Jeanine Siler Jones, MSW, LCSW, and Russell Siler Jones, ThD, LPCS, are licensed therapists who specialize in integrating spirituality into the counseling process. If we had to describe what that means in just a phrase, it would be: we help people connect with the inner resources they need to live fully. These resources include things like compassion, calmness, wisdom, clarity, and courage. We do not give these inner resources to anyone. They are already there, gifts from God. Sometimes people lose connection with them and need help in reconnecting with them, but they are always available. This is spiritual work of great importance, and it is a great privilege to offer this help to others.
When people come to me for counseling, I hope they feel less like they’re talking to a counselor and more like they’re talking to a human being. Yes, a counselor needs to have “counselor knowledge” and “counselor skills,” and I have spent much time and energy to acquire them. But through the years, as I have studied and trained, it has been important to me to integrate counseling knowledge with my personal history and experience so that I know not just how “a counselor” responds to various situations, but how “I” respond. There are undoubtedly times when I sound like a counselor (at least that’s what my kids tell me), but what I think helps people most is when they experience me as a real person.
I enjoy working with people in transition, those who are grieving or traumatized, anyone who feels stuck, confused or overwhelmed with their life. I like partnering with each person, couple or group to figure out together what is getting in the way of their opportunities to be fully alive. I know that therapy is part of a holistic intervention that takes seriously the dynamic interplay between our minds, hearts and bodies. By creating a safe environment where compassionate listening occurs, new and deeper connections to our inner and outer resources can be made. I experience people relaxing into a more openhearted engagement with themselves and the world. I see transformations happening in lives that ripple out into the world. The world needs people who are present and awake.