by Sharon Deacon, Christian Counseling Ministries of WNY
At Christian Counseling Ministries of WNY, we are privileged every day to be the hands and feet of Jesus, giving people hope and help in some of their greatest times of need. As the only faith-based, state-licensed, non-profit Christian counseling agency in WNY, we are here to serve the Christian community when mental, emotional, marital, and family struggles arise. But, more than that, our doors are open to anyone of any faith in need of counseling to overcome the trials and burdens they face. While we get to bear witness to the healing power of Jesus in the lives of our Christ-following clients, it is always a special occasion when a non-believer comes to counseling seeking help and, in the process, finds Jesus. While we do not directly evangelize, a handful of times a year someone comes through our doors asking questions about faith and how they too can have the hope our counselors depend upon.
“Mary” was in her 80s and came to counseling for anxiety after a health scare. Feeling so cared for and helped by her counselor, she asked her counselor about the Bible on the table. The counselor shared a bit about her faith and biblical beliefs and how they personally affected the counseling she provided. At the next session, Mary didn’t want to talk about her problems anymore, she wanted to hear more about “this faith.” The counselor continued to answer Mary’s questions and, with her permission, opened the Bible to show Mary where these beliefs came from. In the Bible was a tract with the plan of salvation. The counselor gave it to Mary to take home. Mary returned for her next appointment to report, “I read that pamphlet and said that prayer!” The counselor rejoiced with Mary! Mary came to counseling weary and anxious and there found the Source of her rest.
“Steve and Lois” came to counseling to deal with broken trust in their marriage. After a very emotional first session, filled with tears and hurt, they both felt hopeless about saving their marriage. At the end of the session, the counselor asked if they would like him to pray for them. They looked at each other curiously, but gladly agreed. Not knowing what to do, they watched the counselor close his eyes and bow his head, and they followed suit. The counselor asked for God’s guidance in helping the couple, and God’s healing forgiveness and grace to enter their situation. Upon opening their eyes, Lois responded, “No one has ever prayed for us before. I didn’t know that could be a solution.” The couple left having found a new hope like no other.
At Christian Counseling Ministries, we take a biopsychosocial-spiritual approach to helping our clients find the abundant life they are seeking. The treatment we offer is founded in Jesus’ teaching in Luke 10:25-29 (NLT): “Love the Lord your God, with all your heart (emotion), all your soul (spiritual), all your strength (physical/biological) and all your mind (psychological/mental), and love your neighbor as yourself (social).” When people come to us, we help them heal emotionally, physically, mentally, socially and, ultimately, spiritually because we take Jesus’ prescription for the abundant life literally when he said, “Do this and you will live.”
Christian Counseling Ministries of WNY is a non-profit, state-licensed mental health agency, providing professional psychotherapy services from a biblical perspective to individuals of all ages, couples, and families.