Get your questions answered now…

What is Pastoral Counseling and how is it different from other types of counseling?

Secular counselors are trained not to bring their values into the therapy room. They are to be absolutely neutral with everyone in every situation. Many time situational ethics prevail and whatever a person chooses is OK as long as they “feel” better.

People coming from a faith-based perspective know deep down in their soul that choosing what makes them “feel” better is only a temporary fix. They innately understand that to gain a clear conscience and to heal inside they must deal with the difficult choices in front of them. Scriptural principles written down centuries ago continue to be relevant in our lives today.

  • How does Pastoral Counseling help?Pastoral Counseling can help in a number of situations. Sometimes all an individual might need is a safe person and a safe place. A Proverb indicates that “the plans of a person are like deep water, but one of understanding draws it out.

    Many people do certain things or desire to do certain things or feel certain things and are not sure why. They might have continually made bad choices and are not sure why. A person of understanding can help draw out the reason and facilitate other options.

    Our Pastoral Counselors can help process the situations, the feelings, the thoughts and the goals associated with a decision to bring clarity and closure.

  • Can I get better by myself without counseling?This is an appropriate question because not everyone needs therapy for each and every situation. Many people can and do get better without any outside intervention. Others have tried dealing with situations on their own, but continue to make bad choices and to experience pain.

    If you continue to use the same strategies in life and relationships and these are not working for you, counseling might be helpful.

  • Do you recommend psychiatrists?Yes, we do so unashamedly. We do not believe this is indicative of a lack of faith. The research indicates that Pastoral Counseling in combination with medication provides the best results. We work with a number of psychiatrists and we are familiar with others who do a fine job of assessing and prescribing medications.
  • Can I get better by just taking my medication?Some people only take medication and live full and fruitful lives. Their situation is more biological and organic in nature.
  • How long does it generally take to go through the therapy I need?This is such a difficult question to answer, yet it is the one asked most frequently. A quick answer would be 5 to 12 visits. This is an average for clients we have seen in the past five years.

    You may need fewer sessions or more sessions depending upon what motivated you to seek help initially. Of one thing you can be sure – we are not going to continue if we don’t believe therapy is helpful any longer.

  • What do I have to do to get started?If you have decided you would like to try Pastoral Counseling download the intake form and fill out all six pages. e-Mail that form along with a copy of your insurance card (both sides) to me at sean@drseanalexander.com.

    Schedule an appointment with your chosen Pastoral Counselor or ask who else might be available at a mutually convenient time.

  • Can Pastoral Counselors at Christian Life Training Center address trauma such as abuse, neglect, and abandonment?

    Yes. Many of our Pastoral Counselors are trained specifically in trauma resolution and we have found the tools/ techniques used to be extremely profitable for individuals who have experienced trauma.

  • Do you accept insurance?Yes. The accepting of insurance is done through your out-of-networkyour out-of-network plan in your insurance plan. Please check with your insurance company and verify that Pastoral Counseling is accepted. If not, you will be responsible for the balance due after each session.
  • Do I have to be a Christian to come?No. Many Christians are very intentional about seeking out a Pastoral Counselor who is of a similar value system. However, not everyone who comes to our office is Christian but desire a Pastoral Counselor of Judeo-Christian values.

    Some are referred by their insurance company or EAP for counseling. Be assured that our staff is very professional and will respect your belief and value system. We will meet you where you are in your beliefs and concerns.

  • What should I do to prepare for Pastoral Counseling?You should try and think clearly about what your desired goal is about.

    Ask yourself the question, “I will feel that counseling is successful if _______ is accomplished.”

    This applies to individual, marital, and family counseling. You many find it helpful to write these thoughts out as you are clarifying to yourself what you want accomplished.

  • What if my spouse doesn’t want to come to marital counseling?It is not unusual for a spouse to be unhappy in a marriage and the other spouse to not feel comfortable enough to go to counseling. This is an unfortunate reality. However, one spouse can make a difference because we know if one part of the family improves, change is inevitable.
  • Do you have therapists that are bilingual? Which languages?Not at this time.
  • How long does Pastoral Counseling generally take– is the average still 5-12 sessions?Some short term- therapy issues may be resolved in as few as 5-8 sessions. However, there are other struggles that are more complex and will require 20 or more sessions. You and your Pastoral Counselor will review what seems to make the most sense for you. Clients and counselor or therapist seem to come to the same conclusion at similar times when closure is near.