Eight carefully designed days
of individual, couple, and group Christian counseling
Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat offers seven carefully designed days of individual, couple, and group Christian counseling for no more than four to six couples (singles are welcome). Our emphasis is upon Christian professional church workers including, but not limited to, pastors, missionaries, rostered teachers, directors of Christian education, deaconesses, and their spouses.
Two Christian therapists – a male and a female – will offer their counseling services at each Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat session. These therapists may include Clinical Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Pastoral Counselors, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.
During the seven-day retreat, each person is offered thirty hours of counseling including individual, couple, and group counseling. Initial hours are spent in assessing the client’s history and needs. Based on issues identified, subsequent counseling is designed to deal with those concerns.
Each retreat pursues three basic goals:
Allow each participant to safely unburden the hurts and pressures of life and ministry in a safe, non-judgemental, and loving environment.
Assist each person to understand herself/himself more completely (interpersonally, intrapersonally and spiritually) as their life patterns have developed;
Encourage and enable development of new levels of self-acceptance as well as more effective relational skills. This often includes evaluation of expectations, reordering of priorities, improving communication skills and bringing balance into life.
Our program is modeled after the 34-year work at Marble Retreat in Marble, Colorado which, in turn, is patterned after the healing efforts at the Mayo Clinics as an alternative to months of conventional weekly counseling. It offers the added benefit of focused work with like-minded colleagues (fellow church workers and their spouses).
For clients who are married, we insist on spousal participation. We also ask that clients be in a place of readiness for the tough work of self-disclosure and self-awareness. To further enhance the experience we ask that clients totally suspend their ministry responsibilities (including sermon or teaching preparations) for the duration of their session.
Pain and suffering are unfortunate, yet critical components common to all who seek services at Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat. Suffering, of course, accompanies life and is especially true for those who serve in the Church.
People come to Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat with complaints of overwhelming personal, marital, and congregational conflicts. ministry burnout, depression, marital discord, infidelity, and struggles with addictive behavior. As is common for us all, when we are in physical or emotional pain, we attempt to remove ourselves from it as quickly as possible.
At Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat, while we strive to help people alleviate their suffering, we also strongly encourage them to both describe their agony and, even more importantly, to learn from it.
A useful scriptural passage regarding this difficult issue is Romans 5:3-5: “…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” This scripture makes it clear: suffering, while not to be sought after, is, nevertheless, purposeful and has the enormous potential to deepen our relationship with God and with each other. This is at the heart of what occurs at Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat.
“…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”