At St. Raphael M. H. Counseling, PC, we offer individual, couples and group counseling. We work from a “Catholic perspective” which means that we adhere to the official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church in our view of and belief in the dignity of the human person as well as in the advice and counsel that we offer.
We combine sound psychological expertise and techniques with this Christian philosophy to heal the whole person. Our Catholic approach does not mean that you must be a practicing Catholic to benefit from our services. We work with and respect the faith traditions of people from all faith perspectives and also with those who do not adhere to a faith perspective.
Individuals, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder/Scrupulosity, Addictions, Eating Disorders, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Depressive Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post Abortion Syndrome
men's issues, co-dependency, gender affirmation
THE FOLLOWING EXCERPTS DESCRIBE THE OFFICIAL ROMAN CATHOLIC TEACHING ON CERTAIN PERTINENT SUBJECTS. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING EXCERPTS AND INDICATE IF YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THE STATEMENT. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT ON EACH ONE IN THE FIELD PROVIDED.
"For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the birth of their children."… "Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality."… " 'every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil'." (Catechism 2368, 2370) Please indicate if you agree or disgree.
In a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy. The expression "free union" is fallacious: what can "union" mean when the partners make no commitment to one another, each exhibiting a lack of trust in the other, in himself, or in the future? The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage, rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term commitments. All these situations offend against the dignity of marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense of fidelity. They are contrary to the moral law. The sexual act must take place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion. Some today claim a "right to trial marriage" where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, "the fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it from inconstancy of desires or whim." Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and a woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate "trial marriages." It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another." (Catechism , 2390, 2391)
"Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. … Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that 'entrust the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children'. … Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person." (Catechism 2376, 2377)
"From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a "criminal" practice, gravely contrary to the moral law. … Because it should be treated as a person from conception, the embryo must be defended in its integrity cared for, and healed like every other human being. (Catechism 2322, 2324)
The church recognizes a validly contracted sacramental marriage as indissoluble. In therapeutic practice, we are to presume the validity of a sacramental marriage "unless, after examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, [the marriage is declared null, i.e., that the marriage never existed, in which case ] the contracting parties are free to [re]marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged." (Catechism 1629) "The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law." (Catechism 1649) "The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion." (Catechism 1665)
"Intentional euthanasia, whatever its forms or motives, is murder. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator." (Catechism 2324)
"Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarily. Under no circumstances can they be approved. The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection." (Catechism 2357, 2358, 2359)
New Age involves a fundamental belief in the perfectibility of the human person by means of a wide variety of techniques and therapies (as opposed to the Christian view of cooperation with divine grace). (18.104.22.168)
It is difficult to separate the individual elements of New Age religiosity – innocent though they may appear – from the overarching framework which permeates the whole thought-world on the New Age movement. The gnostic nature of this movement calls us to judge it in its entirety. From the point of view of Christian faith, it is not possible to isolate some elements of New Age religiosity as acceptable to Christians, while rejecting others.
The New Age concept of God is rather diffuse, whereas the Christian concept is a very clear one. The New Age god is an impersonal energy, really a particular extension or component of the cosmos; god in this sense is the life force or soul of the world. … Even when “God” is something outside myself, it is there to be manipulated.
This is very different from the Christian understanding of God as the maker of heaven and earth and the source of all personal life… God is not identified with the Life-principle understood as the “Spirit” or “basic energy” of the cosmos, but is that love which is absolutely different from the world, and yet creatively present in everything, and leading human beings to salvation. (Excerpted from “Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian reflection on the “New Age”. (Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue)).
Common New Age practices include the use of enneagrams, labyrinths, reiki healing, yoga, transcendental meditation, healing by crystals, psychic healing, reflexolgoy, tarot cards, palm reading, recourse to mediums and psychics, fortune telling and contacting the dead. There are many other practices and techniques that go by various names that are variations of these basic practices and are similarly at odds with Christian faith and are therefore to be rejected.
David graduated in 2006 with a MA in counseling from Franciscan University of Steubenville and with a Certificate of Concentration in Christian Counseling. David has worked for over 4 years in a secular setting doing both group and individual counseling with a variety of disorders and issues. He is excited to be working as a Catholic therapist since true healing comes from God. David is a member of the CPA (Catholic Psychotherapy Association), AACC (American Association of Christian Counselors) and NARTH (National Association of Research and Therapy for Homosexuality).