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:

"Good Enough"

Through the years, I've had many parents ask me what they should do to take care of their children, especially troubled or anxious children. My response has always been the same: the best things you can do for your children are to provide them with solid, loving care, and take very good care of yourself.

Often, those parents seemed surprised with this answer. Somehow, they expected a message about self-sacrifice and exclusive focus on the children or the use of special techniques. While there are times when such actions are warranted, a steady regimen of these is often not in a child's best interest.

One of my favorite counseling theorists was D. W. Winnicott, a British pediatrician and psychoanalyst. He took care of many children during WWII when England was being viciously bombed by Germany. Children, and parents alike, were constantly on guard and anxious. Winnicott participated in many radio programs aimed at helping parents help their children. He said two things I find highly important: 1) children need a "good-enough" parent, and 2) it's more important who the parents are than what they do. That is, no child requires a parent who is perfect, but instead needs one who fairly consistently does the helpful things required by the child. And it is the parent's being that lays the groundwork for the child's security and self-esteem. Anxious parents produce anxious children. Depressed parents produce depressed children. Severely stressed parents will impact the health of their children. So, self-care is almost always of the utmost importance.

Our children are impacted by our own internal struggles. They affect the level of quality attention and care that we parents can offer. But worse, issues that we parents fail to resolve are typically passed on to our children unconsciously. As the Bible says, "The sins of the fathers (and mothers) are passed on even unto the third and fourth generations." Improving ourselves internally—in mind and spirit—is always in the best interest of our children. Like unresolved issues, we will pass along something of those personal improvements to our children without our even trying to.

It's not unlike the instructions of a flight attendant on an airliner who tells us how to respond if cabin pressure is lost. When the oxygen masks falls down, the parent should put theirs on first, then the child's. An unconscious parent cannot help their child. Parents getting good nutrition and adequate sleep, working earnestly, playing passionately, loving freely, caring for body, mind, and soul set a great example for children to follow.

Children need to see that their parents are doing well. This creates peace and security inside the children. Greedy parents create needy children; overly sacrificing parents create self-centered children. Good-enough parents who lovingly provide for the needs of their children and who care for themselves produce healthy, well-adjusted, loving children who will impact generations to come.

Garry Cook, MSW

"The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only love their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them."

Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy."

~ Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com

"Awareness itself is the primary currency of the human condition,
and as such it deserves to be spent carefully."

~ Andrew Olendzki, Busy Signal

Giving Tuesday

Sanctuary Counseling Group is very excited to participate in #GivingTuesdayCLT from now until November 28, 2017! As a part of SHARE Charlotte, we can come together with lots of other helping groups throughout the Charlotte area to kick off the season of giving. To support the ministry of Sanctuary Counseling Group this holiday season, simply click: Donate now. All the money you donate goes directly to Sanctuary Counseling Group to provide much needed client assistance. There is also a partial corporate match, so your donation will go even further!

You can also choose to support Sanctuary Counseling Group through an in-kind donation. Simply click on Donate in-kind. In-kind donations support Sanctuary Counseling Group with supplies needed to provide our services.

Thank you for considering a donation to Sanctuary Counseling Group and for playing a part in making this year's #GivingTuesdayCLT better than ever!

We Escaped!

Our annual staff outing took us to Code Escape in Charlotte to attempt to get out of two escape rooms. What an adventure! Our first challenge was to figure our way out of an old asylum. Thankfully, our collective knowledge of the history of psychology and psychiatry helped us some in solving the puzzles. Teamwork ruled the day, though. Great communication took us to the exit! After lunch, we got shipwrecked in our second escape room. We still worked well together, but sadly, found ourselves stuck when time was called. In both cases, we had a great time and were reminded of what a blessing it is to work together at Sanctuary Counseling Group.

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.