Welcome to Sanctuary Counseling Group

Sanctuary (n): from the Latin sanctus or holy; 1) a sacred or holy place; 2) a place of refuge or safety, a haven; 3) shelter from danger, hardship, or threat.

Sanctuary Counseling Group—formerly known as Methodist Counseling and Consultation Services—has provided mental health counseling and pastoral counseling in the greater Charlotte area and in satellite offices in cities and towns around the western piedmont of North Carolina for over 50 years. To learn more about us and the kinds of services we provide, or to find out how to make an appointment with a therapist in your geographical area, feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you.

Staff Perspectives:

"Children and Stress"

As a father of two, my children juggle the multiple responsibilities placed upon them by home, school, and extracurricular activities. I am aware that on many levels, the amount of stress they experience in their busy lives is exponentially greater than what I experienced at their age. I am amazed at their resiliency, and yet wonder about the impact of increased stress on their emotional, mental, and physical health.

The word "stress" is defined by Merriam-Webster as "constraining force or influence."

Stress is not always a bad thing. Stress is an important component in motivating both adults and children to accomplish important tasks. For children, learning the discipline of making their bed, cleaning their room, or feeding the pet, is influenced by the stress placed upon them to complete the task at hand.

But how much stress is too much? Just like adults, children respond to stress differently. Negative results of stress in children can range from mild irritability, to difficulty sleeping, and even bed wetting. The results of undue stress upon children can create emotional problems which may carry over into adolescence and adulthood. The typical stress placed upon children in social settings, and the stress of parental expectations, is often trumped by the expectations children place upon themselves to succeed in a challenging and demanding world. If your child is experiencing negative side effects of stress, adults should consider both ways to reduce stress in the life of their child, and opportunities to communicate openly with their children about their stress.

A mother tried a game before dinner to practice communication using Skittles. Each color of Skittle represented a different thought to share. Each time Jack pulled a red Skittle out of the bowl, he had to share with his mother a worry he had. To his mother's surprise, Jack chose three red Skittles in a row, and identified three consecutive times his worry over the family's financial situation. Up until this time, his mother had had no idea Jack was aware of her struggle to pay her bills.

As we live in a world filled with a variety of pressures, it is important to create opportunities in the home for parents to discuss with their children the pressures they face in the day. Studies confirm that parental influence is the most important factor in raising a child's self-esteem and equipping them with the skills necessary to manage stressful situations effectively.

If you don't know where to begin to help a child manage stress, begin with a five minute conversation before mealtime about worries. It may sound silly, but in our busy and complicated lives perhaps the most precious commodity we can offer to our children is five minutes of quality time. Through the simple act of listening, a child feels supported, a basic building block for coping with stress.

Eddie Ingram, MSW
Gastonia, First UMC Office
Pineville, Pineville UMC Office

"Many of us have a mind that measures self-worth in terms of productivity … We give ourselves no credit for just being present. And yet, if you asked the people you care about what they would like most from you, their answer is likely to be some version of 'your presence'."
~ Jan Chozen Bays

"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."
~ William James

"No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it."
~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

Resources for Pastors

Sanctuary Counseling Group recognizes the unique needs and stressors of pastors working within the pastorate as well as the needs of the pastoral family. To this end we offer a number of resources specifically for clergy

Check out the Clergy Resources page, including educational and workshop opportunities, counseling and consultation, vocational assessment, and helpful readings. Feel free to contact an SCG therapist in your geographical area for further information. As persons trained in both theology and mental health counseling—and with a high standard of confidentiality—SCG therapists are in a unique position to serve the needs of parish clergy and their families.

Remember …

"Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply
good stewardship of the only gift I have,
the gift I was put on earth to offer to others."
~Parker Palmer

Donate to Sanctuary Counseling Group

While much of our budget is sustained by client fees, there are also a number of individuals, churches, and organizations that join with us in our ministry. Please consider making a tax deductible donation to the ministry of Sanctuary Counseling Group. Unless otherwise designated, donations will be used to help supplement the Samaritan Client Assistance Fund, helping to supplement fees for those who might not otherwise be able to afford counseling.

Please visit our Partners in Ministry page for more information or to make a contribution.

Mission Statement

Being dedicated to the healing of heart, mind, and soul, we provide excellent emotional, spiritual, and relational health care to all people of the Carolinas.

Sanctuary Counseling Group is an accredited service center of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the Samaritan Institute.