What is Christian counseling and how is it different from other types of counseling?

Secular counselors are trained not to bring their values into the therapy room. They are to be absolutely neutral with everyone in every situation. Many time situational ethics prevail and whatever a person chooses is OK as long as they "feel" better. People coming from a faith-based perspective know deep down in their soul that choosing what makes them "feel" better is only a temporary fix. They innately understand that to gain a clear conscience and to heal inside they must deal with the difficult choices in front of them. Scriptural principles written down centuries ago continue to be relevant in our lives today.

How does counseling help?

Counseling can help in a number of situations. Sometimes all an individual might need is a safe person and a safe place. A Proverb indicates that "the plans of a person are like deep water, but one of understanding draws it out." Many people do certain things or desire to do certain things or feel certain things and are not sure why. They might have continually made bad choices and are not sure why. A person of understanding can help draw out the reason and facilitate other options. A counselor can help process the situations, the feelings, the thoughts and the goals associated with a decision to bring clarity and closure.

Can I get better by myself without counseling?

This is an appropriate question because not everyone needs therapy for each and every situation. Many people can and do get better without any outside intervention. Others have tried dealing with situations on their own, but continue to make bad choices and to experience pain. If you continue to use the same strategies in life and relationships and these are not working for you, counseling might be helpful.

Do you recommend psychiatrists?

Yes, we do so unashamedly. We do not believe this is indicative of a lack of faith. The research indicates that counseling in combination with medication provides the best results. We work with a number of psychiatrists and we are familiar with others who do a fine job of assessing and prescribing medications.

Can I get better by just taking my medication?

Some people only take medication and live full and fruitful lives. Their situation is more biological and organic in nature.

How long does it generally take to go through the therapy I need?

This is such a difficult question to answer, yet it is the one asked most frequently. A quick answer would be 5 to 7 visits. This is an average for clients we have seen in the past five years. You may need fewer sessions or more sessions depending upon what motivated you to seek help initially. Of one thing you can be sure - we are not going to continue if we don't believe therapy is helpful any longer.

What do I have to do to get started?

If you have decided you would like to try therapy, call your insurance company and find out if anyone on our staff is a network provider. If several providers in our office are on your network, read their biographies on this website and that may help you decide. Download the HCCC intake form and fill out all pages. Fax that form along with a copy of your insurance card (both sides) to us at 281-277-8827 or bring to your first appointment. Our insurance department will check on your benefits and call you regarding our findings. Call our front desk staff at 281-277-8811, and make an appointment with your chosen therapist or ask who else might be available at a mutually convenient time.

Can therapists at Houston Center for Christian Counseling address trauma such as abuse, neglect, and abandonment?

Yes. Many of our therapists are trained specifically in trauma resolution and we have found the tools/ techniques used to be extremely profitable for individuals who have experienced trauma. Several of our therapists are trained in EMDR and in Trauma Resolution Therapy.

Do you accept insurance?

Many of our therapists are contracted with most major insurance panels. Please call the front desk to ensure HCCC has a therapist that accepts your insurance plan.

Do I have to be a Christian to come?

We are a group of counselors who are Christian. Many Christians are very intentional about seeking out a therapist who is of a similar value system. However, not everyone who comes to our office is Christian but desire a therapist of Judeo-Christian values. Some are referred by their insurance company or EAP for counseling. Be assured that our staff is very professional and will respect your belief and value system. We will meet you where you are in your beliefs and concerns.

What should I do to prepare for counseling?

You should try and think clearly about what your desired goal is about. Ask yourself the question, "I will feel that counseling is successful if _______ is accomplished." This applies to individual, marital, and family counseling. You many find it helpful to write these thoughts out as you are clarifying to yourself what you want accomplished.

What if my spouse doesn't want to come to marital counseling?

It is not unusual for a spouse to be unhappy in a marriage and the other spouse to not feel comfortable enough to go to counseling. This is an unfortunate reality. However, one spouse can make a difference because we know if one part of the family improves, change is inevitable.

What is a counseling Intern (LPC-Intern or LMFT-Associate)?

The requirements in the state of Texas to become a licensed therapist are very rigorous. After a person has completed both a Bachelor and a Master degree or a Doctorate degree, they have to pass a national exam towards licensing as a state licensed therapist. Then a person is eligible to begin accumulating 3,000 hours of supervised experience. While they are in this process, which takes several years, their professional designation is LPC-Intern or LMFT-Associate. This internship designation is similar to a medical resident.

Do you have therapists that are bilingual? Which languages?

We have both bilingual Spanish and French therapists.

How long does therapy generally take– is the average still 5-7 sessions?

Some short term- therapy issues may be resolved in as few as 5-7 sessions. However, there are other struggles that are more complex and will require 20 or more sessions. You and your therapist will review what seems to make the most sense for you. Clients and therapists seem to come to the same conclusion at similar times when closure is near.

What is play therapy?

Play therapy is a special process that focuses on children's need to express themselves through the use of play and toys. Children are encouraged to play as they wish with a trained play therapist who provides a safe and understanding environment. In this process a wide variety of toys are made available to children to encourage the expression of emotional concerns. Children are given the opportunity to express themselves through a variety of styles including art play, sand play, dramatic play and fantasy play.

Why play therapy for children?

Children like to play. Children are unable to understand and talk about their feelings the way adults do and this makes adult therapies inappropriate in meeting children's special needs. Play becomes therapeutic to children as they give expression to their experiences and emotions. Children can recreate, in play, the experiences that are part of their anger, fears, sadness or frustrations currently influencing their behavior. A benefit of play therapy is that children can create therapeutic play at their developmental level. The relationship with the therapist allows children a sense of security when recreating emotionally stressful experiences.

What happens in play therapy?

Through the play therapy process, children create play that resembles the emotional experiences that they are struggling with internally. These experiences usually cannot be expressed verbally. Children will select special toys to include in their play and use those toys to recreate issues that represent emotional conflicts that are important to the child. Beginning with this expression, the child's play evolves until the child gains a sense of understanding and comfort over this situation.

How can play therapy help my child?

Through the play therapy process, children can change their personal view of events in the world and begin to better enjoy their interactions with others. Children can recreate their frustrations or disappointments with a skilled play therapist and then change the experience of that situation in their play. Then they begin to enjoy more of their play experiences and therefore, more of life's interactions. This leads to higher self-esteem and more enjoyment of activities with family, friends and peers. We all know this makes parenting a more enjoyable process.

How long will play therapy take?

Play therapy is a process that depends upon several factors in the child's past and present experiences. The two most important factors are the developmental stage of the child and secondly, the age of the child at the onset of the issue. Usually the more recent the events, the shorter the length of therapy. The further back in the child's development that the issue occurred, the longer the play process will take.

Is play different in play therapy than when my child plays at home?

The basic function of play remains the same in both situations. Play, to children, is a natural way to rehearse for life's interactions. Play basically has three purposes. The first two are for cognitive and motor development. The third is for emotional resolutions. When facilitated by a trained play therapist, the play becomes focused on emotional purposes. This leads to understanding and reestablishment of balance in the child's sense of well-being.

How will I be involved as a parent?

Parent involvement is important in the play therapy process. Parents will be asked to meet with the therapist on a regular basis. A parent may become involved in play therapy by joining the play process, if recommended by the therapist. Parents also will be asked to contribute to their child's progress by following recommendations of the therapist which may include activities outside the play therapy room that support the therapy process.

Frequently Asked Questions