Therapy Services for Pastors and Other Christian Leaders
For virtually every Christian leader, particularly for pastors, you are nearly always the one providing help. You are the one serving, giving, leading.
BUT WHAT ABOUT WHEN YOU NEED HELP?
What about the times, that hit virtually every leader, (including some of our heroes such as Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, and Peter Scazzero), when you are the one that is struggling?
What about those times when your anxiety and sense of being overwhelmed just will not settle down?
What about the times when you are so discouraged and candidly, even depressed about your leadership situation or your life?
Or, when you are battling something that is really personal, that you know goes against what you want to be about?
WHO CAN YOU GO TO?
You can’t really tell a subordinate these things, because they need to see you as confident; they need to know that their leader is in a good place, or at least think that!
Sometimes peers are available, which is great, and yet even if they are, sometimes there’s only so much they can do, given their time limitations, and, the weighty, complex nature of what might you might need to share.
Our spouses are often willing to help us, but they are often limited too. Wives are an extraordinary gift, and yet sometimes they can take information so personally that we are reluctant to share something painful about someone they know, because the burden may be too much for them, or for the people involved. Husbands often struggle with finding the patience to listen long enough to really help.
It’s for the above reasons that at certain times, we really just need someone outside our system, someone who is trained in coming alongside leaders that are struggling in substantial ways.
While it is impossible to say that any therapist will be a perfect fit for your needs, gratefully members of our team have substantial experience working with a range of pastors, executives and administrators for over ten years. Your therapist will have supervised support at the very least to help them help you with whatever challenges you are facing. Members of our team have heard virtually every kind of leadership hardship–some of them have been undeniably painful–and yet nearly every time, when the leader’s we worked with have had a chance to share their burden, over time, loads are lightened and healing and restoration can begin.
HOW THE PROCESS WORKS
Therapy is the process of letting ourselves be vulnerable over time about what we are struggling with in order to gain new perspectives on ourselves, others, and our ministries.
As indicated on the home page, our approach is to first make room for sharing the burden. As we share our story in the context of safety and grace, light starts to seep in.
As the process unfolds, gradually we gain new perspectives that are more and more rooted and established in love. We grow in our ability to see ourselves more clearly and are no longer as driven by perspectives that are incongruent with the freedom the Gospel brings.
Over time, our burdens lighten, and we are gradually more able to live with less burdens and carry the burden that is ours to carry with greater ease. You might say, we find a way to fit in the right yolk with Jesus that enables us to start to find greater life and even joy in our work more and more often.
HOW LONG DOES THERAPY TAKE?
To be candid, lasting healing and genuine recovery often don’t happen quickly.
Depending on the issue or depth of the problem(s), it can often take longer than we’d like really get to a place where we are truly flourishing.
But, the relief of starting to share your burden often comes quickly. The sense of not being alone and on your own in virtually every case ushers in a much needed sense of hope and support.
Yet, there is often challenging work ahead. This work is definitely doable, (we’ve seen it over and over) but this kind of “inner work” will ask you to persevere and embrace a different kind of courage to face the harder truths about ourselves. Yet, as you risk a deeper vulnerability and start to encounter God’s grace, goodness, and strength in new ways, you are gradually equipped to tackle old challenges and even new ones from a place of greater emotional and spiritual maturity.
Yes, in most cases, it can often take a few weeks to start to notice real change. Deeper, more lasting change, the kind that leads to real and lasting flourishing, can take a year or longer.
We are here to support you in your healing journey, as long as it takes. We want to see you flourish in the best sense of the word. Clients can stop their work at any time, the bigger point is that you know you have a safe place to make sense of your world and live and lead in it in healthier ways that truly honor God over the long term.
HOW OFTEN DO WE MEET?
Usually therapy appointments are held weekly. When a person gets into a better place, it can move two times a month. Sometimes, on rare occasions, meeting twice a week is needed to help a person who is struggling deeply start to right the ship.
WHERE DO WE MEET?
The bulk of our therapy work is provided via telehealth in Illinois, Florida of Virginia. Irene Liem, Psy.D. does see some clients in her office in the Western suburbs of Chicago. Click here to learn more about online therapy.