Getting the Help You Need

I certainly hope that in this day and age we have overcome the stigma of seeking therapy through a counselor but, at the same time, I know that such a hope is yet to be realized.  I am glad to be a resource for pastoral counseling and frequently see individuals and couples in our church with whom I visit and can refer on to other professionals who may have more expertise in a given area.

The truth is that everyone can benefit from psychological counseling at various times in life whether as an individual, a couple, or a family.

Much of the stigma still remains because of that word “psychological”, doesn’t it?  If there is even a hint that I need to visit a Psychologist, well that must mean that I have mental health problems, that I am mentally unwell or unstable.  As I have said before, however, if we are going to be truthful the reality is that we all have mental health problems!  We all have hang ups and habits and outlooks and behaviors that are less than helpful.  We all have ways of being that can collide with the ways of the people around us.  It is not a weakness so much as it is a reality!

Getting help doesn’t mean you are a failure.  Getting help means that you want to grow and evolve into a better person; that you want to be a source of inspiration and healing for those around you rather than the opposite.

So where do you start?  Most people start by cold calling clinics or counselors hoping that they can help and that they take their insurance.  It is a task that many people give up quickly because they are essentially guessing for the right resource.

Last week, however, parishioner passed on to me a great resource that I, in turn, want to make you aware of as well.  It is a counseling resource in our local area that fills a void that has been in place for too long; a void that has prevented many people from getting the help that they need.

It is called the William James College Interface Helpline.  Here’s how it works:  You call either 617-332-3666 ext. 1411 or 888-244-6843 ext. 1411.  The Resource Counselor who answers does a quick, confidential in-take with you regarding your situation (or that of your child or family member) including your insurance.  After you hang up, they do the leg work!  They track down up to three counselors who have an expertise in your area of concern and who also take your insurance.  You, then, take it from there and make an appointment.  The Interface Helpline will also follow up with you to make sure you have made a good connection with the resources they provided.

This resource is only available in certain communities, but Melrose is one of them as are several of our surrounding towns including Wakefield, Reading, and Woburn.  A complete list and other information about the program is on their website:

I strongly encourage anyone who is considering counseling to make the whole thing easier by utilizing this resource.  Going to a counselor is really easy to put off.  The truth is, however, that things improve when you do.

See you in church,