Faith-based counseling is an option in HastingsWhen a person is seeking chemical dependency treatment and needs public funding to pay for the treatment, he or she gets a chemical use assessment to determine whether the person needs treatment and what sort of treatment would be best. This part of the public program is called Rule 25.
By: Bonnie St. James, The Hastings Star-Gazette
When a person is seeking chemical dependency treatment and needs public funding to pay for the treatment, he or she gets a chemical use assessment to determine whether the person needs treatment and what sort of treatment would be best. This part of the public program is called Rule 25.
Part of Rule 25 is the question that asks, “Would you like services specific to language, age, gender, culture, religious preference, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability?”
That’s where Pam Schmitt and her staff at Faith Family Recovery come in. Counselors at the center incorporate faith into the chemical dependency recovery process, believing when individuals utilize their faith skills and resources, long-lasting recovery is successful.
Schmitt said those who pay themselves or through insurance have a choice, and so, she stressed, do those who get help through the county or state. They can choose a faith-based treatment plan.
Now that faith-based support has gotten stronger with the addition of two more counseling services in town. Wes Lund of Lund Counseling Services is located in the Riviera Office Center downtown, and Robin Ricard of Selah Counseling is in the lower level at 1320 Vermillion St.
“In April, within a week of each other, they both walked in here separately,” Schmitt said. “This was meant to be.
“Ours (Faith Family) is a group therapy. But now, I can turn to these two when those in therapy here need deep faith-based, individual help.”
Ricard, from Red Wing, saw a need for counselors in Hastings and moved here. The name of her counseling business, Selah, is a Hebrew word meaning “pause and quietly reflect/consider.” Her work is to help relationships among a family or couple, she said.
“I work at therapy from a relational perspective,” she said. Ricard is also, of the three, perhaps the most quiet about the faith aspect.
“I work personally from a faith-based perspective,” she said. “But some clients are wounded by their faith relationships, so I just try to meet them where they’re at.”
“I recognize the spirituality in everyone’s life, but I deal with horizontal relationships. A relationship with God is a vertical one.”
Lund’s approach, he said, is probably closer to Ricard’s than Schmitt’s.
“But if it’s appropriate, and if it’s of value (to a client), I’ll pull out the Bible,” he said. “With Pam (Schmitt), the Bible and prayer are components of treatment.”
Lund does individual counseling, working on the issues that all face during their lives – life transitions, depression, stress/anxiety/anger, conflict, grief and loss, and careers.
In his brochure, Lund explains that his approach to counseling is like being a guide.
“We feel lost in the woods or like we are wandering around in a field. At times like this, having a guide who is familiar with the terrain can be a great help.”
Lund said everyone talks to themselves, but inner conversations get stuck, and can begin to cycle through negative, hopeless and depressing messages.
“As a counselor, I’m invited in to listen,” he said.
While all three use faith in varying degrees in their counseling practices, they all confirm the use of faith in their own lives. And they have the blessings of Hastings’ faith community.
“Beyond pastoral care, there are three faith-based counselors to turn to,” Ricard said.
“We’ve received strong support from the clergy,” Lund said.
It’s about meeting the needs of clients, all three said.
“If they don’t feel safe and comfortable, you won’t get any work done,” Schmitt said.
Choosing mental health services
The three counselors are “touring” as a group, talking to church groups, senior citizen groups, and others, about “Being a Wise Consumer of Counseling/Mental Health Services.” They will be at the senior center at 7 p.m. July 22. To register, call the senior center at 438-0750.
The three counselors are Pam Schmitt, licensed alcohol and drug counselor, Faith Family Recovery Center; Robin Ricard, licensed marriage and family therapist, Selah Counseling; and Wes Lund, licensed professional counselor, Lund Counseling Services.