My work is a specialized form of pastoral care. Technically, I am a Christ-centered biblical counselor, but it’s not the kind of “biblical” counseling that traces every problem to a sin in your life! If you are a believer, you are first and foremost a child of God – a saint, in the biblical sense. That means the Holy Spirit is active in your life and we can bank on that. We are all plagued by sin and also by suffering. My priority is to scavenge for God’s grace in your life and discover evidences of his work even when life is hard. It is one of my highest privileges to get a front row seat to the Spirit’s work of redemption and healing in painful areas of people’s lives. I pull methodology from many sources, am well-versed in trauma, and am educated in the descriptive categories used by the secular therapeutic world, but at its core, my counseling is rooted in the gospel of Jesus and I use scriptural categories to frame my approach.
Still muddy? Often we compartmentalize ourselves: health & wellness for our bodies, therapy & psychiatry for our minds, church & faith practices for our spiritual side. But we are more holistic than that. Part of being human means we are made up of two parts: body + soul or embodied souls. Sometimes religious communities prioritize the soul over the body and the secular world tends to prioritize the body. Both are incomplete because God created us as body/soul and both are significant.
For example, when we experience anxiety there is a physical/body component to it – sweaty palms, insomnia, and panic attacks to name a few. We want to alleviate those symptoms and there are practices that can be helpful for that. The physical experience of anxiety is absolutely important. But anxiety also affects us spiritually and that is just as important. Part of my process is to explore the deep questions that often lie underneath our feelings and behaviors – questions such as where is God? Am I on my own? Does he care about me? If God is good, why is life so messed up? Is it up to me to fix this situation? Being honest about these questions with ourselves and with God is important. God invites us to ask him our hardest questions and in that process, he draws near. Biblical counselor/seminary professor David Powlison has said, “In the hands of a loving God, sorrow and suffering become the doorways into the greatest and most indestructible joys.” And I have found that to be true in my own life as well as for my many of my clients.
My goal is that when we wrap up our time together, however long it may last, you will more deeply sense that you’re held in God’s hand, you will see the Spirit’s movement in your life, you will have a practical vision for moving forward, and your confidence and hope will be more firmly fixed on the reality that no matter what we face in this life, we have a God we can count on. I know from experience getting to that place can be a long and painful process, but persevering is worth it.
A few other things to know:
- I will not offer reductive solutions or trite advice. You are a complex person and so are your struggles.
- I have experience working with abuse survivors, grief & loss, intrusive thoughts, depression, anxiety, relational conflicts (particularly within families), church and ministry-related conflicts & losses, faith-struggles/deconstruction, adoption-related difficulties, issues of identity, and more.
- When appropriate, I can come alongside your pastor or faith community to offer resources or insights or help create systems to help support you (with your permission, of course)!
- When appropriate, I may suggest you speak to your doctor about particular symptoms you are experiencing.
- If you suffer from diagnosed mental illness, I can work alongside medical and mental health professionals and offer specialized spiritual care that you won’t find in secular therapy, but that your faith community may not be prepared or equipped to support you with.
- I frequently work with high school and college-age girls and accept younger children on a case-by-case basis.
Still have questions? Feel free to contact me.