Christ-centered therapy has three elements to help Christian believers heal their past emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wounds, which commonly present themselves as current struggles with addiction, compulsive behavior, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and PTSD. 

The first step is self-awareness. Self-awareness dictates that we become increasingly aware of who and what we are in Christ. (1 John 3:1-3)  This step requires an ability to break through our fears, denial, pride, shame, arrogance, guilt, embarrassment, prejudice, biases, and other emotional and cognitive barriers that prevent us all from discovering the fundamental truth of ourselves.

A saying that captures this step is simply this: the more we deny (or run away from) who we are, the more we remain the same. We must stop r
unning from who we are, what we've done, and what's been done to us. We can not change the behaviors, emotions, and attitudes that entangle us until we come face-to-face with them, and understand the psychology that gives rise to such behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. If we continue denying all that we are, we will never be able to decipher the underlying causes of our “unhealthy” or “sinful” behaviors, feelings and thoughts that separate us from the unconditional love of God.

The second step is self-acceptance.  As we grow in our knowledge of ourselves, we come face to face with our shadow: that part of ourselves that we fear, hate, disassociate from; are ashamed of; and feel guilty, sad, angry, embarrassed or sad about. Self-acceptance is the realization that our shadow (e.g., our “shameful” past, sin, wounds, lusts, sickness, depression, weaknesses, struggles, insecurities, anxieties, illness, disease, deep dark secrets, unforgivable acts, addictions, perversions, trauma, abuse) does not make us evil, unforgivable, unredeemable, unlovable or ugly.  Self-acceptance is the realization that we are merely human and that we need God - nothing more and nothing less.  

Self-acceptance is not an approval or rationalization of our shadow, but an awareness that this dark side is, and may always remain, a part of us as a consequence of our human condition. (Romans 7:14-25; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10) Self-acceptance reframes “unhealthy” behaviors, attitudes and emotions as rational, logical, defensive, survival mechanisms created in response to unhealthy environments and traumatic experiences. When we become increasingly able to accept ourselves, we learn to embrace all that we are in the same manner that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ does. We ultimately learn to accept, embrace and love ourselves because God loved us first just as we are. (Romans 5:8, 8:31-39)

The final step is self-surrender. All prior attempts to overcome the entrenched problem areas of your life, which you desperately want to change, have ended in failure. You’ve tried solving your problems in your own strength, with your own abilities, with your own best thinking, with your own willpower, but you’ve come up empty time and time again. The secret to self-surrender is really no secret at all. We don’t surrender to our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual enemies - we surrender (or hand over) our fight, and get someone else to do the fighting for us.

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13)

There is hope. You are loved. God can deliver and heal you.

If you’d like to learn more, please call to schedule a consultation: (973) 747-9093.