Questions regarding lay people offering Immanuel approach sessions

Is it legal for lay people to charge for Immanuel approach sessions?

As far as we know, it’s perfectly legal for lay people to charge for counseling/prayer sessions as long as you don’t misrepresent yourself. That is, it’s legal for you to offer your services as a lay counselor/lay minister, and to charge whatever fee you deem appropriate, as long as you make it clear that you are a lay person. If you misrepresent yourself as having training and/or degrees that you don’t actually have, you are guilty of fraud and can expect that somebody else will eventually figure this out and that you will then be in trouble of some kind or another. You can especially expect to get in trouble if you make fraudulent claims regarding professional training and licenses in the context of billing insurance companies. An analogy might be helpful. If I hear you mention that you need to get your oil changed and are trying to find a good garage, I can say “Hey, I’m not a mechanic, but I can change your oil for $15.00.” If you decide this is a good deal, I change your oil, you’re happy with the job, and you pay me $15.00, nobody will have a problem with this arrangement. I can offer to change your oil (and charge you for this service), even though I’m not a trained/certified/licensed mechanic, as long as I don’t misrepresent myself. However, I will get in trouble if I pretend to training and/or certification and/or licensing that I don’t actually have.

How do lay people providing Immanuel approach sessions identify themselves?

There is quite a bit of variability. For example, a lay person facilitating Immanuel approach emotional healing sessions might refer to herself as a lay minister, a lay counselor, a prayer minister, an Immanuel approach facilitator, an Immanuel approach prayer counselor, an Immanuel prayer minister, or an emotional healing facilitator. Note: if you are a lay person and you don’t include the word “lay” in the phrase you use to identify yourself, make sure to quickly and clearly identify yourself as a lay person in any descriptive material you provide.

What kind of fees do lay ministers charge?

Again, there is quite a bit of variability. People who offer Immanuel sessions for only a few hours/week and who are offering sessions to friends, family, and people in their small group usually offer the sessions for free. In contrast, people who are offering Immanuel sessions to the general public and who spend many hours each week facilitating Immanuel sessions tend to charge a fee. My observation is that it is very hard for people to make enough space in their lives to offer many hours of sessions to the general public without charging a fee. If the person who has some other source of income (a spouse, retirement income, etc) that provides for most of the families living expenses, they can charge a very small fee to cover the costs of training, consultations, supervision, and other small concerns. On the other hand, if the person is the primary provider for his/her family, he/she will need to charge substantial fees (similar to professional therapists). Some lay people facilitating Immanuel sessions ask for free will gifts (as opposed to charging set fees); but, unfortunately, the free will gifts they receive are often very meager.

One simple, practical issue here has to do with effectiveness. We know some lay people using the Immanuel approach who are getting better results that most professional psychotherapists. If you have developed your skill, grown your capacity, built your faith, and gotten rid of your own blockages to the point that people get exceptional results when you facilitate Immanuel approach sessions, they will generally be happy to pay substantial fees and you will be able to afford spending a large part of your time each week offering Immanuel sessions. In contrast, if you still have a long way to go with respect to skill, faith, capacity, and blockages, and people experience much more modest benefit from the sessions you facilitate, you will need to charge a lot less if you want folks to keep coming back.

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