Frequently asked questions

Answering your questions

What is the cost?

All Bethel's counselling is free-of-charge for members of the Uniting Church.

Consulting to Presbyteries is offered for nominal fees.

Who comes to Bethel?

Members of the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania are offered support at Bethel for harm experienced during their church lives.

Do I need a referral?

No referral is needed. Simply contact us directly.

Where does counselling take place?

We meet with you in a lovely old house in Balwyn North. If this location is difficult for you, we can meet online via Zoom.

Is there a limit to the number of sessions I can have?

We provide counselling over the short- or the long-term, and review progress with you after every six sessions.

Do I need a mental health care plan?

A mental health care plan is not needed, since Bethel counselling incurs no cost to you.

What is the process?

One of Bethel's counsellors will arrange for an initial phone call,. During your chat, you will be asked for a brief outline of what brings you to counselling. You will be able to ask questions, and establish if counselling is for you. If you would like to proceed, you can make an appointment at that time.

How is counselling different from supervision?

Personal counselling aims to resolve a problem which exists for an individual. Supervision seeks to improve the quality of therapy, and may do this by helping the supervisee to resolve specific or individual problems.

How is counselling different from pastoral care?

A counsellor guides a client in discovering solutions to a problem within a context of relational and behavioural change. Your faith is given importance when you come to Bethel.

Pastoral care refers to the services performed by a minister,  centred on relationship with God.

How is talking to a counsellor different from speaking with a friend?

Here's a useful article which talks about this.

Isn’t counselling for people with major problems? What if I am just really stressed or a bit anxious, and need to talk things through?

Counselling is not only for people with major issues. It is very important to address stress early before things become too big, and counselling can be very helpful. You may only need one session, or prefer to meet your counsellor over a period of time.