Welcome to Tennessee Valley Pastoral Counseling. We are pleased you have chosen our online counseling services. In order to assist you in understanding the responsibilities and expectations involved in a pastoral counseling relationship, we ask you carefully read and sign the following Informed Consent.
Professional disclosure. All of our online pastoral counselors hold graduate degrees in pastoral counseling or a related area from a regionally accredited university, have undergone intensive training with our organization, and are professional members of the North America Christian Counselors Association. One distinctive aspect of each of our counselor's practice is their commitment to provide quality Christian counseling to those in need. While it is not essential that our clients share each counselor's Christian beliefs, you have a right to know that their value assumptions are rooted in the Christian faith. The Christian emphasis in counseling is based upon our reliance on the Bible as the ultimate source of truth, and in the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives.
Availability of services. Our ministry does not have the capability to respond immediately to counseling emergencies. True emergencies should be directed to community emergency services (911) or local hotlines. Established clients with an urgent need may contact us, but an immediate response is not guaranteed. A quick or immediate response in one situation does not constitute a commitment of rapid response in another. If you leave a message requesting someone contact you, be assured every effort will be made to do so within 24 hours.
Appointments. Regular attendance at your scheduled appointments is crucial to a successful outcome in counseling. We reserve 50 minutes for each appointment with a client. Appointments canceled at the last minute are detrimental to our ministry. Therefore, we require a 24 hour minimum notice for cancellations. Failure to do so will result in a fee of $20.00 being deducted from your refund. Session availability varies with the client load at the time. High demand appointment times are likely to be sporadic in their availability. We reserve the right to limit our commitments of high demand appointment times to any particular client in order to meet the needs of all our clients and to balance our workloads.
Privacy, confidentiality, and records. All communications and records created in the counseling process are held in the strictest confidence. However, confidentiality exceptions as defined in state and federal statutes include any real or potential life or death emergency, or when abuse is suspected of a child, elderly individual, or dependent adult.
Counseling process and rights. Your counseling begins with an intake session devoted to an initial assessment so we can gain an understanding of the issues, your background, and any other relevant factors. When the assessment process is complete, we will discuss ways to address the problem(s) that have brought you into counseling and develop a plan of action. You have the right and obligation to participate in all decisions and the development and periodic review and revision of your plan. You also have the right to refuse any recommendations or to withdraw consent to counsel and to be advised of the possible consequences which may arise from such refusal or withdrawal.
Our relationship. The client and counselor relationship is designed to be exclusively therapeutic. It is inappropriate for a client and a counselor to spend time together outside of a session, or even share a social media connection. The purpose for these professional boundaries is to ensure that you and your counselor are clear in the roles for your counseling and that confidentiality is maintained. If there is ever a time when you believe you have been treated unfairly, please contact us. We want to immediately address any issues that might get in the way of the counseling process.
Referral of services. On occasion, and in order to better serve your specific needs, it may become necessary for us to refer you to another qualified professional, such as a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist. An example of this might be for the purpose of diagnosing a mental illness, or to receive any therapeutic care that falls outside of our standard scope of practice.
Code of ethics. All counselors involved with Tennessee Valley Pastoral Counseling are members of a variety of professional counseling organizations. As such, each staff member adheres to a strict code of ethics. If you have any questions concerning ethical guidelines, please do not hesitate to ask your counselor.
Consent for evaluation and counseling. Consent is hereby given for evaluation and counseling under the terms described in this informed consent document. It is agreed that either the client or the counselor may discontinue this service at any time, for any reason, and you are free to accept or reject the counseling provided. In the case of a minor, you affirm that you are a custodial parent or legal guardian of the child and authorize counseling services under the terms of this agreement.
Your electronic signature below constitutes your understanding and agreement of the information contained herein.