Counseling Mental Health
Mark Wells (MA/BC 04)
According to the National Institute of Health, 1 in 4 adults in America (e.g. your family, friends, coworkers and congregations) will be diagnosed with a mental health issue, and 1 in 17 will be suffering from severe and persistent mental health concerns. Source
Greetings from Colorado Springs, CO! This is Mark Wells. Some of my favorite memories from DTS are the comrade and support from fellow MABC students and faculty, living on campus and getting to know international students, playing in the yearly golf tournament with profs like Dr. French Jones, and singing “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name” at the top of my lungs in chapel! The training and support from the profs and staff from DTS and my practicum sites, the character refining of key relationships, and the emotional and financial support from family, friends, and church have helped equip me for the “good works he prepared in advance for me to do (Eph. 2:10).”
I never imagined where God would take me as a result. But now almost 10 years later, I see a little more clearly what He was up to, so I wanted to share how God is using the training I received from DTS in blessing and empowering those living with severe and persistent mental illness.
Since graduating, God (and a connection from DTS!) brought me out to Colorado where I’ve been working as a therapist here in various settings: Shelterwood teen group home, DHS referred in-home therapy, and for the past 6 years at a large community mental health center here in Colorado Springs (Aspen Pointe). I’m now a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
I met my wife Jessica, a Moody and Denver Seminary graduate, who works for Young Life. We’ve been married almost 7 years and blessed with two boys Ben (4) and Asher (2).
I have the privilege of counseling and ministering to people who live daily with varying degrees of mental health challenges, including severe and persistent mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Major Depression, Personality Disorders, substance abuse, etc. These children of God are facing some of life’s most difficult challenges, and often their families, friends, and churches are both at a loss and feel desperate because they don’t know how to help.
As I learned while at DTS, and have seen firsthand since, Christian faith and psychology can often be at odds with one another for a variety of reasons. However, research has consistently shown over and over how crucial it is to integrate the two. I’m blessed to work at an organization that values the role spirituality plays in recovery.
Again and again I hear clients say, “I'm so glad I can talk openly about my faith in therapy!” Clients are often excited to see my credentials from DTS and are eager to talk about Christ and Scripture in therapy.
I'm blessed to get to work with many Christian clients (and staff), and daily I get to watch God’s word give believers healing and hope. I run a therapy group on Spirituality and Recovery, helping clients understand how their spiritual beliefs and values foster mental health. I also give training to staff on integration of spirituality and recovery, and am a consultant for other providers on our team on how to understand and support Christian clients using their faith in their recovery.
With this experience, I’m able to see firsthand how churches and ministries are doing amazing work in caring for those with emotional/behavioral/mental challenges.
I also hear from clients who have felt judged, wounded by their local church and families who tell them their problems are because of a lack of faith.
I hope these resources are empowering to your ministry. Until the day God restores his creation and eliminates mental illness, I look forward to partnering with you in this good work! I would love to hear from you with questions or to catch up. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.