Patrick Cayouette, LMSW
Primary Staff Clinician
Online Christian Marriage Counselor
Fee: $125 per session
As a Christian marriage counselor, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of different denominations and faiths. My job is not to preach or convert, but to offer the Christian foundation to those who are desiring to include their faith in their therapeutic process. This does not mean I only work with Christians, however. I am open to working with everyone without judgment and with dignity. With that being said, I do bring in a Christian perspective as it is a major part of my life.
If we only had more faith or prayed more, we could get through these challenges on our own or God will heal the relationship. While this is possible, it is not always the case. Many times the grace that God offers us is through the help of others. In Matthew 18, it is stated that if things cannot be solved between two individuals, they must include a third. An online Christian marriage counselor, holding the same morals and values, can be this third and neutral person.
Couples should only bring their problems to their pastors or church leaders. This may be a possibility for some, but many pastors openly admit that they are neither qualified nor available to provide the comprehensive and effective support a couple may need.
Including the secular or therapeutic models in the counseling process is scary. Like receiving a God-given medical procedure for our physical needs, God has also provided many potential treatment options for our relational and emotional challenges. A Christian therapist will balance the two worlds and bring a more holistic approach. The Christian therapist includes all aspects of the client and couple: physical, social, emotional and spiritual.
For Christian couples, there are many benefits to including the spiritual faith-based aspect to the counseling process.
First, the philosophy of the counseling will be biblically based. This does not mean it will be a bible or theological study, nor a pastoral type of counseling. However, there will be an inclusion of biblical and spiritual values and morals included in the process. This balances with the understanding and knowledge of the therapeutic practice.
Christian counseling also allows for the opportunity for the couple to grow in their relationship with God, individually and as a couple and/or family. The Christian marriage is often described as a triangular bond (similar to the Trinity) which includes the husband and the wife, connected to each other, and God who connects to both the individuals and the union of the husband and wife.
As a counselor and a practicing Christian, I have discovered that success in therapy includes balance in all aspects of the human person: physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Whether you identify the spiritual as God or as a Higher Power, this is the area which can bring the most hope, meaning and identity to an individual, and especially within the bonds of a marriage.
I strive to work with couples to bring a new, unknown or rekindled true intimacy into a marriage. I believe this is done only through working to change oneself within the marriage instead of changing one’s spouse to change the marriage. We only have the ability to change ourselves.
I also look at the communication between the couple to identify and address resentments, perceptions/assumptions and the power struggle which can develop. I firmly believe that there are aspects in the client’s past, the baggage, which is brought into the relationship dynamic which also needs to be addressed and changed in the present. (It is not mom and dad’s fault.) I believe that every marriage is mendable if each spouse is open to the grace and healing of God, has 100% commitment to their marriage and spouse, and acknowledges what they bring to the table instead of focusing on their spouse’s faults. I will not promise an easy process but a challenging one which will lead to a more meaningful and genuinely intimate and spiritual relationship. Marriage is the means to come closer to God individually, as well as to assist your spouse in his or her walk with God.
Some of the resources that I have found to be beneficial to the process of leading couples include the work of John and Julie Gottman, two leading relationship experts, and the Theology of the Body, a Christian teaching and philosophy which illuminates the meaning of the Christian marriage and the accentuation of the couple’s purpose. I also have a familiarity of the Prepared Enrich Program for premarital counseling and the Couple to Couple League for Natural Family Planning.
Growing up in Enfield, Connecticut, I attended Franciscan University for my undergrad degrees of Mental Health and Social Work. While there I also had the opportunity to study Sociology and Theology.
At first, Social Work was not my first choice of degrees. I started off as a Biology major, but quickly learned that I was not meant to be a veterinarian. This adventure in my freshman year was not a completely bad thing, because it is in those initial biology classes I came to know my now wife Amanda. (We actually met on the way to our first of four classes together and my first college class ever.) After my academic hit of reality, I decided I would give Social Work a try. The way I look at it, I was meant to meet my future wife before finding my educational niche.
After I graduated, I took on a job as a youth minister for a small parish. It was over this year that Amanda and I were engaged and decided to move to her home area of Western New York near Rochester. We were married in 2001 and settled in a small town just south of Rochester.
Upon moving to the area, I was hired by the local county as a mental health case manager where I worked for about seven years. Deciding to further my career and family, I started a Masters of Social Work (MSW) program and we had our daughter Gabrielle within the same month.
I graduated with my MSW in August 2007 from Roberts Wesleyan College with a concentration on Marriage and Family. Since graduating, I have had the opportunity to work as a counselor as well as a medical social worker for families with children experiencing potentially life threatening and terminal illnesses.
I have had the opportunity to work as a counselor over a number of years for various populations including high risk families, families facing the illness and loss of a child, individuals and couples.
Over the past few years of working in a small Christian counseling agency, I have narrowed my focus to couples and men.
My work with men has focused on the daily challenges faced by men in today’s society such as depression, fatherhood, addiction (pornography, sexual, substances, etc.) and general life challenges.
Couples in today’s society have a numbers of distractions and challenges never faced by any society. Couples struggle to communicate on an intimate level with the bombardment of media, long work hours, financial struggles, children and the overall busyness of life. My goal in marital counseling is to help people to learn about themselves first, to be the healthiest and most loving they can be for their spouse. I see marriage as sacrificial and hard work, yet it is through this hard work and commitment that the couple can grow closer and stronger – individually and relationally.
My family life is the most important thing to me. My wife Amanda is my best friend and love of my life. Since we met, we’ve always managed to stay close friends, whether dating or not, and we were almost always seen together. Over the years that we have been married, we have been able to overcome many hurdles and we have always come out stronger on the other side.
In 2003, we had our daughter Gabrielle, the most amazing person in my life. Being our only living child, she is our precious gem who keeps us busy playing hockey, baseball, piano, and horseback riding over and above her homeschooling. We are a hockey family. During hockey season, it seems like we live our lives at the rink whether it be for our daughter or for our local AHL team, the Rochester Amerks.
Besides hockey, I find enjoyment in meeting up with friends for coffee, staying active (running) and family outings. I am active in my church, working with the youth and in other ministries. I am a board member and the National Director of Member Services for Catholic Social Workers National Association.
I look forward to working with you. Please contact me today for a free 15 minute consultation or to book a full session. You can use the contact form below to reach me at any time.
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