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.

Staff Perspectives

Endings … and Beginnings

Forty-five years ago, I began a journey that has reached its zenith, and as August draws to a close, this journey will come to an end.

It has taken me from the ivory towers of Duke, to churches in Western North Carolina, to halls and rooms of what was then North Carolina Baptist Hospital, to the high desert of West Texas, to more education at SMU, and finally back to the Piedmont region of North Carolina. I have been privileged to walk with countless individuals, couples, and families as they shared with me their struggles, their pain, and their brokenness, along with their griefs, fears, sadness, anger and joys. I have been blessed beyond measure and truly believe that I have received far more than I was ever able to offer.

Not usually at a loss for words, I find it very difficult to condense, encapsulate, or summarize what these years of ministry—and more specifically the practice of pastoral psychotherapy—have meant to me. One word that comes to mind is "relationships." I have been blessed with so many different relationships—professionally with the persons with whom I have worked, professionally with colleagues and friends that I have made that encompass the entire country, and to the small group of incredible clinicians who I have had the privilege of working beside for the past 17 and half years. I am so very grateful for the gift of each of the persons with whom I have had a relationship, and as I retire and leave what has been my calling, I will take with me the gift of those encounters that have blessed me many times over.

I want to thank especially all of the persons with whom I have worked, for you have been my teachers—you taught me about life, about suffering, about hope, and you revealed to me that more often than not, it was the relationship that healed. I want to thank my colleagues for the gift of your friendship, your support, your wisdom, and encouragement as well as to those persons who have served on our board and helped shape the organization that is now SCG. And a special word of thanks and gratitude to my family, who endured my work ethic and loved me in spite of it.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success, and I believe that we have come together here at SCG, we have kept together, and we have worked very well together.

As I depart, I believe that the Board of Directors has made an excellent choice in the new executive director, Jay Cobb, who will assume the reins of this wonderful organization upon my departure. My prayers are ones of thankfulness for the opportunity to have been able to serve as well as ones of hope that the best is yet to come for Sanctuary Counseling Group.

May you continue in your work to bear witness to the love of God so that those, to whom love is a stranger, will find in you the very generous friends that you are. God's blessing on this ministry, SCG, and on the wonderful staff and board who continue this great work.



John V. Arey, D.Min.
Executive Director, SCG

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

"It isn't the changes that do you in, it's the transitions. Change is not the same as transition. Change is situational: the new site, the new boss, the new team roles, the new policy. Transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal"
~William Bridges

"Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open."
~Corrie Ten Boom

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.

Updated, 31 July 2019

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 Solihten Institute.