By Bonnie Mentel

The Christian Counseling Center was originally started back in the 70s, but Robbie Goss, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, took it over in 1999. He also started a center in the Brandon area called Overcomers Counseling and then eventually combined the two centers.

Goss is the director at Christian Counseling Center and he employs 15 counselors with various credentials. He has licensed counselors, registered interns, and student interns who are finishing their Master’s.

“We have some counselors that specialize in marriages and helping people deal with marriage issues. We have others who specialize with family systems issues – helping parents and children work together. I have another lady who specializes with adoptive children; she does an excellent job in that area. I have a man on staff who deals mainly with addictions. He’s my certified addiction professional. Each of them has some different expertise that they bring,” Goss said.

The counseling center schedules about 600 appointments each month at five different offices throughout the Tampa area: Riverview, Brandon, Land O’ Lakes, Pinellas County, and Wesley Chapel. Different counselors serve each community. Day, evening, and Saturday hours are available for appointments.

“The Lord gave me a vision for it (the center) many years before 1990, really. My vision was to help bring wholeness in Christ and to help others do the same. We try to pray with our clients and we try to share things that we feel would help them; to meet them where they’re at. Some clients are not open to that and that’s okay. We don’t force them to do anything. Our purpose there is to help them to wholeness and to move forward,” he said.

Goss said that finances do not need to stand in the way of people receiving counseling services.

“We try to work with people without turning them away. We try to hook them up with some level of help, even if they are not financially able to do anything; we try to help wherever they’re at. That’s been a core value that we’ve tried to maintain,” he said.

Counseling fees can range between $25-$125 per hour depending on the counselor’s level of qualification and specialty.

“Our goal is to help people discover how to restore their soul and how to deal with things that might hinder their relationships. We have a great mixture of people who come with all kinds of different issues. We try to present to them a plan and a direction to help themselves and their relationships. We work with people with all different types of backgrounds, whether or not they have a church background,” Goss said.

More information, including a list of counselors, can be found at www.lifebuilderscounseling.org. The main office is located in Brandon at 306 W. Sadie St. Call 438-5949.