Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the difference between faith based, pastoral counseling/coaching and secular mental health counseling?
A. The fundamental difference is in how mankind is viewed. Their view determines their approach or the establishment of theories on how to help people resolve their internal conflict or relationship issues.
There is one common principle in secular mental health approaches. The principle is that the individual and/or society are at the center of all problems and also all solutions. The majority of these theories are based upon mankind being a creature/animal that has evolved over the millenniums. Their view of mankind and solutions to their problems are built on a philosophy of naturalism, which acknowledges the existence only of material, measurable, observable, natural elements or forces in our world, to the exclusion, by definition, of the supernatural or spiritual. To be fair, the secular, professional counselors have within recent years started to recognize that the application of spiritual truths, i.e. forgiveness can help individuals.
Pastoral Counseling/Coaching believes that mankind was created in God's image of which he still maintains in many aspects, but has been marred by the fall of mankind. Man has a bent toward dysfunctional behavior or sin toward God, self and others. It is through our relationship, fellowship with God and the transformation changes by His grace that our problems can be resolved.
There are those that work as secular mental health providers that are Christians, but do not approach their clients with spiritual help. In many cases because they are forbidden to initiate prayer or teach spiritual truth, they do not use the Bible or prayer in their counseling. This is not to say that some of their methods, i.e. Cognitive Therapy, do not affect outward change in their client's situation. Many times they are teaching truth, which has been established in God's Word without knowing it.
Thus, at times in pastoral counseling/coaching, tools/methods/exercises are used to help to bring understanding into a situation, but the truth of change comes from God's Word.
Q. Does this mean that I have to be a Christian or a religious person to benefit from pastoral counseling?
A. No, it does not. In pastoral counseling you are in a safe place to share openly with
Dr. Grammer without being judged or condemned. However, you will be shown the truth of God's Word for you to consider. Only the truth of God's Word can bring change in a person's life. Many times just in sharing the Word, God reveals Himself to a person and they are changed, because their belief about God, themselves and others change.
Q. Is pastoral counseling/coaching effective for all counseling problems?
A. No, it is not. The reason I say that is two-fold. If a person has neurological issues that are physical in nature, that requires medical intervention. Then those client's are referred to their medical doctor. Dr. Grammer consults frequently with a local medical doctor and the doctor refers clients out of her practice if they need counseling. If they do not have a physician then she accepts referrals from Dr. Grammer.
The second reason that it may not be effective is the cooperation of the client. If they do not truly desire to change or resolve the conflict and they do not do what they are asked to do to address the issues, then nothing happens. Also, if they are not being truthful, nothing changes.
Q. What is Dr. Grammer's counseling/coaching specialty?
A. Dr. Grammer specializes in Addictions and Marriage Counseling. These are his specialties, but addresses many other issues also, as you can see on the web-site.
Q. On average for how long is one in counseling?
A. Obviously, the time period varies based upon the issues. However, the average is between 5 to 7 sessions.
Q. How much does each session cost?
A. As stated elsewhere, this is Faith Based pastoral counseling. Dr. Grammer believes that one of the aspects of faith based counseling is that people should not be turned away because of finances. However, at the same time he believes that people should give something each session. This is determined between God and themselves of how much they should give.
Q. Are there other costs to consider?
A. Yes, although there are no specific fees established for each session, there are assessment tools used to help know you as an individual or couple that cost $60 to $100. Also, you may be directed to buy some specific books that will help you.
Q. Does Dr. Grammer take insurance?
A. No, at this time insurance is not taken.
Q. What about credit cards?
A. It is preferred that payment is given in cash or check. However, major credit cards are accepted.