Please read the information below very carefully. It will help you understand more about biblical counseling, and will also make you aware what will be expected of you if you begin counseling with us.
Are You Interested in Biblical Counseling at Second Baptist Church?
Biblical counselors at Second Baptist Church (SBC) are available for a limited number of counseling cases. Our counselors (by design) are not certified by the State of Texas; however, each counselor is trained and supervised by other counselors. Additionally, SBC counselors have had extensive training in biblical counseling and must meet various training requirements established by the Bible and the Biblical Counseling Leadership Team
The Role of Scripture to the Counselor
If you seek counseling from SBC, we want you to know that all counseling will be biblically based, meaning that the Scriptures will be the authority in all cases. SBC does not subscribe to the teachings and methods of modern psychology or psychiatry, whether expressly secular or where an attempt has been made to integrate these teachings and methods with biblical principles. Our counselors are not trained or licensed as psychotherapists or mental health professionals nor do they follow the methods of such persons. It is our policy to not counsel persons who are also under the care of another counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist, nor do we make referrals to such persons. If a counselee moves out of the area and they wish to continue biblical counseling, they may be given the names of biblical counselors in the area they are moving to.
If you (the counselee) are not sure that you will be interested in Bible-based counseling, counselee may first attend one or two sessions to discover what biblical counseling is like.
If you or the counselor determines that you (the counselee) are unwilling to use the Bible as the final authority for your life, future counseling sessions will be terminated.
Additionally, each counseling session will conclude with the counselor assigning homework. If counselee is unwilling to complete the assigned homework, future counseling sessions will be terminated until the assigned homework has been completed to the satisfaction of the counselor. Any future sessions can be terminated by either party. However, if you (the counselee) are a member of SBC, the Pastor will be notified of the reasons for termination of your counseling sessions and all By-Laws and/or policies of SBC shall apply. If you are not a member of SBC, please note that written correspondence will be sent to your church notifying them of the termination of your counseling sessions and the reasons for said termination.
Non-members of SBC
Please note that SBC is committed to the spiritual health of its members thus, counseling of SBC members always takes precedence over all non-member related counseling services. If counselee is a member in good standing with a church other than SBC, counselee is required to notify their Senior Pastor that they will be coming to counseling sessions at SBC. We recognize and respect the authority and the discipline of counselee’s church, so the counselee must provide written permission from their Senior Pastor to attend counseling at SBC. Counselees may either bring a letter from their pastor on church letterhead, or have their pastor contact the counselor. The pastor and counselor will be in contact regularly regarding church attendance and homework completion. We do this because we firmly believe in the leadership of your church and we only want to come along side of them to offer assistance. Also, this will make transfer back to the pastoral care of counselee’s church much easier to effect.
Non-member of a Church
If counselee is currently not a member of a church or not a member in good standing with a church, SBC will expect counselee to attend Second Baptist Church on a weekly basis while going through SBC’s counseling ministry. For example, if counselee is going to have 13 counseling sessions then SBC would expect that counselee would attend SBC for 13 weeks. After such time SBC will be happy to assist counselee in finding a church home and, of course, counselee is welcome to examine Second Baptist Church as a possibility.
Our experience has been that for changes in people to be lasting, people need more than the help they receive in formal counseling. They need the total ministry of a church in which the preaching, teaching and fellowship are providing the same kind of help that is given in the counseling sessions. If counselee does not attend SBC on a regular basis (corporate worship and small group Bible study at least three (3) times a month) all future counseling sessions will be terminated.
Absolute confidentiality is not scriptural. In certain circumstances the Bible requires that facts be disclosed to select others (Matt. 18:15ff). In these areas we will follow the policy and procedures of SBC. When your church leadership inquires about the status of your sessions, we will disclose to them the information that is necessary for them to effectively and biblically fulfill their responsibility to shepherd you.
BY LAW, there are certain situations in which information about individuals undergoing counseling may be released with or without their permission. These situations are as follows: (Romans 13:1-3) 1. Where it is proven that children are physically abused, neglected, or sexually abused. 2. In emergency situations where there may be proven danger to the counselee or others, as with homicide or suicide, confidentiality may be broken. 3. If a court of law issues a legitimate subpoena relating to a child abuse case, we are required by law to provide the information specifically described in the subpoena. 4. If an unreported life-threatening felony has been committed, we are required by law to report it to the police.
At any time during the counseling, for reasons sufficient to himself/herself, the counselor – as also the counselee -- shall have the option of terminating counseling.
SBC does not charge for the counseling service. However, because materials are needed and will be given to counselees as homework, we ask for a $25 one-time contribution from each counselee to cover these expenses. If you cannot afford the fee, you are still welcome to come to the SBC Biblical Counseling Center.
Since there are also other costs involved in maintaining this ministry, counselees may want to express their thanks and help to maintain the ministry in a tangible way. Donations should be made to Second Baptist Church Biblical Counseling Ministry in matters such as these.
It should be understood that biblical counseling will involve giving scriptural teaching and making practical application of the same to each individual counselee. Counselee is held fully responsible for how he/she implements that counsel. Counselee is also responsible for completing homework as assigned by the counselor, and for church attendance.
Counselors in Training
Here at Second Baptist Church we not only provide biblical counseling, but are devoted to training biblical counselors. This means that the counselor may have one to two people assisting him/her in each counseling session.
The Bible as the Authority in the Session
We are confident that the Bible has all of the information necessary for life and godliness (2 Pet.1:3). The Bible teaches that man is made up of two parts, material (body) and immaterial (heart). It is in the heart of man that he chooses to be loving or unloving, obedient or sinful. The immaterial (heart) of man is also where God chooses to change us through His Holy Word, with the power of His Holy Spirit. There are no problems between persons or in persons that the Bible fails to address either in general or specific principles. Our counselors are not infallible, nor do they pretend to know all there is to know about biblical teaching and its applications to life, but they are well equipped and competent to help people change. They will make a point to differentiate between God's commands and their suggestions. Counselors will also honestly tell you if they are limited in their capacity to address a matter and will seek help from other trained counselors in matters where they feel it is needed.
Please note that SBC does not give medical or legal advice.
If you are willing to enter into this kind of counseling, please fill out the forms attached below. Once you have filled out the forms please email the forms or mail them to us. (See our contact information.) Once you have emailed or mailed the forms, call us to see when/if scheduled times of counseling are available.
Thank you for your interest in the biblical counseling ministry of Second Baptist Church.