Types of Therapists on staff:
What types of counselors do you have on your staff?
We have both interns and licensed therapists. Interns are counselors who have completed their master’s degree in mental health and are working toward their 3000 hours required for state licensure. And licensed counselors are therapists who have already fulfilled this requirement. Some of our counselors are Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) and some are Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists (LMFT); and all of our interns are working toward one or both of these licenses.
May I request a particular therapist?
Yes, you may consult our page that introduces you to the various therapists at NLCC to have a better idea of who you would like to work with.
What if I prefer feedback about which therapist may benefit me the most?
From the first contact we believe that a good investment of time, for both you and your therapist, is to spend a couple of minutes on the phone to gather an idea of what issue(s) may invite you to seek counseling. And based on this information, your therapist may offer you a referral to another therapist, who may specialize in something that you seek, or offer to set an appointment.
What is a counseling Intern or Associate?
The requirements in the state of Texas to become a licensed therapist are incredibly rigorous. These rigorous requirements are in place to insure that a therapist has ample time for quality training so that the public may have greater confidence in the quality of the licensed professional. It is a standard of care. An intern or associate is someone who has completed his/her master’s degree in a mental health field, has already passed a standardized examination, and is currently working toward the required 3000 hours for state licensure. While a therapist is in his/her internship, which takes several years to complete, their professional designation is an LPC-Intern (who is working toward licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor) and/or an LMFT-Associate (who is working toward licensure as a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist). And just like a graduate of medical school must then complete his/her medical Residency, our interns are in a similar stage of professional development in completing their internship.
Integration of Faith:
What is Christian Counseling? And how is it different than Biblical Counseling?
Both types of counseling are similar in endorsing Scripture as the ultimate authority on how we live our lives, worship God, and serve each other. And these two types of counseling have several important distinctions.
Makes use of additional resources, though these resources are under the authority of Scripture,
Works with people of all walks of life or theological beliefs (like Jesus being friends with those who believed and behaved differently than He did),
Explores a working definition of grace
Believes in only using Scripture, all other resources are not valid or useful,
Requires conversion to Christianity before meeting or upon meeting (according to Jay Adams, in Competent to Counsel, 1979),
Emphasizes the necessity of behaving in prescripted ways
For further reading on the position of Scripture and the use of additional resources (as listed in #1 above), Stanton Jones & Richard Butman, in “Modern Psychotherapies: A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal,” (1991), offer the most concise responses to three common critiques of Christian counseling:
Critique #1: “The assertion that the Bible declares itself…to be sufficient to meet all human needs. Thus to argue that one could or should study anything other than the bible (such as psychology) in order to better meet human needs is tantamount to declaring the Holy Scriptures to be inadequate to equip the servant of God and also to rejecting God’s own claims for his revelation (Bobgan & Bobgan, 1987, p. 11; and Adams, 1979, p. 46).” (Jones & Butman, p. 25). Jones & Butman (pp. 26-27):
“We affirm the sufficiency of the Bible. At the same time, we must remember that it is God, not the Bible itself, who is declared to be all-sufficient, to provide all that pertains unto life. Christians should courageously claim and proclaim whatever authority and power that the Scriptures declare for themselves—no less and no more.
“On this basis, let us look at II Timothy 3:16-17: ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’
“Note that, while inspired (‘God-breathed’), Scripture is not declared to be the only and all-sufficient source for every word ever needed anytime by anyone for any purpose related to human need; rather, it is called ‘useful.’ In other words, we do not look to Scripture for guidance for plumbing; nor should we for distinguishing schizophrenia from a character disorder. Also, Paul teaches that Scripture is essential to the forming of our core character, which, if shaped and molded by God’s living Word, can prepare us for beginning any good work—though the accomplishment of that good work may well also depend on the mastery of other key skills.
"The Bible is thus an essential foundation for a Christian approach to psychotherapy and is very relevant to this field. Nevertheless, while the Bible provides us with life’s most important and ultimate answers as well as the starting points for knowledge of the human condition, it is not an all-sufficient guide for the discipline of counseling. The Bible is inspired and precious, but it is also a revelation of limited scope, the main concern of which is religious in its presentation of God’s redemptive plan for His people and the great doctrines of the faith. The Bible doesn’t claim to reveal everything that human beings might want to know.
Critique #2: “The belief that there are two sources of counsel in this world, God and Satan. Further, ‘The Bible’s position is that all counsel that is not revelational (biblical), or based upon God’s revelation, is Satanic’ (Adams, 1979, p. 4; see also Bobgan & Bobgan, 1987, p. 32). Thus to decide to listen to and learn from a non-Christian in an area where God has revealed His will (i.e., in psychology) is to ‘walk in the counsel of the wicked’ (Psalm 1:1).” (Jones & Butman, pp. 25-26). Jones & Butman (pp. 27-28):
“Second, all truth is from above (James 1:17). Correspondingly, Satan is the father of lies, ranging from out-and-out fabrications (e.g., atheism) to lies that are subtle twists and perversions of the truth (e.g., cults based on distortions of scriptural revelation).
“In addition, people are fallible, fallen and finite. Thus our theologies, our confessional heritages, our Bible teachings (not the Bible itself) and our prayers are filled with subtle and sometimes blatant falsehoods and imperfections. We are not right in all that we believe, though by God’s grace through the Holy Spirit and the influence of the body of Christ, we are guided into sufficient truth to be able to actually relate to God and understand something of His nature, and to even be able to proclaim our faith as the truth.
“The flip side is that Christians are not the sole possessors of truth. Just as the rain falls on the just and the unjust, so too does truth, by the process that theologians call God’s common grace. Romans 1 speaks of God even revealing central truths about His nature to unbelievers (vs. 19). John Calvin, the courageous defender and expositor of the Scriptures who was so central to the Protestant Reformation, stated it well when he said, ‘The human mind, however much fallen and perverted from its original integrity, is still adorned and invested with admirable gifts from its Creator…. We will be careful…not to reject or condemn truth wherever it appears” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2.2.15).
Critique #3: “The argument that psychology is bad science. If we are to accept truth from any quarter, surely (it is argued) it should only be on the assurance that we are accepting true truth, real truth. Surely the vain speculations and philosophies of mere humans (II Cor. 10:5) do not merit a place in our beliefs alongside God’s Word (Swaggart, 1986, pp. 6-7; Bobgan & Bobgan, 1987, pp. 29-30).” (Jones & Butman, p. 26). Jones & Butman (pp. 27-28):
“There are two sources of counsel in the world, God’s and Satan’s, and we should follow God’s counsel. But God’s counsel is not always synonymous with the counsel of a Christian, and Satan’s counsel is not synonymous with the counsel of a non-Christian. Rather, we would identify God’s counsel with the truth, and Satan’s counsel with falsehood. Thus sometimes a so-called secular approach to understanding a given topic may be nearer the truth than the distorted understanding of a particular Christian person. If we understand God’s counsel to be truth, we will be committed to pursuing truth wherever we find it. And we may sometimes find it in the careful and insightful writings of unbelievers.
“…We deny the fundamental premise that Christians can only derive knowledge from two sources, authoritative revelation or science. It is the Bible that is infallible, not the human beings who read it. Thus, while the Scriptures are infallible, any given human interpretation of the Bible may be fraught with problems.”
Do I have to be a Christian to attend counseling at NLCC?
No. We follow Christ’s example of meeting people where they are. He did not require conversion: He engaged people. While we are capable of integrating faith into your therapy journey, we follow you lead, your preference for how much or how little you want.
Do you pray with your clients or quote Scripture every session?
If a client desires his/her counselor to pray, then we are eager to do so. If you do not specifically request this, we intentionally take a gracious position to not assert a particular agenda. Re: Scripture, if you are open to looking at the precedence that Jesus left in the New Testament or a useful example from the Old Testament, your therapist may reference these when relevant. But this is only if you are open to this and it would be helpful for you.
Are you associated with any particular denomination? What are your theological Beliefs?
No, we are not associated with any particular denomination. However, to gain a little understanding of where we position ourselves theologically, we strongly subscribe to the Apostle’s Creed and work toward Galatians 5:22 “fruit” with all of the dear souls who we get to serve professionally.
I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.
“…The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
forbearance, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness and self-control….”
What forms of payment do you accept?
NLCC accepts cash, checks, and credit/debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover).
Do you process insurance?
We are intentionally not on any insurance panels. Please refer to the page titled “Insurance.”
Parameters of Therapy:
Can I get better on my own without counseling?
This is a good question. Not everyone needs therapy for every difficulty. Many people can and do improve without outside intervention, simply working with the struggles that life may bring. Others continue to struggle in the same dynamics or patterns and may benefit greatly from professional therapy and insight. If you continue to use the same strategies in life and relationships and these are not working for you, counseling may benefit you greatly.
How long are your sessions? How frequently do you meet with your clients? How long is a course of treatment?
Individual, Couple, or Family therapy is done in private sessions usually lasting 45-50 minutes, once per week. If you prefer to see your therapist twice/week, please negotiate this with your therapist. Group therapy generally meets one time/week and lasts for 90 minutes. The duration of therapy depends entirely on you, the issues that brought you into treatment, and the resolution that you experience while in treatment. You are in the driver’s seat on this decision.
What if I would benefit from a different therapist or type of resource?
In addition, an NLCC therapist may periodically see that another therapist may be better suited for you; and your therapist will invite a conversation in the first session about the possibility of referring you to another qualified, competent professional. Other times your therapist may see that you may also be served by additional help, such as ruling out medical issues, and may refer you to your primary care physician, or to a psychiatrist if you may be served in this capacity, or group counseling, support groups, etc. In each case your therapist will evaluate what is best for you &/or your family, and discuss this with you.
What should I do with emergencies that occur outside of session?
For severe or life-threatening psychiatric situations, immediately call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room. For non-life-threatening issues, you are welcome to phone your therapist and leave a message. Calls are generally returned within 24 hours during the work week. And therapeutic care/consultation telephone calls beyond five (5) minutes are charged at the session rate on a pro-rated basis. Some clients prefer to communicate via email; but because the internet is not a secure form of communication, we strongly recommend that you not pursue therapeutic issues in this format (reserving this only for scheduling issues).