningfully connected to a local Church.
Are our meetings confidential?
Confidentiality for counseling at HOPE Counseling Center is defined by pastor-parishoner privilege because we are a local church and, therefore, our counselors operate as agents of the church (pastors/ministers), not agents of the state (licensed counselors). If your counseling subject requires professional representation in a court setting by a counselor, The HOPE Counseling Center is not the best fit for your needs.
Confidentiality is an important aspect of our counseling process. We will carefully guard the information you entrust to us. There are times, however, when it may be necessary for us to share certain information with others. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Where a counselor is uncertain as to how to address a particular counseling issue, he may seek advice from a pastor, supervisor, or another counselor.
2. Where a person refuses to renounce a particular sin, it may be necessary to seek the assistance of others in the church to encourage repentance and reconciliation (Proverbs 15:22, 24:11; Matthew 18:15-20; Gal. 6:1-2). In such cases, we will reveal only such information as is necessary for such purposes and only to those biblically required to be involved. Where a counselee is a member of another church, it may be necessary to contact the pastor of such church.
3. The counselor is required to inform local authorities when there is cause to suspect child or elderly abuse or neglect.
4. The counselor may inform others (i.e. family, friends, pastors, law enforcement, medical professionals) if he/she believe the counselee is at risk of harming themselves or is engaging in suicidal ideation.
5. Serious criminal activity committed by the counselee may also be reported to law enforcement authorities. Where the counselee indicates intention to commit a crime, such intention may be reported and disclosed to the proper authorities. In situations involving legal matters, the counselor may seek a confidential legal opinion or advice from an attorney when it is deemed appropriate and helpful.
6. Where a counselee threatens harm to another person, it may be necessary to intervene in order to prevent harm. In these cases the counselors or pastors may seek necessary help and make whatever reports or disclosures as they deem to be proper and necessary.
In the case of marriage or family counseling, there is limited confidentiality, meaning the confidentiality belongs to the relationship and not to the individual.
How do I make an appointment for counseling?
The first step is submitting a Request for Counseling. After submitting a request, typically you will hear from our Scheduler within 24 hours. The Scheduler will speak with you and make sure your needs and our services match. The Scheduler will ask you to complete necessary forms and bring them to our Church office. After we have received your forms, your counselor will contact you for your first appointment. Each counselor has different preferences on their session lengths. Most counselors prefer a 50-60 minute session length, however, some prefer 80-90 minute sessions. Your counselor will schedule your session for their preferred session length.
Can I Receive Professional Advice from my Counselor?
Although some HOPE Counselors work in professional fields outside the church, when serving as pastoral or lay counselors within the HOPE Counseling Center they do not provide the same kind of professional advice and services that they do when they are hired in their professional capacities. Therefore, counselees who have significant legal, financial, medical, or other technical questions should seek advice from independent professionals. HOPE counselors shall be available to cooperate with such advisors and help members to consider their advice in the light of relevant scriptural principles.
How long is a session and how many sessions will I need?
Each counselor has different preferences on their session lengths. Most counselors prefer a 50-60 minute session length, however, some prefer 80-90 minute sessions. Your counselor will schedule your session for their preferred session length. The frequency and the amount of sessions greatly depends upon the commitment of the counselee. The counselee's determination, focus, teachability and the commitment to working outside of the counseling room are all major factors.
What is the fee per session and how do I pay?
The HOPE Counseling Center operates on a donation basis as a ministry of North Wake Church. Therefore, we do ask counselees to give as they are able. We do not set a charge per session or request a fee. However, for comparison, the fair-market-value for counseling in the RDU area ranges from $75.00 to $125.00 per 50 minute session. These donations will help the HOPE Counseling Center remain available to as many people as possible. We trust that each person will give what they are able. Donations can be made easily through North Wake Church's website. A Sliding Scale is offered to individuals as an aid in determining a donation amount. We do take into consideration each personal situation and work with individuals desirous of counseling.
What is the cancellation policy?
We do require $35 in cash as a refundable deposit before your first session. This money will only be utilized in the event that you do not show up for any of your scheduled appointments OR do not provide a 24-hour notice of cancellation. A 24-hour notice is required on all cancellations. In the event that you miss an appointment and the cash is utilized, you will be required to submit a $55 refundable deposit before you can be seen again. This is intended to serve as accountability to you and provide some weight towards making a commitment to counseling.
WHAT type of training does my counselor have?
We are not Licensed Counselors, Psychiatrists or Psychologists. We are a Church-based counseling center. Therefore, Each counselor varies in their level of formal training. Some counselors have Master's level training from an accredited seminary in Biblical Counseling. Other counselors have received significant lay training through North Wake Church or are pursuing their degree in Biblical Counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Regardless, each counselor has received training from North Wake Church, applied, been interviewed, approved by our church Elders and receives oversight in their counseling.
What are my responsibilities as a counselee?
When counseling begins the counselee is expected to:
- Bring a pen and some type of journal/notepad to take notes/thoughts/insights.
- Bring a Bible (if you have one).
WHAT ARE THE HOPE COUNSELING CENTER'S OPERATING HOURS?
As a ministry of North Wake Church, The HOPE Counseling Center utilizes the Church's facilities for counseling appointments. Therefore, counseling appointments are typically scheduled Monday-Friday between 9-5 as they reflect the normal operating hours of the church. However, some counseling takes place after hours in order to provide accessible counseling to individuals who cannot arrange to meet within normal business hours. HOPE is a volunteer counseling ministry; therefore all of the counselors volunteer their time to counsel at times they are available. A counselors' availability fluctuates greatly and the number of cases a counselor can take depends upon the availability of their free time and their generosity with that time.
What should I expect When receiving counseling from HOPE?
- Expect a Listening Counselor: Proverbs 18:13 says, "If one gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame." Therefore, in all of your sessions, but particularly the first several, the counselor will work hard to listen and understand your situation. The counselor is the least informed person in the room regarding your situation.
- Expect to Look at Scripture: Isaiah 9:6 says, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." We don't place confidence in a human counselor, a counseling center, or a program. We place our hope in a Savior, the Christ, the Wonderful Counselor. Ultimately, all faithful Christian counseling points to the person and work of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the source of our counseling will be Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 declares, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
- Expect Work: Your counselor will provide homework for you to complete prior to your next session. Counseling is not a passive activity. Purposeful work, outside of weekly appointments with your counselor is typically needed to find lasting freedom from any specific challenge.
- Expect to Pray: 2 Chronicles 16: 12 says, "his disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians." Asa is chided for not seeking the Lord in prayer, but instead seeking the physicians for healing. This is not saying we should not seek advice from physicians. Rather, Asa, it seems, viewed the Lord as irrelevant or unable to impact his illness. Prayerlessness, in a way, communicates, "I am enough." Therefore, expect to go to the Lord and pray during your sessions (Col. 1:9-11).
- Expect to Meet Regularly: Each counselor has different preferences on their session lengths. Most counselors prefer a 50-60 minute session length, however, some prefer 80-90 minute sessions. Your counselor will schedule your session for their preferred session length.