How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without.

Pope Francis
Address to Congress, September 24, 2015

At Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington (CCDA), our mental health program is known as “Family Services.”

While it is rare for a whole family to come in for counseling, the name really fits.

Whether we are seeing a child or a couple, whether we’re doing group therapy or counseling an individual, it is the family that we are serving.

How Catholic Charities Supports Families with Counseling

As our Catholic anthropology reminds us (Institute for the Psychological Sciences), a mental health problem always has personal and interpersonal repercussions. If a person is depressed, anxious, or violent, it impacts those around him or her, particularly family members. Sometimes, mental health problems are so severe that they can cause severe dysfunction for the family as a whole.

And mental health issues are more widespread than you may think. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration tells us that 1 in 5 American adults will have a mental health condition in any given yearHow many families in our diocese alone will be affected by mental health conditions?

At a time when many government agencies and nonprofits are cutting back on mental health services, we are blessed to have 29 clinicians throughout the Diocese, offering counseling at 15 total locations, including 10 parishes.

Whether the family is weak and threatened or resilient and strong, it impacts the culture and the society as a whole.

“But in families, there is always, always, the cross. Always…But, in families as well, after the cross, there is the resurrection.”

Pope Francis
Address at World Meeting of Families, September 26, 2015

There is always, always, always the cross, Pope Francis reminds us. Difficulties and struggles are not new. The difference is whether there is resiliency, whether there is faith and hope in each other to overcome the cross and rise again.

Resurrection implies more than just recovery or resiliency.

It implies God’s grace as an animating principle of radical, life changing growth. Will the trouble, the cross, lead to hope or to despair?

How Catholic Charities Supports Families with Counseling

We choose hope! With Family Services, our goal is to accompany our clients to bring hope to their personal and interpersonal life with their families.

That is why our clinicians also go to our transformational housing programs, St. Margaret of Cortonafor homeless families and Christ Housefor homeless men, to provide professional counseling to encourage change within their hearts and minds as well as in their behavior. They encourage these homeless families to explore who they really are and what God is calling them to do in this life.

This accompaniment and exploration of life is necessary for all of us. We are grateful for the opportunity to provide this help for those who may not otherwise be able to afford therapy.

Families are in trouble today from within and without, as our Holy Father says.

We are committed to serving the family, particularly poor and troubled families, to help their cross become the resurrection of hope and transformation.

For more information on our Family Services Counseling, contact our Director of Clinical Services, Dr. Michael Horne, at mhorne@ccda.net. To enable us to continue to see suffering families, please go to our donation pageand make a gift today.

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