Testimonials
A few comments from clients and friends:

"Every time I'm around you, I just want to shout to the world and especially the church that I finally know a leader who is his message."--Cindy Bumpas

Testimonial #1 R. Freeman"John Smeltzer...has shown me what life is supposed to be."
Testimonial #2 B.Hansen"Your counsel, gifting, and being a true sage has been pivotal in our lives."
Testimonial #3 A. Blue"I actually like [who] I am today because of all that God did for me through you."
Testimonial #4 C. Berglund "John is a scholar with a father's heart & a prophetic spirit that testifies of Jesus."

Individuals, couples and families may benefit from a week of intensive therapy, which includes from 15-25 hours of counseling, depending on need. Individuals can plan on scheduling 15 hours, whereas couples or families may require 20-25 hours of intensive therapy.

All of the major issues that affect one's relatonships to God and to others are examined, identified and prayed for. During the first half of the week, discussions about Kingdom relationships and teachings concerning the Christian and his or her make-up occur. Five articles that explain the Kingdom concepts in greater detail are read out of session during the week which clarify the basic elements an individual, marriage or family needs to make changes.

The first two days of therapy consist mostly of conversation, teaching and reading as well as client/therapist relationship building. On Wednesday, the tenor shifts to prayer for healing of damaged emotions, beliefs, strategies and paradigms. The four major life areas that affect one's relationships are prayed through: the generational history, the developmental memories of childhood, the structures of the heart, soul and spirit and finally one's own dysfunctional style of relating.

The essential goal of the week is to provide for the client specific answers, information, and healing to the areas of need identified by the client, marriage or family.

Marital therapy is one of the most difficult aspects of counseling. It is so for a number of reasons, the major one being that the individuals in the marriage need to have the same level of commitment to change and the willingness to face and own his or her contribution to the marital stress.

Marriage counseling is the process of identifying and healing the developmental issues that the individual has brought into the marriage relationship. As such, the counseling focuses 80% of the time on those issues and perhaps 20% of the time on the couple interaction.

What makes marital counseling succeed is the identification and healing of the developmental issues that each spouse brings into the relationship. Our counseling for couples does not focus on the use of tools to change relationships, anymore than one would put a hammer into a broken hand in the hope that injured person could use it. As the hand must be healed before the hammer can be used, so must the inner issues and concerns of the individual be addressed before relational tools will work.

Marital counseling occurs every other week- biweekly - for a minimum of two hours. The extended time is far more effetive in healing the developmental brokenness in the individual than the weekly 50 minute session. During those two hour sessions, four key areas are addressed: 1) the history that has damaged the individual, 2) the "futile way of life inherited from your forefathers" (1 Peter 1:18), 3) the damaged structures of the heart, soul, and spirit, and 4) the dysfunctional style of relationships that are at the core of the marriage problems. As with the weekly intensive therapy sessions, readings that clarify and speed up the counseling process are assigned outside of the therapy session.

Individual therapy occurs on a biweekly basis, two hours every other week. This schedule allows for greater opportunity and flexibility to address the basic issues that the client brings into the therapy sessions.

The focus of individual therapy is to address those issues that currently disturb the client, by focusing on his or her generational history, his or her perosnal history, memories and experiences, by identifying destructive and unhealthy ways of relating, and by prayer that heals damage to the inner spiritual life of the client.

Since the Kingdom of God is in essence a relational kingdom, all individual therapy occurs through the relationship established between client and counselor. This relational therapy identifies and surfaces dysfunctional patterns of relationships, provides a realistic and true assessment of the worth and value of the client, and gives a medium through which God's love and truth toward the client can be appreciated, received and experienced.

Family therapy is counseling for the whole family which requires that mother, father and children all attend. Only children 6 years and under are excluded from the family therapy.

The schedule of meetings is planned every other week, and lasts a minimum of two hours, sometimes extended to three hours. The guiding philosophy of all family therapy is built on the interplay of parents and children. In Biblical langauge, there are two clear guidelines: they are found in Colossians 3:21. On the one hand children will obey parents; it is their moral and Christian duty to do so. On the other hand, parental control and parental rules must be examined. Parents will learn not to exasperate or provoke their children to anger, that they may not lose heart. It is often parental roles that control and provoke children to disobey their parents. The balance between childrens'obedience and parental flexibility is critical to the success of family therapy. Since children are living in a system of rules and expectations imposed by parental authority, children can only change when the whole system devised by and enforced by parental authority is examined and altered for the benefit of all.

What is identified in the sessions are the roles that people play, the unspoken and sometimes excessive religious rules that bind children, the patterns of hiddenness in family members, and the alliances in the family that prevent freedom and choice.

Issues that are often addressed are rebellious behaviors in teens, addictive patterns of living including drug abuse, eating disorders, and family depression, excessive rules, unrealistic and untruthful Christian living, rigidity and roles that are more important than the individual. In other words, the whole system under which the family operates is identified, clarified and healed. The goal of the therapy is to allow God's life, health, options and freedoms to increasingly affect the health, well being and heart living of each member of the family.

For your convenience, please click on the forms below, print them and bring them completed to the first appointment.

A word about the life-history questionnaire:

The purpose of the questionnaire is to give John as much information as possible before the first session. It not only saves the client time but also gives John an opportunity ahead of time to begin thinking and praying about the significant issues you will be dealing with together.

Since many of the quesetions are extremely personal in nautre some clients feel uncomfortable about revealing the information to a stranger and / or putting it in writing.

IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO ANSWER EVERY QUESTION. However, the information you give helps him to undersatnd you and the issues you struggle with. The more he knows, the more quickly he can get to the heart of the problems.

General Sessions

Most counseling sessions are 2-hour biweekly sessions and the fee is $300.00 ($150.00 per hour). Two hour sessions offer more continuity and an opportunity to explore a single issue more thoroughly.

Week-long Intensive Sessions

Clients who come for a 15 or 20 hour week of intensive counseling and prayer are charged the hourly fee of $150.00.

A required deposit of 50% of the total cost is paid at the time the appointment is scheduled.

Concerning insurance, Smeltzer Counseling is an “out of network” provider and clients are required to pay in full at the date of service and file with their insurance companies for reimbursement. Many insurance plans that have behavioral healthcare benefits will commit to partial reimbursement but it is necessary to check with one’s insurance for individualized plan benefits. Receipts will be provided for insurance reimbursement upon request.

What is the therapuetic process during a week of Intensive Therapy?

When a person comes for a week of counseling (15 or 20 hours), my goal is to walk through each of the problems discussed in the philosophy section on the web site. Here's how a specific week looks: on the first day, we talk about ideas and concepts that will apply for the rest of the week. We do one experiential exercise that begins the process of healing the heart, soul and spirit. Usually we begin praying on Tuesday or Wednesday about memories, generational history and other issues as God leads.

How do I know a week of intensive therapy is right for me?

There is one common denominator for all people who need a week of counseling rather than a few hours: long term problems with no help after trying many solutions. If you continue to suffer with one or more problems that you've had for many years, have sought counseling for from other counselors, received prayer for at healing conferences, etc. but continue to suffer with very little change, you are someone who would greatly benefit from the week of intensive therapy

Will one week of counseling be enough to solve my problems?

Since every person has different life experiences and a different personality and character, each week is completely individualized and none are exactly the same. The nature and depth of the problem and how long a person has been dealing with it determines whether or not one week is enough time to get to the root of all the issues. Some clients return for a second week in six months or a year.

If I focus on my main problem in counseling, will God heal it?

Many people come for counseling with hopes (and sometimes with an agenda) for God to heal in one area that concerns them most. While I always pray for these things, nothing is ever healed unless God wants to heal it. He knows what we need and why. Often the problems that bother us most are not the real issues God is concerned about. When the things He cares about are healed, the other things become less important to us. Many times these things are healed as a result of a greater healing God has done in a totally different area of our lives.

Will I still see a difference, even if I can't come for a whole week?

Some healing is better than none. I've seen God work true miracles in an hour. For those who are not able to come for a week, I suggest that people come for three-hour sessions every two or three weeks. Obviously this won’t work for anyone coming from a long distance.

I've tried Christian counseling before. Why will this be any different?

If your former Christian counselors only listened to your problems and offered their advice or told you what the Bible says (which you may already have known) then it's my belief you didn't receive true Christian counseling. While all counseling requires listening and talking, only God heals through the power of the Holy Spirit. Unless He is invited into the room, unless He is the one who reveals the true problem and its origin and unless He is the one who is asked to heal it then all the words that are said are merely words. The gospel of Jesus Christ consists "not of words but of power."

Do you offer a discount?

I give an automatic personal courtesy discount (20%) to people in the ministry: pastors, missionaries, evangelists, full-time prayer ministry, et al. If you request assistance, an application will be provided. Because so many who need healing are also in financial distress, I am unable to discount all who ask. Each application is considered and weighed based on emotional, spiritual and financial need. A personal note from a pastor/mentor and friends is also required along with the application.

Do you have payment options?

If I am unable to give a discount, you may also pay by credit card. In unique cases I have allowed some clients to pay in three installments. Each situation is considered individually upon request.

Do you counsel couples?

I believe that 80% of the problems in marriages exist prior to the marriage. Because of wounds and damage to the heart caused by life experiences, early years in troubled and/or dysfunctional homes and hurts received during teen years, people bring many problems with them into their marriages.

When two individuals with unresolved issues live together, rear children together, make life-decisions together, it feels like they have new problems. What happens is that old problems take on a new form and the two sets of problems become entangled. Therefore, I do "conjoint therapy" which means I spend 80% of our time on their individual, personal problems which affect the marriage, and 20 % on their actual marriage relationship. In marital therapy, the issue of "styles of relationship" becomes paramount. When we understand the ways we've chosen to cope, defend and survive in all relationships, we better understand why we have specific problems with our marriage partners and we can then learn new ways of relating.