I hope this letter finds you well and in great spirits! As you are well aware, the pressure on many families in our congregations and on ourselves is often draining and perplexing, making it difficult to respond to all the diverse emotional needs usually represented. As a partner in ministry, I would like to briefly update you on our work at Downey Park Counseling Associates which has been providing psychological support, resource materials, seminars, and counseling services for the Central Valley since 1975.
As you may already know, our staff has been actively involved in a wide range of ministry for years. In this letter I would like to inform you of resources available to support you, your staff, and other leaders in the church.
FOR YOUR CONGREGATION:
Affective Christian Living: is a powerful and fun Sunday School class taught for one quarter during your Sunday School hour. This class tends to be an evangelistic tool addressing the emotional, spiritual, and relational needs of people, highlighting conflict resolution, emotional boundaries and effective Biblical methods of communication. Classes are available on a limited basis and are of particular interest to married couples.
Seminars: focused on conflict resolution, pre-marital counseling, lay counseling, parenting, and other topics are available to encourage healthy, functional relationships in the home and in the body of Christ.
Professional Therapy: We provide individual, marital, child, and family counseling in a professional setting with expertise to address a wide range of psychological problems using the Bible as the foundation for our work. All clinicians are licensed by the State of California Board of Behavioral Sciences and are members of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Many services are covered by insurances and we are providers for many health plans.
Contracted Rates: In cases where financial hardships exist, we will contract with your church reduced therapy rates comparative to Medi-Cal to provide time-limited cost with your church paying the balance. The number of sessions is predetermined, limiting your church’s financial responsibility to a minimum while making it possible for members to access professional Christian mental health services when needed.
FOR YOUR MINISTERIAL STAFF:
Personal Care: As stress in our culture rises, people bring that pressure to their church, along with higher expectations of the clergy. Typically pastors can not quit at the end of the day and feel they have done everything because there is always someone else in need. We provide supportive services to instill mechanisms for preventive care and guided growth, with procedures for intervention before stress leads to burnout and crisis.
Seminars: focused on staff development, team building, communication and conflict resolution to encourage both personal and professional growth.
Consultive Inquiries: Your staff may ask clinical questions regarding specific situations in your counseling, with the identity of your client remaining confidential. Resources, suggestions, and screening is provided over the phone with emphasis on assisting you in setting counseling goals and avoiding potential pitfalls.
Clinical Evaluations: are available for complex emotional problems providing you and your referral with a psychological assessment and treatment recommendations outlining goals and objectives. You may participate in the interview process and elect to work with the situation exclusively, or conjointly as needed.
Life Care: (Lay Instruction For Encouragement)-this intensive weekend seminar is designed to equip leadership in the church (i.e. Pastors, Board Members, Sunday School teachers, etc.) Past participants express how beneficial the information is to them in improving their own relationships and interactions with others.
Testing: various tests and personality inventories are available as a resource for your counseling ministry. You may discuss with one of our staff what information you are needing and an instrument can be selected and administered in our office. The results are forwarded to you confidentially.
Missionary Outreach: staff members have gone on mission trips to support missionaries and their families, to train leaders, and we are now consulting with missionaries online.
Thank you for your valuable time taken to process this letter. We believe we are technicians of God’s Word and look to the Lord and Scripture for His leadership and guidance, while using our therapeutic skills to help people mature in His image.
Let us know how we can be helpful to you.
Wess Ferguson, L.M.F.T.,