If you still have questions, hopefully the answers are here in our Frequently Asked Questions! Read on for more.
What are the benefits and risk of counseling?
Goals of counseling are decided by you and the outcomes of therapy are often positive. However, there is always a risk of emotional side effects from counseling. The counseling process may bring up painful emotions, and some symptoms may get worse before they get better. Your counselor will work with you through these issues and emotions over time.
How long will treatment last?
It is difficult to predict, because every person has unique strengths and struggles and is coming in for different reasons. Your counselor will provide counseling in a timely manner, with consideration for your cost and time, and will not prolong counseling without due cause.
Is counseling confidential?
Confidentiality is essential to the process of establishing an atmosphere of safety and trust, where information, thoughts, and feelings may be freely shared. While most communication between a client and counselor is confidential, there are limitations and exceptions, which will be reviewed in your first session before you begin.
What is Christian counseling?
While many professional counselors are Christians, the designation “Christian counseling” means that your counselor is a professional counselor, who is a Christian, AND intentionally integrates principles and truth from scripture into the counseling process. This means their faith informs their practice. Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality all play a role in the process of transformation. For example, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is not just an empirically supported psychological treatment but is understood as rooted in the scriptural principle of “being renewed” in our thinking (Ephesians 4.23) and can be effected by meditating on what is true (Philippians 4.8). Christian counseling is ultimately Christ-centered and is viewed as participating with God to bring hope and healing into the lives of all people. You may find this article from the American Association of Christian Counselors helpful: “Is Christian Counseling Effective? What the Research Shows.”
Who is this for? What if I don’t go to church?
iHope seeks to be a resource for anyone needing help, support, and care. While our counselors and staff are all committed Christians and this guides their counseling work, it is not a requirement for our clients to be active in a local church or to consider themselves a Christian. Sessions will focus on your concerns and goals. Since we do believe that it is important for you to make an informed decision about your counseling experience, we recommend that you review our mission and vision as well as our five core values 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 counseling sessions?
In your first session, your counselor will focus on getting to know you and establishing the goals of treatment. Your counselor will review an “informed consent” form that outlines the policies of iHope, payment, confidentiality, and what you can expect from the counseling experience. You will also review your intake form, identifying your current concerns and goals. If you are seeking couples or family therapy, your counselor will take time hearing everyone’s perspective. Each counseling session lasts 50 minutes, and you will develop a regular schedule that works for you and your counselor. You can learn more here.
Do you provide child care?
No, we cannot provide child care during your appointment.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, we accept cash, check, or credit/debit cards. Payment is due when you arrive, before beginning your session with your counselor.
Why doesn’t iHope accept insurance?
As a non-profit dedicated to offering professional counseling at an affordable cost, we do not take insurance or file insurance claims. Dealing with insurance companies adds a layer of administrative oversight and review that we are not set up for. We will provide appropriate documentation at your appointment that you can use to file your own reimbursement request to your insurance provider, or for a Flexible Spending Account, Health Spending Account, taxes, etc. However, The iHope Center cannot guarantee insurance reimbursement will be approved or if it is approved, at what rate the provider would reimburse you.
What if I need to cancel a session?
Call us at 843-702-0323 as soon as you realize you will need to miss a session. We do require a minimum of 24 hours notice for a cancellation, or you will be billed at the regular session rate. This policy is intended to guard against frequently missed sessions, which disrupt your treatment progress, impede the center’s operations, and limit our availability to other waiting clients. We want to use our counseling spaces and our counselors’ time to serve as many clients as possible, and early cancellation allows us to fit in waiting clients.
Why isn’t counseling just happening at the church?
Counseling and care are happening at the church, and should absolutely continue to happen in your local church and the Church at large. Pastors provide godly counsel, and many church members gather in small groups or Bible studies for support and encouragement. But sometimes a person or family’s need is more serious or time-intensive than an individual pastor or church can respond to fully. iHope seeks to bring professional counseling and care into the context of the church life. We want to be a resource and support to our local pastors, not a replacement for them.