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Church and Counseling Partnership Gives Hurting Locals Hope, Help

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As the Greater Houston community attempts to rise from the ashes of an area ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, there will be an increasing need for counseling as people rebuild their lives. Bear Creek Counseling Center and STCH Ministries are working together to o help this devastated group one session at a time by offering counseling at no cost to families.

“When you are in crisis, you don’t know how you’re going to respond,” said Charny Beck, STCH Ministries Director of Counseling for Houston. “When you lose your home, you feel vulnerable and violated.   It is a difficult emotion to overcome. We’ve already seen a couple of clients that have experienced tragic events during the flood.”

The counselor, who is one of three professionals at the location at Bear Creek Baptist Church in Katy, said that she expects more people to seek help in the next couple of weeks as they begin put the pieces of their life back and get back to their “new normal.”

“Sometimes people just need someone safe to talk to,” Beck said. “That might be all they need and we are happy to do that.”

Although the counselors, who are staff members of STCH Ministries, are pleased to be a sounding board for those rebuilding after the hurricane, they also offer encouragement and help for many different issues.

“We offer counseling for teenagers and adults, marriage counseling, play therapy and anything related to families,” she said. “We do ask that if someone is actively in an addiction that they find a treatment program first. Then we will be happy to offer counseling alongside that treatment plan.”

The center’s counselors see up to 65 clients a week, and there’s already a short waiting list for those who are seeking the services that are provided at no cost to families.

Beck believes providing donation-based counseling to families who would not normally be able to afford services is a great blessing to people in the community.  Because the counseling center is Christian-based, the counselors can be a blessing spiritually as well as financially.

“We [the counselors] are all Christians first as well as trained Christian counselors,” she said. “We integrate Biblical principles and scripture into our counseling, but you do not have to be a Christian to receive counseling through us. We are respectful of people’s beliefs and where they are in their walk in their relationship with God.” 

Although the center is unique in its approach to counseling, Beck believes that she and the other counselors are a part of the larger counseling community in the Houston area.

“We’re just happy to be a part of the community, and to be able to offer assistance to people,” she said.

She hopes that those who are struggling will seek help from a counselor because she has seen counseling change lives.

“Sometimes counseling or therapy has a bit of a negative connotation to people.  People are afraid of someone knowing so much about them.  It really can help people if they put the work into it,” Beck said. “I just encourage people to pick up the phone and call and ask for help and give the counselor a chance to invest and encourage them.”

For more information about the counseling offered through Bear Creek Baptist Church and STCH Ministries, or to make an appointment, call (361) 575-5151 or visit www.STCHM.org/FC. Families can complete a referral form online as well.

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