In my own dark nights, counseling has been a life preserver. Over time, however, therapy should become more than a lifeline or storm shelter. A deep, guttural question surfaces, one Jesus was fond of asking followers: What is it you really want?
In our work together, do you want to simply treat symptoms and master coping skills that tame the soul and keep life at bay? This might be necessary for a season, but I also want something more for you. My hope is that we can bravely grieve the losses, and tend to the embedded beliefs and fears, that are inhibiting deeper healing and transformation. As the writer Parker Palmer puts it, “Sometimes, the way to God is down.”
What I Offer in Christian Counseling
The counseling I offer can be described as a pilgrimage with a trusted companion-guide. I identify with the daring, seafaring ventures of St. Brendan the Navigator, a 6th-century Irish abbot whose monks banded together – in rawhide-bound skiffs called currachs – to explore the ‘desert of the sea.’ They risked discovering the depths of God and themselves, and it changed the course of history.
Sometimes we need counseling not simply because we’ve lost our compass, but because God is inviting us to unmoor our boats from the shores of self-reliance. My desire is to join you on this journey – as it’s not meant to be taken alone.
It takes courage to be seen and heard in new ways. What I provide is more than a professionally trained ear, but a presence of heart and mind, and the insight to help you cast new vision and direction for your life. What you might judge as a painful, hopeless wasteland, I may see as a fermenting work of the soul, where new life is being provoked. Counseling often moves people to develop the life skills of both self-confrontation and self-compassion, which are best learned in a trusted relationship.
My Goal as a Christian Counselor
My goal as a Christian counselor is for you to ‘know God’ and ‘know yourself.’ The two are intrinsically related (as both philosophers and Christian teachings have professed for centuries). I want you to know your ‘ground,’ that place of healing where you feel more rooted and whole as a person, more present to your experience. This work is about growing a mature, mindful self who is more alive in relationships, and better equipped to live into your calling – as a fuller version of the ‘you’ God imagined.
My door is open to you, as a safe place where you’ll feel truly known and accepted for who you are – and celebrated for who you are becoming.
The theories and modalities I draw from depend on a client’s needs. I take an integrated approach that treats the whole person – body, soul, mind, spirit. This may involve narrative, neuroscience, sensorimotor, interpersonal, attachment, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral and family-systems perspectives.
You’ll find that my style is very relational and collaborative. I’ll be curious about how the past is being replayed in your present – in your outlook on life, your current relationships, and between us. We’ve all unwittingly ‘adapted’ in life by conforming to family roles and relational patterns. Until, during seasons of disorientation, we feel summoned to sift the accumulated clutter and assumed labels.
Therapy is the redemptive work of reflecting on your own experience – and others’ experience of you. What then might a counseling session look like? Healing is a co-created process between us, one that might work itself out in quiet contemplation or lively dialogue, empathic listening or evocative questions, emotional or artistic expression.
Part of my graduate work considered the interplay of theology and clinical psychology. My counseling is also influenced by two years of Benedictine spiritual direction training – the ancient practice of listening with someone for the movements of God in the milieu of everyday life.
- Anxiety & Depression
- Post-traumatic stress
- Abuse & Trauma
- Grief & Loss
- Relationships & Family conflict
- Men’s Issues
- Career & other life transitions
On a Personal Note
I have been married for 10 years. My Brazilian wife and I are raising two bi-cultural daughters to have strong voices in this world. They are brilliant (without even realizing or trying) at ushering me back into my own story, teaching me more of what it means to be a husband and father – and from there a counselor.