Religious Trauma Counseling
Spiritually-sensitive care for those affected by actions of the church
You are welcome, loved, and safe here.
Neglect, control, manipulation, fear, and shame are some of the hallmarks of those who have experienced hurt at the hands of the church as in institution - or from its members. These feelings are normal to have - but if you're here, you probably don't want to hold onto them anymore. Whether you are looking to leave the church or stay in it, we will work together to help you find your authentic spirituality.
The Misfit Mission
"At Misfit Refuge Counseling, we are dedicated to guiding individuals on their journey to healing from religious abuse. Our mission is to provide a compassionate and inclusive space where individuals can explore the impact of religious trauma, find strength in their resilience, and embark on a path to reclaiming their well-being.
Hi, I'm Matthew. I've been hurt by the church too.
Neurodivergent. Sensitive. Geeky ... and still deeply spiritual. That's me. Time after time, I've received the message from church people that I'm not good enough. "The wrong personality to be a pastor." "Not the right fit to lead the church you attend." "Sings like a wounded duck." (okay there's some truth the last one). After 30 years of getting this messages, I finally decided to change the story. I wasn't going to try to fit into these peoples' boxes anymore. I was going to be me and if they didn't want that, I would make my own way to God. Thus began a slow climb through the trauma that the church had caused. I believe God loves everyone and that they are here for an important reason - and here from my little island of misfit toys, I'm looking for others who have been discarded as well.
Completion of a 60-hour mental health Masters Degree focusing on family relationships, neurodivergence, and spirituality (and half of an D.Min during this time as well)
6 hours of training on how to ethically incorporate spirituality into the healing process.
Having been turned away from multiple ministry positions to living life in the "fishbowl", I understand spiritual trauma first hand.
Who Do I Help?
Those Leaving The Church
I am not an evangelist - my goal is not to tell you to go or stay. It's to provide a safe place to have your story heard, processed, and changed into one that is authentically you. The refuge is a place to let the raw "you" out so that you can achieve your goals.
Those Staying in the Church
If you are looking to stay in the church, but make changes in yourself or your environment, this is a safe place. Here we can own your spirituality; I work with you to process the hurt, find your strengths, and walk confidently in them.
Those Leading the Church
As a former pastor, I know the fishbowl - the burnout, the hurt, the pressure. I know the feeling of not fitting in with the other "lions." Here, we can work to find your challenges, develop a plan to manage the obstacles, and get you back to your divine call.
How do I help?
Therapy tailored to you
Helping you feel safe again...
Misfit Refuge Counseling provides compassionate and effective counseling to those impacted by religious and spiritual trauma. Our trauma-informed care approach focuses on empowering individuals to find their own unique path to healing. I am trained and experienced in working with complex trauma and use the latest evidence-based practices to support your journey. I am dedicated to creating a safe and supportive environment where you can heal and thrive.
Empowering YOUR purpose
At Misfit Refuge Counseling, we take a goal-oriented therapeutic approach to help clients recover from religious or spiritual abuse. Our focus is not only to heal wounds but to set achievable personal goals that empower our clients to move forward and regain control over their lives. Our compassionate therapists provide a safe haven for clients to explore the impact of their past experiences on their current lives, and guide them towards a brighter future.
Mind | Body | Soul
At Misfit Refuge Counseling, we believe in holistic counseling that addresses all aspects of the individual - mind, body, and spirit. This allows us to help our clients work through the often complex and difficult issues surrounding religious / spiritual trauma. Our goal is to create a safe and supportive space where clients can explore their experiences and feelings without judgment or shame. We use evidence-based practices and a compassionate, non-judgmental approach to help clients achieve their goals.
You are the best "you"
At Misfit Refuge Counseling, we believe everyone has unique strengths that can help them find their footing and navigate through life’s challenges. Our mission is to help our clients bring these strengths to the forefront and use them to accomplish their goals. Strength-based counseling emphasizes your characteristics and attributes that can be used to overcome obstacles. I am passionate about empowering individuals to lead more fulfilling lives.
Trauma isn't something you heal "from," it's something you heal "through." This process isn't linear, but rather a model that will guide what you need with each step of your journey.
Working with insurnace (if needed) we work together to uncover the wounds you're received and determine their effects.
Tgoether we will work to find what we want your new story to look like and we'll set some goals to help guide our next steps.
Rather than diving into the mess, it helps to know what we have. We'll work to identify values, strengths, and uniqueness.
Mental health symptoms, trauma, and limitations are just simply obstacles that can be overcome.
As we journey, you'll find that you have parts that protect you on this journey. We'll work on hearing those parts and work with them to help us more effectively
Trauma stores in the body, which means we need to work on identifying where this is held and how wecan help release it with physical experiencing activities.
Part of the healing process is knowing the effects of trauma, how it colors our relationships, and how we can help.
I can't guarantee how long this will take, but our goal is to get to a point where you will find the a new life and new way of thinking - and hopefully a sense of your purpose.
Count down from 5 ... then reach out
If you feel like this is part of your story, please reach out and schedule a consultation. We can answer questions about insurance, the treatment process, and help with any reluctance you might be feeling.