Practice Philosophy


INTRODUCTION

Safe Harbor Christian Counseling exists to provide Christian-based, clinically sound counseling to individuals, couples, and families so that people experience life change emotionally, mentally, relationally, and spiritually. By "Christian-based" we mean that we operate from a Christian world-view and recognize that we are all spiritual beings who were created to be in a relationship with God. By "clinically sound" we mean that we strive to be in a constant learning process related to our field of expertise, i.e., counseling. We diligently acquire knowledge on an ongoing basis related to how people think, feel, relate, and act so that we can provide effective interventions.

"The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out." —Proverbs 20:5

CHRISTIAN-BASED

Our foundation includes utilizing truths found in the Bible related to mental health issues. We believe that it is very important to respect the fact that God gives our clients the responsibility to make decisions in their lives.

John 1:14 reveals that Jesus is full of grace and truth, so as Christian counselors our interventions include dealing with truth and experiencing the grace of God at the same time. Experience tells us that the presence of truth in counseling positions us to receive and walk in grace.

Paul Austin explains the Biblical approach that Safe Harbor takes with counseling.
Watch Pastor Paul Austin
explain the Biblical approach that
Safe Harbor takes with counseling




As Proverbs 20:5 indicates "The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out," we understand the necessity of exploring and resolving root issues. At the same time, we aim to help clients to make helpful changes in present situations. Since God's name, "Emmanuel", means "God with us," we strive to create an experience in the counseling room whereby redemptive dynamics occur between the counselor and counselee. This requires the counselor to be "with" clients in ways that are therapeutic relationally, as well as providing sound clinical treatment. In other words, we believe that significant healing and growth occurs in the context of relationships. The dynamics of the counseling relationship itself should be reparative, thereby providing a context for growth.

Finally, we have merely scratched the surface of what Christian-Based treatment involves at Safe Harbor. It is our goal to relate to people uniquely (just as Jesus did in the Gospels) since no two people are exactly alike. We do not have a single step-by-step blueprint that we use, rather we rely on the Holy Spirit and the knowledge base God has enabled us to acquire to guide us to a redemptive path of recovery.


CLINICALLY SOUND

There are several elements that we believe are important in order to consider our treatment to be clinically sound. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it includes the following:

  • All of our counselors have at least a Master's degree from an accredited institution. We also use interns and life coaches from time to time who work under the supervision of a licensed counselor.
  • We are constantly in a learning process as counselors, which includes discussing cases with other professionals as well as keeping up with knowledge that we can learn from others. Many of our counselors are members of the American Association of Christian Counselors and attend their conferences and read their books.
  • We utilize an array of therapeutic interventions such as family systems theory, psychodynamic theory, experiential therapy, cognitive-behavior, insight oriented, structural family therapy, rational emotive therapy, solution focused therapy, and many other modalities.
  • All counseling approaches are carefully examined regarding their consistency with scripture as well as clinical appropriateness.
  • We seek to identify and break pervasive negative patterns which may be called "re-enactments".
  • Client strengths are identified and celebrated as God-given and are pathways to growth.
  • The goal of treatment is change or "transformation" (see Romans 12:2).
  • Clients are engaged in a treatment process which includes assessment, diagnosis, goal setting, intervention, and termination.
  • Both present issues and past underlying issues are examined.
  • Presenting problems are identified and resolved as well as the deeper developmental and/or maturity and character issues.

Paul Austin, Senior Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, Joppa, MD, describes the benefits of receiving counseling from Safe Harbor counselors
Watch Pastor Paul Austin
describe the benefit of
receiving counseling from a
Safe Harbor Christian Counseling counselor



SUMMARY

The counselors and staff of Safe Harbor invite you to come and experience growth so that your life may be enriched as you resolve issues that may be small or very large. Our counselors have a wide variety of specialties and training that equip them to provide assistance with the many issues that face individuals, couples, families, and children.