About Counseling

What is clinical counseling?

Clinical counseling is a process of change that takes place in a therapeutic relationship between the client and a licensed professional clinician.  The purpose of the counseling process is to equip the client to look honestly at the disharmony in their life and relationships and work through the process to create an overall sense of health and well-being in all areas of life.

The length of time a client is in counseling varies depending on the nature of the client’s issue, the goals the client sets to achieve a satisfactory outcome, and the motivation of the client in accomplishing the goals.

The hope is that through the process of clinical counseling the client will be able to replace depression with joy, disagreements with respect and harmony, anxiety with peace, conflict with awareness, anger with understanding, confusion with insight, feelings of insignificance with confidence and assurance, and feelings of helplessness with hope for a promising and more fulfilling future.

Is counseling right for me?

People seek counseling for many different reasons.  It takes courage to confront the issues that currently hinder you from living life to its fullest and there is no shame in seeking help.  Life is a journey and change is an integral part of that journey, however, taking the first steps toward a more meaningful and productive life is often intimidating and overwhelming.  It can be helpful to have the support of a professional clinician, who will listen with empathy and provide an objective, nonjudgmental perspective as you learn to view people and circumstances from a new point of view.

Whether you find yourself in the midst of a life crisis, in need of support dealing with the pain of grief and loss, working through issues that have wounded you in childhood, in need of coping strategies to deal with anxiety and depression, facing major life transitions, having difficulty managing your emotions, desiring harmony and deeper intimacy in your relationships with others, or if you can’t quite identify that unsettling feeling you’re experiencing, then you might find it helpful to seek the services of a professional clinician.  Counseling is right for anyone seeking to make peace with their past, experience joy in the present, and discover hope for the future.

How can I get the most out of counseling?

You will experience the greatest satisfaction from your counseling experience if you commit to being an active participant in the counseling process.  Counseling is not a quick fix but a process that can lead to personal growth and more harmonious relationships.  The success of your counseling experience depends, in large part, on your readiness to honestly explore the issues in your life and your willingness to put insight into action that facilitates healthy patterns of living and relating.

How do I choose a clinician that’s right for me?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a clinician.  Do you prefer working with a male or female clinician?  Will you use behavioral/mental health insurance or will counseling be an out-of-pocket, private pay expense?  Does the clinician have office hours that are convenient for you?  Is the location of the counseling practice conveniently accessible to you?

Talk to friends, family, and others who may be able to refer you to a clinician.  Ask the clinician about their training and licensure, their experience working with clients that have your specific counseling need(s), and their counseling philosophy.

It is important to find a clinician you feel comfortable working with as you move through the counseling process.  You will want to feel safe talking with your clinician about issues that are deeply personal, so finding a clinician who is a good fit is essential.  If, after meeting with the clinician, you don’t think a good fit has been made, let them know.  The clinician will be able to give you a referral to colleagues better suited to meet your counseling needs.

What are some of the benefits I will experience from my counseling experience?

Counseling has many benefits if you are willing to work through the process.  Through your counseling experience you have the opportunity to:

  • Discover new ways to relieve anxiety and stress
  • Develop skills to improve your relationships
  • Learn to identify and manage anger, depression, and other unhealthy emotions
  • Develop problem-solving skills
  • Improve communication skills
  • Identify and change negative patterns of thought and behavior
  • Attain a better understanding of God’s plan and purpose for your life
  • Heal the pain and hurt of the past
  • Learn to set goals and develop strategies for achieving those goals
  • Learning self-acceptance and embracing who God created you to be

Do you provide Christian counseling?

Clinicians at Spirit of Peace Clinical Counseling are a team of dedicated Christian professionals, who acknowledge the Bible as the ultimate source of all truth (2 Timothy 3:16-17), who believe the Bible to be the final authority (2 Peter 1:3), and who profess that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, the hope of all humanity (John 14:6).   They combine biblical principles with their clinical training to help people restore hope, peace, and balance in their lives.

Can I see a Clinician at Spirit of Peace Clinical Counseling if I’m not a Christian?

Our belief is that each person has innate value irrespective of their religious views and we provide the highest quality of professional clinical care to all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, or beliefs. Our team of clinicians believe the spiritual side of a person’s life is essential to overall health and well-being, therefore, as much as the client is willing the clinician will consider the spiritual as well as the  mental, physical, emotional, and relational aspects of the client as they work together to achieve balance in all areas of the client’s life.

What should I bring to my first counseling session?

The first session is a diagnostic interview, a time for you and the clinician to begin building rapport and it will be structured a bit differently than subsequent counseling sessions.  Bring the following information with you to your first counseling session:

  • Forms your clinician has requested that you complete (these may have been downloaded from the website or mailed, emailed, or faxed to you by the clinician)
  • Insurance card, if you will be using insurance

Is counseling confidential?

Generally speaking, the law protects the confidentiality of communication between the client and clinician.  In the event client information is requested by a third party, this information is not disclosed without prior written permission from the client.  The following are exceptions to the confidentiality rule as required by law:

  • The clinician is required to report suspected child abuse, dependent adult abuse, or elder abuse to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • The clinician is required to notify the intended victim and/or the police if a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person.
  • The clinician will make every effort to work with the client to ensure the client’s safety if he or she intends personal harm.  If the client does not cooperate or is unwilling to take responsibility for his/her safety, additional measures may be required.