We believe that counseling is a meeting of two (or more) people for the purpose of discussing soul issues with an eye toward healing.
We believe that wounds are created through human relationship and healing must therefore come through relationship. The counseling relationship is a good way to begin the healing process.
We believe that a person’s soul can and should be seen through more than just their words and because of this we make an effort to incorporate arts and culture into the counseling process.
We believe that lives are made of stories and therefore, we strive to understand those stories as well as assist clients in articulating, understanding and owning their unique stories.
We believe that God is the author of our stories and that he is involved in them.
We believe that the client’s needs drive the focus of treatment, and not our preconceived notions of what needs to be done.
The late psychiatrist, M. Scott Peck said, "mental health entails an unwavering commitment to reality at all costs." A prerequisite for growth is our willingness to tell the truth and to face reality. Counseling is about telling the truth - first and foremost to ourselves. In order to tell the truth, we often have to understand and accept our truth, even if some of the details have grown hazy with time. What is the truth about my relationships, what is the truth about how I treat others, what is the truth about how I am feeling? What are the lies I tell myself and others that are keeping me stuck, keeping me unhealthy, keeping me from becoming the person I want to be and living out the story I want to live? Counseling can help you name the truth, face the truth, and relate to others in ways that are honest and genuine.
Becoming who we want to be is a life-long process. Counseling can be a part of that journey for you. We are all in the process of learning more about ourselves, God and others. Knowing who you are invites you to bless others with your life, with your unique gifts, with your story. Becoming is a process of knowing and telling our story, dreaming who we want to be, telling the truth, committing to reality at all costs, changing and growing in our relationships, seeking and giving forgiveness, grieving, hoping and healing. It is a process of becoming more alive, more free, more true. It is a time for letting go and a time for holding on.
The counseling setting offers you a place to dream - who do you want to be, what do you want for your life, for your relationships, for your marriage. We cannot make changes in our life until we first dream it. We will not change until we have the desire to change. We cannot develop lasting change for anyone other than for ourselves. Dreaming can be difficult; it requires hope . Do we dare hope? There may be disappointment, we may fail, we may succeed. From our dreams, we begin taking steps to make our dreams a reality. Our story informs us about our past, where we have come from; Dreaming allows us to have vision for the future. Dreaming takes us beyond the present struggles and possible despair to allow us a window into what we want for the future. Dreaming is best done in community, opening ourselves to honest reflection and hearing others' desires for us.
Relationship is core to who we are. We are constantly in relationship - with our self, with others, with God. The majority of people who enter into counseling do so because they are struggling in one of these primary relationships. You may seek counseling because you are feeling anxious or depressed or because you are struggling with an addiction, but underneath lie our relationships. Much of the pain and struggle in our life, as well as our joy and satisfaction, come from relationship. If our problems and pain come through relationship, it only makes sense that our healing comes through relationship as well. In counseling we wrestle with issues of identity, trust, forgiveness, grief, loneliness. These are all directly linked to our relationships. How have you been affected by core relationships currently and throughout your life? And what kind of style of relating --healthy and unhealthy--have you adopted as a way of coping with things that you feel you are missing? Counseling is all about relationship - relationship between therapist and client, relationship between you and the people in your life. We use interactions in counseling to identify primary ways of dealing with others in your life.
We were created to be in relationship. Yet it is relationship that can cause so much struggle, pain, and disappointment. What are the relational patterns that are keeping us from the joy, freedom, peace we were designed for? Relationship is understanding our present interactions as they relate to our past and what we hope for our future.
Your life is a story, with a beginning, middle and end. Your life is full of significant characters - your parents, siblings, children, other family members, friends, lovers, coworkers, teachers, counselors. There are scenes that you live out and roles that you play; chapters unfolding. It is vital to intimately know your story and to share your story with others; To understand how key characters and scenes in your life have shaped you and contribute to who you are today. It is also important to understand your role in your story. Reflecting on your story and sharing your story helps you see important themes you continue to play out today in your relationships with yourself and others. Telling our story in new ways can lead to greater understanding, a time to grieve, a time to heal, new freedom. We don't know how our story will end but we are not helpless and we are not hopeless. We take part in creating our futures, but first we must know what we want. There are scenes in our story to be grieved, to be celebrated, to be told to ourself and to others. Through the counseling process, we tell our story.