MARK F. GRAHAM, ED.D, LPC-S #383
FOUNTAIN OF LIFE COUNSELING CENTER
100 S. Tyler St., Ste 7-A
COVINGTON, LA. 70434
DECLARATION OF PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES
1. Counseling Relationship:
The counseling relationship is characterized by openness and honesty, with the goal of the enhancement of some arena of life: spiritual, emotional, behavioral, relational, vocational, etc. It is a problem-solving relationship, geared to facilitate understanding, insight, and a perceived sense of forward movement in a personally chosen positive direction. It is an ethically and morally sound relationship, adhering to truth and an altruistic concern for the well-being and genuine growth of the client. It generally involves the facing of fears or other encumbrances in the effort to move ahead. It is a working relationship involving dynamics that may be quite difficult - the facing of certain difficult realities, for instance. But, if successful, the facing of the difficulty leads to a greater sense of personal freedom, stability, and/or enjoyment of life. Generally speaking, the counseling relationship serves to facilitate movement toward the fullness of one's God-given potentialities.
I hold the Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1971; the Master of Divinity [‘83] and Doctor of Education [‘90] Degrees from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. The Master of Divinity Degree requires 92 semester hours of biblical, theological, historical, and practical studies. It is a flexible pastoral ministry degree, and I placed elective emphasis on counseling and psychotherapeutic theories and techniques. The Doctor of Education Degree requires 66 semester hours above Master's level work and includes a 25,000 - 50,000 word dissertation of original study. My dissertation was in the area of the interplay between religious experiences and mental illness. The focus of the degree is on the interdependence of theory and practice in the area of psychology and counseling based on Christian theological foundations. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (#383) and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist [#514][2002-2012], licensed by the Louisiana Professional Counselors Board of Examiners (8631 Summa Ave., Suite A, Baton Rouge, LA. 70809,765-2515). I am licensed to supervise LPC interns. I am a licensed and ordained Minister of the Christian Gospel, licensed by the First Baptist Church of Sweetwater, Longwood, FL. I have been counseling in the private psychiatric hospital setting since 1982 (DePaul Hospital, 1040 Calhoun St., New Orleans, La., 1982-1987; Greenbrier Hospital, Covington, La., 1987-1990) and in a private, out-patient setting since 1988, becoming full time in 1990.
3. Areas of Expertise:
Under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, my approach is an eclectic blend of practical techniques from various theories including: family systems, cognitive-behavioral, psycho-dynamic, client-centered (Rogerian), assertiveness training, reality (Glasser), selectively brought into the service of the liberation of the spirit. This liberation is a subjective experience, evidenced by increased peace; increased capacity to give and receive love; the seeking, giving, and receiving of forgiveness (as needed); responsibility for self and an altruistic concern for others, and gratitude. Biblical teachings are used based upon the client's receptivity. Regardless of technique, the high ideals elaborated in Judeo-Christian Scriptures and traditions, and especially in the teachings and life of Christ, embody the guiding principles. I feel particularly helpful in the areas of marital and parenting counseling, drawing from the experiences of my own marriage (since 1970) and child rearing. I have also worked extensively with adolescents and depressed clients, both in the in-patient psychiatric setting (DePaul Hospital, Greenbrier Hospital) and in private practice. From 1996 through 2003 I conducted weekly Chronic Pain Management groups. I have also worked rather extensively with Domestic Violence clientele, having conducted, for a number of years, 13-session anger management seminars for perpetrators probated by the District Atty.’s office, St. Tammany Parish. I remain on the D.A.’s referral list of anger management counselors, and see those clients individually. From 2000-2006, I facilitated bi-monthly Support/Therapy Groups for women who had been subjected to domestic violence.
4. Fee Scale:
Standard fee is $80.00 per hour. Sliding scale is available in specific cases of financial distress: minimum $45.00, maximum $80.00. Insurance claims are client's responsibility. We will provide information and assistance with insurance claims.* Payment is rendered at time of service unless prior arrangements are made. Ongoing groups are sometimes available at a lower fee than individual rates. In order to insure efficient use of time, it is necessary to keep appointments or to cancel them 24 hours in advance (except in emergencies). Failure to do so results in the incurrence of debt to the counselor of a fee equaling 1/2 of the standard or previously set fee.
* Benefits of not using insurance include:
5. Types of Services Offered and Clients Served:
Marriage, family, individual, and group counseling and spiritual guidance. Christians and/or clients who are aware of and open to the spiritual nature will feel particularly comfortable in my service. I am neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist. I do not administer psychiatric tests and I do not prescribe medications. In the event either counselor or client discerns a need for these services, I will be glad to make appropriate referrals.
6. Code of Conduct:
I am required by law to adhere to the Louisiana Licensed Professional Counselors Code of Conduct (The American Counseling Assoc. Code of Ethics and Standard of Practice), a copy of which is available on request. Christian ideals and conduct are adhered to.
Matters disclosed in the counseling session will be kept confidential with the following exceptions: when disclosure is required to prevent clear and imminent danger to the client or others; when there are court orders demanding disclosure; in the event that failure to disclose would place someone in imminent danger of contracting a disease that is known to be both communicable and fatal. In the case of marital therapy, if I am later summoned by one spouse to testify in court, bear in mind that I cannot guarantee the confidentiality of the non-summoning spouse.
8. Emergency Situations:
I may be reached at 985-893-4411 during business hours. My home phone is 985-892-2860. Please bear in mind that I am a family man with responsibilities in addition to this practice.
Payment of fee is expected at time of service unless other arrangements are made. Please notify me at 893-4411 24 hours prior to an appointment to cancel it. This is very important in order for me to maintain a sane schedule. Payment of half the standard fee ($40.00) will be required in the event of failure to notify of cancellations. Extenuating circumstances, of course, such as a death in the family, auto breakdowns, etc., will be exempt.
If you are seeing another therapist, it is important that you terminate with them or discuss with them the fact that you are seeing me, or any other counselor. It is usually to the client's advantage not to be "scattered around" among therapists who may have different approaches to the problems, or at least to give the therapists an opportunity to collaborate on your behalf. Once we have begun working together, I ask that you allow us to come to closure with each other before seeing another therapist or dropping out of therapy.
Each person, in or out of the counseling setting, is responsible for his or her own growth (Philippians 2:12). One's conscious effort in this process is very important, and the work involved is sometimes difficult. The Bible speaks often of diligence and discipline as prerequisites of blessing and peace (2 Peter 3:14). The client is responsible to appropriate into his/her life whatever truth emerges in the counseling process, and to make whatever changes s/he deems necessary. It is helpful to take a prayerful, seeking attitude, maintaining faith that God can provide and sustain, as we do our very best to exercise our free will in the most healthy manner.
10. Physical Health:
It is recommended that you have a complete physical examination if you have not done so in the past year, especially if you have reason to believe that physical problems are involved in your current psycho/spiritual difficulties. Please advise the counselor of any known physical problems
11. Potential Counseling Risks:
Counseling sometimes uncovers issues in addition to those for which help is sought. Of course, whether or not these issues (or any issues) are addressed by the client is within his/her control. Also, in the case of marital therapy, if one partner is desirous of change and growth, and is working toward that end, and the other partner refuses to do so, there is the likelihood of additional strain on the marriage. It may be reasonably argued, in this situation, that the counseling has hastened that which was, in any case, inevitable. In the counseling process, as in dealing with physical problems that require surgery, for example, sometimes things feel that they are getting worse in the process of getting better. It helps, perhaps, to remember that Jesus has promised to those who continue in His Word, "You will know the truth and the truth will make you free." (John 8:32). He has not, however, promised that the truth would be easy. May God bless you in the pursuit of this liberating truth.
I/We, the undersigned, have read and understand this declaration:
Currently prescribed medications and dosages:
Previously seen therapists (Names and dates):
Reason for entering therapy:________________________________________________________