The Mission.

For pastors and lay leaders who are in need of personal, professional or relationship assistance, the Clinical Leader Assessment and Consultation teams provide personal, marital, relationship, ministry and organizational assessment with a plan for restoration and growth involving the development and provision of the necessary interventions and supports to insure success.

The pressures of vocational ministry are great and may negatively impact the minister, his/her marriage, and other relationships.  A survey done of ministers by Fuller Institute of Church Growth showed the following:

  • 90% work well over 50 hours per week
  • 51% said that they felt they were unable to meet the demands of the job
  • 82% believed that the ministry had negatively impacted their family life
  • 92% said that the were inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands
  • 53% averaged 5-6 hours of sleep per night
  • 85% spent less than two evenings a week at home with their families
  • 43% do not take a regular day off
  • 73% have no close or intimate friendships outside their marriage

The Method.

Clinical Assessment and Consultation combines research validated tools and methods from clinical and counseling psychology, executive coaching, team building, spiritual assessment and consultation, spiritual direction, Ministry assessment and consultation, and counseling and psychotherapy.  Referrals come to us from denominational and ministry network entities, individual churches, colleagues and family members.  Rarely do individuals in need self refer.  The issues involved in referral include burnout, compassion fatigue, moral failure, at risk for moral failure, criminal activity, loss of vision and drive, disappointment, and the perception that God’s will and call for the individual or church exceeds what is currently being accomplished.

The Consultation begins with the initial phone or email contact.  Sufficient information is acquired to conceptualize the assessment.  A 3 day Intensive Assessment/Consultation is scheduled and staffed with the team that is deemed most appropriate for the situation.  Online counseling is provided while preparing for the Intensive and is available as follow-up. Participants complete a personal/relationship and ministry history and several personal and relationship tests prior to arrival.

The Clinical Intensive Assessment and Consultation is designed to assess what is happening in the leader’s life, develop a plan for restoration and take the first steps down a path of healing and wholeness. The initial assessment/consultation is a 20-hour process conducted in 3 days in our offices in Norfolk, Virginia. It consists of:

  • Extensive evaluation including several validated tests
    1. Personality assessment
    2. Psycho-social assessment
    3. Spiritual life assessment
    4. Organizational assessment
    5. If spouse is a part of this a “marriage assessment”
  • An individualized plan that may include a number of components
    1. Individual counseling/consultation/coaching
    2. Spiritual direction
    3. Marital counseling/consultation/coaching
    4. Team consultation
    5. Executive coaching
  • Follow-up plans and assessment with the availability of additional Intensive Consultations as needed. Appropriate accountability is established within the family, church, denomination or social network.

The Core Team Providing Services Since 2006.

Paul H. Van Valin, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

President, Eden Counseling and Consultation

Team Leader, Psychological Assessments, Individual and Marital Assessment and Consultation, Organizational Assessment and Consultation, Executive Coaching

Becky S. Van Valin, MSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Individual and Marital Assessment and Consultation

Rev. David Martin, MEd

Chaplain, Sentara Leigh Hospital, Norfolk, Virginia

Spiritual and Ministry Assessment and Consultation

Individual and Marital Assessment and Consultation

Rev. Robert (Bob) Groves

joined the team in 2013

Pastor, Genesis Church

Founder Rehab – Marriage Ministry

Individual Consultation and Mentor for Individual Assessment and Consultation

Mentor for Individual and Marital Assessment and Consultations

Spiritual Assessment

Shawn Groves

joined the team in 2013

Genesis Church

Founder Rehab – Marriage Ministry

Individual Consultation and Mentor

Mentor for Individual and Marital Assessment and Consultations

Adjunct Team Members

Lacy Biddle, MSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Eden Counseling and Consultation

Addiction Specialist

Individual Assessment and Consultation

Chris Doriani, MSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Eden Counseling and Consulting

Individual, Marriage and Family Assessment and Consultation

Mike Morgan, MSW

Licensed Professional Counselor at Eden Counseling and Consulting

Individual and Family Assessment and Consultation

Jill Nardin, MA

Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Traumatologist at Eden Counseling and Consulting

Trauma and Individual Assessment and Consultation

Kristine Rand, MSW

Certified Nutritionist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Eden Counseling and Consulting

Nutrition and Health consultation

Dr. Daryl MacDowell, DC

Chiropractor at Chesapeake Spinal Center

Dr. Alessio Salsano, MD

Internal Medicine at Bon Secours Health System

Dr. James Salerno, DDS

Dentist at Gladstone and Salerno

Case Studies

A young EPC pastor with great promise plants a church.  During the fourth year of ministry, his son is sexually molested concurrent with growing dissatisfaction and criticism from his lay leaders.  The pastor and his family are facing multiple crises.  He crosses professional boundaries with a woman in his church and must leave the ministry and return to the home of his youth to receive family and social support for recovery and restoration.  He remained in secular employment for a over a year while Eden Counseling Ministries provided assessment, counseling and coaching,  and ongoing accountability and leadership development.  Concurrently he was involved in the Pastors in Residence program and became active in a local church.  His character has been appropriately shaped and groomed for Godly humility by the losses and growth experiences in his life.  His marriage and children are flourishing.  The young pastor reconciled with leaders with whom he had become estranged through a number of poor decisions.  He presently holds a ministry position in an academic institution and maintains an accountability/support network with local, mature leaders.  Our team has been involved with this family for 2 years with ongoing consultation.

A dynamic pastoral couple with a strong record of creative ministry success has a number of family problems and exhausting schedules resulting, in part, from their success.  Their church had grown rapidly.  They launched several transformational community ministries and established a successful church plant/leadership development network.  At the time of the initial consultation, their marriage was strained, their staff members were stressed, and they had several crises in their family.  Personal retreat, ministry consultation, personal marriage and consultation over several years resulted marital harmony and empowerment to increase their mentoring/training role and influence a network of 35 churches constructively.  They refer to our team frequently.  Our team has been involved with this family and their ministries for 13 years with episodic consultation concurrent with interactions involving their referrals to our team.