This question is answered most clearly by looking at our Philosophy page.
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 the Spirit at work. Examples of issues that we regularly counsel include marriage and family issues, depression, eating disorders, sexual abuse, pornography, anxiety, and addictions.
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 learning to 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.
CCEF counselors have formal training in both the Bible and counseling. Some have advanced degrees, although this is not a requirement. Most of our counselors are former students of CCEF and many have been acknowledged by their churches as gifted in counseling. Some are pastors, ordained elders, or leaders in their local churches. All counselors meet weekly for case consultation and prayer for their counselees and are involved monthly in continuing education.
Counseling appointments are made by the intake team. The team connects the counselee with the counselor most suited to meet his/her specific needs. Particular counselors may be requested and will be assigned depending on their availability.
Faculty members carry counseling caseloads that vary, depending on their teaching schedule and other responsibilities. 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.
At this time, the CCEF main office does not work with third-party insurers nor provide the diagnostic codes needed for reimbursement. All counseling charges are due prior to each appointment.
The length of counseling can vary greatly, depending on the problems being addressed. 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.
We normally do not recommend counseling by phone, although there are occasional exceptions. 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.