In times when you are wondering about whether a person needs counseling, you may call Pastoral Counseling of Northern Virginia and ask to speak to one of our counselors regarding your concerns. The PCNV staff is available to assist you with decisions about how to be most helpful. Sometimes it is important to refer a person and sometimes a matter may best be addressed in another manner. Here are four guidelines that can help you determine whether referral is the best course of action.
When you question whether or not to refer a person to counseling and would like assistance on how to approach a particular person, please call Pastoral Counseling of Northern Virginia and speak with one of our counselors. A telephone consultation may help sort out relevant issues, explore appropriate approaches and identify other resources which may better serve the person's needs.
Ask that person. Because counseling is confidential, we cannot always inform you if the person of concern came to the PCNV or reveal what they talked about. Therefore, the best way to find out if the person came to the PCNV is to follow-up with this individual yourself.
If you feel that it is vital for you to learn whether this person came to the PCNV from the counselor, ask the person to sign a release of information form when they are here, giving us permission to confirm with you that they came.
While PCNV is not able to provide emergency services, when a person needs to be seen right away, we make every effort to see them as soon as possible. Call and communicate with the counselor that there is a person who is interested in coming for counseling and needs to be seen right away. If the person makes the appointment in your presence it is important that we know the urgency and specifics of the situation. Speak with a counselor about your referral and provide the counselor with a description of the situation that has led to your concern.
While it is important to be helpful to others, we cannot make their decisions for them, and counseling should always be a personal choice. Occasionally even your best efforts to encourage a person to seek counseling will be unsuccessful. If the person resists referral and you remain uncomfortable with the situation, let the person know that you have an ongoing concern and that you may seek the support of other concerned persons to help with making a referral.
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