My Background And Inspiration For Becoming A Counselor
I felt the calling to become a counselor because I had experienced first-hand the profound healing power of God’s love, and I wanted to share with others the same hope that He has brought into my life. If it weren’t for the caring and loving support of the skilled women and men who God continues to bring into my life, I would not be where I am today.
Like many of my clients, especially females, I have had to fight in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds to get to a place of peace and grace in my life. I was abused both physically and sexually as a child, I was abandoned by my father, and I was emotionally unhealthy and codependent for the first half of my adult life. Then, I went through a divorce and an extended season of depression that I only found my way out of through the kindness of others and the love of Christ.
In many ways, the adverse experiences in my life have equipped me to understand what my clients are going through, which is why empathy, understanding, and companionship are integral parts of my healing process used in counseling. I welcome and embrace anyone who seeks guidance and support for overcoming anxiety, depression, relationship problems, or personal challenges of any kind.
However, I particularly understand the needs and struggles of women who have experienced abuse, neglect, abandonment, or rejection in their lives. As a counselor, my unique insight gives me the ability to help women overcome issues with codependency, people-pleasing, internalized false beliefs, and the loss of identity among other things. I also specialize in helping women recover their trust and faith in men after losing their godly view of them due to past experiences or relationships.
What Makes Faith-Based Counseling Unique?
Because so many of my clients are vulnerable females, I understand how important it is to feel emotionally safe and comfortable in your surroundings. When my husband, Dave, and I started Life Training Christian Counseling in 2007, it was in the living room of our house—a stark departure from traditional therapeutic environments, which can feel unnatural and clinical.
Ever since, we have attempted to mirror that homey atmosphere by designing our office to feel as warm, uplifting, and relaxing as possible. In that space, there’s never any judgment or blame—only the goal of resolving the issues at hand and enabling you to connect to the power of healing through your relationship with God.
Many counselors seek to distance themselves from clients relationally and spiritually, essentially rendering therapy an incomplete practice. In contrast, what makes my approach to healing unique is that it takes into account these often unacknowledged dynamics of a person’s life. Faith, hope, and spirituality are integral parts of who we are as humans, and connecting to those elements is crucial for living a happy, fulfilling life.
I always strive to be authentic, genuine, and tender so you can feel comfortable trusting me with your story. And you can rest assured that our sessions will never be pretentious, clinical, or cloaked in a religious agenda. Rather, I want to be transparent in our collaboration to help you meet the goals you have set for yourself.
For couples who are seeking preventative maintenance or help with resolving issues in their marriage, my husband and I offer a very unique approach to counseling. Unlike most relationship counselors, we’ll meet with you and your spouse as a husband and wife team so that both you and your partner are represented equally in our sessions. That means that no one person ever has to be afraid of being judged or getting trapped in a one-sided conversation.
My Philosophy And How Faith-Based Counseling Works
Many people live with a sense of brokenness that has claimed a part of their being or forced them to make bad decisions in life. But I believe that God has provided the way for each of us to move forward from the brokenness of our past and reclaim our wholeness through an intimate relationship with Christ. Working together, we can find ways of resolving old wounds that have cast a shadow over your life through compassionate support, biblical guidance, and an enhanced relationship with God
When we first meet, I’ll use a temperament assessment called the Arno Profile System (APS) to identify your basic needs and the characteristics of your make-up so we can tailor a treatment strategy that’s right for you. Using data gathered through the APS, I’ll help you gain a better understanding of yourself, your in-born temperament, and what you need to reduce stress, move beyond the past, and come to a place of positivity and hope.
Throughout our sessions, we’ll use the wisdom of scripture, guided meditation, and prayer to supplement and inform the healing process. In the short-term, I can help you reduce or alleviate whatever is currently causing you stress or conflict in your life. But ultimately, I want to help you love and accept yourself for who you are—to enrich your relationship with Christ so you can see life through the lens of God’s unconditional love and grace.
Ann Ralston will complete her bachelor’s degree in Christian counseling from Cornerstone University later this year (2020), and she possesses an associate’s degree in Therapy Sciences from Madisonville Community College. She is involved in her local church with worship, volunteering, serving, and leading. Ann is a trained facilitator of inner healing, a leader of Celebrate Recovery, and an active member in her community through local needs-based and non-profit services organizations. She is also certified as both a Christian Counselor and a Temperament Counselor by the National Christian Counselors Association. Ann and Dave offer in-person counseling services in Middletown, KY, as well as online therapy sessions via FaceTime or Zoom.