Frequently Asked Questions
What is our Purpose?
Simply put, the Scotland Family Counseling Center strengthens family life among people living in Scotland County, North Carolina, and the surrounding area. We do this through counseling, educational events, and a variety of specialized services.
Who sponsors the Center?
The Center is a nonprofit agency serving everyone. We are sponsored through a cooperative effort of the Scotland County area and local church congregations. The fund raising efforts of our Board of Directors and The Silent Samaritan Society also support us.
How are we managed?
A local Board of Directors manages the Center. Board members are recruited from community leaders and supporting church congregations. The Board determines the services we provide, sets plans and policies, oversees the work of the Center and its director, raises funds, and manages the financial operation of the Center.
What is faith-based or faith-integrated counseling?
The counseling provided by the Scotland Family Counseling Center is faith-based or faith-integrated. We believe that religious faith is a powerful resource in helping people deal with their problems. Our counselors do not impose their own religious beliefs on to clients. We respect the religious faith of each client and we work to integrate the client's beliefs into the counseling process. We work comfortably with persons of all faiths. Most of our counselors and clients are Christian. Thus, most of our counseling is Christian in nature.
What is a pastoral counseling center?
The Center is a pastoral counseling center. What does that mean? It does not mean that we are staffed exclusively with pastoral counselors (persons with theological as well as mental health training) although we do have pastoral counselors. Neither does it mean that we serve only pastors, although we do give special attention to serving clergy families.
What it means is that our counseling is pastoral in nature. We believe that people function best when all aspects of their lives — physical, mental, and spiritual — are fully utilized. We integrate all of these areas into the counseling that we provide. All counselors at our Center subscribe to this approach and provide counseling that includes a spiritual emphasis.
How do we work with congregations?
The Center views itself as a partner in pastoral care with the pastors of the community. We work with the most acute problems that pastors do not have the time or experience to treat. We are available for consultation with the pastor, and we encourage clients to seek spiritual guidance from their pastor and to join actively in the life of their congregation. We give priority to referrals from pastors and congregations who provide financial support for the operation of the Center.
How can a congregation partner with the Scotland Family Counseling Center?
The pastor or representative of any congregation interested in becoming a partner with the Scotland Family Counseling Center can contact the Center director at 910-276-7011 for information. We welcome the close working relationship that this alliance brings, and the congregation essentially gains a group of faith-based counselors as a part of its staff.
Does the center discriminate?
Absolutely not! We encourage anyone to make use of our services — regardless of gender, race, religion, or physical disability. We operate with the deepest regard for the worth of every person.
How do we get money to operate the Center?
We get money in two ways. One is through the fees that we collect. These are used to pay the salaries of our counselors and provide the many clinical services necessary to insure that quality counseling is provided. But since much of our counseling is supplemented (provided at substantially reduced costs to clients who could not otherwise afford counseling), they do not generate enough funds to cover the costs of operating the Center.
The second way that we get money is through financial gifts and contributions. These are funds given to us by churches, the business community, civic organizations, foundations, United Way and concerned individuals. The Board of Directors raises money through fund raising events such as our The Silent Samaritan Society during the spring of each year.
These contributions pay for the operation of the physical plant, the salaries of our clerical staff, and the many practical requirements for providing counseling services. Because we raise these funds we can afford to provide the many free counseling hours to clients.
Where are we located?
When is counseling available?
The Center is usually open Monday-Thursday 9:00AM – 6:00PM by appointment and Friday 9:00AM – 1:00PM by appointment. When the Center is closed, we maintain an answering machine to take messages or to direct clients to emergency care.
Who Provides the Counseling?
Counseling is provided by state licensed counselors from one of several mental health disciplines. They include licensed professional counselors, and substance abuse counselors. Our counselors hold a Masters and/or Doctorate in their fields.
Is there anyone who can't use the Center?
Anyone who seeks counseling that the Center is equipped to provide will be served. For some mental health conditions, a referral to a more appropriate provider may be necessary.
Do we provide medications?
A medical doctor must prescribe medications, and we do not have a physician on our staff. We can work with the personal physician of the client if that is more appropriate or make a referral for psychiatric care. Payment for physician services are the client's responsibility and they are not a part of the arrangements with the center.
What types of counseling are provided?
We have counselors with many types of expertise, and we provide many types of counseling. Individuals often seek our help in dealing with such problems as depression, anxiety, stress, coping with difficult situations, religious matters, adjustment to divorce, and other crises in their lives. Couples seek help with a wide variety of relationship problems. Families often seek help dealing with parent-child issues, ADD, and ADHD, behavioral problems of their children, helping children who have been abused in some way, family conflict, and other matters that threaten the life of the family.
Do we take insurance?
We are providers for many health insurance companies, managed care organizations and employee assistance plans. Actually, there are countless insurance arrangements and these are constantly changing. If you have mental health insurance coverage, you can call the Center and give us specific information about your plan. We will then check with your insurance company and determine what, if any, coverage you have and what the actual cost to you will be.
Some insurance companies and managed care organizations limit the number of providers. Thus, sometimes we have certain counselors who are providers for a company and other counselors who are not providers. When insurance coverage is used, our standard fees apply. We are Tricare providers.
What if I do not have insurance?
You do not need to have insurance to be a client of Scotland Family Counseling Center. Fees for clients without insurance are determined by a sliding scale based on household income and the number of people in the household. For those families with low household income, our Client Aid Fund can be used to supplement client fees.
What is the Client Aid Fund?
The Center maintains the Client Aid Fund. When a client cannot afford the minimum fee set by our Board of Directors, we draw from this fund to pay for the counseling. There is a limit on the amount of funds that a client can draw from this fund each year, but the limit is generous and few clients reach their limit.
How does one make an appointment?
Call the Scotland Family Counseling Center at 910-276-7011 for information or an appointment. Your pastor, medical doctor, school, or anyone providing other types of services for you can also refer you for services. Clients may also pre-register for an appointment through this website.
Is therapy right for me?
Seeking therapy is an individual choice. It only makes sense to seek out a therapist if you are willing to take a look at your life and make a change. There are many reasons why people come to therapy. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing psychological issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce or work transition. Many seek the advice of counsel as they pursue their own personal exploration and growth. Working with a therapist can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for all types of life challenges. Therapy can help address many types of issues including depression, anxiety, conflict, grief, stress management, body-image issues, and general life transitions. Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.
Do I really need therapy? I can usually handle my problems.
Everyone goes through challenging situations in life, and while you may have successfully navigated through other difficulties you've faced, there's nothing wrong with seeking out extra support when you need it. In fact, therapy is for people who have enough self-awareness to realize they need a helping hand, and that is something to be admired. You are taking responsibility by accepting where you are in life and making a commitment to change the situation by seeking therapy. Therapy provides long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to avoid triggers, re-direct damaging patterns, and overcome whatever challenges you face.
How can therapy help me?
A number of benefits are available from participating in psychotherapy. Therapists can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
- Developing skills for improving your relationships
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
- Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
- Improving communications and listening skills
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
- Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
What is therapy like?
Every therapy session is unique and caters to each individual and their specific goals. It is standard for therapists to discuss the primary issues and concerns in your life during therapy sessions. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around forty five minutes. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal growth. There may be times when you are asked to take certain actions outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records to track certain behaviors. It is important to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life between sessions. For therapy to be most effective, you must be an active participant, both during and between the sessions. People seeking psychotherapy are willing to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and create greater awareness in their lives. Here are some things you can expect out of therapy:
- Compassion, respect and understanding
- Perspectives to illuminate persistent patterns and negative feelings
- Real strategies for enacting positive change
- Effective and proven techniques along with practical guidance
Is therapy confidential?
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and psychotherapist. No information is disclosed without prior written permission from the client.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.