Biblical Counselling FAQ

What is the goal of the Biblical Counselling ministry?

Biblical counselling is speaking the truth in love (Eph 4:15). The counselling offered through our ministry is gospel-centred (2 Cor 5:21), Bible-saturated (Ps 119:9), prayer filled (Heb 4:16), God dependant (John 15:5), worship focused (Rom 12:12), and Christ exalting (1 Pet 3:15). The main objective of biblical counselling at Harvest is the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31), and the joy of His people in Him (2 Cor 1:24).

Who can access counselling services?

Counselling is available for any adult who makes Harvest Bible Chapel Oakville their home church. We do offer one-time meetings for anyone who reaches out, but our ongoing care and counselling services are reserved for attendees of the church.

Is there counselling offered that is specifically geared to youth?

At this time we do not offer counselling specifically geared toward youth. We do meet with youth who reach out for an initial meeting, but ongoing care and discipleship is usually assumed by Harvest Youth.

Is there a fee for biblical counselling?

No, there is no fee for counselling services. However, counsellees may be asked to help offset the cost of materials and resources, depending on the type of counselling being received.

I am interested in seeing a counsellor. What is my next step?

Please contact the Departmental Coordinator to book an initial appointment and obtain the documents necessary for your first meeting.

What are the office hours for counselling appointments?

Our counsellors work Tuesday to Friday. Appointments are generally scheduled between the hours of 9:00AM and 5:00PM, with the last appointment of the day being 4:00PM. There are a few evening and weekend appointments available, but there is generally a wait to access counselling during these high-demand times.

What can I expect from my initial counselling meeting?

Before your first meeting, you will be sent some paperwork to complete. You will complete an online consent waiver, and also complete a brief profile about yourself. These documents must be completed prior to your first meeting.
During your initial meeting, the counsellor will pray with you and talk to you about the issue(s) that prompted you to reach out for counselling. These meetings usually last approximately 1 hour.
After the meeting, the counsellor will prayerfully consider some next steps for you. You can expect to receive an electronic copy of a care plan within 7-10 days of your initial meeting. This care plan lists immediate, medium term and long term steps. If you do not hear from your counsellor within 10 days please connect with the Departmental Coordinator.
Please note that the above process is our standard for most cases. There are exceptions and our process looks different in crisis situations. Please contact the Departmental Coordinator for additional details if required.

My care plan recommends counselling. When can I start?

Our counselling ministry has three semesters when we take on new counsellees for formal counselling; September, January, and April. We also reserve some spots throughout the year for informal counselling which can begin at any time.

I would like ongoing counselling, but the care plan I received did not the recommended individual counselling.

Our counselling team uses multiple factors to assess whether and/or when an individual is referred for our one-on-one counselling spots. Many classes, groups and workshops (coming in 2019) offered through the church can help address some of the counselling needs in our church body. Sometimes counsellors recommend prerequisites to complete and you may be asked to book a follow up meeting to assess placement in a counselling spot (after completion of certain classes or specific growth projects assigned by the counsellor).

Who are the various members of the Biblical Counselling team?

Pastor Nathan oversees the Biblical Counselling ministry. Along with teaching and preaching duties, he provides support and guidance to the members of the counselling team. Pastor Nathan also does individual and couples counselling.

Pastor Grant helps teach some of the classes offered through the Biblical Counselling ministry. Pastor Grant provides individual counselling and marriage counselling.

Tami, Andrea and MaryLou are our three female biblical counsellors on staff. They counsel women, and they sometimes work with the counselling pastors for marriage counselling cases.

We also have a team of ABC (Association of Biblical Counsellors) certified non-vocational counsellors who serve in the ministry and provide individual counselling.

Kristen and Samantha offer administrative and planning support to the counselling ministry.

What different types of counselling are offered through the Biblical Counselling Ministry?

We offer one-on-one counselling and marriage counselling. Starting in the Fall of 2018 we also offer a group counselling class (by referral only). Premarital counselling also falls under our ministry. We will also be offering Biblical Counselling workshops (on specific topics) starting in 2019.

What different classes fall under the Biblical Counselling ministry?

There are multiple classes that fall under our ministry. Some of these classes are available for general sign-up, and some are by referral only:
GriefShare
Heart Resurgence
Premarital Counselling 
Marriage Prep class (coming in 2018/2019)
Counselling class (starting in Fall 2018 and by referral only from the counselling ministry)
Marriage Mentoring (by referral only from counselling ministry)

What training do the counsellors have?

Our counsellors have a variety of backgrounds including ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counsellors) and ABC (Association of Biblical Counsellors) certification, and seminary degrees in counselling.

I am interested in serving in the Biblical Counselling ministry as an advocate. How can I apply for this serving opportunity?

Advocates are an important part of the counselling process. Advocates are people who walk alongside a counsellee during the counselling process. They attend each session, complete homework and discuss it with the counsellee before each session, and are able to witness the amazing transformative work of the Holy Spirit as the counselling progresses. You can apply for this serving opportunity online. Please note that you must have attended the church for six months, attended PWTP, Christ Follower Class, and have two church references for consideration as an advocate. You will also be asked to meet with someone on the counselling team as part of the interview process.

If you are interested in how biblical counselling differs from other types of counselling, these resources may be of interest to you:

I still have some questions. Who can I contact?

Please contact Kristen Akinsulie, the Departmental Coordinator, with any further questions you have about the counselling ministry at Harvest Bible Chapel Oakville.