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.

Some Angels

Some angels come as warriors
In legions
In chariots of fire
With the power of God
To vanquish evil.

Some angels come as guardians
Standing in the gap
Between the lambs and lions
Life and death.

Some angels come as messengers
Bring good news
Of great joy
Light up the darkness
Eclipse despair with hope.

Some angels come with healing
In their wings
Stop the bleeding
Inhale diseases
Exhale life.

Some angels come as guides
Through celestial wormholes
Cutting through space and time
Connecting in straight lines
Heart to heart

Some angels come dancing
With such beauty and grace
To pierce the heart
Bend the knees
Render speechless.

I was caught
By just such
An angel

Do you remember what it felt like when you first fell in love? She was the only woman in the world. He was all you could think about. She was the air you were breathing. He came to you in your dreams at night. No need for food because she was everything you needed. No need for sleep because you were living a sweet dream all day long. This kind of love, romantic love, has been called a state of natural insanity. We write innumerable songs about it. We speak of falling madly in love, of being crazy in love, of feeling love drunk. This is not far from the truth about what is happening inside of us when we fall in love.

Studies of the brains of people "in love" reveal higher levels of phenylethylamine (PEA), dopamine, and norepinephrine, a cocktail of pleasure-inducing and feel good neurotransmitter chemicals and adrenaline-like substances which have the synergistic effect of making couples feel like they have lost their minds for each other.

There is good news and bad news here. Let's start with the bad news first. These chemicals naturally wane over time, which unfortunately often gets interpreted as having "fallen out of love." The good news is that when couples learn to break out of the dysfunctional, destructive or monotonous patterns which have left them feeling like the fire between them has gone out, and when they learn to replace these love stifling patterns with new, more functional, constructive, love generating patterns, they can change the climate in their brains from that of a desert to that of a rain forest. Those pleasure-inducing and feel good chemicals can return to them again, and they can experience what it is to fall in love with each other all over again. This is not only possible, this is what happens for so many couples who seek therapy to heal their broken and lonely hearts and relationships, and who seek to make their love true and lasting. There is also a bonus: higher levels of hormones like oxytocin and vasopressin which increase feelings of attachment and connectedness, also increase desire for exclusivity and commitment.

If you feel you have lost that loving feeling, please reach out for help to reclaim what is yours for the taking. Your brain chemicals and hormones are your birthright. You were made for this kind of love.

Todd Matson, D.Min.

Resources for Pastors

Sanctuary Counseling Group recognizes the unique needs and stressors of pastors working within the pastorate and 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

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.