Frequently Asked Questions

What is the goal of biblical counseling?
We seek to help a person who is struggling 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. All counselors are members of Parkside Church and are overseen by a pastoral team member.

The goal of the counseling ministry is to not merely help individuals out of difficult circumstances or change behaviors, but to encourage and support 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.”

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

Is there another Christian counseling resource in the area you can refer me to?
If you are not a Parkside member or regular attender but are looking for a Christian counseling resource, we suggest that you contact Fieldstone Counseling.  Please click HERE to go to their website.

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 lay counselor who is a member of Parkside Church who has gone through our counseling training.

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 counselors involves the opportunity to observe another counselor 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?
Counseling Request Forms 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 sent 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 2-3 weeks 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 6 to 8 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. Complete the Counseling Request Forms including signing the "Disclosure for Biblical Discipleship and Hold Harmless Agreement" agreement,
  2. Regularly attend 1-2 services and/or small group gatherings per week at Parkside Church,
  3. Complete any assigned homework prior to the counseling appointment,
  4. Notify his or her counselor in advance if he or she is unable to come to a session, 
  5. Select a biblical advocate.

What qualifies as a "service" or "gathering"
We ask that those in counseling attend at least one service (8:15, 9:45, 11:15 or 6:00 pm service) and one gathering (Life Group, Mid-Week Life Group, Bible Study, Men's/Women's Bible Study, etc.) per week.

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.  If you do not have an advocate at the time you submit your counseling request, we can assign one for you.