An Introduction to New Clients
Your decision to enter into counseling was undoubtedly a serious one arrived at after considerable thought. You may have been referred to Linville Services by your pastor, urged to seek counseling by family or friends, or come on your own initiative. In any case, the decision to come here was yours. We want you to know about our expectations for counseling and the policies we follow even before we begin meeting.
Purposes of Counseling
One purpose of counseling is to help you resolve problem areas in your life. Although some problems don't have easy solutions and no one can solve your problems for you, we have been successful in helping persons who are willing and committed to resolving their difficulties. This is done by finding solutions through learning new insights and taking specific actions to reduce conflicts while developing a more successful lifestyle.
At our first meeting, we will discuss relevant background data and talk about the particular concerns and problems that prompted you to seek counseling. We can then plan together the directions and goals for your course of counseling and discuss the first several sessions. It is often useful for clients to answer simple questionnaires to help pinpoint specific areas of concern and rule out others early in our relationship, thus saving valuable counseling time.
Length of Counseling
Counseling and psychotherapy do not provide instant answers, although sometimes situational problems can be dealt with in a very short period of time. Our normal practice is to use the first 2 to 4 sessions as a time for you and your counselor to decide if he or she is the best person for you or if you should seek counseling with another professional. We will determine the frequency and duration of your visits on an ongoing basis and in relation to your progress and prognosis.
You have the right, at any time, to end treatment whether we agree with your decision or not. If you wish to end our working relationship, we hope you will discuss it with your counselor in advance. If you wish to continue treatment with another counselor, we will be happy to refer you.
Use of Prayer and the Bible
Linville Services counselors work from a distinctly Christian perspective and typically incorporate the use of prayer and Bible references in each session. If you are uncomfortable with either practice please feel free to bring your concerns to your counselor's attention. Linville Services follows and supports Madison Park Church of God’s statement of faith, which is available from the
church office if you desire more information.
The relationship between counselor and client is one of openness, honesty, and trust. During counseling you may discuss information of a sensitive manner that you would not discuss with a spouse, friend, pastor, family member, work associate, or other. You are assured that the information you share will be held as strictly confidential. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule. If in our judgment you are likely to harm yourself or someone else, we are obligated to notify your family, the authorities, and the intended victim. If you report a situation involving the abuse or neglect of a child, we are bound by law to report the situation to the proper authorities. Please note that instances when we must break confidentiality are very rare and we in no way wish to discourage discussion of negative feelings toward yourself or anyone else. It is our ethical and legal responsibility to take these precautions.
In addition, Linville Services’ counselors are continuously involved in peer and professional supervision as a means of professional accountability and development. Your counselor may discuss certain aspects of your situation with a peer counselor outside of Linville Services, however your identity will always remain confidential.
Unlike other professionals who operate on more flexible and inexact schedules, our appointments together will be set for a definite time and duration (usually 50 minutes). Because of this fixed schedule no one will be waiting for your time if you do not use it. If you find you must cancel or reschedule an appointment, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible. A charge will be made for appointments not canceled 24 hours in advance, unless there are special circumstances.
The fee for one session is no more than $100.00 and is based upon time spent exclusively with your counselor in counseling. Because Linville Services operates on a sliding fee scale, fees do vary from client to client based upon income and other circumstances. You will be asked to provide particular financial information to help determine the cost of counseling for you. If you are covered by insurance and wish to bill your insurance company, we will provide you with an itemized receipt so you may do so. Fees will be due and payable at the end of each counseling session, whether you plan to charge your insurance company or not, and we do not usually bill for you unless there are special circumstances with arrangements made in advance and a billing fee charged. This helps cut administrative costs and keep fees as low as possible. We will be happy to discuss fees with you initially, or at any time during counseling.
Madison Park Church of God maintains a 24 hour answering service (765) 642-2000 if you need to speak with a member of Madison Park's staff after normal business hours. However, since your counselor works at Madison Park Church of God on a part-time basis, he or she will generally be unavailable to you except on the day of your appointment. In urgent cases, you are encouraged to call appropriate emergency services professionals.
Relationship to Madison Park Church of God
Starting on October 1, 1999, Madison Park Church of God entered into a contractual relationship with Linville Services to provide counseling services. It is the intent of the contract to maintain the focus and direction established by Madison Park Church of God, while providing fiscal accountability and management. The therapists are not employees of Madison Park Church of God, therefore client specific information can not be shared from your therapist to the pastoral staff unless you provide written authorization for us to do so. Families that attend Madison Park may quality for financial assistance from Madison Park for counseling. If you believe that you qualify for assistance, then please complete the Financial Assistance Form. Madison Park Church of God maintains a 24 hour answering service (765) 642-2000 if you need to speak with a member of Madison Park’s staff after normal business hours.
Counseling is a two-way effort entailing mutual respect, responsibility, and consideration between you and your counselor. Both must make a commitment to the process and stick with it even when it becomes difficult or uncomfortable. A typical client can expect for their concerns or problem situations to intensify initially in counseling, but will usually experience a more lasting relief once this point has passed. The policies outlined above and discussed in sessions are designed to make your counseling experience more productive and successful. Please feel free to discuss any of these with your counselor at any time during the course of counseling.