Welcome to ProFriendship!
Welcome to ValueRelating’s ProFriendship service. My name is Steph; Value Relating is my professional persona.
ProFrienship provides you space to unload your pent-up emotions. I am here to listen to you vent, to complain about things not going quite right in your life right now. We could all use a friend who focuses totally on us, like a counselor does but without any diagnosing nor the stigma of psychotherapy.
You pick the location. If you reside in the Kalamazoo area, choose a public venue for us to sit down in a quiet and secure enough space for us to enjoy a meaningful conversation. If not in the Kalamazoo area, we can videoconference online (Skype, Google Hangouts, join.me, or other options).
Anankelogy, the study of need, provides me deep insight into understanding what you specifically need. I am its founder, and am writing a book to introduce this new field to the world. You get its pioneering insights up front and center. My pair of emphatic ears and open heart are backed by degrees in theology, education, anthropology, sociology, public administration, counseling, and years of informal counseling experience.
To optimize this experience for you, there are some ground rules to quickly cover. Feel free to provide feedback to these, and ask for adjustments where necessary.
Scheduled times are firm. If you must cancel or reschedule, please let me know a day in advance. You can cancel up to one hour prior to the start time to avoid being charged. I can wait a few minutes if you’re running late, but this will shorten our time together. Before meeting in public for our first time, it helps if you send me a photo of yourself so I will recognize you. I will wait for you at our agreed upon location up until ten minutes after the scheduled start time, and then leave if no one self-identifies as yourself. If you send me a photo I can wait longer, and be more certain it is you who approaches me.
No physical contact besides a handshake. Later, after deepening our rapport, we can mutually determine if a platonic hug is appropriate, especially in your moment of needing a spiritually supportive tactile connection.
This is a paid service. After the first ten-minute grace period, you will be charged an agreed upon amount per hour. I charge $25 per hour for my initial profrienship service. If you cannot afford $25 per hour now, I can reduce the amount to as low as $10 per hour. The difference becomes my investment in you. If we continue this working relationship, you will be afforded opportunity to make a return on this investment (e.g., referral to others who pay full price). If you can afford more than the billed amount, considering adding a tip to offset my costs to those who cannot afford full price. Any food or other purchased items does not count toward the agreed upon hourly rate, unless part of a hardship affordability request.
Payment is by card, PayPal, or cash (no checks, no bitcoin, no money order, etc.). Process your payment here. Scheduling any follow-up session is contingent on payment up front of agreed upon amount. Discounts and waivers can be discussed to fit the situation’s need.
This is not a counseling service. At least not in the traditional sense. I do not diagnose for mental illness, and I even challenge the medical model behind the concept of mental illness. ProFriendship serves as the initial phase for what is called psychosociotherapy—which treats relationships and not individuals. This effectively removes the stigma of seeking support. What shame is there in asking a friend for emotional support?
This relationship is professional. Unless we already have a relationship outside of this arrangement, I maintain professional borders by avoiding contact. If by some chance we see each other outside of this arrangement, I will politely acknowledge you as someone in my social sphere, much as a hired lawyer or consultant would nod to you in public. To preserve rapport, I will leave it to you to tell others that I am your hired advocate for your cause. You might inspire them to hire me, and potentially receive credit for such a referral.
This service cannot guarantee outcomes. Satisfying results depend largely on how well you are able to apply its tools, and on some factors beyond our control. Delving into your emotional experiences risks unintended consequences, such as eliciting anxieties you may not have known you had. As a professional provider, I may recommend qualified services that can better serve your elicited needs. Your welfare is my priority.
This service aims to start you on a meaningful journey. It quickly progresses from a simple friendship model to a full-on advocacy model. The service may not be a good fit for you if you simply need someone to talk to on a regular basis. I cannot promise to see you at this simple friendship level while others eagerly wait for me to support their aspirations. You are always free to discontinue this service at any time. I trust you will stay the course to finally reach your dreams.
There could be other items added as we find necessary. Together, we can figure out what set of ground rules to apply to optimize our time together.
If you need to send me a securely private message, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your messages to this email address will self-delete in 24 hours.
I look forward to meeting you and being your profriend. See you soon!