What kind of counseling does Cross Church offer?

Cross Church offers three kinds of counseling.

  • Formal counseling is offered through Julie Crawford, who holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Church Members Only.
  • Professional counseling is offered through Living Well Counseling, of Arkansas Baptist Children and Family Ministries. Living Well has licensed, professional counselors both local and statewide that are trained and certified in various areas of mental health. Services are for everyone.
  • Informal pastoral guidance is offered through our ministry team, many of whom have been seminary-trained in various theological fields. Styles and approaches vary with each pastor or ministry team member on staff. Church Members Only.


Julie has been trained in clinical counseling, and uses an integrative approach, giving Scripture the ultimate authority in all things. She is committed to a balanced and biblical approach to counseling, providing clinically-informed biblical guidance. She is a believer in Christ with special training and experience in applying the truths of the Bible to life. She believes Scripture is sufficient to speak to all of life and to all of its problems, but sometimes it takes careful thought and prayerful wisdom to know how to make those connections. She believes that the Bible ultimately points us to a person and a relationship – Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, and that real change comes when people learn to see themselves and their problems in the context of a living, vital relationship with Christ. She believes that deep and lasting change is brought about only by God himself through the power of the Holy Spirit, with a strong emphasis on the influence of living in healthy, encouraging community. Her counsel is based upon the Scriptures first and foremost, and other Christian teachings that align with the truths of God’s Word. She is passionate about helping people find hope and healing in the context of a growing, abiding relationship with Jesus. She believes that the Church has a unique role in bringing the hope of the Gospel, the wisdom of Scripture, and the care of the local church to bear upon people’s problems and suffering.

Facts about Formal Counseling:

  • Adults ages 18+ and married couples
  • Cross Church members only (per Arkansas law for unlicensed counselors)
  • Marriage coaching using Prepare Enrich Assessment
  • Short-term counseling (up to 6 sessions) scheduled weekly or bi-weekly. Not designed to be a long-term therapeutic solution; referral is made after completion of sessions if further care is desired.
  • $20 per session
  • All sessions conducted in person at the Cross Church Springdale campus on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays during business hours
  • Initial session 90 minutes; subsequent sessions 60 minutes
  • Does not diagnose mental illness, prescribe/manage/advise about medication, or get involved in legal/courtroom matters
  • Focus on present problems and specific situations or behaviors. Addresses problems such as anxiety, depression, anger, grief/loss, insecurity/low self-esteem, life adjustments/transitions, spiritual doubts/confusion, relationship challenges, acute trauma, and living with chronic illness.

NOTE: Julie is not licensed with the state of Arkansas and is not considered a professional counselor; because of this, she is by law limited to counseling church members only. She provides church-based counseling only.


Living Well is a branch of Arkansas Baptist Children and Family Ministries, part of the Southern Baptist Convention of Arkansas. There are 29 Living Well sites in 27 different Arkansas cities, with offices in Springdale, Fayetteville, and Rogers. Most all LW therapists offer Telehealth services, providing virtual counseling for anyone located in the state. All LW counselors are believers in Christ, and active in a local church. They all provide faith-based counseling congruent with the Southern Baptist Convention Statement of Faith.

Living Well is a community of licensed, professional counselors, certified and trained in various specialties such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), child play therapy, sand tray therapy, family therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Spanish counseling, trauma-informed therapy, marriage therapy, and various other areas. They are prepared to counsel most any mental health challenge. Their services and expertise extend beyond what formal counseling or informal pastoral guidance at Cross Church can offer, and can service all ages – individuals, couples, and families.

Visit the Living Well website for a more thorough understanding, 

Facts about Professional Counseling:

  • All ages, couple counseling, and family counseling
  • Pre-marital counseling and marriage counseling for all levels of need including highly distressed marriages, separated couples, marriages involving sexual or substance addiction, and other complicating factors
  • Anyone can access services (Cross Church members or non-members)
  • No limit on sessions; can be a long-term therapeutic solution
  • Most insurance plans accepted; reasonable private pay rate (varies by counselor)
  • Sessions conducted in person in Springdale, Fayetteville, or Rogers; Telehealth services also available
  • Session length and scheduling determined by counselor


Cross Church has well-qualified pastors and ministry team members on staff, many of whom are seminary-trained and hold master’s degrees in various theological fields. While they are not formally trained in counseling, they have experience in helping people apply biblical principles to life and problems. Their approach to counseling is informal, however, and would not be structured the same as formal or professional counseling.

Facts about Informal Pastoral Guidance:

  • All ages
  • Cross Church members only (per Arkansas law for unlicensed counselors)
  • Pre-marital counseling available using Symbis or Prepare Enrich assessments
  • Number, length and frequency of sessions to be determined by ministry team member
  • No charge for pastoral guidance
  • All sessions conducted in person at one of the Cross Church campuses
  • No formal diagnoses or legal advice provided
  • Pastors and ministry team members provide biblical guidance only and are not clinically-trained or licensed.

How do I make an appointment for counseling?

If after reading these FAQs you determine that one of these counseling services would be a good fit for you, you can use the “Request Help” link on the main counseling page. Someone will respond to your request by phone within 2-3 business days. Please be aware that the counseling ministry is not an emergency service, and an immediate appointment will not be possible. If you have a medical or mental health emergency, you should call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room or mental health facility.

If you would like to contact Living Well directly, you can call 479-521-1296.

What is the cancellation policy?

Formal counseling: a 24-hour notice is requested for all cancellations, except due to sudden illness that would require taking a “sick day” from work or school. All missed appointments (“no shows”) will result in forfeited payment.

Informal pastoral guidance: Even though there is no formal cancellation policy for informal sessions with ministry staff, we ask that you be considerate and communicate clearly with the ministry team member if you will not be able to make an appointment.

Professional counseling: to be determined by individual Living Well counselors


Counseling requires a collaborative relationship and a willingness to work. Because counseling involves exploring painful places in order to find healing, you may experience discomfort and unpleasant feelings at times. This may result in disruption and turmoil in your life.

If you come with a desire to change, and the willingness to work hard in between sessions, you will see the best results. You will only reach your goals with ongoing effort and hard work. Your results from counseling depend on what you put into it. Counseling is not a passive activity. Purposeful, ongoing work outside of counseling sessions is needed to find lasting freedom from any specific problem or challenge. Remember that your problems did not occur overnight, so they will not be resolved overnight either. Counseling often leads to better relationships, solutions to problems, and a reduction of distressing feelings. Please be aware that there is no guarantee of a specific result in counseling.

During counseling, you will receive “tools” that you can use in your life as you work through current problems and encounter new ones after your counseling is complete. The counseling process includes collaborative goal setting and “homework” designed to help you meet your goals, as well as check-ins and evaluations along the way. Because the process is designed to help you find your own answers through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, you will not receive “advice” or “solutions”, but rather direction. Consider counseling the beginning of a journey toward a correct and greater understanding of God, yourself as his beloved child, your uniqueness and purpose in this world, and your problems in light of the teachings of Scripture. Prayerfully, this will result in a deeper, abiding relationship with Him, from where all answers ultimately come.

The goal of counseling is not to eliminate problems and produce a “finished product.” Unless you are at peace with this reality, you will never feel like life is “good enough” to free you from counseling. Scripture says we will always have pain and suffering as long as we are on this earth (John 16:33). The goal of counseling is to learn to navigate through rough emotional and relational times properly so they do not cause impairment in the ability to engage your primary life roles.


God created his children to heal and grow in relationship with each other. That is one of the important reasons why the local church is so necessary in the life of a Christian. Every aspect of Cross Church has a therapeutic component – Sunday morning worship, small groups, service to the body of Christ, etc. People oftentimes experience healing before they ever see a counselor when they embrace all aspects of church involvement, become honest with themselves and others in the context of safe relationships, allow direction and accountability from fellow believers, and allow themselves to be loved by and grow with others.

If you have done these things and still have struggles, then counseling can be an option for you as one component of your therapeutic process. If you still feel isolated and confused, your problem is getting worse and more frequent, you find yourself trying to numb your emotions, or you find yourself withdrawing or becoming unproductive in life due to your problem, then counseling may be for you. In addition, counseling provides a confidential relationship that becomes a temporary place of safety to work through difficult issues.

Keep in mind, though, that the knowledge, insight, and direction you gain from counseling still must be worked out in community and not in isolation. That is why we will always approach the process with a member with holistic healing in mind involving other aspects of the church and opportunities outside the counseling room.

Are our meetings confidential?

Confidentiality for counseling with any staff member at Cross Church is defined by pastor-parishioner privilege because we are a local church, and therefore, our staff members operate as agents of the church (pastors/ministers), not agents of the state (licensed counselors.) Confidentiality is an important aspect of our counseling process. We will carefully guard the information entrusted to us.

In formal counseling, Julie provides each counselee with a very thorough explanation of confidentiality as it pertains to his/her personal information. This is laid out in the Informed Consent to Counseling, and gone over in session before counseling ever begins. You may ask questions about this at any time during the counseling process.

In professional counseling, Living Well counselors adhere to the AACC code of ethics. They also provide each counselee with a thorough explanation of confidentiality, explained in the Informed Consent. They are required to follow HIPAA law, which protects sensitive client health information from being disclosed without the client’s consent or knowledge.

(Note for those involved with couple counseling: Because your counselor will be entrusted with information from both partners of a relationship, there is a policy of “No Secrets”, which means that your counselor cannot promise to protect secrets of one partner from the other, especially if the secret is harmful or destructive to the process of the counseling itself or undermines the agreed-upon intention of the counseling.)


  1. Pastoral interactions are not exclusively problem-focused because you will talk to your pastor about more than just your struggles, and live in community together. Formal & Professional counseling provide an intentional relationship predicated upon overcoming a challenge or navigating a life transition.
  2. Pastors offer ongoing relationships that grow and change throughout time. Formal & Professional counseling offer a more structured, short-term relationship. When your counseling goals are met, your relationship with your counselor ceases, but your relationship with your pastors continue.
  3. Pastoral relationships are mutually beneficial. A relationship with a counselor is singularly beneficial – the relationship exists to benefit the counselee.
  4. Pastors speak out of personal experience and biblical principles; counselors speak out of biblical principles and advanced training. Pastors are not expected to know “best practices” for various life struggles. Their criteria for ministry qualification is based upon character and doctrine more than counseling competence. Counselors have been formally trained and hold advanced degrees. Many of the pastors are seminary-trained and hold master’s degrees in various theological fields.
  5. Pastors adhere to informal relational protocols. Counselors adhere to formal relational protocols. Conversations with pastors occur in church hallways, on the phone, or in a small group settings, among other places. Conversations with counselors are by appointment only, held in an office, and adhere to special confidentiality principles. In addition, the process with counselors includes an Informed Consent, intake forms, and fee for service. There is no charge for informal pastoral guidance, no paperwork involved, time and place are flexible, and there is not necessarily a structure to the process.
  6. The content (biblical substance) of the interaction with a member of our ministry team and counselors should be very similar. Both forms of care are “ministry”; they are Bible-based forms of care intended to navigate the challenges of life with the hope of the Gospel in order to experience the full life God intends. However, the nature of the relationship is different between our pastoral team and counselors. Pastoral counsel is informal, based on life experience, and open-ended. Counselors provide guidance based on particular training and is a short-term, goal-focused relationship.

Sundays 9:30 AM