Is Your Faith Being Tested By Negative Thoughts?

Are you struggling to cope with painful emotions? Perhaps persistent sadness or heightened stress has caused physical discomforts, such as lethargy, insomnia or an imbalanced appetite. As a devoted Christian, do you feel as though your faith should be able to pull you through this trying time? Perhaps you pray, attend church, read the Bible and give to and help others, but even living in accordance with your Christian values doesn’t seem to ease your suffering. Maybe you’re searching for spiritual enlightenment, but being happy just doesn’t seem possible, and you feel lost and increasingly disconnected from God and those you love. Do you wish you could find a way to better understand and work through difficult thoughts and feelings so you can better serve God and others?

Experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression as a Christian can be a trying and confusing experience. Depression often causes feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, which can lead to isolation. You may find yourself withdrawing from family, friends and even your church. You don’t want to burden others and believe that God can help you, still you may find yourself in a crisis of faith. In addition, anxiety—which often accompanies depression—can create looping, incessant thoughts, stressful emotions and uncomfortable body sensations, such as a racing heart or shallow breathing. Whether you’ve been dealing with depression and/or anxiety to some extent your entire life or symptoms have developed more recently, following a trauma, loss or significant life transition, you might be feeling isolated, confused and desperate for relief.

Sometimes We All Struggle

Culturally, we are not encouraged or supported to say how we really feel, and being a Christian can perpetuate that stigma. For good reason, the church teaches the importance of being Christ-like through a variety of disciplines, such as prayer, community outreach and more. But the truth is that as human beings, we fall short of that ideal. As a Christian you may feel an additional layer of guilt and inadequacy, which may fuel doubt and despair.

The good news is that you are not alone and healing is possible. With the guidance of a compassionate Christian counselor who shares your values, you can overcome challenging thoughts and emotions and feel more connected in your faith, community and with your loved ones.

Christian Counseling Can Help Guide Your Spiritual Journey

DENISE A_ChristianCounselingButterflyChristian therapy can effectively treat depression, anxiety and relational issues. In a safe, non-judgmental space, you can openly express your desires and concerns and find healing for your entire being—mind, body and spirit. With the support and guidance of a Christian therapist who understands how your faith is an anchor of peace and sanity, you can work toward solutions that incorporate and foster your beliefs and values.

Christian counseling is a unique opportunity to have a companion who can help you understand your life in the context of what you believe, and support you in your spiritual journey. In scripture, there are a lot of valuable lessons, but they can often be difficult to discern and apply directly to our lives. Christian counseling allows the opportunity for you to clarify your unique challenges and to receive solid clinical care in the context of someone who understands your faith and values.

As a Christian therapist, I have a background in Christian theology, but I invite people of all faiths and backgrounds to try therapy. Good therapy provides a space for all to address and attend to lingering conflicts. However, if Christianity is an important part of your life, my practice is unique in that I’m able to combine modern psychological practices with a foundation of Christian values.

I have over 30 years of experience helping people from all walks of life in their struggle to find hope and to heal. In addition to extensive clinical experience, I am also an active member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and am a member of the Vineyard Church of Davenport. I understand that life is hard and we all feel down occasionally, but there are times when we truly need help and support to navigate difficult feelings and challenging issues. With support and guidance for your mind, body and spirit, you can find balance, and again enjoy a more connected and fulfilling life.

Although you are struggling, you may have some lingering questions or reservations about counseling for Christians…

DENISE A_ChristianCounseling_SpringShouldn’t prayer be able to heal me? Does seeking out counseling mean that I don’t have faith?

Seeking out help when you’re struggling does not mean you have little faith. Although God loves you just as you are, becoming what God intends is a journey that sometimes calls for additional support. If you had a broken bone, you would likely go to the doctor to ensure the wound heals correctly. Depression and anxiety are no different. If you’re having trouble functioning and feeling well, chances are you may have had difficulty praying too. Depression and anxiety treatment can help mitigate uncomfortable sensations so that you can fully engage in what you value most.

Is Christian counseling significantly better than secular counseling?

You can certainly receive good mental health care from other professionals in the community. However, if Christianity is an important part of your life, Christian counseling allows you the opportunity to incorporate your faith into treatment and share your story with someone who respects the source of serenity and truth in your life. With the guidance of a Christian therapist, you can address the entirety of your being—mind, body and spirit—allowing you to receive the best care possible.

Will counseling be like going to Church? Will you tell me what to believe?

Therapy is different from attending a church service and allows the opportunity for individualized care. In sessions with me, you can express your thoughts, feelings, doubts and fears in a safe, compassionate and confidential environment. My goal is to help you understand your life experience in the context of your faith and to help foster your spiritual growth. Questions are encouraged and it is perfectly fine to express your doubts and fears. If you want someone alongside you as you pray, I can be there with you. If you’re not a Christian and you’re struggling with anxiety, depression or other issues, I encourage openness, understanding and validation as you explore your concerns. I provide a space for people from all walks of life to learn, grow and heal.

Healing Is Possible

If you’re interested in spiritual counseling in Bettendorf, IA, please call (563) 213-5100 for a free 30-minute phone consultation. I am happy to discuss any questions you have about my practice or how Christian therapy can address your faith and needs.