Information

Christopher Cleaver

Christopher Cleaver Christopher Cleaver B.S., M.A, M.A.
  • Counselor

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Schooling

B.S. - Interdisciplinary Studies, Corban University; M.A - Counseling, Western Seminary; M.A. - Biblical and Theological Studies, Western Seminary.

Why I became a counselor

When I was a client, my counselor was wonderful.  He provided the type of acceptance that I believe Jesus provides.  It was in this relationship that I found the room to look at some of my relationships and how I could improve them.  When I saw how powerful the counselor/client relationship could be, I decided that I wanted to pass on to others what had been given to me.  Now I am honored to be a part of the healing that God engages in with my clients.

Expertise

I specialize in counseling couples, helping people who are experiencing spiritual difficulties, people with depression and anxiety symptoms, and people with unwanted sexual behaviors.  Also, I have training in and really love working with clients who are from cultures different than my own. 

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC).  Additionally, I have been trained in PREPARE/ENRICH for working with couples as well as ASIST suicide intervention.

Spiritual Journey

Growing up in a Christian home afforded some real great benefits.  I developed a trusting relationship with Jesus before I can remember.  Very early I internalized messages from the Church about what it meant to be a Christian.  I consistently struggled with shame and guilt because I was not the Christian that I could be.  I came to believe that I should always feel close to God and that I should always derive spiritual pleasure from spiritual disciplines.  Over the last ten years I began to reexamine who I perceive Jesus to be.  I am now more committed to Jesus than I ever have been (and not just for the consolation he provides) and I am growing to put everything else in a subjugated position to him.  I am immensely grateful to Jesus for accepting me as I am.  Sometimes this spiritual journey is not fun or comfortable and sometimes its hard work, but it is becoming full of joy and gratitude.   As of late Jesus is showing me how he has always been passionate about justice and that I also should follow him in promoting shalom (peace) here on earth.

Philosophy of counseling

God has created us to be in harmonious relationship with him, others, ourselves and creation.  We continually break shalom by usurping his design.  Now, we are all doing our best to build and remain in relationship, but we tend to use dysfunctional interpersonal patterns.  Not only are we impaired in relationship, but others are as well, creating dysfunction on a systemic scale.  Therefore, we experience injustice, alienation and pain that only can be healed in right relationship.  My responsibility as a counselor is to create the conditions under which my clients and I can experience a healthy human relationship.  Through this relationship not only can we experience right relationship, but, like a relationship laboratory, we can also see the patterns in the client’s relationships. Then, we can identify how external forces and personal behaviors might change so that the client’s relationships with God, others, themselves and toward creation might better reflect shalom.

Favorite verse

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

 I John 4:18 (NLT)

Favorite quotes

“The first duty of love is to listen.”

-Paul Tillich

A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.

-Pope Francis