FAQs about online counseling

I've never experienced video-assisted counseling. Is it easy to communicate with the counselor?

One of the goals for video-assisted counseling is to help make members feel comfortable while communicating with their counselor. Our counselors are sensitive to the fact that many people have not communicated through a live video format. They frequently check with them to gauge their level of comfort throughout the meetings. Many people begin a video-assisted counseling session with a slight level of anxiety due to the novel way of interacting. However, it has been our experience that the anxiety level is reduced quite quickly during the first few minutes once it is realized that the interaction is quite similar to communicating with someone in full presence. If there is a technical problem, counselors will attempt to resolve the issue immediately. If anyone is not comfortable using a video platform, the counselor will work with the pastor to help that person find a local counselor in that person's area at his or her expense.
 

Can members connect to the counselors by phone or video from their home?
Yes, the ability to connect with a MAP counselor is not limited to a room in your organization. We will provide connectivity by phone or video directly from a member's home. We do require a landline phone, and there are certain technical specifications required for a video session. It is important that members are as comfortable as possible and are connecting from a secure, private location.

 

Are the counselors qualified to do this type of counseling?
Member assistance services will be provided by Christian Family Solutions counseling professionals who are experienced and have training in dealing with a wide range of problems facing children and adults. Our mental health professionals are licensed by the state where they reside and have advanced training, certification, and experience in various areas of specialty. All MAP professionals who offer services via distance modalities (telephone, video-assisted counseling) are Distanced Counseling Credentialed (DCC).

 

Can our congregation charge a member for the counseling?
We do not encourage congregations to bill or collect fees from members who are utilizing the program. The services should be available to members at no direct cost to them. It should be offered as a benefit of their membership and seen as a way to improve the health of the whole organization.

 

As a pastor, at times I work with members and I just need help identifying main problem areas and options for treatment. Can you help with that?

You can refer a member to the program for simply one session to provide a thorough assessment and receive treatment options. There is no need to commit to ongoing counseling. The counselors are available to assist the pastor and the members in the most beneficial way.

As a pastor, can I sit in on a counseling session?
We welcome participation by the pastor throughout the counseling process. Pastors are welcome to sit in on sessions as long as the member is comfortable and has given his/her permission.
 

Can our organization offer the counseling service to the community and members not in the church?

No. The services are only available to the members of your organization. The services are not available to non-members.