Are You A Christian Who…
- Lives under a cloud of depression?
- Feels imprisoned by anxiety?
- Has experienced something to make you feel unsafe or overwhelmed?
- Has a relationship problem, such as broken trust, distant connection or poor communication?
It may seem strange, but being a Christian and having problems puts us in a sticky wicket, filled with uncomfortable questions. If our faith were big enough, wouldn’t our problems flee? If we believe and act according to our Christian values, why are we anxious, depressed, addicted or struggling in relationships? If we have any of these truly human problems, we often live under a cloud of spiritual condemnation—sometimes self-imposed, other times not. We can feel utterly alone and lost.
In difficult times, some of us have sought safety and help in our Christian communities, only to feel wounded. Perhaps we reached out to people who provided a spiritual solution for a non-spiritual problem. For example, perhaps a spiritual mentor has attributed anxiety to a simple lack a faith. Yet the roots of anxiety are often complicated, and rarely attributed solely to faith. So when a spiritual solution fails to control anxiety, we feel condemned and ashamed.
In some cases, spiritual leaders may have ignored our needs because they were too busy exerting their authority. When this happens, we often feel isolated and despondent. Or, maybe excessive legalism chained us to a Treadmill of Spiritual Performance, ultimately suffocating us with feelings of guilt and inadequacy when we couldn’t uphold every religious rule.
Maybe you’re a Spiritual Leader who is embarrassed by a private struggle. Where do you go for help? If you turn to anyone in your faith community—above, beside or below you in hierarchy—you risk compromising your livelihood. When the stakes are so high, it’s hard to believe that revealing the truth of your struggle will set you free. So while you lead and care for others, you may feel isolated, condemned and unworthy.
Whether we are leaders or followers, when we are robbed of joy and wounded, too often we ignore a profound truth…
Christians Are Not Immune To Problems
Christians don’t get a free pass out of human problems. Let’s take depression. The Apostle Paul told us, “It was for freedom that Christ has set [us] free” (Galatians 5:1), yet once he “despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8). So why are we shamed in religious communities when we acknowledge a similar feeling? When we admit being hamstrung by the fear of anxiety, why are we judged as lacking faith? Even the anxious Psalmist acknowledged the normalcy of fear (Psalm 56:3).
Relationship issues can also be particularly disturbing for Christians. When a Christian relationship sours, we may be reluctant to acknowledge our problems. Instead we look at the happy Christian families around us, and wonder what is wrong with us. We miss the dysfunction that hides behind their smiling faces. There is a truth we need to acknowledge: as people change over time, so do their relationships. Children, work demands, financial hardship, illness, grief—these are normal human stressors that affect our ability to effectively communicate, genuinely trust and meaningfully connect.
When we admit to being angry, depressed or anxious about anything, or if we are struggling in our relationships and marriages, we are sometimes told that our duress is due to believing a lie. Our Spiritual Judges may identify the lie as an erroneous belief about God, our situation or ourselves. Their message is simple: Replace the Lie with Truth and Solve the Problem! That turns out to be the biggest lie of all! Underneath our anger, depression or anxiety lie hidden truths. The doors of our mental prisons begin to open as we unlock those truths.
Christian Counseling Can Help You Find Relief
Christians may have one faith, but many different life experiences. So our faith journeys have evolved in different ways. In the presence of a Christian counselor who understands this, you can unpack your problems without fear of judgment. In my office, your Faith and Humanity will be equally valued. Therapy can help you apply the strengths of your faith to therapeutic thought and behavioral techniques.
If you’re seeking Christian Marriage Counseling, you’re probably familiar with the biblical injunction to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). In therapy, you can learn to establish Rules for Arguments and to communicate with empathy. Consistently implementing each of these tools is a way to communicate with love. Then you can create a relationship that nurtures mutual spiritual and personal growth.
As a Christian therapist, I’ve learned that human problems are often complicated. And many times, effective solutions are unique. What works to calm one Christian’s anxiety may aggravate another’s; an approach that brings freedom to one Christian may feel like chains to another. That’s why spiritual formulas are not offered in my office. Instead, I will seek to understand the depth of your struggle and the breadth of your hopes. Then I will work with you to establish a Path of Change leading to the life you desire.
You’re a unique child of God, and you don’t need change that comes from a formula. If you’re looking for faith counseling that recognizes the uniqueness of each individual or couple, you’re in the right place. And I’m glad you’re here.
You may still have questions about Christian Counseling…
I think I need help, but isn’t therapy expensive?
Counseling is an investment in yourself and your quality of life. Christian marriage counseling is an investment in the life you’ve built with your spouse. By gaining a healthier perspective on yourself and your problems, you reduce the hold that they have on your life. If you invest in change now, you can reap a lifetime of rewards. After all, what’s the cost of not changing?
I’m committed to making therapy affordable, even though I don’t accept insurance. My clients pay out of pocket, and some get out-of-network reimbursement if their plans offer it. I also reserve a few reduced fee time slots for people who really want to work with me, but have financial constraints.
What exactly is Christian Counseling?
In sessions, as you express a struggle or desire, I will guide you to curiously examine problems from the intersection of what is human and what is spiritual. As we explore challenges and potential solutions, we will incorporate faith as much or as little as you wish. I offer a caring, compassionate and confidential setting so Christians can feel safe working through any issues that arise.
I’m concerned that you will attack my faith.
As a Licensed Professional Counselor, my job is not to judge or oppose your faith. Yet, as a Christian therapist, I can speak your spiritual language and respect your values, helping you unite the strengths of your faith with the tools of psychology. What if your problem isn’t purely spiritual? I would do you a tremendous disservice if I only offered a spiritual solution. I will present you with a new way to perceive the problem, so you can open up to a new way to respond to the problem. My desire is to help you live in harmony with your faith and your humanity.
You Can Find Wholeness and Healing
If you would like to schedule an appointment or discuss any questions you may have regarding Christian Counseling in Manassas, VA, I’m available at 571-494-1391. I try to respond to all voicemails and emails within 24-hours during the business week.