John Michael Helms, D.Min., BCC

Pastoral Counselor                                                                    

I have over 30 of experience helping people find their way to a purposeful, meaningful life.  While most of the time we can manage the stress that life brings our way.  However, there are seasons in most of our lives when we feel overwhelmed!

Neither I nor members of my family have been exempt from some of life’s great burdens which cause great emotional pain.  During these times, we have reached out to counselors ourselves for guidance, encouragement, support, and someone to skillfully listen to our issues and help us find our way.

I have used the same resources I am recommended to you during difficult times in my life.

Not only do I have the skills to help you because of my experience and training, but I can also empathize with you in your struggles as you seek hope, better emotional health, healing, and happier life.

Few problems are created quickly.  Few get solved quickly.  None get solved without a first step. While there are certain things we cannot change, there is always enough we can change to become healthier and hopeful people.

The path you are on may be due to uncontrollable circumstances.  You may be on a path because of choices you made willingly, which did not turn out to be healthy.

Our tendency to end up on a path to a toxic place is sometimes buried in our family of origin.  Without awareness of this and a plan to take a different path, we continue to live dysfunctional lives and we model our mistakes for the next generation to repeat.

There are other times when life throws unexpected circumstances at us and we discover that our skills for managing the stress have been overrun.  Getting to a point of admitting this and finding someone trained to listen takes some courage. However, taking this step is one of the best gifts you can ever give yourself or your family.

Entrust your story to me.  I will journey with you and help you find your way.

I can meet with you in person in our beautiful office space in Gainesville.   I also have some space options in Jefferson.  Just ask me about these if you need to meet in Jefferson.

Zoom or phone counseling is also available and effective.

As a pastoral counselor, I use both psychological and theological resources in my assessment of a client’s issues and I listen to a client’s story using both of these disciplines to form important questions which help guide clients to think about struggles from a perspective not previously considered.

How can you find your way if you are not aware of the possible paths that are available to you?  Sometimes the answers are buried within you, but you need a guide to help you through a process of self-discovery.

Other times, you find your way by learning healthier ways to parent your children, manage stress, process grief, overcome anger, emerge from depression, resolve marital conflicts, survive divorce, admit and recover from co-dependency, tackle OCD, survive life transitions like losing a job.

Take a step toward health, healing, and hope.  Reach out and allow me to journey with you and help you find your way.

Call me at 678-326-4352 or email me at

You can find more information at



Sliding Fee Scale

Our fees are payable by cash, card, or check and are based on total household income. For a household with $50,000/annual income or greater, the fee is $110/hour, for $40,000/annual income, the fee is $90/hour, and for anything under $40,000, the fee is $75/hour. Sessions typically last 50-60 minutes unless requested otherwise.


John Michael Helms Pastoral Counseling, LLC

By completing this consent form, you indicate that you understand and agree to the terms and conditions stated below.

  1. You agree that you are at least 18 years old. If you are under the age of 18, you will need a parent or legal guardian to complete this consent form. Please note: Sessions with minors are treated as confidential because counseling is most effective when trust is maintained. Parents may be allowed general (vague) updates, but no private session details. The counselor/coach will present you with information only when/if needed. You are required to remain in the waiting room during sessions with minors.
  2. You understand that while pastoral counseling is a unique form of psychotherapy provided by highly skilled and trained individuals who use spiritual resources as well as psychological understanding for healing and growth, we are not clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors, lawyers, or licensed social workers. We cannot prescribe medicine or diagnose illness. All advice or coaching given to you is done so in good faith, in the spirit of emotional and spiritual well-being, in hopes that you will use good judgment and practical applications when appropriate, to the degree that you feel capable and comfortable. In addition, it may be suggested that you seek help from your pastor, a clinical counselor, or a medical doctor or psychiatrist if that applies.
  3. If you wish to counsel by telephone, you agree that telephone counseling is not equally safe and effective for all individuals. Thus, we reserve the right to choose whether or not to work with you by telephone. If during our work together, we discover that you are not a client that can benefit from telephone counseling, your counselor will discuss this with you and suggest that you seek face-to-face counseling help through other mental health professionals in your local area, such as a psychiatrist, social worker, or another pastoral counselor or life coach.
  4. You agree and understand that the effectiveness of counseling depends on the investment of time and energy you are personally willing to make. Generally speaking, the more you invest in it, the more you will get out of it. You may be asked to keep a journal, conduct a homework assignment, or read a book on a related subject. Please make every effort to participate fully. We are not responsible for your results or lack thereof, you are.
  5. You agree that neither your counselor/coach, in this case, Dr. Michael Helms, or any of his associates, is responsible for providing services to you in the event of an “urgent” crisis or emergency situation. This should NOT be an expectation of our services. While we will do our best to continue to provide peripheral kindness and concern, only as appropriate, if a crisis or emergency develops during our work together, you may need to go to the Emergency Room or call a medical or clinical mental health professional.
  6. I am not “on-call” and cannot be expected to respond immediately in emergency situations. In an extreme emergency, you will need to call 911. You will typically not have access to your counselor/coach’s personal number or home address nor should you attempt to use these means to elicit a response outside of scheduled sessions. If you pursue contact with your counselor outside of the counseling relationship, you must use the phone number: 678-326-4352 or email him through the website.
  7. CONFIDENTIALITY: You understand and agree that as a counselor, we protect the confidentiality of the communications and contacts with all of our clients. We will only release information about our counseling relationship with your written permission except in the following situations:

a. If it is discovered, while we are working together, that a child, elderly person, or a disabled person is being abused or neglected, we are required by law and morality to notify appropriate protective services, agencies, or law enforcement officials.

b. If I am required to do so by a court order or legal subpoena or if you choose to pursue litigation against John Michael Helms Pastoral Counseling, LLC, Andrea Cook and Associates, Inc, or anyone associated with this organization. We will defend claims against us vigorously. You agree, by signing this form, to pay any and all expenses of our legal defense and any financial losses as a result of such including, but not limited to, injury to reputation or defamation by means of special damages. Furthermore, you specifically agree to mediation by an objective third party as a means of resolving conflict with your counselor John Michael Helms, LLC, and/or Andrea Cook and Associates, Inc. rather than litigation, at your expense.

c. If you tell me while we are working together that you are considering committing suicide, committing serious self-injurious behavior, or considering violence towards another person, or you demonstrate symptoms of delusions or hallucinations or appear in a session to be under the influence of a substance that inhibits your ability to drive or care for yourself, I am required by law and/or morality to notify the appropriate authorities and/or family members. Be forewarned that self-harm or threats to others, neglect, abuse, including extremely harmful addictive behaviors/overdosing, and/or perceived psychoses are taken very seriously and additional help, such as medical or legal intervention, may be necessary and may not require your additional consent or prior knowledge to do so.

  1. The goal of my counseling is to help you. Therefore, if either of us feels, at any time, that working together is not helpful enough to you; either of us is free to terminate our relationship. There are no explicit or implicit commitments in our relationship.
  2. You agree to never record counseling sessions, through audio recorder, phone, video, or any other means, covertly or otherwise.
  3. You agree that this counseling relationship is best served if there is no legal basis for acquiring testimony for any purpose, including but not limited to, divorce, custody, and abuse cases. You agree that you will NOT subpoena your counselor for any purpose or “invite” your counselor to testify on your behalf, under any circumstances, as this is a violation of your privacy and the sanctity of the counseling relationship.


Fees are payable by cash, card, or check and are based on total household income. For a household with $50,000/annual income or greater, the fee is $110/hour, for $40,000/annual income, the fee is $90/hour, and for anything under $40,000, the fee is $75/hour. Sessions typically last 50-60 minutes unless requested otherwise.

Payment in full is expected at the time of each appointment. If you need a receipt, just let me know. Please notify me 24 hours in advance of a cancellation to give me time to book another client in that session time. If you fail to cancel 24 hours prior to your scheduled time, you will be charged the full rate for your missed session. Two no-shows will automatically terminate the counseling relationship.

Consent to pastoral counseling:
By signing this agreement, I acknowledge that I have read, understand, and agree to all of the terms and conditions contained in this form. I am voluntarily agreeing to receive pastoral counseling and/or life coaching for my own benefit and I understand I may stop this counseling service at any time for any reason.


Client Name (Printed) Date


Client Signature/Parent’s Signature if Minor Client


Phone number _________________________________________________________

Email address __________________________________________________________

Dr. John Michael Helms Pastoral Counseling                                                                                                                                                   LLC Andrea Cook and Associates, Inc.