As part of the Home Initiative, we are always looking for ways to better love and support our community. One of these ways is through the Hoboken Grace Counseling Center.
One of the Center’s counselors, John, recently spoke with the Story Team to talk about his personal/professional background and the long journey to finally make the Center a reality. To learn more, click here.
Story Team: Hi John! For those who do not know what the Hoboken Grace Counseling Center is or are just now hearing about it for the first time, can you explain a little bit about it?
John: The Hoboken Grace Counseling Center goes along with the mission of the church, which is to help people find their way back to God. The Center provides licensed and professional mental health care built on a foundation of Christianity and faith.
We see people on many different levels, including individual, family and marital therapy. We also do addictions therapy. Right now, we are able to meet the need, and that is really powerful, but it is growing quickly and so we are looking to expand in order to ensure that we can provide access to as many people as possible.
Story Team: What is your professional background?
John: I’m a licensed professional counselor in the state of New Jersey. I have a master’s degree from Alliance Graduate School of Counseling, which led me to receiving a license in mental health care and the ability to implement Christian-based values into the counseling sessions, if chosen.
That important combination—which a lot of other colleges simply don’t provide—allows us to meet the requirements of an officially licensed center while also adding the critical piece of faith as part of our sessions for those who are seeking or would like that.
Story Team: How did you get involved with creating this center specifically for Hoboken Grace?
John: It’s a pretty amazing story. The counseling center has been a dream of mine and Pastor Chris’s for probably 8 or 9 years now. As I was seeking what that would look like, I was in prayer with God and through Him I was led to the idea of becoming a counselor myself. I sat down with Pastor Chris and he quickly reaffirmed this path without me saying much!
This was all based on my passion to help, listen to and love people. We looked into it and noticed there were not a lot of Christian-based counseling centers in our area, and so we thought about what that could look like here in Hoboken.
I ended up completely changing careers and Hoboken Grace came along side me in doing so. They were with me the whole time as I went back for my degree, including all of the necessary work in the clinical world to achieve the required number of counseling hours. Throughout that time, we developed the plan of creating something that we could offer through Hoboken Grace.
Over the last year, we’ve been able to officially launch the program and it’s been very exciting!
Story Team: What is it that makes the Hoboken Grace Counseling Center different from other centers in the area?
John: The really big piece to that is the truth that there really aren’t many Christian-based counseling centers in the New York/New Jersey area. I can only think of a select few and prior to us there were no centers like ours in Hudson County, let alone in our local area of Hoboken.
Since we’re very much about loving community, we’re always reviewing how to do this at an affordable price and to love our community as best we can. To help achieve those things, we’ve worked to make it available to those who are not able to travel or want something more local through both in-person or online sessions.
Story Team: What are some of your overall goals and missions for the future of this center?
John: Our constant mission will always be helping people find their way back to God, and this is just at another level when we look at that mental health piece. So that is the ultimate mission that we have, but we are still early in the God’s plan.
We are a smaller counseling center at this time, but we are growing! As we do that, we’re going to bring in more professionals to be able to provide that full opportunity to love our community. We also constantly evaluate the therapy areas that are most in demand so that we continue to meet needs as they change as well.
Story Team: For those who might be reading this and wanting to take those first steps into going to the Hoboken Grace Counseling Center for their needs, where can they find you and how can they get started?
John: Visit our website at hobokengrace.com/counselingcenter. We also have it on our app under “engage.” You’ll find all sorts of information on our goals, next steps and the application needed if it is of interest to you. There’s also a sliding price scale for those who may need financial assistance.
For the application, just fill it out and then you will be contacted by a counselor for an introductory hello! That helps us to get a little more information about your specific needs to figure out what is the best program fit for you.