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Intimate and relational healing

Intimate and relational healing:

Healing shattered identity FAQ's

Does something feel broken inside? Are there parts of your sense of self, sexuality or gender that seem forever to be headed in the wrong direction no matter how hard you try? Have relationships crumbled around you because of your struggle?

Is there a sense that who you are is incompatible with the love of God?


Are you haunted by memories of abuse, a cloud of fear and a dark core of rage that drives you in directions you know simply do not fit with your true self? Are you unwilling to believe that this is all there is?

If so, help is available both through Henze & Associates as well as through the resources below:

  • Addiction
  • Dysphoria
  • Homosexuality

What has grace got to do with healing addictions?

Christian couple struggling with addiction praying by a tree with a cross

When you look across the entire landscape of addiction treatment in North America, it generally splits into two camps: Those who believe addiction is a decision (who tend to be more empowered) and those who believe addiction is a disease (who tend to be more compassionate.)

While those who hold these views do so sincerely and deserve so much honour for how they have attempted to help others, neither position really makes any sense at all. No one ever woke up one morning and decided, "Today is the day I commence wreaking my health, destroying my liver and risking terminal illness," and, likewise, no one has ever managed to explain why there are so few alcoholics around when nearly everyone on the planet has had at least one drink.

Both positions are wrong.

Addiction is neither a decision nor a disease, it's a result of trauma. It's a rather reasonable result of having survived extraordinary and deeply painful circumstances that became accepted as a definition of the self.

Children can not differentiate between their environment and their identity. If children live in an abusive environment, they come to believe they are bad persons and deserve to be hurt. The child, having believed that lie, then seeks to live in a way that avoids abuse by trying to become whatever that deranged environment deems to be the opposite of, "Bad."

So many of the addicted people I have worked with have sacrificed themselves in astounding ways; protecting siblings and even taking abuse upon themselves to do so. They are intelligent, empathetic and socially concerned lovers of God and other people I feel honoured to know. In short, they are anything but, "Bad."

However, they still believe they are bad. And, if healing is ever going to happen, then that's the first belief that has to change. Click the above link to find out how!

Why Christian Counseling anyway?

Dove flying out of a Bible

Many people (and even some churches) see no purpose in a Christian Psychologist. Calgary ministers will often refer to a secular therapist as easily as a Christian counsellor in generic areas such as anxiety disorders or depression because they see the treatment of these "common colds of mental illness" as being little more than the learning of new mental techniques.

And, to a very large degree, they are correct. I regulairly work with the full spectrum of Christians, persons of other religious persuasions and fully agnostic or atheist individuals - and the vast majority of that work is all the same no matter what the person's spirituality. There is a generally accepted body of emotional and cognative behavioral techniques that I and almost all psychologists would teach to everyone.

But, that's not the whole picture.

The other half of the picture has to do with the foundations of a person's sense of being and the picture of the self those foundations have left them with. And, it has to do with the power to change.

Secular society often speaks of, "Finding comfort in your faith in difficult times such as these." That's not only patronizing, it's also just not true. It's far harder to believe than not to - and it was never about a security blanket anyway.

It's about relationship and it's about an ability to dramatically change an entire life in ways that are anything but comfortable. Watching it happen is one of the greatest rewards of my profession, because I get to wittness a power in action that far exceeds anything my psychological training can explain.


Christian Marriage Counselling for eating disorders

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