1. In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus gave us the command to make disciples. A disciple is simply a learner and follower of Christ. Biblical Counseling at Berean Baptist Church is a ministry in which the Bible is used to mentor people in order that they may become more committed followers, or disciples, of Christ. All mentors are under supervision of the church leaders. This mentoring ministry is neither a business nor a profit-oriented activity. Each counselor serves without any charge or fee. He provides his time and energy as a service to God. If you should desire, donations are accepted to help provide materials that are used in the process.
2. The range of problems with which we deal is very wide. It includes broken marriages, parent-child relationships, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, tension, turmoil, anxiety, fear, worry, and any number of other problems resulting in mental and physical immobility.
3. The counselor is trained in the use of the Scriptures in counseling settings. We are committed to the position that the Scriptures provide the authoritative rule of faith and standard of conduct. We do not base our knowledge on our own opinions, experience, or concepts of behavior, but seeks to marshal the full range of biblical truth into focus on the person's need. In mentoring sessions, we will hold to the essential truths of Scripture without particular theological emphasis on any practice not specifically advocated in the Scriptures. Please note that the counselor is a non-professional spiritual counselor. The counselor is not a professional mental health therapist. Nothing in Biblical Counseling is designed or intended to be the provision of professional mental health services.
4. Confidentiality is respected. A case may be discussed with other counselors, pastors or other professionals, but only to the degree necessary to find further biblical solutions to the problem. All such consultations are conducted with the highest standards of biblical ethics. While confidentiality is respected, information disclosed in counseling settings is not covered by any cleric-penitent privilege, nor shall it be covered by any psychologist-client privilege.
You agree that by signing this Agreement, and by participating in Biblical Counseling, any disclosure by you of information of a confidential nature will be covered by the following terms. Specifically, you agree that if any disclosure contains any of the following information, the counselor shall be free to disclose the information, as they deem necessary, including disclosing such information to governmental authorities and to other affected persons or entities:
a. A disclosure of child abuse;
b. A disclosure of elder or dependent adult abuse;
c. A disclosure of spousal abuse;
d. A disclosure that you present a serious risk of harm to yourself;
e. A disclosure that you present a serious risk of harm to another person;
f. A disclosure which in the opinion of the counselor or church leaders requires action to protect the participants in Biblical Counseling, the church itself or any other interest of the church. A disclosure required by a subpoena or other court order from a local, state, or federal agency or court.
5. Counselors believe in the total health needs of the person being counseled. Your counselor may recommend that you have a full or specified medical examination. If medical assistance is required, counseling will continue, whenever possible, concurrently.
6. Your counselor will use all of his skill in applying biblical principles to help you in whatever problem deprives you of the peace and joy that God has promised to you in His Word. Your counselor will concentrate on two basic principles from God's Word: Hope because in Jesus Christ we have a great high priest who has been tempted in all things, yet without sin. Even though every sin common to man may be tempting you, God has promised that He will not let you be tempted beyond your endurance, but will provide for you the way to escape from sin so that you can endure, (I Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 4:14-16).
Change because in Christ we can learn how to lay aside the old selfish ways of living and put on the new ways of living in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 1:10)
7. Normally, sessions will last about one to one-and-a-half hours each week and will continue for 8 to 10 weeks (though it may go longer). However, if the counselor does not observe definite change in the first few weeks, he will seek to identify the cause of the failure, discuss it with you, and help you to correct it.
8. There are certain situations in which your assigned counselor will find it necessary to end your counseling relationship. They include, but are not limited to, a failure to attend scheduled sessions, excessive cancellations, prolonged periods without meeting, incomplete homework or other assignments or a general unwillingness to practice and heed counsel given. On a positive note, official counseling will end when the counselor and counselee have determined that significant growth and change have been achieved.
9. Appointments are to be made with the counselor directly. He will be your contact person for any questions or matters requiring immediate or emergency help between sessions. Most questions or matters should be recorded and brought to the next session for discussion. If you are unable to come to the session, please notify the counselor at least 24 hours in advance of the session whenever possible.
10. At Berean Baptist Church we regularly train others in the ministry of biblical counseling. Toward that end we seek to provide opportunities for counselors-in-training to observe live counseling sessions. There may be a counselor-in-training present for your session. This counselor-in-training is bound by the same confidentiality agreements as your biblical counselor.
11. You will need your Bible and a notebook at all sessions including the first one. Be sure to bring them with you each time. Come with high expectations. You will find hope and encouragement even on your first visit. From then on, with your cooperation, we believe you will find a good and acceptable answer to the difficulty that prompted you to contact us.
12. CAUTION - READ CAREFULLY BEFORE SIGNING: In consideration of the offer and provision of Biblical Counseling, you agree to release, waive, discharge and covenant not to sue Berean Baptist Church, its officers, servants, agents and employees, including individual counselors (hereinafter referred to as "releasees") from any and all liability, claims, demands, actions and causes of action whatsoever arising out of or relating to any loss, damage or injury, that may be sustained by you, or to any property belonging to you, whether caused by the negligence of the releasees, or otherwise, while participating in Biblical Counseling.
You further agree to indemnify and save and hold harmless the releasees and each of them, from any loss, liability, damage or costs they may incur due to your participation in Biblical Counseling, whether caused by the negligence of any or all of the releasees, or otherwise. By signing below, you agree that it is your express intent that this Release shall bind the members of your family and spouse, and your heirs, assigns and personal representative, and shall be deemed as a Release, Waiver, Discharge and Covenant Not to Sue the above named releasees.
In signing below, you acknowledge and represent that:
A. You have read the foregoing disclosure and release, understand it, and sign it voluntarily;
B. No oral representation, statements or inducements, apart from the foregoing disclosure and release agreement, have been made;
C. You are at least eighteen (18) years of age and fully competent; and
D. You execute this disclosure and release agreement for full, adequate and complete consideration fully intending to be bound by same.