What is pastoral counseling?
Pastoral counseling is professional counseling in a spiritual context. It involves a psychological process and faith-involved journey designed to enable change and bring about mental, emotional and spiritual healing and growth. It is a path to develop more effective ways of resolving or coping with conflict and stress. Personal integration occurs as you move to become the kind of person, couple or family you wish to become.
What problems are brought to the pastoral counselor?
Problems may include struggles with anxiety, depression, doubt, anxiety due to peer pressure and school, marriage and family conflicts, stress related to job or vocation, parenting dilemmas, growing up or aging, a sense of failure or lack of fulfillment, concerns about chemical or alcohol use and the effects on family life, issues related to divorce, remarriage and step-family life, emotional problems associated with physical illness or accident, coping with loss or grief.
What happens during a counseling session?
Counseling sessions provide an opportunity to explore your concerns, relationships or other issues. With increased insight and understanding you can clarify and be more able to move toward your chosen goals. This process will be facilitated by the caring, concern, training and experience of your counselor.
Does counseling really help?
The benefit of counseling has been expressed repeatedly by individuals, couples and families who have come to the Ecumenical Center for help. Many express appreciation for the integration of their spirituality in the process of counseling, indicating that this aspect of counseling at the Ecumenical Center is unique.
How are issues of faith discussed?
If you choose to introduce faith issues, your counselor will respond in a thoughtful and informed way. If you choose not to address faith issues, your counselor will respect your wishes.
What can I expect of the pastoral counselor?
You may be confident that in the counseling relationship, your counselor's first concern will be you. You may expect your counselor to be professionally competent - a trustworthy person with whom you can share your private concerns.
What would the pastoral counselor expect of me?
Your desire for change must be strong enough for you to make the commitment of time, energy and personal resources. In order for significant change to occur, it will be important to meet regularly as agreed upon.
Is counseling confidential?
Yes. Information or material about you cannot be released without your written approval. Your counselor will explain and discuss any such release with you before asking you to sign a release document. (In emergencies - such as when your life or someone else’s life is in danger - confidentiality may be temporarily set aside.)
How are ECRH counselors credentialed?
Ecumenical Center counselors are state-licensed mental health providers or graduate level therapists working under supervision. They may also be credentialed by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the Association for Play Therapy or other professional mental health associations. They have extensive training and experience in pastoral counseling and psychotherapy.
How long will counseling take?
The number of sessions varies. Some problems can be dealt with in a few sessions while others may take longer. Long standing difficulties or major life transitions rarely yield to simplistic solutions. In the initial session or two, your pastoral counselor will gather information about you and the concerns you bring. Following this the counselor will share findings with you and make recommendations about how to proceed.
Will the Center talk with my clergy, physician or other counselors I've seen?
It is often helpful to contact persons with whom you have worked previously. Should you and your counselor decide it would be beneficial, you would sign a release prior to any contact.
What about fees, insurance or managed care?
The Ecumenical Center has established fees for all services. Counseling fees may be covered by insurance. Your counselor will cooperate in processing insurance claims. You, however, remain responsible for all fees. Fee subsidies (based on family income and dependents) may be discussed.
How can I contact The Ecumenical Center?
By calling 210.616.0885 for the Medical Center office or by calling 210.226.7593 for the 281 & McCullough office. Outside of regular office hours, a confidential voice mail system is employed and every effort is made to respond to your call in a timely manner. For emergencies a counselor is on call and can be paged.
Where would I be seen for counseling?
Our primary location is at 8310 Ewing Halsell Dr. in the Texas Medical Center area. Our 281 & McCullough office is at 403 Avenue E. We also have limited space in the Rio Grande Valley location.