If you still have questions, hopefully the answers are here in our Frequently Asked Questions. Read on for more.
How do I know if counseling is for me?
- This is a great question. Counseling is often helpful for people who are struggling with their personal mental health, experiencing distress in their most important life relationships, or dealing with a big or unexpected transition in life. Whatever you are struggling with, if you have been trying to deal with it for awhile already but are not seeing the progress or healing that you want, counseling may be helpful. Actually, iHope offers Professional Counseling services as well as Life Coaching services, and you may find this page on our website helpful to understand the differences.
Are there risks to counseling?
- You get to decide what goals to work on, and the outcomes of counseling (and coaching) are often positive. But it is important to be aware that there are often emotional side effects of the counseling process. You may need to dig into past events or deep hurts, and this may bring up painful emotions. Some symptoms may get worse before they get better. However, your counselor will work with you through these issues and emotions over time. It is our goal to create a safe, comfortable space where you are able to explore difficult emotions in a supportive environment.
How long do services last?
- As long as they need to, and no longer. It is difficult to predict in advance, because every person and relationship has different strengths, struggles, and goals. Your counselor or coach will provide services in a timely manner, with consideration for your cost and time. If you are concerned about the speed of progress (or lack of progress) please talk to your coach or counselor.
Is what I say private and confidential?
- Generally, yes. Confidentiality is essential to the process of establishing safety and trust. While most communication between you and your counselor or coach is confidential, there are limitations and exceptions. These are required by law and will be reviewed with you during your first session. In short, these exceptions include our risk of harm to self or others, abuse or neglect concerns, and court subpoena.
What is Christian counseling?
- The term “Christian counseling” can mean different things to different people. Here is what it means to us: all of our counselors and coaches are professionally trained, are confessional Christians who are active in church life, and intentionally integrate principles and truth from Scripture into the counseling/coaching process. This means that our faith informs our practice. We call ourselves Christian counselors because our counseling and coaching work is Christ-centered and we view it as participating with God in bringing hope and healing into the lives of all people. We do not only use the Bible in our counseling and coaching sessions, but also integrate psychological treatment that aligns with biblical principles.
Do I have to be a Christian to come to iHope? What if I don’t go to church?
- iHope is a resource for anyone needing help, support, and care. All of our counselors, coaches, and staff are committed Christians, and we cannot turn off this part of our brain! This will guide our counseling work. However, this is not a requirement for our clients. You do not need to be active in a local church or consider yourself a Christian to receive services at iHope. We will not spend our time together preaching or lecturing. Sessions will focus on your concerns and goals. However, we do believe that it is important for you to make an informed decision about your counseling experience. Therefore, we recommend that you review iHope’s Mission & Vision page to help you decide if iHope will be a good fit for you and your counseling needs.
What should I expect to happen in the first sessions?
- When you schedule your first appointment, our Office Manager will get your basic contact information and schedule you at a time that works for you. You will receive our initial paperwork by email (if desired) so that you can review and complete it at home and then bring it with you. In your first session, your counseling or coach will focus on getting to know you, establishing the goals of treatment, and reviewing initial paperwork. This initial paperwork includes an “informed consent” form that outlines iHope policies, payment, confidentiality, and what you can expect from your counselor or coach. You will also review your intake form, discussing your current concerns and goals. Each session (including the first session) lasts 50 minutes. You will close by developing a regular schedule that works for you and your counselor or coach. Your counselor or coach may offer to pray or may make suggestions for homework or next steps, if you are comfortable with these activities.
Do you provide child care?
- No, we cannot provide child care during your appointment.
What forms of payment do you accept?
- We accept cash, checks, credit/debit cards, and Apple Pay. Payment is due when you arrive, before beginning session with your counselor.
Does iHope accept my insurance?
- No. iHope is not set up with any insurance companies. Dealing with insurance companies adds a layer of administrative oversight and review, and as a nonprofit we are not set up for this. See more about our pay structure here.