OUR MISSION: Cultivating healthy lives
We are about “Cultivating healthy lives”. This is no gimmick or fanciful marketing. It is our heartfelt desire, a commitment to ourselves, and most importantly, our commitment to you!
We all have lives that are filled with moments of inspiration, tragedy, and everything in between. Whatever their trajectory, healthy lives are routed in three foundational realities. Being in meaningful, intimate relationships, having a life purpose, meaning, or trajectory, and being a solid, separate self.
Our counseling is committed to upholding these three realities and helping you experience them by using the best in evidence-based approaches. We carefully attend to what the scientific and spiritual literature have taught us about people, and train ourselves to the highest levels in methods that bring these tools to your journey. This translates into a counseling process where we get to know you and discern how to help you cultivate a healthy life by strengthening these three foundations.
Meaningful, Intimate Relationships
In the embrace of a kindred who is kind and loving, the world is a different place. As people, we don’t do well outside of meaningful, intimate relationships. That’s not to say that intimacy or relationships look the same for everyone, but they are important when it comes to cultivating healthy lives. Scientific research, religion, and culture bear witness to this time and again, and there are not many places where science, church, and state can agree.
In healthy relationships, we experience ourselves as worthy and valuable to someone else. Here, we have a place to share our deepest fears and our biggest joys. In these places we can play, relax, and have our eyes met in connection. We are talking of the real safety and connection that many of us often don’t have in our closest relationships. The ache of loneliness is profound, and we long for it to evaporate. When it does, we experience calm and meaning—the meaning of being known, desired, and enjoyed.
Purpose, Meaning & Trajectory
This leads to the second of the three foundations for cultivating a healthy life, finding a purpose, meaning, and trajectory. We understand and respect that the big explanations of life come from different places for different people. At the St. Louis Counseling Center, our foundation starts in God, but we truly welcome others whose foundation and guiding influence is found in something else. No matter what religion or belief system you come from, finding a foundational meaning gives life to our actions, our work, our words, our relationships, our very being! Without a mooring, drifting and confusion are inevitable, but having a mooring, or anchor, provides stability that focuses and enlivens our minds and hearts. Having a mooring, gives us meaning and allows us to flourish and know deep satisfaction. In this experience, it is as though our view of the world shifts, and we start to see clearly with vision and vibrancy. It is remarkable that we get to be active in shaping and finding our life’s purpose, meaning, and trajectory.
Solid, Separate Self
This is the idea of understanding and embracing your individuality and autonomy. Embracing your separate self may include things like:
Knowing where you start and stop.
Understanding where your responsibility is, and just as importantly, accepting where it isn’t.
Understanding how to speak to and care for yourself without your care being on anyone else’s agenda.
Not being stuck as the person others expect you to be, or who you believe they perceive you to be.
Imagine the freedom to express yourself, trust yourself, and direct yourself. It is liberation and sustenance all at once. It comes by finding your edges, feeling them, and starting to live fully within them. Many of us struggle with damage both self-inflicted and from others that can lead us to lose our way. For many, the self is a wonder that has been damaged and lost, but we can find it, lovingly restore it, and treasure it as a precious jewel.
Attending to these three foundations that shore up the complexity of our lives is a task like no other. What could be more precious than yourself with purpose, meaning, and trajectory, and enjoying that life purpose in the vitality of intimate-relationships? Cultivating health is a task we know well. Come and cultivate with us. Wisdom, feeling and experience is part of our design, and it allows us to become vital, substantial, grounded, and faceted individuals.