I had my first counseling session yesterday. I have been meaning to get counseling for some time now. I need help with emotional healing and various other things. There is a guy in Auburn who does counseling for pastors and their families for free, so I decided to start there. I emailed him last week and found out the particulars, then I made an appointment online. It took me about 40 minutes to drive there from the church, but I was pushing it pretty good so I may want to allow for 45 minutes.
It was hard to tell much from the first session. I think he is used to thinking of pastors in a different light than me, but at least he is familiar with treating pastors. Interestingly enough, the first two things he brought up were the idea of finding another church, or taking a sabbatical. I don't think I laughed out loud, but...
Anyway, I had to fill out quite a bit of paperwork when I first registered online, then he sent me more to fill out after our session yesterday. This morning I spent about 2 hours filling out: the initial consent for treatment, identifying information, the discipleship inventory, my current symptoms, and the God image inventory. It wasn't too bad, but I'm not real big into filling out forms.
I told him that I needed help. I didn't just need someone to get me to make right decisions. I need someone to tell me what to do. So we will see how that goes. I am supposed to see him once a week for 45-minute sessions, and as long as I can see him in the afternoons then it is free (since I am a pastor). I was surprised when he said we may meet once a week for 6 months, then every other week for 6 months. I wonder if he meant to say 6 "weeks"? But, hey, I'm open to whatever will help. I hope and pray it is worthwhile.