Practices

Stephen Blumenthal
Realm of the Heart Ministries
4201 - 21st Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
stephen.blumenthal@gmail.com; 415.297.5353

Counseling relationship: In an open-hearted atmosphere of safety and compassion, I will guide a process designed to foster your full self-expression and fulfillment in life. The goal of our counseling relationship will be for you to be more aware of and transcend core beliefs and ways of being that hinder your growth and stifle your spirit, thus enabling you to be who you truly are.

Privileged communication: Matters you disclose are confidential, except as required by law in cases of child or elder abuse, or where you indicate potential harm to yourself or another.

Potential distress: As a result of counseling, you might become aware of issues that have not surfaced before. The impact of this work might affect the circumstances in your life and relationships with people. It is always a challenge to explore the unknown.

Cancellations and/or missed appointments: Counseling is most effective when meetings are regular and consistent. Please notify me 48 hours in advance if you must reschedule or cancel an appointment, and a week in advance if you must postpone or cancel an extended session (meditation retreat); otherwise, I will need to bill you. I will make an exception in an emergency.

Phone, Email, Texting: I return calls Monday to Friday, and on weekends if urgent. If you need a reply, please state so. If a crisis arises and you need to talk between sessions, I will not charge for a call less than ten minutes. If a longer conversation is needed, regular, pro-rated rates apply. In such cases, I will let you know as we proceed. Please feel free to email any time to update me on issues we’re exploring. I’m also happy to use email or texting for brief items such as scheduling.

Related work: Our counselor/client relationship is the primary foundation for your work. Please discuss any plans to engage in additional counseling, or to see another counselor.

Types of service: As a pastoral counselor, I work with clients who are not in a crisis state. I provide spiritual counseling, not psychotherapy. At times, I recommend therapy as well and can provide referrals. I employ a range of techniques that invite your natural unfolding and draw upon your own resources, helping you to gain a sense of well-being, wholeness, freedom and aliveness.

Physical health: I recommend that you have a complete physical examination when you begin this work. Also, please notify me of all medications you take.

Vacations: When I am going to be out of town for any significant period of time, I will provide you with two weeks’ notice whenever possible. In my absence, a colleague will be available for in-person or phone consultations if an emergency arises.

Fees and payment: Appointments are generally weekly and 55 or 85 minutes long. Sessions are $250/$375. Extended sessions (meditation retreats) are $1,000. Depending upon your financial situation, we might agree upon another arrangement. If so, please let me know that circumstances have changed. I review my fees annually. Please have your payment ready at the beginning of your session.

Completing: Ideally, the decision to complete your course of counseling is one that we will make mutually, gradually, and at a time when our work is nearing a good place to end, or to pause. Such a completion process is an opportunity for evaluation, leave-taking, and closure, which require time. Completion sessions are a chance to tie up loose ends, assess what you have accomplished, preserve that progress, and chart the future.

For these reasons, I ask you to allow at least two weeks to complete your counseling. If, for any reason, circumstances require a sudden decision to end, I ask that we meet for at least one completion session.

I have read the above statements of practices and understand their implications in my counseling relationship with Stephen Blumenthal.

Thank you!

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