We believe that the complex problems we face in today’s world can only be rightly understood from a biblical perspective. God as our creator has given us His Word (the Bible) as our final authority for understanding ourselves and our problems. God promises to help and bless those who obey Him; therefore, the one who seeks for and follows God’s answers has great hope and wisdom to respond to the problems of life. Our desire is to help you respond to your trials and suffering by offering you practical help through the ministry of Biblical Counseling.
What is Biblical Counseling?
Biblical counseling is gospel-centered, Christ-exalting, compassionate burden-bearing through the sufficient Word of God within the authority and structure of the local church, empowered by the Holy Spirit and prayer.
Biblical counselors are committed to sharing the wisdom, truth, hope, comfort and encouragement of the Word of God to re-shape perspectives, clarify life’s purposes, teach biblical principles, and equip others to rightly respond to circumstances for God’s glorify.
Are your counselors licensed?
Our counseling is based on the conviction that God’s Word (the Bible) contains wisdom that is superior to any other source to help you deal with the practical, everyday circumstances of life. Therefore, our counselors are not licensed clinicians, psychotherapists or mental health professionals. As biblical counselors we do not offer advice based on psychological philosophies, even though some of our counselors may have been trained in those disciplines. If you believe that you would benefit from psychological counseling, psychotherapy, or from other mental health professionals, please consult with your current health-care provider for a referral.
Why Biblical Counseling?
Our counseling approach is based upon the belief that the Bible has fully provided the answers we need to respond to all of life’s problems. We believe God's Word is infallible and is therefor superior to any other source of wisdom for counseling. We desire to skillfully and practically apply biblical answers to the difficulties people face.
Individuals— people of all ages and backgrounds find practical help to the specific problems they face.
Families— families find practical help to solve conflicts and strengthen relationships.
Churches— Bethany Community Church desires to help the local church train and equip their own leaders in the ministry of soul-care.
Communities— Bethany Community Church desires to reach out to everyone in our community and region with practical, biblical answers for this life and for eternity.
Since God’s Word is robust and comprehensive, biblical counseling offers relevant help for any problem, such as marriage, parenting, addictions, disorders, fear, anger, grief, etc.
What can I expect?
Your initial appointment may last 2-3 hours; normal sessions are generally 75 – 90 minutes. The total number of sessions will vary from person-to-person, depending on needs. You will be required to invest from 1-6 hours per week with assignments for practical application.
Our Biblical counseling ministry is primarily a counseling training ministry, therefore you can expect to have one or two trainees observing and possibly participating in the counseling process. Please be assured that all trainees are committed to respecting you and guarding your privacy (please see our confidentiality statement below), with one exception: if your counselor violates biblical principles or is not acting in your best interest as a counselee and does not respond to biblical confrontation from the counselee and/or trainees, the trainee will go to the immediate counseling supervisor to seek a resolution.
Why are trainees involved?
Our primary commitment is to train counselors so we will ensure a growing, long-lasting presence in the community. We cannot provide free counseling without continually training more counselors. Only under rare exceptions will we counsel without trainees present.
Trainees normally observe and do not actively participate in sessions, however you will benefit as they pray for you throughout the week as well as during sessions.
Depending on circumstances, your trainees may be available to mentor or disciple you between sessions, and in some cases mentoring or discipleship can continue for a time after ‘graduation’.
We believe that your counseling experience will be greatly enhanced with the involvement of trainees.
Who Can Come?
BBCM offers counseling to any individual, couple or family; however we may reserve the right to give priority to members and attendees of Bethany Community Church.
Will you counsel me if I am not a member at Bethany Community Church?
Yes, we offer counsel from the Bible to anyone, regardless of religious beliefs or affiliation. However, we do believe in the authority of the Bible and the authority of the local church. Therefore, if you are a member of a local church, we ask that you speak openly with your pastor, or his delegate about your concerns and needs. If after he has a clear understanding of your concerns and believes that you will benefit from our counsel, we will gladly meet with you. We also invite you to bring your pastor, or his delegate with you throughout the counseling process.
If you find yourself in a difficult situation and are fearful to involve your current leadership, we will waive these expectations and gladly meet with you to help you respond in a Christ-like way.
What about Cost?
Biblical counseling is completely free, however you may be asked to purchase pertinent materials at our cost. If you are unable to cover the costs we offer scholarships on a case-by-case basis. We do accept donations to help us with these expenses.
What do we expect of you?
We will ask you to invest daily time and hard work throughout your counseling experience. Our goal is for you to encounter lasting life-change, which will not take place without a serious, whole-hearted investment in the process. We do ask you to keep your appointments, complete homework assignments, and attend worship services weekly. If you do not have a church home, we may require that you attend our church and one of our adult Sunday School classes during your counseling relationship.
What about Confidentiality?
Because our counsel is spiritually based, we do not have the same, broad confidentiality privileges of licensed mental health professionals. It is possible that our records may be subpoenaed and/or that we could be required to testify in judicial proceedings if you’re involved in litigation. If you have concerns about the confidentiality of any information you intend to share with BCC, you should consult your attorney before speaking with us. Please be assured that we strongly prefer not to disclose your personal information. We will make every effort to protect your privacy and confidence within the limits of the law and with the following biblical mandates for confidentiality, as we understand them.
What is Biblical Confidentiality?
Confidentiality is an important aspect of the counseling process, and we will carefully guard the information you entrust to us. There are situations, however, when it may be necessary for us to share certain information with others beside the Advocate/Mentor, elders or pastoral staff:
- When there is a clear indication to harm oneself or someone else.
- When there is evidence or reasonable suspicion of abuse against a minor child, elderly person, or dependent adult (Romans 13:1-7).
- When there is evidence or reasonable suspicion of illegal activity (Romans 13:1-7).
- If we are subpoenaed or court ordered to disclose information (Romans 13:1-7).
- In discussions with the pastoral staff or elders of BBC, your local church leaders, your physician, your previous counselors and/or your advocate for the sole purpose of gaining information for your care or to help in follow up and after care (Proverbs 11:24; 15:22; 24:6).
- When a counselor is uncertain of how to address a particular problem and needs to seek advice and wisdom from another staff member, elder, or counselor (Proverbs 11:24;15:22; 24:6).
- When a person persistently refuses to renounce a particular sin and it becomes necessary to seek the assistance of others in the church to encourage repentance and reconciliation (Proverbs 15:22; 24:11; Matthew 18:15-20).
In all of these situations, we will make every effort to be sensitive to your situation. Please be assured that our counselors strongly prefer not to disclose any of this personal information to others. We will strive to help you resolve the difficult situations you are experiencing as discreetly as possible.
Can I Help Defray the Costs?
Since biblical counseling is simply the ministry of sharing God’s Word we do not charge for our counsel. However, there are expenses in our ministry to maintain our facilities, cover costs for training and materials. These costs are currently covered by the outreach-ministries of Bethany Community Church, as well as other faithful friends and supporters who stand with us through on-going prayers and financial support.
If you would consider joining our family of supporters (Galatians 6:6), we would gladly welcome your partnership in prayer and financial support, however you are under no obligation to do so.
How Do I Begin Counseling?
To start the counseling process, under Care and Support click Application cor Counseling or call the office to receive an application, fill out the personal profile and return it by mail or in person. (You are welcome to type your answers if this is easier for you, however, we do not recommend that you email your personal profile to us to protect your sensitive information.)
After we receive your completed personal profile, we will put you on our waitlist. Once we’ve identified an available counselor, we’ll contact you to schedule your first appointment in the first available opening.
If you have an urgent need, please let us know right away and we will do our best to make adjustments to meet with you as soon as possible for an initial assessment meeting.
For more information or if you are interesting in counseling, please contact Heather at the office.