sexAndPornAddictionSam’s Coaching

What is a Life, Relationship, and Recovery Coach?

Simply put, a coach is a person who comes alongside someone and helps them achieve their goals. The analogy to sports is obvious. Even great athletes need coaches to be their best. In fact, gifted athletes seldom make good coaches because their very giftedness meant they didn’t have to work as hard to achieve greatness. The best coaches are invariably those who had to struggle themselves, to become students of their craft, and to learn to leverage every small advantage to reach their potential.

As a Life, Relationship, and Recovery Coach, I use what I have learned from my education, my 65+ years of life, my 35+ years as a pastor, and my own failures to live up to my potential over the years, as tools to help you find your path forward.
People who have walked with me over the years, my coaches, have been people who spoke the truth in love, who leaned on the side of encouragement, who always assumed the best, and who believed in me even when I did not believe in myself. I try to do that for the people I coach.

I will always be honest with you. I will never judge you. I will listen to you: your dreams and fears, your aspirations and your challenges. We will chart a course together and we will walk together.

Spiritual Direction/Formation?

Spiritual Direction is an ancient art. It is practiced in all the world’s great religions and disciplines. You can find lots of “definitions” of it on the Internet. At its core, it acknowledges that we are whole beings: body, mind, and spirit. It takes all three aspects of our personality seriously. It speaks to the Truth that we are more than what people can see or touch and that there is more to our lives than neural synapses + accumulated experiences.

As I have noted above, I am a Christian and I operate from that world view. Because I am a Christian, I believe each person is made in the image of a loving God, regardless of whether they have religious convictions or not. I have found over the years that we all want the same things in life: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. In short, we all want—even need—to connect with the person we were created to be.

Spiritual Direction begins with finding that quiet voice and learning to listen to it—learning to honor it. Then, as we get in touch with that truer self, we learn to dialogue with it and to learn from it. Then, finally, we learn to walk with it as our guide.
Along the way, we meet others who have gone before and charted a path for us. They are our companions on the way. While it is a journey each person must take on his or her own, it is best taken in the companionship of others.

Come. Let’s walk together.

Couple’s Group for affair recovery

In 2007, Sam had an affair.  Our world came apart but our marriage survived.  We learned a great deal through that experience.   We spent several years rebuilding our lives.  During that time we worked hard, on ourselves (what we each contributed to the breakdown of our marriage) and on our relationship (what we could do to rebuild from the ashes).  We got lots of training, we shed a lot of tears, and we made it work.  In the end, we found it was well worth it.

Along the way, we found that being in a group with other couples who were going through something similar was a God-send.  Many couples have no one to whom they can turn.  They are afraid and ashamed.  They fear no one will understand.

Also, many who do share with friends or even pastors too often get facile, knee-jerk “advice:”  “Leave the jerk today and don’t look back,”  “It’s your duty to stay no matter what,” “Do it for the children,”  “Get him back—Find a lover,” “If you’d been a better wife/husband, this never would have happened,” “Everyone cheats, get over it,” etc.

Our Couple’s Groups for Affair Recovery are places where hurting people feel safe, understood, and affirmed.  These groups are designed to be a safe harbor within the storm.  They are places where honesty is not punished and where easy answers are not offered.  You can expect to find support, wisdom, and hope.

The groups meet for 12-weeks and we have a proven plan for healing hurts and rebuilding your relationship on a new foundation of trust and honesty.

Integrating your faith into your recovery

It should be clear from my biography that spirituality is very important to me.  I have been a pastor for most of my life.  I still work part-time in a church and I teach History and Theology at a seminary.  I try to order my life according the model and teachings of Jesus.

Having said that, I am not naive.  I do not think faith and spirituality is THE answer for every challenge.  Sometimes there are neuro-chemical imbalances that need to be addressed by competent professionals (M.D.s).  Sometimes there are cases of extreme trauma that need to be addressed by specialized techniques such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).  Sometimes there are very real legal and financial issues that need to be addressed by lawyers.  BUT, while I don’t think faith and spirituality is THE answer for every challenge, I DO EMPHATICALLY believe that faith and spirituality are part of the answer for every challenge.

Every 12-Step Recovery program refers the addict to a “higher power.”  All of my training and all of my experience affirms that this connection must exist for recovery to work.  We simply cannot do it on our own.  Trust in a benevolent, powerful, and loving presence in our lives is crucial.  As one person said, “Faith for me is not a crutch, it’s an iron lung.”

Faith and spirituality touch on the point where what we know intersects with what we don’t know.  It’s the line where our truth meets The Truth.  It is a sacred space.

While I operate out of a Christian worldview, I have studied the world’s major religions at Princeton.  I am comfortable working with a variety of faith traditions.  I am not an evangelist.  I will honor your spirituality and work within the context of your value system and worldview.

I will pray with you if you allow me to.

Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.

- Brene Brown