Contents on this page:

  1.   What we offer
  2.    What to Expect
  3.    ARNO Profile Testing
  4.    Secular counseling vs. Christian counseling?
  5.    The benefits of counseling
  6.    Three truths about solving your problems

                                                      What We Offer

Free 20 minute Consultation:

Some times, folks hesitate to seek counseling for fear of the unknown or lack of confidentiality. Pastors are bound by confidentiality, so drop by and spend a few minutes asking as many questions as you like about the process of counseling and resolution.  The consultations are only 20 minutes in duration.

Personal / Individual Counseling
The Emmaus Centre for Christian Counseling offers personal counseling to individuals, couples, and families. Dr. Travis brings over three decades of experience and extensive theological and biblical counseling training to bear on problems of living in a fast-paced world. He has also served in the military for over 37 years. His experience includes working as a respiratory therapists in emergency rooms and civilian hospitals, assigned to the US Army Medical Command as a senior clinician for patients and counseling patients within the behavioral mental health system. Help develop spiritual reset program for “Wounded Soldiers” at Madigan Army Medical Center. He has over 25 years experience in marriage and family counseling, individual counseling, grief, addiction and emotional counseling. He has been a conference speaker on many subjects on counseling, marriage retreats and family conflict resolution.

Sliding Fee Scale

The fees for this service range from $45 to $155.00 per session depending on your family income. We do not take insurance payments, but we do take insurance co-pays to help cover the cost of your counseling.  We use a sliding fee scale which you may review upon arriving for your appointment.  If you would like to schedule an appointment call 865-661-1418 or email us at bretttravis@comcast.net.  If this is an emergency, please dial 9-1-1 or go immediately to the nearest hospital offering emergency services.


There are some limitations to our counselor-in-training (CIT) counseling ministry. First, the term of the counseling is limited to 5 sessions. Second, for individual counseling, there is a same-sex requirement for counselor and participant. Third, there are some struggles that fall outside of the scope of our CIT counseling ministry. These limitations are:

1. Suicide and/or self-injury
2. Homicide and/or significant threats to any person’s safety
3. Any situation involving child abuse, geriatric abuse, or domestic violence
4. Psychosis, where the counsellee’s mind is breaking from reality5. Severe eating disorders, where physical harm is occurring or possible
6. Anyone diagnosed with a personality disorder
7. Severe drug addiction

We invite other churches to participate in our counseling training program and offer ministry leadership seminars on how to administer the ARNO PROFILE in their local church. We also offer continued support by networking with other church-based biblical counseling providers. 

                                           What to Expect from Counseling

What life change would you make if you knew you could not fail? What personal or performance improvement would you make if you had the resources available to you? What old chapter in your life story are you ready to close and what new chapter are you eager to begin writing?

Emmaus Abbey Church Biblical Counseling & Academic Institution seeks to walk with every client that seeks for change in their lives.  God has a plan for each and every one of us to reach our maximum potential in life.

What can you expect from Emmaus Christian  Counseling?

  • Privacy. Everything will be held in strict confidence except where, in the counselor’s judgment, there is a biblical requirement to involve others (e.g. criminal activity such as child, spouse or elder abuse, suicidal intention or threatening someone’s life).
  • Care. Our staff will care for you and treat you with respect.
  • Encouragement toward Christ-likeness. Our staff will encourage you in your successes and exhort you to think and behave in a way that pleases Jesus Christ.
  • Be honest. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to help you if you are not honest with us.
  • Do weekly homework assignments that will encourage lasting change.
  • Give us a little time. Habits are not developed overnight, and new habits will take time to develop. In most cases, we ask individuals to commit to regular counseling appointments for a period of 3 to 4 months.
  • How to know when counseling is over: When clients have mastered the ability to handle and resolve their issues without any further help from the counselor, they have graduated from counseling.
  • Lastly, we do not refer to secular counselors: While on active duty, I worked over 20 years in the behavioral and mental health system.  I rarely saw any improvement of clients getting help with their personal problems while using clinical psychology or psychiatry.  Most all the counseling dealt with administering medication to military personnel. When I was allowed to use Scriptural intervention we all saw change, but the powers to be limited my use of prayer, practical scriptural approaches to resolving what really remained as spiritual problems.  


                                               Secular Licensure vs. State Licensure

How do I choose the right counselor?

Short background: 
Christian counselors normally get clients after the client has been in secular counseling for a few weeks or months.  Why, because the counseling is not working. There is a huge difference in a Christian being trained in a secular school of psychology vs. a Christian counselor seminary trained in the Scriptures and systematic theology.  Christian counselors do not just throw scriptures at clients, but are trained listeners and help counsellees with their spiritual walk in Christ.

The secular counselor uses a medical model vs. the Christian counselor is trained in theology and scripture. The bible has the answer for every man’s need and emotional problem for change.  The bible deals with depression-2 Cor 2:4; Nehemiah 2:2; 1 Sam 16 and for anxiety: Philippians 4.  Anger Ephesians 4. Morals,Wisdom, choices–Exodus- 10 Commandments/ Proverbs.  I could go on forever…Pastors see more people in a week than secular counselors see in a year. So, the next time you hear a secular counselor make a statement that Christian counseling is not effective, just make a few appointments with that secular counselor and see if anything changes in your life. 

In the Old Testament;  Isaiah 40:13 says; Who can fathom the Spirit of the LORD, or instruct the LORD as his counselor?  In the book of 1 Corinthians 2:11 says; “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.” 1 Cor 2:16; For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ. In Jeremiah 8:9 says;  “The wise men are put to shame, They are dismayed and caught; Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, And what kind of wisdom do they have?

Though some mental health issues (organic brain) issues may require a psychiatrist to prescribe short term medication, other than these organic issues, what other wisdom or hope can a patient receive for their emotional problems?  In today’s world, where so many men and women are in bondage to drugs, that a combination of the medical and spiritual intervention models are the only way out for those serious about change in their lives. The future must hold that Christian counseling interventions has a major place in today’s caring and healing those with emotional problems. NOTE: What if the thief on the cross was given a drug or medicated?  Would he have accepted Christ as his savior?  I would say, No.  Therefore, we need to train as pastors to know more about psychology, but be more saturated with Scripture. Why,  in order to redirect those who come to us from secular counselors to know they need Christ to solve their problems.

In closing, Isaiah 30:1 says this to us; “Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the LORD, “Who execute a plan, but not Mine, And make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, In order to add sin to sin.  All secular counselors have to offer is sin to sin, flesh to flesh in counseling.  The Christian pastor has the Trinity!  The spirit of God is our basis for change. Pastors rely on God’s word, not some diagnostic statistical manual which relies on failed interventions.  All medication does is mask the root problem of man’s issues, prolongs the problems. Listen to God’s counsel on this in 1 Cor 3:17-18; If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 

Who Can Benefit From Christian Counseling?

While anyone, Christian or not, can benefit from Christian Counseling there are a number of populations that can particularly benefit from the services of an Advanced Christian Counselor.  There are three basic categories that most of these persons fit in. 

One category would be persons in ministry.  While this would certainly include pastors, it would also include their spouses, their children, their extended family, and their staff.  It would also include those, paid or volunteer, full-time or part-time that are in roles of ecclesiastical leadership.  It would also include workers and professionals in para-church organizations, Christian educational institutions, or any profession, helping or otherwise, that is organized around spiritual affiliations or principles. 

 A second category would be persons who have experienced trauma or crisis that has a spiritual element associated with it.  This would include persons who have been abused by or affected by the actions of particular persons or organizations represented in category one.  Other members of this category may be persons whose faith has been adversely affected by specific life events or tragedies, such as death, loss, illness, or phase of life issues.  Essentially, any person of faith who experiences a significant life challenge could benefit From Advanced Christian Counseling, whether or not their faith is in question. 

A third category would include any person who is interested in pursuing spiritual dialog for experiential reasons.  Persons in this category could be interested in deepening their spiritual experience, intensively examining the dynamics of a spiritual walk, deepening their understanding of scripture,  or exploring new and better ways of integrating their faith more completely in their life.  Also in this category would be persons questioning faith itself or coming from other belief systems and simply wanting to learn more about the Christian faith.  Such persons as these may find value in Christian Counseling. 

 Christian Counseling is an approach to problem solving and healing
that is built on three truths.

Truth #1.  There are certain life events and experiences that can bring us to a point where we feel like our life and efforts are unproductive or even pointless.  Luke 5 records the story of the calling of the first disciples who felt exactly that way when Jesus approached them and challenged them to “put out into the deep water”.  Sometimes life, whether by necessity or desire, challenges us to plumb the depths of possibilities.  Advanced Christian Counseling is a process that can assist us in gaining the courage to leave the shallows, with its modicum of comfort and security, which have been depleted over time and deepen our search and faith thereby enabling us to wrest, out of life, all that God has for us. 

    Truth #2.  There are specific processes that must be undergone in order for us to resolve the issues we face and realize our greatest potential.  Where human life and faith are concerned these processes must comprehensively address all potential human needs; body, soul, and spirit (1 Thes 5:23).  It is only when we deal holistically with life and its’ challenges that can we can ever expect to come away with its’ greatest rewards.  To have life and “have it more abundantly” it is necessary to address the whole self if we expect to “become like He is”.  Those processes will not transpire accidentally.

They must be undertaken purposefully, systematically, and delicately.  Ultimately, the endeavor is transformational (Romans 12:2), renewing every part of who we are, challenging us at every moment to present our whole self to the one constant and ultimate source of power, Christ.  It is only in the presence of His power that we can “be” who He meant us to be.   Advanced Christian Counseling can become the vehicle that can successfully bring us to that transformational moment. 

    Fact #3.  There are certain people that God has called, prepared, and equipped to provide the kind of guidance, counsel, and companionship that is needed to reach the deep water of a life of faith.  First of all, they must be called by God to do what they do.  Additionally, they must be someone who knows the terrain, is fearless before the challenges, and aware of the hazards.  They also need to have made the journey themselves, weathered the storms, and kept the joy of their call.  They must also be filled with the Spirit, free of judgment, and abounding with compassion.   They must be wise, but not of the flesh, rather soaked in the wisdom of God and His Word.  Finally, they must be open; open to the uniqueness of your need, open to the slightest whispers of God, and open to the reality that form and tradition are not necessarily of God.  Your journey will be unlike anyone else’s and they need to be ultimately aware that there is no “packaged” approach that will be right for everyone. Christian Counseling is done by someone who is uniquely qualified and ultimately sensitive to your individuality before God.