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How Do I Make a Pastoral Counseling or Life Coaching Appointment?

Initial appointments may be made by calling the RAPHA Center at  

828-313-0162.  Sessions are 50 minutes in length. Appointments depend on whether we have an available time slot to fit your schedule. In general, appointments are available Monday through Friday, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Limited evening and Saturday appointments are available. The more flexible you are able to be with your schedule, the easier it will be for you to set up an appointment as evenings and mornings are usually the fastest to fill up.


Please notify the RAPHA Center at least 24 hours in advance if you need to cancel a scheduled appointment. You will be asked to pay the suggested fee for an appointment that has not been canceled with a 24-hour advance notice, excepting for emergencies or presenting weather conditions.

I have strong religious beliefs. Will my Counselor try to change them?

No, Pastor's at the RAPHA Center respect people's spiritual beliefs, whatever they may be. Please realize however, that we are a Christian based Pastoral Counseling and Coaching practice presenting counseling/coaching from a Biblical world view, therefore the guidance you receive will be Bible based. We see persons from all different faith traditions and persons who espouse no faith tradition.

Is Pastoral Counseling or Life Coaching right for me?

Seeking out Counseling or Life Coaching is an individual choice. There are many reasons why people come to us. Sometimes it is to deal with long-standing emotional issues, or problems with anxiety or depression. Other times it is in response to unexpected changes in one's life such as a divorce, death, job loss, or having to relocate. Many people seek the advice of a Pastoral Counselor as they pursue their own personal spiritual and emotional growth. Working with us can help provide insight, support, and new strategies for many of life challenges. We can help you address many types of issues. Counseling and Life Coaching is right for anyone who is interested in growing emotionally, spiritually and learning how to become equipped to master life challenges.

What is the difference between Pastoral Counseling and Life Coaching?

** Counseling is more focused on solving painful problems from the past

** Coaching is more about finding creative ways to reach your potential in the future

** Counseling guides clients toward experiencing relief through recovery

** Coaching is driven by one word- results in people’s lives

** Counseling helps people to build supports to stabilize their life

** Coaching guides clients toward strategic ways to maximize their life

** Counseling develops healthy emotions and relationships to experience peace

** Coaching builds healthy patterns with accountability to experience personal success towards their goals

(Taken from excerpts of an article by - Dwight Bain, International Christian Coaching Association)

What is Counseling or Life Coaching like?

Every session may be different as we cater to each individual and their specific goals. We often start out discussing your primary issues or concerns. It is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions, where each session lasts around fifty minutes. Counseling or Coaching can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues or ongoing personal and spiritual growth. We may ask you to take certain actions outside of the sessions, such as reading a relevant book we suggest or keeping track of certain behaviors. It is important for you to consider what we discuss in a session and integrate it into your life. People who come to us are seeking to take responsibility for their actions, work towards self-change and obtain greater emotional and spiritual maturity in their lives.

Is medication a substitute for Counseling or Life Coaching?

Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you. It is well established that the long-term solution to emotional and spiritual problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved only by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, Pastoral Counseling and Life Coaching addresses the cause of your distress and the behavior patterns that curb your progress. You can best achieve sustainable emotional and spiritual growth with an integrative approach to wellness.

Do you diagnose mental illness or prescribe medicine?

No, we do not diagnose mental illness nor prescribe medications, as we are not licensed Mental Health Providers, nor do we choose to be. Pastor Sandy Johnson Clark is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor, as well as an ordained Minister. She has training and education in approaching life issues and challenges from a Biblical basis, believing that our body, emotions (soul) and spirit are connected.

Do you accept insurance? What are your fees?

No, we do not accept insurance. For Pastoral Counseling , we work on a suggested donation basis. The suggested fee is based upon the Pastoral Counselor's years of experience in Counseling Ministry, years of Education and the prevailing suggested rate for Pastoral Counselors of like training and education. Life Coaching sessions and Conferences have varying fees attached to them depending on the duration. Please contact our office to discuss this further.

Will what I say be kept private?

Everything that is shared in a Pastoral Counseling or Life Coaching session with a Minister at the RAPHA Center is private and confidential. We respect your privacy, therefore you may speak freely and honestly. It is important that you understand that by law, there are certain things that any Pastoral Counselor/Coach must disclose if you share them. These are as follows:

** Reports of abuse of a minor or disabled/elderly person

** An active plan to harm yourself or someone else (such as a plan to shoot someone, or yourself)

** Any information that a court of law subpoenas from us

Pastor Sandy Johnson Clark is certified by the Board of Christian Professional and Pastoral Counselors and is bound by their code of ethics.

Does this mean that if I have ever felt like harming myself, my counselor will tell someone?

No. Only imminent danger or harm is required to be reported. This means that you can safely share any history of feeling suicidal in the past, or abuse in your childhood with your Pastoral Counselor without fear that it will need to be reported. Only issues that place you in imminent harm must be reported.

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