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. Sanctuary Counseling Group currently has satellite offices in 15 locations in the western and central piedmont.
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.
Treasures Hidden, Then Discovered …
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." (Mt 13:44)
I have the privilege of working in Dilworth Church. A church is a unique place to go to, for an "office."
I often park on East Boulevard in front of the children's playground. One morning after parking I had my head down walking back on the sidewalk to my entrance inside the courtyard, already preoccupied and making plans for getting things done. A voice called out to me, as I was turning left into the courtyard, to the right of the main steps.
"Excuse me. Excuse me! Is this your church?" a voice asked. "Yes," I said cautiously. I smiled as he came toward me from the Chapel sidewalk. He had on a tattered but pressed suit and tie with polished leather-soled shoes. He had dark skin and pulled a battered but intact rolling suitcase. I thought to myself "Those rollers won't last long on the sidewalk." I was immediately worried about him. Even so he smiled calmly, his face beaming. He looked like someone dressed up for a job interview, trying to look his formal best.
I expected him to ask me for money and that would have been understandable to me. But instead he said, "I wanted to thank you." I stopped, confused and still a little suspicious. "I spent the early morning praying in your chapel here," he said. "It is a wonderful space! Please extend my thanks to your church for allowing this to be unlocked and open to anyone. Anyone. There are not many places in this large city, to pray like this. I know, I can pray anywhere, in a park or the woods. But this, this is a place sanctified by the community! Set aside so someone like myself can feel the presence of God. Please extend my thanks to the people of this church!"
I reached out to shake his hand, disoriented and self-conscious about the tears suddenly welled-up in my eyes. His words were absolutely earnest and dignified, without any hidden agenda. I suddenly felt blessed by his gentle sermon. I felt the holy weight of our meeting.
His voice had the slow cadence and beautiful rhythm of the tropics. I realized he was indeed far from home and worried about him all the more. But I was glad he had found a few moments of Sabbath and safe Sanctuary here, on his stressful journey. Which one of us discovered the greater treasure from this experience?
What is true for this Dilworth chapel is also true for my counseling office space inside the church. It feels so right that people come to my office in a church. It is a place sanctified by the community, set aside so people can reflect and learn and feel the presence of God in fresh ways.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
PRAYER: Oh God, help me to see the beauty of our courtyard, our precious sanctified chapel and my counseling office with fresh eyes. Every day I pass by your treasures hidden in fields, but often do not notice them. What are the treasures I am missing? Help me God, to slow down enough that I might see them. Then help me to enjoy and claim them!
Mark Larsen, D.Min.
Dilworth UMC Charlotte Office
"What a world this will be when human possibilities are freed, when we discover each other, when the stranger is no longer the potential criminal and the certain inferior!"
~W.E.B. Du Bois
"Sense the blessings of the earth in the perfect arc of a ripe tangerine, the taste of warm, fresh bread, the circling flight of birds, the lavendar color of the sky shining in a late afternoon rain puddle, the million times we pass other beings in our cars and shops and out among the trees without crashing, conflict, or harm."
"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."
Find a Therapist in Your Area
Sanctuary Counseling Group provides pastoral counseling and mental health counseling throughout the piedmont of North Carolina, from Shelby in the west to High Point in the east, from Pineville in the south to Hickory in the north … and in multiple locations in between—Charlotte, Monroe, Concord, Belmont, Davidson, Pineville, Salisbury, and Gastonia.
Find a therapist in your geographical area by checking our sites page.
Donating to Sanctuary Counseling Group
Sanctuary Counseling Group is a 501.C.3 non-profit. 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.
Our Samaritan Client Assistance Fund is what makes Sanctuary Counseling Group a ministry and not just a business. By donating to Sanctuary Counseling Group's Samaritan Client Assistance Fund you can directly help those who are hurting. Our goal is to turn no one away because of lack of finances.
Please visit our Partners in Ministry page for more information or to make a contribution.
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.
"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."
Updated, 31 May 2019