Maranatha Health Centre, in Metro Toronto, offers a modern holistic approach to total health care. Owned and operated by D\dental surgeons, Drs. John Virtue, and Brian Hugham, the Centre contains not only a dental clinic, but medical, weight and counselling clinics.
Rev. Dr. Donald G. Hill, who counsels at the Maranatha Health Centre Counselling Clinic, is a certified pastoral counselor (CPC). Since the clinic opened at the beginning of this year, he has worked with clients from various backgrounds and a wide range of problems: alcohol/drug abuse, marital conflict, sexual disturbances, and legal difficulties. Clients need not be referred, however, referrals have come from clergy, social workers, and concerned friends.
Since religious counselling is not covered by OHIP, there is a fee for services. But the financial circumstances of the client are taken into consideration. A counselling session may last between 45 minutes and one hour.
Sometimes the problem cannot be worked out in just one session, but requires three or four visits. “There is a limit to pastoral counselling,” Dr. Hill says, “Most of us will not go beyond 12 sessions, spread over six months. Anybody who cannot be helped in that span, clearly has a problem that falls outside the scope of pastoral counselling and should be referred to another type of professions.”
The counselling done at Maranatha is based upon the Biblical view of man, and honours the Judeo-Christian standards of morality. While some sessions may seem no different from secular counselling, the counselor will at time-s give direct advice.
Maranatha’s counselors are committed to the pro-life position. “There can be no compromise here,” explains Dr. Hill. “There are no exceptions. The counselor has a responsibility to show equal love and care for the expectant mother and the unborn child.” Once the pregnancy has been confirmed, the mother-to-be is referred to a pro-life physician, if she doesn’t already have one.
The counselor offers pastoral guidance to help the client choose alternatives to abortion. The Centre’s contact with pro-0life agencies throughout Ontario, enables him/her to make suitable referrals accommodating the client’s individual needs. This includes health care, shelter and emotional support during the pregnancy, as well as clothing and further assistance for mother and child, once the baby is born.
For information about the Centre please call (416) 292-2258 during regular office hours. The address is Maranatha Health Centre, Scarborough North Medical Arts Building, 4040 Finch Ave. East, Toronto, Ontario.