Below are a few questions I’ve received many times and others I anticipate people might want to know about.
What Kind of Minister Are You?
I’m a Unitarian Universalist (UU) minister. We are a progressive religious association with only about 1200 congregations in the United States. The congregation I served for many years is in Ft. Worth, Texas. UU ministers must go through psychological testing, earn a master’s degree from an accredited (Association of Theological Schools) seminary and have at least one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education which most often takes place in a hospital setting. You can learn more about about Unitarian Universalism at www.uua.org.
Are you going to get “all religious” on me?
Heavens no! We will talk about religion or spirituality as much or as little as you want. If religion or spirituality is important to you we will likely talk about it more. If religion or spiritually is not important to you it will not come up in our conversations. You will drive what we talk about. I have zero agenda for our conversations other than to listen deeply without judgement, ask questions, and offer educational opportunities (assessments, homework, etc.) to learn more about what may be troubling you.
Are you a therapist?
While I have been trained and educated as a therapist, and am licensed as a therapist and addictions counselor in Texas, I am not offering people therapy. I’m offering pastoral support and education about things many people find difficult in life. We will all grieve, the vast majority of us have confronted addiction in our families, sometimes our relationships get stuck, and we will all have to face the fact that we will die. I’m uniquely qualified to offer support and education to others in these areas of need.
What are your qualifications?
Well, I have a bachelor’s degree from TCU (Ft. Worth) in History and Religion. I have master’s and doctoral degrees in Education and Counseling from UNT (Denton). I have a master’s from the Divinity School at Vanderbilt (Nashville) and a doctoral degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School (Chicago) that emphasized pastoral counseling. I have hundreds of hours of continuing education and other certifications in the areas of grief, addictions, relationships and death education.
Are our meetings confidential?
Absolutely! Everything you say to me will be held in confidence. However, if I believe you are going to harm yourself or someone else, or if you report a dangerous crime to me, I’ll contact the proper people to report this. This hasn’t been an issue for the years I’ve been offering pastoral support because I’m not typically working with people who have severe mental health issues. I work with healthy folks who are in a difficult period or major transition in life.
Do you charge for your services?
I do not charge for our initial 30 minute introductory meeting. This is where we get to know each other a bit, you tell me what’s going on and, together, we determine how I can help and if you feel comfortable with me. Should we decide to move forward together, each meeting is assessed a fee of $69.
Will you accept my insurance?
Insurance companies will not reimburse for pastoral support and education. Also, I will not “diagnose” or “label” you with an affliction, something required by insurance companies. At $69 per meeting my fee is VERY low. I do this in an attempt to offer support and education to as many people as possible.
What will a meeting be like?
It mostly consists of you telling me what’s happening in your life that is creating difficulties. I listen deeply, ask clarifying questions, and we bounce around ideas of what might be more helpful. I often suggest an exercise (paper and pencil, not physical exercise) for you to complete before our next meeting. People often describe these exercises as fun and thought-provoking. Our meeting typically lasts 50 minutes.
Do you need any information from me before our first meeting?
Yes, I’ll ask for this form to be completed prior to our first 50 minute meeting. We’ll go over it during our 30 minute introductory meeting.
Where is your office?
All of my meetings are conducted virtually using Zoom.