Charles' story

I experienced a breakdown of sorts five years ago. Brought on I thought, by a stressful time at work. I ended up being on sick leave for 4 months. During this period and after much soul-searching I finally surrendered my life to Christ. In that respect I’m glad I went through it all.


However, five years on from that life changing experience I was to suffer a much more serious breakdown. At first I blamed it on another stressful event going on in my life. Eventually – with the help of others' perspective – I saw that event merely as the tipping point.


Though Christ had changed my life dramatically it became clear that there were still issues/hurts from my childhood that exerted a damaging influence on my thoughts and behaviour. I could not know real healing until these had been properly examined and dealt with.  


Although Dove were recommended to me early on as a source of help, I was reluctant at first to go down this route, preferring a self help approach using books. Reading Neil T Anderson’s Victory over the Darkness and The Bondage Breaker helped me greatly. Eventually though I realised further help was necessary. Deciding to call Dove was, itself, a major step in the healing process.  


At my initial assessment session I shared where I was at, shared much of my life and speculated on what had brought me to where I was now. Pondered on how one thing led to another. What I hoped Dove and the counselling could do for me. It just poured out.


In the following weeks we explored more deeply, various childhood issues/past hurts that had been buried for many years. The counsellors brought a fresh perspective on matters, grounded in Biblical truth. I found the process very therapeutic. I was also directed to excellent books very relevant for my situation.


A crucial part in the healing process was really coming to know who I was in Christ - my primary identity as a child of God. Although I thought I had come to know this since becoming a Christian, the Dove counsellors questioned whether this head knowledge had really transferred to my heart. The past hurts and unhealthy thinking, stemming from my childhood, were preventing this. I’d been leaning on other identities I’d constructed for myself over the years. My breakdown had occurred when these had fallen apart.


Over the sessions I was led through a process of forgiveness. This involved forgiving others for hurting me  I also asked for forgiveness for different things I had done, including believing lies rather than God's truth.  I hadn't been aware of this as a choice before and I came to see the freedom I could experience by choosing to believe the truth and reject lies. Past vows I had made were also examined and broken. A real and powerful release was experienced as this process was completed.


It has now been a few weeks since my final Dove session. I really do feel a deep healing has taken place in my life. A new level of freedom has been found. I look daily to my primary identity as a child of God through my Saviour Jesus. I have a new awareness of Satan’s tactics. Knowing who I am in Christ equips me to stand against these. He now knows this!  I have already been sharing my experiences to help others and am looking forward with great anticipation and excitement to what God has in store for me next!


I am deeply grateful for the professionalism, patience and love shown to me throughout by my Dove Counsellors. Thank you again!