I am the Executive Director of The Workshop Counseling, an activity-oriented, faith-based, non-profit counseling center becoming established in the mid-cities area of DFW. My church—Shady Oaks Baptist Church in Hurst—has given me the run of our Student Building during the week, where I meet with clients on a regular basis. While the majority of my clients prefer the traditional approach of sitting in my office during our sessions, some clients seem more comfortable picking up a pool cue or a game controller—or even occasionally a golf club—and conducting our session in the context of an activity. We desire to eventually have a dedicated facility in which the variety of activities can be widened to meet the needs of a much larger variety of people—especially those within our community who have not been able to afford quality therapeutic mental health care. In addition to an expanded version of The Game Room, (primarily casual community-building activities), we hope to add The Studio (visual arts activities), The Wood Shop (woodworking activities), and The Garage (car restoration activities). At this point, any activity that might be the backdrop of a therapeutic conversation is worth considering.
I am blessed that, embedded within every session, I get an opportunity to affirm and strengthen helpful thoughts, to challenge and correct untrue assumptions, and to model what caring, healthy relationships look like. Connecting thoughts and beliefs with emotions and behavior in the context of empathetic and clear communication is the heart of what I get to do on a daily basis. Most of the time, the client and I specifically invite our loving Heavenly Father into the conversation by ending each session with prayer.
My time at DTS was sweet respite and intense preparation. I cannot imagine doing what I do now without that foundation—specifically the way so many of my professors modeled grace both in and out of the classroom experience. I will never forget it and will strive to emulate their example. Many of the relationships that I count on today for support were forged and strengthened in simple conversations with fellow students. I also greatly miss the opportunities for worship and encouragement that were offered daily in chapel.
I often joke with my clients that I do not really know why it was necessary to learn Greek and Hebrew for me to do what I am doing today, but when I really think about it, every class I took at DTS has added to the richness of God’s character and God’s story for me. Without the things I learned during my time on campus, words like “grace,” “peace,” and “hope” (in whatever language they are spoken) would not have the power to change the lives of my clients and other relationships with which God has blessed me.
Photo: George with the “beautifully ugly” donated truck designated to be the first object of restoration in The Workshop’s new facility.
Photo Credit: George’s 8-year-old grandson Louis.
Editor’s Note: We encourage you to check out George’s ministry at workshopcounseling.org