What kind of counseling does Pureheart offer?
Pureheart offers practical, affordable, Pastoral Counseling for men and women struggling with purity issues, porn addiction, and sexual addiction. We also offer counseling for couples dealing with the heartbreak of sexual sin, and particularly for the wives of husbands trapped in sexual sin, we strongly recommend you seek counsel with one of our female counselors. As pastoral counselors we also have experience working with issues like depression, anxiety, PTSD, abuse and trauma, other addictions, and we offer marriage counseling on a limited basis. In all our counseling we strive to spiritually mentor our counselees because our ultimate goal is not recovery or healing but an intimate and thriving relationship with Jesus Christ. Please note: we do not offer counseling for persons with personality disorders like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, nor do we counsel persons struggling with a sexual attraction to children and/or pedophile behaviors.
We counsel people across the country and internationally via phone or Skype (we recommend Skype when possible). We also counsel locally in our offices in the Portland, Oregon Metro area. We have been just as successful with our phone/Skype counseling as we have been with our face-to-face counseling. Furthermore phone and Skype counseling is often more confidential than having to visit an office, it allows for more flexibility in scheduling, and you save money in terms of gas and traveling time.
We see a lot of victory and transformation through our counseling. For example, I (Tim) have personally successfully counseled literally 70 plus men in the last 6 years alone. These men ranged from your basic porn/masturbation addiction to men who had slept with prostitutes hundreds of times but no matter the depth of their addiction, these men have achieved amazing results in their sobriety and more importantly their walk with God. A number of these brothers’ marriages were literally on the verge of divorce but, praise God, these marriages were saved and the husband-wife relationship deeply transformed. Make sure you watch brother Doug’s testimony here (both the long and the short versions): his testimony is typical of the results we see regularly. He now has 6 plus years of no porn, no masturbation, changed thoughtlife, daily devotions, and turned around marriage. We expect success when we counsel you but also remember that we ask a lot of you (see Commitment).
How much does Pureheart counseling cost?
As a non-profit we seek donations to help us keep the cost of counseling affordable. Our prices range from $55 to $75 per 50 minute session depending on the counselor’s level of experience and we require weekly sessions for the first phase of counseling. Pureheart interns are currently obtaining their Masters in Counseling at local seminaries and all receive theological graduate-level training (all counselors/interns are required to attend bi-monthly Pureheart supervision/training sessions and use counseling material developed by Pureheart). Pureheart interns charge less for sessions but they may or may not be available at the time you call. Typically most Pureheart counselors have worked as pastors (or are currently pastors) and have earned Masters of Divinity degrees and/or Masters of Counseling degrees from Christian institutions.
Does Pureheart take insurance?
Short answer to a long story. No, we don’t take insurance. 1) Most people don't want "sexual addiction counseling" on their permanent insurance/medical history records. 2) We would have to charge more since the insurance companies want their cut. 3) The insurance companies want to tell us how to counsel people. 4) They usually only pay for a limited number of sessions. 5) Most important of all, you need to pay the price for your freedom, not some anonymous company. Taking responsibility for one's addiction and paying the price to get free is a key component of recovery. If you can’t find $55 a week for your purity and spiritual maturity then you really aren’t ready to get free yet.
How long will the Pureheart Process take?
If you are in counseling for purity issues, expect a minimum of 6 months to a year. We have a lot to teach you and model for you in the Pureheart Process and the ability to stay sober over a long period of time is one of the key tests of sobriety. Any addict can achieve sobriety for several months if they try real hard but as you already know, willpower alone is not sufficient. The typical Pureheart Process is weekly counseling for 6 months to 1 year with most counselees averaging a year in counseling. A few people have done it in less than a year and a number of people have spent several years in counseling: a lot of it depends on how deep you are in your addictive process and how dysfunctional your background. For the wives of sexually addicted husbands we recommend a six-month process of healing and recovery.
What do you expect from me when I start counseling with Pureheart?
We expect honesty from you—you can’t break free if you continue lying and covering up your sin. We expect a serious commitment to see the process through from beginning to end. Addicts are usually great at starting things but we want people who will finish the race and not drop out just because you think you are cured after 3 months of successful sobriety. We expect you to do your homework each week, show up for your weekly sessions on time, and pay your bill weekly. We are successful in part because we offer no magic pill or instant 60 day cure but just plain old-fashioned hard work that really works. Recovery, sobriety, and spiritual maturity are not achieved by sprinting to the finish line but instead are earned by a methodical marathon of steady progress that ultimately leads to complete transformation.
What exactly does the Pureheart Process look like?
Again, long story short. We have 3 Phases to be accomplished in our counseling.
1) Purity: Here we teach you how to kill your external sexual addiction behaviors like masturbation, porn, and sexual acting out while adding positive disciplines like daily devotions, exercise, family time, accountability, etc. In the long run doing the positive is far more important than obsessing about breaking free of addictive behaviors (almost every addict makes this initial mistake).
2) Maturity: Here we help you discover the internal brokenness that drives your external addictive behaviors. This is another classic addict mistake—attempting to quit an addiction without ever taking the time to figure out the driving force powering the addiction. Something is broken inside of you and until you figure that out you will always be an addictive accident waiting to happen. As we work on internal discovery we also mentor you spiritually because if your heart is full of God it becomes easy to resist temptation, plus we teach you practically how to win the war of spiritual warfare (something the vast majority of Christian counselors completely ignore).
3) Destiny: This is the fun part. Now that you are starting to walk in consistent purity and heal your internal hurts, your relationship with God really starts to take off. Now you can finally discover why God put you on this planet—you have a God-given destiny and calling and nothing will ever be more fulfilling for you than discovering your destiny and then walking in it.
So What's the Bad News and Good News About Sexual Addiction?
The bad news is you need to take sexual sin very seriously. Read Scripture yourself. God does not tolerate sexual sin; there is no compromise in His Word. Purity is absolutely essential to intimacy with God. And yet we live in a world and in a time when sexual sin is everywhere and instantly accessible. Furthermore you will lose everything if you continue in your addictive behaviors; sexual sin is progressive, you keep getting worse and worse, it is the nature of all addictions. I could tell you horror stories of people who have lost their marriages, their kids, their jobs, their money, and worst of all their relationship with God for the sake of sexual sin. And of all addictions, sexual addiction maybe the hardest to break (you can pull up sexual thoughts in your brain anytime you want). The vast majority of people—I am talking to you—will not break free on their own.
The good news? We have been there and done that. Pureheart counselors were abused and abandoned and addicted just like you. We have been addicted to masturbation, we paid for pornography, and we cheated on our wives or endured adulterous affairs. We understand the magnetic pull of perversion and yet by God’s grace we now walk in consistent purity and our relationships with God and our families have never been better. We will empathize with you and feel your pain and yet we will also walk our talk and model for you the process of breaking addictive behaviors, healing your hurts, and growing up as a man or woman of God. The truth really does set people free—we are living proof of this fact.
What is Pureheart's Philosophy of Ministry?
You still reading these FAQs? That’s a good sign; you must really want to live completely free of sexual addiction! Here’s the last bit of information about Pureheart.We are successful in our counseling because we uniquely combine three normally distinct approaches to therapy and treatment: Pastoral (Biblical) Counseling, Secular Counseling, and the Recovery Model.
1) Pastoral Counseling: First and foremost, Pureheart's counseling model is fundamentally Biblical. As Christian counselors we believe the Bible is the standard of truth by which all things (counseling practices included) are judged. We believe, for example, that humanity's most basic problem is our sinful condition and broken relationship with God. This is not a "mental health" issue first and foremost but a spiritual condition. Mental health issues, emotional problems, chemical imbalances, dysfunctional families, trauma and abuse, disease, and demonization are all products of our spiritually fallen state. This is not in any way to minimize the impact these issues can have on any particular person. Rather it is to emphasize our presupposition that Pureheart's particular style of pastoral counseling assumes that all such issues must be treated in conjunction with work that helps the counselee restore his or her right relationship with God. We believe counseling without a spiritual emphasis will always be incomplete at best.
2) The Secular Counseling Model. Whenever beneficial to the counselee, Pureheart will also incorporate therapeutic techniques and practices from the secular word of counseling. While there is much we disagree with in secular counseling, there is also plenty of wisdom gained over many, many hours of counseling and knowledge of what works in therapy. A confidentiality and disclosure statement, for example, is standard practice among secular counselors; we also provide the counselee with such a statement, modified considerably to include the philosophy of ministry which you are now reading. Specifically Pureheart counselors draw from two secular counseling models: Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. With an emphasis on building on a person's own internal motivations for changing their lifestyle, Motivational Interviewing has rapidly become a common therapeutic style used in treatment of addictions. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy assumes that many problems stem from a person's thought patterns and actions. Even though you may feel trapped, your thoughts and actions change your feelings, which leads to success.
3) The Recovery Model. As typified by Alcoholics Anonymous, Pureheart also incorporates elements from this model of treatment, but once again, we pick and choose that which we believe is most beneficial to the counselee. We will, for example, never have a brother open a sentence with the phrase, "Hi, I am John Doe and I am an alcoholic." On the contrary, Pureheart teaches a brother or a sister how to fully realize and live according to his or her full potential and identity as a new creation in Christ. In other words, "Hi, I am John Doe and I am a Man of God." There are many positive steps in the 12 Step Process but we have further refined these steps and created a unique curriculum that is in some ways far more demanding. In keeping with the Recovery Model, however, counselees will regularly fill out a detailed "Check-In" sheet with their counselor. Around the halfway point of counseling, counselees will be encouraged to attend a weekly "accountability" group towards the end of building a healthy support network (with an eye towards the counselee maintaining his progress after counseling). Counselees will be encouraged to share their own stories of recovery (their testimony) with others where appropriate and Pureheart counselors will often refer to their own recovery process as a model for the counselee. Pureheart's emphasis on workbooks, homework, "brutal honesty," regular checkins, reliance on a support system you build, and in turn the sponsoring and caring for others in the recovery process is all part of the beneficial aspects of this model.
This is what Pureheart has to offer. Contact us here only if you are serious and ready to pay the price for freedom. The truth will indeed set you free but you must first learn the truth, then believe it, and finally, live by it. We are here to help guide you through this life-transforming process.
Your brother in the battle,