Would You Like To Strengthen God’s Involvement In Your Life?
Are you struggling to find a meaningful connection between your faith and how you deal with difficult situations in your life? Is anxiety, depression, life transition, or loss of a loved one testing the limits of your faith? Are you trying your best to gracefully deal with infidelity or perhaps a family member’s unexpected pregnancy, but the intense emotions make you feel like your spiritual resolve isn’t enough? Are you concerned or frustrated with the health of your marriage or relationship?
Perhaps you go to church and pray often but still feel inadequate or not good enough—as if you are somehow letting God down. Conversely, maybe you are in so much pain that you feel like God has failed you because you don’t understand why He hasn’t answered your cry for mercy and help.
Sometimes, we think of faith as if God was a genie in a bottle—something that we can access when we need it and then shelf it until the next time. But relying on faith to heal or overcome life’s challenges requires much more of us. All too often, we think that prayers, fellowship, the Bible, and attending church on Sundays are what signify a true connection to Christ—one that will see us through the rough times. But it is not that our faith isn’t strong enough; it’s that our relationship with Christ and God’s love simply isn’t mature enough.
Sometimes, even for those who are most steadfast in heart, a little guidance and counsel can go a long way. So if you are struggling to find strength in your faith—or if you simply want to strengthen your connection to God — Christian Counseling at Life Training in Louisville, Kentucky can help. By relying on Biblical truths, God’s love, and our combined efforts, you can experience healing of your wounds, hurts, struggles, and disappointments no matter how profound they are.
Even When We Feel That Our Faith Is Strong, Life Can Be Difficult
“I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time. Ecclesiastes: 9:11, NLT
Regardless of who you are or how strong your belief system is, everyone eventually experiences some sort of personal challenge that tests their faith. And although it’s normal to want to be able to navigate these obstacles on our own, when we can’t, we end up feeling like we’ve either failed God or He has abandoned us for some reason.
Unfortunately, many of us carry within us deep wounds and hurts from the past that give energy to these unfounded fears. Oftentimes, these fears have their roots in our family of origin. For instance, if you had an emotionally detached mother or for some other reason you were separated from your birth mother as a child, you may have experienced a mother wound. This tends to cause you to fear abandonment or dread aloneness. It may also lead to unhealthy emotional dependencies on others. And one of the most profound effects of this type of wounding is that there can be a loss of self, insecurity, and possibly even confusion as to gender. So you project that fear onto your faith by worrying about abandonment because you’re constantly wondering, Will someone close to me remove their love from me?
Father wounds are particularly harmful because we regard God and worship Him as the ultimate Father. So if you grew up in a home where your father was overly critical, inattentive, unaffectionate, or completely absent, you might fear that you are inadequate and not good enough to deserve His love. Or you may have spent your life trying to prove that you are worthy of His love and acceptance. In either case, these are destructive false beliefs that cause us to perpetually ask the question, Am I good enough?
God loves His children and wants us to find true joy through our relationship with Him. As human beings, we don’t always have a Biblical perspective or mature enough relationship with Jesus to meaningfully draw upon the strength this offers.
Moreover, there is a big difference between religious tradition and a deep, abiding faith in Jesus. It’s not about saying more Hail Mary’s or putting more into the offering plate. And it’s not about being more religious or good enough to deserve His love. It’s about having a living, healing relationship directly with God and being able to access that in times of distress. And most of us need help understanding just how to do that.
Have you lost interest in or become numb to the everyday pleasures or activities that once gave you joy? Do you constantly battle a sense of hopelessness or low self-worth that is holding you back from achieving God’s plan for you? Perhaps you are overly irritable or easily angered, but don’t even understand where these conflicting feelings are coming from.
Are you constantly ruminating on the past or worrying about the future, as if something terrible could happen at any moment? Do you have a hard time relaxing or feeling at ease, even in ordinary situations with people you trust? Are you experiencing heart palpitations, trembling, nausea, or chronic aches and pains that you can’t explain?
Do you want to repair your marriage and develop a deeper, more meaningful connection with your partner? Are you searching the Bible for guidance and having trouble understanding how to apply or even locate that wisdom? Have you tried working together to overcome your relationship issues only to have conversations explode into anger, criticism, and arguments?
Christian Counseling Helps Strengthen Your Faith
Working with our counselors is centered around helping you know and trust God—not just with your current situation but with your life as a whole. As human beings, we have a natural, predictable tendency to try and control people, processes, circumstances, and outcomes in an effort to protect ourselves from our fears. But by exploring your personal relationship with Jesus Christ and learning to more fully surrender to God’s will and the truths inherent in the Bible, you can turn your faith into action and begin to experience real, sustainable healing and life change.
Although we offer a structured, faith-based approach to counseling, there is certainly no cookie-cutter process for healing and spiritual growth. Sometimes, more immediate concerns come up that need additional attention. But for the most part, there are three general phases that we move through with our clients, regardless of what brings them to counseling.
God has sovereign authority over all things and has a plan for your life that is good (from Jeremiah 29:11).
During the first phase of your counseling journey, we want to hear your story, and that means taking as much time or as many sessions as you would like to comfortably get there. As we guide you through self-exploration and discovery, we will be able to identify possible origins, effects, and consequences of your pain – at more of an intellectual level. This process kickstarts a deeper self-awareness that allows you to understand how the past, present, and future have intersected to create some of the challenges you may be facing.
God will work all things – even negative things – for your good and His glory (from Romans 9:28).
In the second phase, we will help you take a focused inventory of your life, looking at certain thought processes, deeply held beliefs, or past decisions that may not always have been in your best interest. By taking an honest, nonjudgmental look at yourself, we can help you take ownership of your life and find healthier ways of responding to adversity in the future. At this point our clients are typically beginning to connect suppressed emotional experiences with the origins of their current struggles.
God loves and cares for you, no matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been (from Isaiah 41:10).
By the third phase of your counseling work, we now have established a relationship of mutual trust that will enable us to walk with you into more emotion-centered areas of your life. We want to help you give yourself permission to genuinely feel the pain, loss, or shame you may have long been carrying around inside yet may have never really dealt with. And although you may feel vulnerable, you are in the absolute best position to experience the presence and nearness of God in your circumstances. It allows you to encounter His unconditional love and grace—to fully trust in the promise that God can and will make all things right in His way and in His perfect timing.
God uniquely created you in your mother’s womb, and there is no one else like you (from Psalm 139:13-14).
One of the tools we use for awakening this new, closer relationship with God is Temperament Therapy which uses a comprehensive profiling system to identify your specific needs. Temperament Therapy helps you to better understand God’s unique design for you as it is reflected in who you are, what you need, and your inborn tendencies. In time, you can translate that unique identity into strengths that will enable you to make healthier, more effective choices in your relationships and your life.
Soul Work—another tool we often use in our counseling practice—is a specialized form of counseling that very few counselors are trained in, even within the faith-based community. These methods enable us to effectively walk with you on a healing journey into the deeper, shame-based aspects of your inner person. Oftentimes, secrecy can be a poison that contaminates our lives and becomes an entrenched and unnatural part of who we are. But our various Soul Work tools help you process that profound pain and heal old—perhaps secret—wounds. These powerful counseling methods come in many forms that we tailor to best address the needs of each individual client.
There is an old adage: “You can’t guide someone to a place you’ve not been.” We’ve been there – hurt, abandoned, addicted, rejected, broken… and restored through Christ! Over the course of many years, our Christian counselors have seen God transform their own lives through numerous counselors, mentors, pastors, and teachers who have guided them on their own journey of discovery, radical vulnerability, and healing of the deep, hidden wounds of their soul.
In addition to being nationally licensed and credentialed counselors working with couples, individuals, & families, our team also has over 30 years of experience as pastors, elders, deacons, and lay leaders in churches. We believe that you too can draw upon your relationship with God to overcome problems and live a more gratifying, peaceful life in Christ.
Maybe You’re Considering Christian Counseling But Still Have Some Questions Or Concerns…
“Christians aren’t supposed to be weak. Shouldn’t our faith give us all the strength we need?”
As human beings, we are often fallible—sometimes, even in regard to our faith. But by improving your connectedness and surrendering more fully to God’s will, He will provide you the strength to overcome any challenge. And according to 2nd Corinthians 12:9, the way we truly experience God’s power in our lives is to embrace our weaknesses, inadequacies, and our need for Him.
“If I just pray more and try harder to do better, I’ll get through this. I’m fine.”
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9 that it is by grace we are saved, through faith, and not by any effort of our own. Christian counseling can help you tap into the power of your relationship with Jesus so that your prayers and humility are met with God’s assurance and hope.
“There’s nothing Christian counseling can do to change things. It just is what it is.”
We are told in Isaiah 61:1that God takes the ashes of our past and turns them into beauty in our lives beyond what we can even imagine. Although it may be difficult to believe right now, there is hope, it’s just being obscured by your pain. But we can help guide you to a place where you can see with greater clarity and truly understand the power of God’s unconditional and unending love for you. He specializes in making broken pieces into masterpieces!
“What makes the counselors at Life Training qualified to counsel me?”
Christians who provide counseling to others must decide if he or she wants to do so as an agent of the state or as a servant of the Church. The counselors at Life Training Christian Counseling have chosen to be licensed exclusively through the National Christian Counselors Association. NCCA licensure is not a state license, not the equivalent of state licensure, nor a substitute for a state license, rather something distinctly different.
Acknowledging regulatory laws governing the practice of psychology and the practice of general counseling, the NCCA requires those they credential to clearly identify themselves as a National Christian Counselors Association Licensed Christian (Pastoral) Counselor. This helps ensure there is no misrepresentation of their qualifications, that they are operating within legal and ethical standards, and that they can be trusted as a Christian counselor and clergy member.
The education, training, examination, and continuing education process required of a Licensed Christian Counselor through the NCCA is extensive and rigorous. The NCCA counselor is very equipped and qualified to provide godly counsel based upon the principles and teachings of the Christian faith and the Holy Bible.
Let Us Help You Connect Your Faith With Your Circumstances
If you are facing a difficult life situation and want to find a christian counselor near you, we are here to help guide you along that journey. Please call 502 717 5433 to discuss how our faith-based, Biblical approach to spiritual counseling can help you.
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What Others Are Saying About Us
Lisa Winchell, PhDDirector, In His Image: Institute of Counseling & Training
"David and Ann Ralston have true servant's hearts and show the love and power of Christ in a dark and hurting world. Clients who are struggling in life need to look no further than to Life Training."
MindyMother of Marriage Counseling Client
"Thank you again for everything you have done and for your faithfulness. You are changing lives in a domino effect in our family... much more than you realize!! God bless you!"
TraceyNCCA Licensed Christian Counselor
"Being taught by Dave and Ann has been life changing for me and my family and friends! The depth of biblical and life learning and teaching has been superior! The knowledge and spiritual growth in myself and family members has been so wonderful."
SteveCounseling Client & Group Participant
"Since meeting with Dave Ralston, I’ve come to realize there have been a number of doors in my past that apparently I hadn’t opened before. I have begun to open them in my sessions with Dave, and it has brought a lot of relief to me in dealing with my shame. Even though it is sometimes painful it is exciting to be going through."
"I have allowed myself the freedom to actually trust God in all things. Yes, at times, I must have a conversation with myself, with reminders of my trust and how important I am to my Heavenly Father. The trust is real, for the first time in a very long time."
"God is helping me through the teaching and through the small group interaction. Ann’s smiles and encouragement always makes me feel better."
MyrandaCounseling Client & Group Participant
"Meeting with Dave and Ann has helped me to look inward and to face the emotions of my childhood. It has helped me to be more confident in who I am, not just as a person but also in Christ. One of the huge battles that I faced in my life I am now completely delivered from is homosexuality. Now, I really want to help as many people as I can to give them hope and to let them know that it doesn’t matter what you have gone through or are going through, God can make it work for their good. Thank you for being a part of what God is doing in my life. It really does help save lives."
"Dr. Dave Ralston and his wife Ann literally changed my life! I will never be the same person that I was when I first met them. Every person in driving distance to these people needs to seek their counsel to help heal any brokenness, situation, shame, tragedy, the list goes on, that you may be facing in your life. Go! I promise you will never regret it. Thank you Dave and Ann from the bottom of my heart for helping me finally reach a place in my life where I know I am walking in God's will and following his path. Thank you truly."
"I often tell a friend, “oh, you should have heard what Pastor Dave shared last week. It was phenomenal! It seems difficult to recall (much less pull out) what the God of the universe dropped personally in to my spirit for ME to take to heart, spend a little time on, and pull from what He intended to transform me right now. The ministry God has given Dave and Ann truly has the power to heal, change, and restore. Each week they invite me to walk in to a safe, warm, non-judgmental and caring environment and unpack my “suitcase,” to examine just what I've been carrying. They offer illumination, guidance, and restoration to the whole person, carrying only what is necessary for fighting the spiritual battle, the whole armor of God, which is to be worn and not carried along with miscellaneous junk from the past in our suitcase."
JulieMinistry Team Member
"The Ralston's have been an answer to prayer for me. My husband and I were growing in our walk; serving, praying together, and marriage mentoring, but I felt that we needed help in understanding codependency in our own marriage. We are learning so much about our identity in Christ, His love, and how to share that unconditional love with others. It’s like a faucet turned on we are drinking it all in. Overwhelming! I am learning to become more intimate with Jesus and that is the greatest lesson of all. Grateful, thankful, blessed."
AnthonyPastor & NCCA Christian Counselor
"Many years I have been on the front lines, fighting in the trenches to help those turn to Christ for answers. Your ministry is second to None! My heart desires to send people your way. Your compassion has touched me deeply! Thank you for helping me have great Hope that there are others who are in the trenches daily, as you are, fighting for the minds, hearts, and souls of people who struggle with addiction."
JoeyCounseling Client & Group Participant
"I have been on this journey with Our Lord Jesus for a while. By being a part of Dave and Ann’s ministry, I now know that restoration means… Restoration of many areas of life, not just addiction. I’ve learned that even though people have different histories, and backgrounds our stories and our recoveries have one thing in common and that is Our Lord Jesus Christ. We are all unique, but my story will help someone else like you have helped me."
LisaChristian Counselor & Life Coach
"Dr. Dave Ralston is a gifted temperament counselor and marriage counselor. Definitely recommend him."
AmberMarriage Class Participant
"The ministry of Dave and Ann Ralston saved my marriage. I cannot recommend them enough."
"I highly recommend Life Training ministries. They brought me so far in my life when I started seeing them. They are such loving and compassionate people. I'm hoping to maybe one day to go back to them. My husband also went to them and he says he wouldn't have made it as far as he did without them. He is looking forward to maybe starting to see them again as well."
Zakk Gammon, PhDDirector, Revive Christian Counseling
"Dr. David Ralston and the team at Life Training are second to none. I've had the opportunity to know David and Ann for several years now, and I can say with confidence Dr. Ralston and his team are one of the best options you'll find when you're struggling. Life Training allows people to feel the love of Jesus as they find hope."
"They changed my life! I was so broken, lost, lonely, and hopeless. They helped me heal, work through past hurts and pain, helped turned me back to the only one the can meet my needs. Learning my temperament and knowing that I wasn't just a brain damaged accident but God had created me with that temperament was the most revealing validating thing ever. It allowed me to have my eyes open, and then grow. They will help change your life! I have had a lot of counseling in my life, but this is the first time I ever received healing."
"Learning under Dave and Ann has helped me walk through my deliverance from Agoraphobia. life is totally different for me from what it was just 2 years ago."
ShelbyMarriage Counseling Client
"Dave, I can’t even begin to thank you enough for all you have done for our family! You guided us when we were lost and we are forever grateful. You made sure we knew some tough things about ourselves, and it was exactly what we needed to hear. Thank you for your patience and willingness to works with us, I know we stayed in counseling longer than I think we all anticipated but I’m sure glad we did. We’re so grateful to get to call you friend! Love you!"
RichardMinistry Team Member
"We are blessed so that we may be a blessing to others. Dave is the personification of one who definitely puts others before himself and has it on his heart to help all those who have any kind of need be it psychological, emotional, addiction, and on and on find their true identity in Christ in order to live a healthy, abundant life with Jesus the first and most important thing in their life."
"We are so grateful to David and Ann Ralston for their ministry through Life Training Christian Counseling. It was this avenue that God revealed so many deeper truths that ultimately saved our marriage. Thank you and God Bless You and your ministry."
"I was very happy with the guidance and assistance provided by Dave with Life Training Christian Counseling. It was important to me as a life-long Catholic to find a faith-based counselor to help me through a difficult part of my life. Dave was very understanding and together we established a plan of action that I thought was both fair and reasonable. It was a program that met my needs and didn't go on forever. We initially met each week and after awhile, we spaced our meetings out as I made progress on our goals. Dave provided me with a warm, understanding and caring environment to work through some issues. Dave mainly deals with boys/men and his wife, Ann, with girls/women. I highly recommend Life Training Christian Counseling if you have any issues you want to work on in a faith-based manner."
"Finding Ann has been a true “divine appointment” for me and my family. She has a gift for seeing beyond the surface to help me discover who I truly am in Christ. I am learning to embrace the real me, scars and all. I am enough. I am so thankful for Ann and Dr. Ralston for their hearts and following His path to open their practice here in Louisville. What a blessing and legacy they are creating with their unique passion for guiding people to hope and healing through the teaching of temperament."
"Dr Dave has helped me tremendously in better understanding myself. I’m doing so it’s helped me better navigate life. My wife and I have also worked with both Dr Dave and Anne to grow in our marriage as well."
"Ann has been a true Godsend! She is personable, compassionate, humorous, lovely, and a joy to work with. I have come further in my journey with her as my guide than any other time in my life."
PamMinistry Team Members
"My husband and I have received good godly counsel by Dr. Dave Ralston and Ann. He has a common sense approach to complex relationship problems. Also understands how to assess and discuss individual temperment. This brought new insight for us and we not only have benefitted personally from this knowledge but have shared what we have learned with others. I highly recommend Dr. Ralston and Ann as counselors."