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:

"The Sandwich and Coffee Grounds"

Raising children has it's wonders and challenges.

I loved every age of my child for different reasons but as they grew older instead of my anxiety and worry improving as expected, it has gotten worse. I know what the world holds for them and it causes my stress to go up even now as they function as adults. There are financial, school, career, relationship, and even moving decisions that all add to the chaos of having "adulting" kids. In an effort to belay my concerns, at a recent holiday dinner with my folks who are in their late 70's, I asked my dad when he stopped worrying about me. With a laugh he replied, "How old are you?" To my disappointment I realized quickly that this is not going away.

At the same time, I now realize that my folks need more attention. I have now started worrying about their health and financial circumstances unlike ever before. We have started monitoring their doctor visits online, had them give their doctors permission to talk to us, and are even attending many of their physician visits with them. We talk more regularly so that instead of getting caught off guard we know how they are feeling and can intervene when necessary.

We are living in what has so wonderfully been termed the SANDWICH GENERATION—a time when we are still dealing with our kids, but now have the additional responsibilities of helping our parents age gracefully. It can be overwhelming as it comes together at one time and you struggle with where your priorities need to be. Many in this situation find they are uncertain over which is more taxing, their kids or their parents. Some feel like they have no resources or assistance, even from siblings. The emotional and psychological drain can be huge. You are pulled in every direction and have nothing else to give.

I call this living out of the coffee grounds. There are too many needs and not enough time; definitely not enough time to refill your cup. Unfortunately, there is no table service in life where a waitress comes by to refill your cup. This is something you have to attend to on your own. How do you keep your cup flowing is a typically question for many who suffer from lack of sleep and overly stressed days?

I recommend that you recognize your strengths and vulnerabilities. I ask clients to consider how this impacts their lives. Is it possible that something you see as a vulnerability is actually a strength, or visa versa? Knowing your limitations becomes important. Identify your stressors—work, family, money, certain chores, travel, etc. They influence the way you react and make you feel vulnerable. We all have different levels of stress capacity. What is yours—high, medium, or low? Do not be unrealistic of yourself or others. Be ready for the rolls and drops by paying attention to when you need to seek help and take care of yourselves.

So … to do:

  • Seek a friend's counsel
  • Seek a therapist
  • Get a massage, facial, manicure
  • Eat together
  • Laugh
  • Music - play, sing, or just listen
  • Worship
  • Journal
  • Set aside time for reflection
  • Exercise
  • Have a hobby

Jay Cobb, MA
Charlotte, Central Office

"When we speak with greater skill,
our true self—our compassionate, loving self—emerges with gentle ease.
So before you speak, stop, breathe, and consider
if what you are about to say will improve upon the silence."
~ Allan Lokos

"We keep assuming that because things aren't bringing us happiness, they're the wrong things, rather than recognizing that the pursuit itself is futile—that regardless of what we achieve in the pursuit of stuff, it's never going to bring about an enduring state of happiness."
~ Daniel Gilbert

"Youth is when you blame all your troubles on your parents;
maturity is when you learn that everything is the fault of the younger generation."
~ Unknown Quote

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

Donate to 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 donation 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.