Christian Counseling - Counseling in Sacramento - Nancy Ryan, MA, LMFT
Are you struggling as a Christian?
- Did you think that once you became a Christian that life wouldn’t be so hard?
- Are you still fighting bad habits and addictions even though you’ve prayed for God to take them away?
- Is life not turning out as you had hoped?
- Did you expect your relationships to be easier because you are both Christians?
- Do you feel close to God?
Just as we seek medical doctors for broken bones, seeking a therapist for failing relationships or overwhelming emotions is healing.
God gave us a mind, body and spirit. Depending on our life experiences, distorted beliefs based on our upbringing, or traumas that have happened physically, relationally or emotionally we can get off track and prayer is just not enough. It is what we do first, but it isn’t always enough.
If you are a believer, you learned a long time ago that being a Christian doesn’t bring with it special powers. Even though we are told that we become new creatures, it’s not a magical pill. We gain the power to take action, with God’s help, toward learning new ways of being, relating, and living. Just because you are saved doesn’t mean life is all sunny skies, peaceful families or picture perfect Hallmark cards. For most of us, each new day brings its own set of problems—and along with it, the dilemma of figuring out where and how to find help for them.
If you’re on a search to find help—either to do the right things in your life, or live it abundantly with God, It be a challenge. Some Christians suggest that any form of psychological counseling is wrong or that only a pastor can really help you. Others propose that a Christian who has gained some lay counseling experience is all you need. In my experience, it often takes someone who is trained with more clinical skills to help with mental, emotional, and relationship issues. It has been my experience that counseling has increased my connection with God. As I became aware of my true value in my own eyes, I was able to accept God's love for me at a deeper level. My relationship with Him and other’s improved.
I value people's faith and work to deepen the connection that you have personally with God by helping you understand how God made you and your spouse. Sometimes because of the way we were raised or by other experiences in our life, we have skewed views of who we are and who God is that gets in our way.
My counseling emphasizes core Christian beliefs rather than denominational differences. This is your time to clear away what blocks you from your full potential and God’s unfailing love, I am not going to tell you what you should believe. But, I do want to pull from what you do believe to help you solve your problems and live a fulfilling life.
You might still have some questions.
What do you believe about marriage and divorce?
I do believe in marriage, but I don’t believe in being ignorant. There are many reasons that marriages fail or that it is not safe to stay in a situation physically, emotionally or spiritually. I encourage couples to work through their issues, but a marriage takes two and both have to be willing. I will work with you to help you decide what is right for you and your situation.
Do you use prayer or scripture in Christian counseling?
If you are a Christian and would like to focus on scripture and prayer, we will. We can also have a successful relationship knowing that we both believe similarly. I pray for you when I am not with you because I care and want what God has for you in your life. I respect every client’s religious beliefs and do not impose my Christian beliefs with you. I have successfully treated people of a variety of faiths, as well as agnostics and atheists.
I have felt hurt by the church, how can you help me?
Many people I meet have felt really hurt by some experiences in church. Whether you have felt judged for who you are and what you have done, were raised in a legalistic church that shared more of the “fire and brimstone” message and less of the love and grace, or struggle with any form of authority (including God) because of your upbringing; I am here to help. You will find a safe environment to discuss all of your experiences. I am not going to tell you what to believe. I want to draw on what you do believe to help you solve your problems and live a great life.
What if I don’t believe in God at all?
That is up to you, I will never impose my beliefs on you or try to tell you what to believe. What you will find is a soft place to land; an environment of grace and acceptance. It is only through acceptance that we can grow.
Spirituality and Mindfulness are tools that can help with psychological well-being no matter what your beliefs are.
We can talk about ways to incorporate practices that increase connection with a higher power, increase relaxation, reduce anxiety and produce a sense of wellbeing that doesn’t interfere with your personal beliefs.