A Look at Systems of Integrated Counseling

June 27, 2016

Over the past several weeks, we have been looking at Sioux Falls Seminary’s call to “equip God’s people to do his work and to build up the church, the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12) and to serve in God’s kingdom by providing systems of theological education that are affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful.

This week our conversation will continue but explore another aspect of the seminary’s kingdom calling: creating systems of integrative counseling.  With a mission of meeting people where they are … offering hope, here is how affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful apply to our work at Sioux Falls Psychological Services.

Many people have health insurance to cover a portion of the costs associated with psychological care.  But others live without insurance or have limited funds and even co-payments can be out of reach.  In addition to meeting the needs of insured individuals in our community, Sioux Falls Psychological Services provides therapy and assessment for the uninsured and underinsured in two ways.  First, our professional therapists commonly provide some significantly reduced cost services as a way of giving back to the community.  Second, as part of the training for the seminary’s Master of Arts in Counseling program, students provide counseling (under the supervision of licensed professionals) to those who would otherwise not be able to afford these services.  This is done through our Community Counseling Clinic.  It is always amazing to watch students develop into competent professionals as clients receive great therapy for little or no cost.  We don’t turn anyone away based on ability to pay.

As a multi-disciplinary group of mental health professionals, we are able to effectively serve just about anyone who walks through our doors.  Our Therapy and Assessment Clinic provides psychological services and psychological evaluations.  Through our Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic, we provide services for our infants, children, and adolescents, ages one to eighteen years, and the people who care for them.  As mentioned above, our Community Counseling Clinic, with its radically reduced cost structure, gives access to individuals, couples, and families with little or no insurance.  Sioux Falls Psychological Services also has an office in Platte, SD.  It’s the only counseling service in its region and provides access to a rural population that would otherwise have to drive an hour or more each way to receive counseling.
Our professionals are a diverse group of men and women, representing various levels of education, types of mental health licenses, and areas of expertise.  This keeps us growing.

Meeting people where they are and offering hope goes beyond cost and accessibility.  It is about being relevant.  For us, relevance is not just related to counseling skills and professional breadth.  It also has much to do with our understanding of how Jesus served others.  It is our focus on service that may be the most relevant aspect of what we do.  Jesus, Paul tells us, did not regard equality with God something to grasp.  Rather, he emptied himself and took on the role of a servant.  Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life for us.  At Sioux Falls Psychological Services, we seek to serve competently as we carry out our mission.

We also seek to serve faithfully.  For us, this means integrating psychological and biblical knowledge and wisdom.  We know that all truth is God’s truth, that God reveals God’s self to the world through empirical discovery of knowledge, as well as through the words and truths of scripture.  Much effort is invested in interpreting scripture faithfully, and in interpreting psychological data using solid methodologies.  Summed up in the words of one writer, we invest our lives in pursuing the mind of the King in all areas of study that impact the work of a counselor.

At Sioux Falls Psychological Services, we want to be affordable so anyone can receive help.  We want to be accessible physically in terms of location and professionally in terms of our breadth of knowledge and skills.  We want to be relevant as we seek to be good servants who always see a trace of God’s face in those who come to us for help.  And we want to serve our clients faithfully, utilizing all disciplines at our disposal, as a reflection of our faith in God.  If you’d like to learn more about our team or know of someone in need of our services, please visit our website at www.offermehope.com.

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