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:


Summer often elicits images of lazy days spent by the pool, lake, or on the beach. Time well-wasted doing little more than enjoying time with family and friends.

But for many, summer can be a time of great transition. Many families and college students move over summers. May and June graduations signal significant shifts in the lives of new graduates and their families. The ever-present summer weddings celebrate not only the covenant of love, but the blending of families and the new tasks of managing "in-law" dynamics.

With all of these changes, the idle days of lounging by a body of water seem to be just a dream.

So, when tasked with a major transition when the rest of the world seems to have gone on vacation, how are we to handle changes in healthy ways? It is always tempting to just ignore the significant issues at hand and go find ways to distract ourselves, but this only delays the inevitable.

A first step is to acknowledge the changes at hand. Being honest and real invites us to an authentic expression and understanding of our emotions. This can be challenging, particularly when the transition is perceived as a positive one, like a wedding or a graduation. Though these happy events come with great joy, we must also accept that there is a sense of loss in these rites of passage that is very real. Relationships will change after the flowers fade and the mortarboards drop. Facing these realities is a good place to start.

After we check our fantasies of ignoring our changing lives, we must find healthy ways to cope. Exercise, discussion of our fears and feelings with trusted loved ones, and counseling are all ways that we can engage the transitions that befall us. For many, leaning on spiritual practices and religious beliefs are key to keeping change in perspective. Remembering to be gentle with ourselves is significant as well. Adequate sleep, even if the moving boxes are screaming to be unpacked, is necessary to keep irritability at a minimum and productivity rising.

When we engage healthy emotional, spiritual, and physical methods of coping with change, we often find that a precious commodity grows from our efforts: hope. Hope is one of the most powerful forces for good in our world. It is the nudge that reminds us that the world will not always be as it is today, but that life can and will shift again. We will adjust to the new ways of being and hope will lift us until we can see the world through new eyes.

Shelton Davis, M.A.
with contributions from Rev. Chris Westmoreland

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

~ Victor Frankl

"With awareness, there is a space—allowing us to interrupt habitual response patterns and bring intention to our responses, choosing to form a different asociation. In time, we can begin to carve a new path into the riverbank."

~ Wendy Hasenkamp, Brain Karma

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

Support 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 contribution 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.