When you’re at the end of your rope…
Steve* and Megan* are both busy with their careers. When they came into my counseling room, they were very angry with each other.
Megan, her eyes welling up with tears, started: “We’ve hardly spoken to each other since last weekend; and, Dr. Craig, you are our last hope.”
Steve agreed, “We decided that Christian Counseling was the way to go. We both grew up in church, and we have hit a communication blockade.”
I assured them I am quite familiar with the difficulty of resolving conflict and that I could help them if they truly wanted to make changes.
I briefly introduced myself. I fully expected their emotions to be at a high intensity level. I told them I have been counseling for 20 years and have helped many people who have told me I was their last hope.
Welcoming you into the office…
Often your marriage or relationship is dangling, and communication between the two of you has come to an abrupt stop. You both are at the eleventh hour!
It is likely to be the end of your day when you arrive here for counseling.
It is the last stop after a busy day of office meetings and dealing with various crises. Perhaps you’ve just flown back from a business trip or vacation, and you are suffering jet lag.
You’ll feel the presence of Jesus as soon as you enter the office. As you glance at the walls, you will see a couple of familiar pictures of Jesus. Through the windows, you can see a peaceful garden.
We will sit at a conference table with six chairs. One or two for you, and I sit at another. I picture Jesus sitting in one of the unoccupied chairs. He is listening to our conversation and looking at you with kind eyes – with a desire to share His very thoughts.
He will not speak, of course, but He will communicate through the Bible on the table and through our thoughts – and me, of course, as a counseling pastor.
When we are in the presence of our Savior, others like you, have told me they feel safe. I have asked them why, and they tell me it is hard to explain; but there is a calmness within their stress. They don’t feel they have to perform but can just talk freely without fear of rejection.
What our sessions will look like…
In the opening prayer, I call for God to share His very thoughts with us. He promises to do this in the Bible.
By opening with prayer, we will formally call upon His power to help us to think like Him. I consider Him the greatest psychologist to ever live. When He walked the earth as a man 2,000 years ago, He was very much in control of His thoughts, so His actions would be understood by others. I close the opening prayer by thanking Him for intervening in your life, so you can learn to make the right choices.
After prayer, I listen to your story. As it unfolds, I will take notes and ask you questions for clarification. I ask questions like, “When was the last time the marriage was going very well? What was the cause of your marriage to get off track?” With your answers, I am formulating a pattern in my mind of where you need to be focusing your changes.
These are not forceful questions, nor are they at all designed to make you uncomfortable. It is more of having a discussion either one-on-one or, in couples counseling, with all three of us.
We will begin the process of rolling up our sleeves and getting down to work in the very first session. By this I mean we will start to get to the core of the problems and start formulating possible solutions.
We will go through actual problems, and I explain step by step how we can change thoughts to new ways of thinking. I often text you after the session with some of those new thoughts.
The closing prayer will be specifically about you and what you need. We will call upon the power of the Holy Spirit on your behalf.
At the end of the session, I promise that you will feel better about yourself – with hope for the future.
Therapy is about peace and practical help…
…on how to respond to your challenges.
When coming to counseling, you are often exhausted after trying to solve the problems by yourself or together. In couples counseling, you sometimes realize you don’t really know the person you’ve been with for months or years.
We all want peace in our lives, but getting there seems nearly impossible. Using the Bible as our basis, we will together formulate a Plan B assuming Plan A isn’t working.
To find this peace, we have to ask:
What has been the cause of our dissatisfaction?
How can we move forward to a new life, a restored relationship, and new tools, so we don’t make the same mistakes?
We will formulate new thoughts which spawn better feelings and kind behavior. With kind behavior toward each other, we feel peace. That is practical help.
*Names changed to preserve client confidentiality.
I haven’t spent my adult working life as a Christian counselor.
Only about half of it.
After graduating from college, I entered television news at the age of 21. Boy, did I walk into a pitcher of ice-cold water: reality! I covered all kinds of stories and interviewed five U.S. presidents (Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush Senior). I did stories from the slums of Philadelphia to the state capitols of New York and California.
I know the real pushy corporate world. I wore suits to work every day and took the commuter train to there.
I don’t wear a suit anymore.
So why leave the ‘glamorous’ life of a television reporter? Very simple.
First, television stopped being glamorous about an hour into my first day.
Second, I wanted to help people instead of writing stories about them.
So, having covered both the beautiful and lousy sides of Northern California, I finished my work in television here in Sacramento.
I look forward to hearing from you…
On my professional journey to help others, I earned a master’s degree in Christian Counseling and Theological Studies. Then I went on to earn a Ph.D. in Christian Counseling. A few years later I finished seminary.
Diplomas and experience are good, but I cannot help you find answers without God.
Don’t wait any longer. Call, text, or email me today. Let’s set up your free 15-minute consultation: (916) 769-4673.