This article highlights our counseling office in Castroville and was written by Ginger Carnes. It originally appeared in the FBC of Castroville “Connections Newsletter” in August 2018.
Is your marriage in crisis? Do you have a concern about one of your children or your spouse? Has your family been fractured and you need help moving on?
Your church has a convenient and economical counselor available to help. Counseling can help parents be better parents and can help children communicate with the parents. The counselors also help couples with problems in their marriage and those who are going through separation or divorce.
Through STCH Ministries, a South Texas affiliate of the Texas Baptists that originally was called South Texas Children’s Home, a Christ-centered counselor is available every Tuesday and meets with individuals, couples, and family members in an office in the Chapel building.
But isn’t there a stigma associated with people who need counseling? What if someone sees me going to meet with the counselor? You might say, “I’m not crazy, so why do I need to go to counseling?”
But Dosely Antongiorgi-Green, Regional Counseling Director for the San Antonio area, says, “First, I’m going to send you back to Christ. Second, the counselor is going to teach you some coping skills, so when you have a situation that you’re dealing with that’s going to be difficult, you’ll have a toolbox and you can pull out the tool you need and use it.”
The current counselor at First Baptist is Maritza Garcia-Pulido. She will meet with you every other Tuesday so she can serve more people. During those two weeks, you work on assignments so you can practice the methods – “tools” – she has provided for you.
“We encourage people to pray, to stay in the Word, to spend quiet time to help them understand where God is leading them,” Green said.
Although STCH Ministries does not turn away anyone who needs help, the organization does appreciate donations, large or small. To help you understand the value of this counseling, a counselor who does not accept insurance could charge up to $150 per session. STCH Ministries does not accept insurance or government funding “because we would like to remain Christ-centered in the delivery of our counseling services,” Green said.
Make appointments by calling the STCH Ministries office toll free at 1-833-83-STCHM. The church does not set up appointments or know who is receiving services. Counseling is available to members of the surrounding communities, too. As more people express a need, they could add another day to the counselor’s schedule.
You can read more about STCH Ministries at www.stchm.org.