Counseling

Counseling

FAQ

Common Questions: Foundations

What is your mission statement?
We exist to see unbelieving people become committed followers of Jesus Christ.  Through the biblical counseling ministry of Parkside Church we endeavor to help people who are hurting and struggling become transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

What is biblical counseling?
Biblical counseling at Parkside Church is a ministry in which the Bible is used to come alongside people in order that they may become more committed followers of Christ.  All counselors are members of Parkside Church and are overseen by a pastoral team member.

What is the goal of biblical counseling?
The goal in biblical counseling is to come alongside a person who is struggling and seek to apply the principles in God's word in such a way that the person responds in an obedient and godly manner to the problems they are facing.

The goal of the counseling ministry is to not merely help individuals out of difficult circumstances or change behaviors, but to come alongside individuals so that they might grow in their maturity as Christians and their likenesses to the image of Christ. Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Be imitators of God therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us, and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering, and sacrifice to God.”

How is biblical counseling different from other types of counseling?
In biblical counseling your counselor will use all of his or her skill in applying biblical principles to help you in whatever problem deprives you of the peace and joy that God has promised to you in His Word. For more information on what we believe about biblical counseling, download this article.

Common Questions: Counseling Sessions and Enrollment

Do you do outside counseling?
No.  At this point we are only able to provide counseling services to Parkside regular attenders and members.  Parkside regular attender is defined as someone attending 1-2 services per week.

Do you keep a list of Christian counselors or therapists in the area?
Not at this point.  If you are searching outside of your local church for a biblical counselor, consider the Biblical Counseling Coalition website.

How does marriage counseling work?
Marriage counseling is either done by a pastoral team member or with one of our Marriage Matters couples.  Oftentimes couples can benefit in counseling with another couple rather than just an individual counselor.  Each case will be considered and placed accordingly.

Will I be meeting with a pastor?
In some cases, counseling will be handled by one of the pastors on our staff. In a majority of the cases, counsel will be provided by a member of Parkside Church who has gone through our counseling training: How People Change and Helping Others Change.

Are your counselors licensed by the state?
No. Our counselors are trained in the use of the Scriptures in counseling settings. The counselors are non-professional spiritual disciplers. The counselors are not professional mental health therapists.  It is important to note that Parkside's counseling ministry is not designed to be the equivalent of professional mental health services.
 
Is it confidential?
Confidentiality is respected. A case may be discussed with other counselors, pastors or other professionals, but only to the degree necessary to find further biblical solutions to the problem.  All such consultations are conducted with the highest standards of biblical ethics.  Because the training of new mentors involves the opportunity to observe another mentor in actual counseling sessions, we ask that you agree to allow a person or couple who is in training to sit in on your counseling sessions.
While confidentiality is respected, information disclosed in counseling settings is not covered by any cleric-penitent privilege, including the privilege established pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 2317.02, nor shall it be covered by any psychologist-client privilege, including the privilege established pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 4732.19.

How much does it cost?
Parkside offers the counseling ministry free of charge.  No money should be paid to the church or counselor.  Donations are accepted for any materials purchased or used in the session.  

How can an appointment be made?
Forms for counseling need to be completed prior to the initial appointment.  You may download and print the forms here or contact the church office to have them mailed to you (440-543-1212).  Please read, complete and return the forms to the office.  You may mail them, fax them (440-543-2164), or drop them off with our receptionist during business hours (M-F, 8-5).  If someone else will counsel with you, he or she should complete a separate set of forms. Once the forms are received, you will receive a confirmation email stating we have received your counseling paperwork.  Please allow at least 1 week for your paperwork to be processed.

How often will appointments be scheduled?
Our counselors like to schedule sessions on a weekly basis.

What will be the length of each counseling session?
Sessions typically last one to one-and-a-half hours.

How long does the counseling process usually last?
Normally, sessions will continue for 8 to 10 weeks.  There are certain situations in which your assigned counselor will find it necessary to end your counseling relationship. They include, but are not limited to, a failure to attend scheduled sessions, excessive cancellations, prolonged periods without meeting, incomplete homework or other assignments or a general unwillingness to practice and heed counsel given.  On a positive note, official counseling will end when the counselor and counselee have determined that significant growth and change have been achieved.

Is childcare provided?
Childcare is not available during counseling sessions.  Please make other arrangements for your children.

What is expected of the counselee?
The counselee must be willing to: 
  1. Sign the "Disclosure for Biblical Discipleship and Hold Harmless Agreement" form,
  2. Agree to place him or herself under the authority of the elders of Parkside Church,
  3. Regularly attend a 1-2 services and gatherings per week at Parkside Church,
  4. Complete any assigned homework prior to the counseling appointment,
  5. Notify his or her counselor in advance if he or she is unable to come to a session, 
  6. Purchase and read How People Change which can be purchased from the chuch office or bookstore,
  7. Select a biblical advocate.
What qualifies as a "service" or "gathering"
We ask that those in counseling attend at least 1 service (8:15, 9:45, 11:15 or 7:00 pm service) and 1 gathering (Life Group, Mid-Week Life Group, Bible Study, Playgroup, etc.)

What is the biblical advocacy requirement?
Those who are in counseling (marriage or individual) are required to select a fellow believer who is willing to participate in your counseling process by praying and encouraging you.  The advocate does not need to be a Parkside member/attender.  The Advocate is not required to attend your sessions, but is encouraged to be a part of your counseling process as much as possible.The Advocate helps support the counselee by praying regularly, loving deeply and encouraging often.  The Advocate is designed to help make the transition process from counseling to body-life as smooth as possible.  More information regarding what the biblical advocates' responsibility is, can be downloaded here.

How do I become a biblical counselor at Parkside Church?
Those interested in becoming biblical counselors at Parkside Church are required to become members of this local body of believers.  They are also required to take both the How People Change and Helping Others Changecourses offered annually at Parkside.  At that point, the interested persons meet with Pastor Jonathan Holmes and they are asked to shadow another counselor before being assigned a case. Active counselors are required to continue their training by attending monthly Iron Sharpens Iron meetings.