Would you like to set up a connection between your practice and the local church? How can you connect to the church pastor in a professional and authentic way? What can you do in session to increase the power of the Holy Spirit?
In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks with Jennifer Glasscock about creating a church assistance program.
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Meet Jennifer Glasscock
I am a LCSW with an overwhelming passion to be a sojourner with others through their healing journeys. Being a witness to what the Holy Spirit does in the counseling process is an incredibly humbling experience. I own Harmony House Counseling, LLC, located in Eunice, LA. It is a private group practice of 5 clinicians. We offer faith-based counseling using intervention strategies that target the root causes of mental illness symptoms rather than only offering help to manage the symptoms. I enjoy family time with my husband and our two adult children. I have been happily married for 33 years. Balancing work and home life has been a challenge, but I believe on most days, I get there.
In This Podcast
- What is a church assistance program?
- How can you create a connection between your practice and a church?
- Payment methods
What is a church assistance program?
I’ve based it off of what an EAP does: when we have an EAP that we contract with, they will pay for X sessions and then the insurance company may pick up the continued sessions from there so basically the concept of EAP [was transformed] into how it would fit with a church and partnering with a church in the same way as you would with an employee. (Jennifer Glasscock)
The CAP is a program that partners with the church where pastors or staff are already providing pastoral counseling for couples, individuals, and families who then get to a point where they want to transition from pastoral counseling to psychological and clinical therapeutic counseling.
My approach has been to meet with the pastors and to first educate them on the need and the limitation that the church has with the need beyond their skillset so with the brochure I even ask those questions, such as “why would your church be interested and how could your church benefit from a CAP?” (Jennifer Glasscock)
With the CAP, Jennifer will meet with the pastors to see where they are and what they would like to do. Through their experience they are of course very skilled, however, when it comes to clinical counseling, their expertise is not necessarily in that area. Jennifer will also show them that clinical counseling is not always separate from or denounces religion and can often incorporate it into someone’s healing journey.
In order to provide the best service possible to clients, group practices will work with the church and navigate who to help and when and to what extent.
How can you create a connection between your practice and a church?
Jennifer recommends calling the church secretary to set up a meeting to state that there are mental health concerns in your community, and that you would like to meet with the pastors to see how the church is meeting the needs of the community, and to state that you would like to stand alongside them.
I think the approach and the terminology [is important] and saying: “I just want to meet with you to see how you are doing” and “if there is anything I can do to help” and “these are ways that we can help” and that “we would love to be able to partner with you”. (Jennifer Glasscock)
A collaborative and partnership-based approach is the best way to create a successful CAP.
Only people who receive a pastor or church referral can be a part of the CAP, at which point the counseling practice enters into a contract with the church when they receive the referred person.
Different churches agree on different payment methods or specified amounts of paid sessions.
Beyond those set sessions that the church has agreed to pay 100% for, then it is up to the client to continue services at our regular rate. (Jennifer Glasscock)
For example in Jennifer’s handout, one of the CAP contracts states that a referred person can see a counselor for a 15% discount of the going rate.
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Meet Whitney Owens
Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.
Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.
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