By Katie Sobiech
“A New Year, A New You!” ….These are the types of headlines floating around this time of year. But what does it really take to create a new you? Some would say that it all starts in the heart, mind and spirit. Emerge Counseling Services focuses on all 3 aspects.
Improving the inner self is one of the most important things that a person can do to live a healthy life. For many, this is the time of year for a fresh start, to begin getting to the root of some inward issues.
Emerge Counseling Services may be the place for you. Emerge is a Christ-Centered place where you can find help and hope through counseling, group sessions, workshops and seminars.
Their mission is to “help people become and remain relationally, emotionally, mentally and spiritually healthy so that they can realize their God-given potential and fulfill their God-designed purpose”.
New Year, New Name
You may have known them as Emerge Ministries, but they are now Emerge Counseling Services.
“We changed our name because a lot of people in the area thought that we were a church. So for many years people drove past this building, thought that it was a church and kind of moved on. Our goal in changing the name is that we really wanted to describe exactly what we do,” Colleen Bell, Director of Education and Marketing, and Volunteer Coordinator, said.
“We’re still a Christian organization, but we call ourselves Emerge Counseling Services. The services part is because we do not just do counseling, but everything surrounding counseling as well,” Bell continued.
The Perfect Blend
Emerge is unlike most counseling services in the area.
“It’s unique in that as human beings we’re also spiritual beings, so we approach our counseling and care for people from a spiritual basis first. Our counseling is rooted in Biblical principles, and then we weave in the best psychological principles,” John Palmer, President of Emerge Counseling Services, said.
“We take the word of God and also acknowledge the science of counseling and psychology and blend them together. We are a healthy blend of both. We understand the spiritual element involved, but at the same time our clinicians are Christ followers, as well as trained professionals with the degrees and certifications necessary for state certification. I believe we bring the best of both together,” Palmer continued.
“Our beginning point is believing that everyone is created in the image of God, and every human being has great value and worth to God, and with that assumption we begin our counseling,” Palmer said.
Along with the one-on-one counseling sessions there are seminars, workshops, group therapy sessions and an educational program to get involved in.
“Community seminars are open to whoever may want to come to them. They touch on a lot of different things,” Bell said.
For example, this month’s topic was “Turning a Student’s Struggle into Success” – a class for parents on how to navigate through the educational system.
“In addition to that we’ve had seminars that are more on the spiritual side, focusing on your mental health and how it relates to your faith, and how important that is.” Bell said.
They also have seminars available to professional counselors looking for continuing education credits, which Emerge offers.
“It’s a great way to bring Christianity into the courses that they would need to take anyways,” Bell said.
Group counseling sessions are also available to those who do not feel comfortable in a one-on-one clinical setting. There are currently about 5 groups run by professional counselors on a variety of topics.
“It’s an opportunity to discuss in a group setting. It kind of normalizes things for you. If you’re addicted to drugs (you realize) you’re not the only person that’s been addicted to drugs. You know, you are feeling these kind of emotions and there’s other people feeling those same emotions too,” Bell said.
One group session they offer is “Friendwise” – an 8-week group to help teen girls build positive self-esteem and friendship. This is for females ages 13-16 and teaches them social skills, effective coping, how to handle peer pressure, identify their strengths and more.
Another group is “Overcoming Life Controlling Addictive Behaviors” which is a group for men. This 10-week group is for men who desire to overcome and maintain freedom from a variety of addictions.
All are Welcome
“We are a Christ-centered counseling center, faith based, but help people no matter what their faith is – if they have no faith or little faith. You may be Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Jew or Atheist…We don’t just see people who are following Christ. We respect everyone’s point of view,” Palmer said.
“Our counselors make sure that we incorporate as much or as little as the client feels comfortable with. If they feel comfortable praying in session, clinicians do pray with our clients. They do talk about their faith. You know, some people are just not prepared to do that. At the time that they come in for counseling, maybe they’re coming in for counseling because they’re mad at God and so they don’t want to do that. They may have to work through some other issues before they get to that point. But we do make that available and it’s certainly the foundation of how we counsel,” Bell explained.
Watch for our next story which will go more in-depth into their Pastoral and Missionary counseling services and seminars!
For more information please visit http://www.emerge.org .