Christian couples work hard to seek joy and peace in their relationship with each other. However, many of the challenges that Christian couples face are the same as those of other couples. Emotional disconnect, conflict, infidelity, miscommunication and loneliness can happen in any relationship dynamic. As a fellow Christian, I help couples work to identify what is happening in their dynamic that seems to get them stuck and unable to connect.
Counseling helps couples to explore what is happening in moments of distress and conflict. I have advanced training in a particular style of relationship counseling called Emotionally Focused Therapy. This approach is considered the gold-standard for working with couples in distress. It works to remove blame from each partner, helping couples to gain understanding and compassion for their partner in ways that they have, likely, not been able to before. EFT helps couples learn how to turn toward each other in a safe way that allows both partners to feel seen, heard and understood.
Within individual counseling, I often help clients process through experiences (past or present) that have left them feeling anxious, sad, lonely, confused, frustrated or helpless. Many of us struggle within our lives and relationships trying to navigate challenging thoughts and emotions. Our struggles might lead us to make decisions that don't represent our values or lead us to a place where we behave in ways that don't represent who we want to be. Many of us think, because we are a Christian, that we should effortlessly be able to handle emotionally challenging experiences or that we are protected from ever experiencing these types of struggles.
Most Christians understand that confusion, despair and fear are not from God. The awareness of that doesn't necessarily stop those challenges from surfacing, though, since we are human beings living in a world with other human beings. These struggles can be particularly difficult because what is happening in our minds can feel different than what is happening in our hearts. I join with people to help them move through those challenges in a purposeful way so they can begin to experience greater peace in their lives.
My formal training is in clinical models of counseling, not Biblical counseling. I am a licensed therapist who is also an actively practicing Christian. If you are seeking Biblical counseling, specifically, please contact me and I will be happy to provide you with a list of local provider options.
Jodi Clarke, MA, LPC/MHSP, NCC Professional counseling and clinical supervision 9219 Middlebrook Pike Knoxville, TN 37931