Used with permission. Names withheld to protect client anonymity.
Julie gave me a place that I could share my heart, my struggles and my frustrations without being judged and knowing that I had someone who truly cared and was going to listen to me. She helped me sort through what I was feeling and learn how to process it in a healthy way.
My time with her forced/allowed me to slow down at least once each week to think through the week before and what had happened so that I could learn from that and make changes in the future instead of being stuck in old habits. Julie was a great source of encouragement, comfort, wisdom and love. She shared some great insights, but was also willing to just sit and listen. My time with her was invaluable.
I am writing to thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing us through these counseling sessions. I am so grateful for you, your professionalism, and the service you gave [my wife] and I.
I had no idea what to expect, but I’m sure your pleasant, gentle, loving and genuine demeanor made it feel safe and comfortable for the both of us. Very, very grateful for you.
Over the course of several months, my wife and I had to deal with a very difficult personal situation with our organization. This took a lot of time and energy on our part, and we were not able to work well. Julie helped us to gain a clearer picture of the issue and work through this difficult situation – through listening, and advice. The situation has thankfully been resolved in the meantime, and I can focus now with more joy and energy on my leadership and administration work.
Through counseling, I realized that I had gotten into some unhelpful patterns of thinking. Julie gave me the tools to reassess situations and relationships so that I don’t continue following those bad patterns. It has helped a lot with all my relationships, old and new, especially since the transient missionary life involves being a part of several different communities, but not always being able to spend much time with them. It has helped me deal with feelings of false guilt over not being able to do enough on the field. I don’t feel the pressure of unrealistic expectations of myself and others, which allows me to be more effective as I help to supervise and support teams on the field.
“Thank you” doesn’t really adequately express how grateful I am for your wisdom, listening ear, guidance and compassion towards me these last several months. I did not realize how desperately I needed another person’s perspective. You were able to validate my emotions and struggles and helped give me space to “be” where I am. Thank you for believing in me when I have struggled believing or trusting myself. Thank you for continually pointing me to the One who knows and loves me unconditionally. With deep appreciation.
My first term on the field was difficult and I was showing signs of overload/burn-out. Talking with Julie helped me put difficult circumstances into perspective. It was so helpful to be able to process my first term with someone who had been there and could affirm my challenges, but who also has the professional training to help process past difficulties and look objectively toward the future. Counselling helped me to recognize truths and boundaries which will enable me to return and serve effectively long-term.
The counselling we received from Julie was very helpful to us to be able to deal with the pain in a relationship. We had been hurt for a number of years and couldn't understand what we were doing wrong. Julie was able to help us look objectively at the situation. She helped us gain some tools to know how to address this person and protect ourselves, while trying to rebuild the relationship if possible.
Julie listened to us carefully and asked for more information as needed, to get a complete picture before giving any evaluation or suggestions. We appreciated how she was able to help guide us to our own solutions as much as possible, but would give suggestions as needed. She helped us to know how to stop blaming ourselves and allow the truth to set us free from false guilt and much of the pain we had been experiencing. It still isn't an easy situation but we feel we have some tools now to help us interact in a healthy way.
Some things I have gained from the counseling with Julie:
- Taking good care of myself physically, spiritually, emotionally. I am no good to anyone else if these are not done.
- Focusing on key relationships, the most important relationships first. God. My spouse.
- Deciding what situations I should step in and take care of or letting God take care of them.
- Handling panic attacks. What to do when they start to happen. How to resolve them.
- Examining the belief system behind emotions and deciding if they are based in truth or not. Then responding appropriately.
- Guarding my schedule – not getting overloaded, or saying ‘yes’ to every request.
- Finding things that bring me joy and making time for them.
- Contingency planning for imminent problems which will indeed come.
The counselling principles I learned helped me focus on things I can realistically change, rather than be consumed with things I have little control over. I am once again in a position to trust God with the things I can’t control and use my giftedness in the things I can.