Counseling Services - Frequently Asked Questions
What is "biblical counseling"?
By biblical counseling we mean that your counselor is a Christian with special training and experience in applying the truths of the Bible to life. At CCEF we believe that the Bible speaks to all of life and to all of its problems, but sometimes it takes careful thought and prayerful wisdom to know how to make those connections. We don't believe that the Bible is simply a how-to book or a recipe book for happiness. We believe that the Bible ultimately points us to a person and a relationship - Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. We believe that real change comes when people learn to see themselves and their problems in the context of a living, vital relationship with Christ. This does not mean that you must be a Christian to profit from our counseling, although we believe that deep and lasting change is brought about only by God himself. However, the Bible is never brought to bear in an artificial or heavy-handed way.
What types of counseling issues does CCEF address?
People come to CCEF with many different struggles. We believe that the Bible speaks to all of life's issues. Therefore, we apply a Christ-centered worldview to these problems and have seen life-changing results. Some of the issues that we regularly counsel include marriage and family issues, depression, eating disorders, sexual abuse, pornography, anxiety and addictions.
How does CCEF work with the church?
We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ is God's chosen context for change. Jesus redeems and renews his people by joining them to himself. In so doing, he also joins us to each other to create a vital community of change and growth. We consider all of our counseling to be an extension of the ministry of the local church and a way of serving and promoting its ministry. In a sense, our counselors serve as "temporary staff" to the churches that refer their people to us for help. In that spirit, we seek to partner with the church in any way that will strengthen the counselee and the church. At the very least, that means asking counselees to apply the truths they are learningto their relationships at church. When appropriate, it may also mean keeping a pastor, small group leader or other shepherd informed about the counseling process or even (with the counselee's permission) inviting them to be part of the counseling sessions.
Having said this, CCEF is very sensitive to the issue of confidentiality. The Bible repeatedly warns against gossip and indicates that trustworthy persons keep confidences. To release counseling information without a counselee's consent would violate biblical standards as well as commonly accepted codes of counseling ethics. However, situations in which a counselee or another person is in imminent danger of physical or sexual abuse may require us to share that information with relevant persons. CCEF typically surpasses HIPAA requirements in an effort to honor God and our counselees regarding confidentiality.
What are the qualifications of CCEF counselors?
CCEF counselors have formal training in both the Bible and counseling. Some have doctoral degrees and most have master's degrees, although this is not a requirement. Most of our counselors are either former students of CCEF or have otherwise been acknowledged by their churches as gifted in counseling. Many are pastors, ordained elders, or leaders in their local churches. All counselors meet weekly for counseling supervision and prayer for their counselees, and are involved monthly in continuing education.
How are people matched with counselors? Can a particular counselor be requested?
Counseling appointments are made by an Intake Counselor, who has a list of counselors, their available hours, and a summary of their education, experience, and areas of interest or expertise. Particular counselors can be requested and will be assigned depending on their availability.
Are faculty members available to counsel?
Faculty members carry counseling caseloads that vary, depending on their teaching schedule and other responsibilities. As God continues to bless CCEF with an expansion of its ministry, the counseling staff also continues to grow. In general, we recommend that counselees not become set on being counseled by a faculty member, because all of our counselors are well qualified, and are guided by the same biblical principles.
How much does counseling cost?
For current counseling fees and info, visit our Philadelphia location page here.
Does CCEF qualify for insurance payment?
Due to the continuing reduction of reimbursement by insurance companies, CCEF no longer submits for insurance. All counseling charges are due prior to each appointment.
How long does counseling take?
The length of counseling can vary greatly, depending on the problems being addressed. It is unusual for counseling to take less than five sessions; it can average around twenty sessions. Some of the most critical factors in effective counseling are coming with a positive attitude, setting concrete goals with your counselor, and working to stay focused on those goals.
Do you do phone counseling?
We normally do not recommend counseling by phone, though individual counselors may choose to do so, based on the severity of the problem and a lack of other counseling options. When phone counseling seems to be an appropriate alternative, counseling often begins with several face-to-face office visits to lay a good foundation for the phone counseling.
Does CCEF maintain a referral list?
At this time, we do not maintain an official referral list. Your best bet in finding a counselor is to speak with people who have benefited from a particular biblical counselor or to ask the pastor or elders of a Bible-believing church for a recommendation. In any case, be prepared to ask prospective counselors about their theoretical orientation, their use of Scripture in counseling, and how Christ figures in the way they think about helping others. For guidelines to help you wisely choose a counselor, please go to Choosing a Christian Counselor.