Institute for Spiritual Life and Psychotherapy

Home of the Pastoral Counseling Services of the South Shore

Healing for heart, mind and spirit        Tel. 781-826-0011 X112 or X108 for INTAKES/

themed object 

Frequently Asked Questions

Need an answer, have a question?

Frequently Asked Questions


1.  I am not a person of faith, but need to see a counselor. Is this a problem?

Not at all.  Our clients and counselors come from a variety of religious backgrounds. It is not necessary to have any particular religious or spiritual beliefs. But if you do, your counselor is well prepared to integrate this dimension of life into your therapy.


2.  How do I schedule an appointment with a counselor?

Scheduling an appointment is very easy. You may call 781-826-0011x108 to leave a message for our Intake Coordinator who will talk with you about your needs, then assign you to a counselor who will contact you directly. You can also go to the Staff page, select a counselor and send them an e-mail requesting an appointment.  


3.  Do I pick a counselor or is a counselor recommended to me?

You may request a counselor.  If that individual is not accepting new clients then you can contact our office for a recommendation.  (See # 2 above).


4.  I am having difficulty in my marriage, but my spouse will not agree to see a counselor.  Is it okay if I see a counselor myself without my spouse? 

Yes. This is not an uncommon situation and we encourage you to schedule an appointment.


5.  Can I see a counselor at any of the three offices? 

Yes, depending upon the availability of the staff at that location and time.


6.  I don't have insurance, can you still see me? 

Yes.  Our interns, who are supervised by licensed clinicians are able to see clients who cannot afford to pay.  We also have a sliding fee scale for those who cannot afford insurance.


7.  I am home bound and cannot get out to see a counselor.  Is it possible to have a home appointment? 

Yes.  We will work with you to schedule an appointment.


8.  I am interested in registering for a class.  Can I make payments each week? 

Each instructor is responsible to negotiate the payment schedule for their classes.  If payment is a concern, please speak to the instructor.


9.  My child is having behavioral problems; can I make an appointment with you by myself without my child?  

Yes.  It can be very helpful for parents to receive support and coaching.


10.  I am nervous about seeing a counselor, but feel I need some help. What is it like to see a counselor? 

We seek to make all persons comfortable with the counseling process.  It is always helpful to a counselor to know that this is your first experience with counseling and that you are a little timid about how to go about it.


11.  There are a lot of things on the website about pastoral counseling and spirituality.  How is pastoral counseling different from "regular" counseling? 

Pastoral counselors use a holistic perspective, integrating the best of psychology and their own training in spiritual and religious matters.  It is not necessary to have any particular religious or spiritual beliefs; but if you do, your counselor is well prepared to integrate this dimension of life into your therapy.


12.  I don't want anyone to know I am seeing a counselor.  Is my privacy protected?  

Yes. Confidentiality is key to making therapy work for most people.  We follow The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (Privacy Rule) which establishes a set of national standards for the protection of certain health information. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the Privacy Rule to implement the requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Our HIPAA coordinator is Belinda McGuire who has been trained in the requirements of HIPAA. Each of our three locations has a waiting area.  If you are uncomfortable about any of this, please be sure to tell your counselor.