Welcome to Sanctuary Counseling Group

Sanctuary (n): from the Latin sanctus or holy; 1) a sacred or holy place; 2) a place of refuge or safety, a haven; 3) shelter from danger, hardship, or threat.

Sanctuary Counseling Group—formerly known as Methodist Counseling and Consultation Services—has provided mental health counseling and pastoral counseling in the greater Charlotte area and in satellite offices in cities and towns around the western piedmont of North Carolina for over 50 years. To learn more about us and the kinds of services we provide, or to find out how to make an appointment with a therapist in your geographical area, feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you.

Staff Perspectives:

"Helping People Search for Truth"

Sociologists say our own anxiety causes our perceptions of truth to be filtered according to our preferred political tribe. Also our perception of truth is affected by our personality and by brain physiology. I am reminded of Pilate who asked Jesus "What is truth?" (John 18.38) and of Isaiah: "Truth is nowhere to be found." (Isaiah 59.15) However, Jesus presents a personal, stark and comparatively simple view of truth: truth exists, you need to go after it and when you do people experience good things. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32)

In therapy people search after truth, though there may be roadblocks and detours. There is lying and denial when it comes to things like addictions and infidelity. There is distortion with couples: each person usually sees him/her self in the right and justified and the other as some kind of bad. Yet even these distortions give me valuable information I can use to help couples reconcile and/or each individual to grow.

Pastoral counseling helps people find the truth of their own history and experience. The necessary quest might take months or years as people are forced to face their own truth. In recovery we say "what goes around comes around" or in scripture we say "we reap what we sow". Facing our personal truth can be scary, painful and depressing as well as freeing, energizing and empowering.

Recently I talked with "Nicole" whose inner message was she could not survive without dependency on an overbearing man. The truth she is trying to face is she can survive on her own, face her own grief and pain and separate from this kind of guy.

I talked with "Andrea" who grew up with the message she should tolerate guys who don't attend to her. She learned no one values her own view and her own words don't matter. Recently however she has claimed a truth: she feels a deep love when someone listens to her in focused, relaxed ways that mirror back what she says.

This past week "Carl" faced more of his truth. While in major depressive episodes he attempted suicide more than once which traumatized his wife and children. Now he has the strength and emotional boundaries to hear the truth about this previous fragile "selfish" person. His wife is able to release her hyper-vigilance and get unstuck in her previous care-taking role. She is finding her own true self.

Pastoral counseling is wonderful work, helping people search for truth!

Mark Larson, D.Min.
Charlotte, Dilworth UMC Office
Charlotte, University City UMC Office

"The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you're enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect."

~ Brene Brown

"Comparing yourself [to others] is an almost instantaneous way to connect with suffering."

~ Denise Di Novi

Resources for Pastors

Sanctuary Counseling Group recognizes the unique needs and stressors of pastors working within the pastorate as well as the needs of the pastoral family. To this end we offer a number of resources specifically for clergy

Check out the Clergy Resources page, including educational and workshop opportunities, counseling and consultation, vocational assessment, and helpful readings. Feel free to contact an SCG therapist in your geographical area for further information. As persons trained in both theology and mental health counseling—and with a high standard of confidentiality—SCG therapists are in a unique position to serve the needs of parish clergy and their families.

Remember …

"Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply
good stewardship of the only gift I have,
the gift I was put on earth to offer to others."
~Parker Palmer

Support Sanctuary Counseling Group

While much of our budget is sustained by client fees, there are also a number of individuals, churches, and organizations that join with us in our ministry. Please consider making a tax deductible contribution to the ministry of Sanctuary Counseling Group. Unless otherwise designated, donations will be used to help supplement the Samaritan Client Assistance Fund, helping to supplement fees for those who might not otherwise be able to afford counseling.

Please visit our Partners in Ministry page for more information or to make a contribution.

Mission Statement

Being dedicated to the healing of heart, mind, and soul, we provide excellent emotional, spiritual, and relational health care to all people of the Carolinas.

Sanctuary Counseling Group is an accredited service center of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the Samaritan Institute.