the reclaimed soul

refreshing the weary through Christian counseling

Thank you for your interest in Jana Schmitt Counseling.  I've chosen to call my site the reclaimed soul because I think it conjures up an interesting image of the transformation that occurs through the counseling process.  

Designers and furniture builders who prefer reclaimed wood as their pallet will tell you there is an art to finding the pieces worth salvaging.  They search out the wood with cracks, warping and imperfections because this gives their creation character and uniqueness.  

In Ephesians 2:10, God says that we are His masterpiece, His workmanship.  He chooses us, with all of our cracks and imperfections, to be unique reflections of His character.  Each of us is a work in progress, created with an innate desire to know and be known, to love and be loved.  

When we don't know how to get these needs met in healthy ways, we can fall into unhealthy, destructive cycles in an attempt to feel loved and valued.  Our efforts may seem to work for awhile, but eventually there is a life crisis and we break.  If this is where you are, I believe counseling can help.

Or perhaps this is not your story but you find yourself struggling with depression, excessive worry and anxiety, insomnia, relationship conflicts, loneliness, prolonged grief over a loss, or difficulties with seasons of life transition.  I believe counseling can help you as well.

I welcome the opportunity to hear from you and to come alongside you as an active participant and advocate in your journey out of the darkness into the full, abundant life for which you were made.

 

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Welcome to the Reclaimed Soul!

 

Whether or not we acknowledge it, we all have a longing for connection.  I'm talking about that deep soul kind of connection where you know the other person "gets" you.  Curt Thompson, M.D. (Anatomy of the Soul) calls it the power of "feeling felt".  It's that feeling you get when the person you're with is actually experiencing the same feelings you are because you've connected on a deeper emotional level.  

 

Turns out this kind of interaction really does transform us.  When we connect with another human being this way, new pathways form in our brains and chemicals are released that result in emotions like "happy" and "safe".  Advances in technology have offered us a glimpse at the inside working of our brains and the evidence is showing us, not surprisingly, that healthy mental and emotional functioning is contingent upon a certain amount of connectedness with others.

 

But unfortunately in this hectic, fast-paced, hyper-connected, technological age we live in, we often find ourselves feeling lonely, dissatisfied, restless ... unfulfilled.  Living in a constant state of heightened stress levels takes its toll. Seasons of life transition, changes in health, finances, relationships, the loss of a loved one, divorce, kids leaving for college or a combination of life events can take on a compound effect.   Sometimes for seemingly no reason at all, life just seems to go from vibrant color to gray.  Joy is elusive and you can't quite figure out what happened.

 

Here's the good news.  Research in neuroscience and brain chemistry is revealing that we can, in fact, "re-wire" our brain circuitry.  When you tell your story to an empathic listener or engage in a caring community or pay attention to unhealthy thought patterns or the lies you tell yourself and make a conscious choice to tell yourself the truth, you are actually changing the structure and chemistry of your brain!  This offers much hope for those who feel stuck in cycles of shame, depression, anxiety and loneliness.  And these are precisely the kinds of things we can work on within the context of a counselor-client relationship.  

 

To be loved and not known is comforting but superficial.
To be known but not loved is our greatest fear.
— Tim Keller

If you have questions or would like to learn more, I would love to hear from you!

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