How Do I Know If I Need Counseling: A Catholic Mental Health Assessment

Welcome back to Catholic Link, where we delve into topics that intersect faith and daily life. Today, we’re privileged to sit down with Catherine DiNuzzo, a Catholic Counselor who desires to help you grow in mental wellness to avoid a mental health crisis and empower you with resources to strengthen your mental health, from Sacred Heart Mental Wellness.

“Seeking guidance doesn’t diminish our faith but strengthens it, recognizing that God works through various means, including counseling, to bring about healing and restoration.”

Catherine DiNuzzo

In our conversation, Catherine eloquently outlines the journey of mental wellness from a Catholic viewpoint. She divides it into three stages, starting with what she terms “the whole.”

Stage 1: The Whole We all carry “holes” within us, remnants of past traumas, disappointments, or self-perceived inadequacies. Catherine beautifully illustrates how these holes manifest as desires unmet or aspects of ourselves we wish were different. Often, we try to fill these voids with temporary fixes—what she calls “sand.” These could be substances like drugs or alcohol, unhealthy behaviors like overeating or under-exercising, or even toxic thought patterns.

Stage 2: Coping Mechanisms In this stage, Catherine advocates for recognizing the need to address these holes directly. Rather than continually filling them with sand, we must lay a foundation—a basement, as she describes it—rooted in healthy coping mechanisms. This entails confronting our past, acknowledging our wounds, and embracing our identity beyond our struggles. As Catherine shares from her own experience, it’s about shifting from being defined by our wounds to recognizing them as part of our story without letting them dictate our identity.

Stage 3: Maintenance Once we’ve established this foundation, the journey doesn’t end. We must actively maintain our mental wellness, applying the tools and strategies learned along the way. This stage involves integrating our faith into our daily practices, viewing ourselves as beloved children of God, and striving for alignment with His will. It’s about embracing our inherent worth and living out our purpose with confidence and grace.

The Intersection of Faith and Mental Wellness What sets Catherine’s approach apart is its foundation in Catholic principles. She emphasizes that mental wellness isn’t divorced from our faith but rather intricately woven into it. By grounding our healing journey in the truths of our faith, we find a deeper sense of purpose, hope, and resilience.

Seeking Help Acknowledging when we need help is crucial. Catherine encourages us to listen to the nudges of the Holy Spirit, prompting us to seek assistance when we’re stuck in unhealthy patterns. Seeking guidance doesn’t diminish our faith but strengthens it, recognizing that God works through various means, including counseling, to bring about healing and restoration.

Conclusion As we wrap up our conversation, it’s evident that mental wellness is a multifaceted journey—one that requires honesty, vulnerability, and a steadfast reliance on God’s grace. By embracing our humanity and integrating our faith into every aspect of our lives, we can build a foundation of lasting wellness.

Thank you for joining us today. We hope this discussion has shed light on the importance of prioritizing mental wellness within the framework of our Catholic faith. Remember, you are not alone on this journey. Let’s continue to support and uplift one another as we strive for wholeness in mind, body, and spirit.

Looking To Learn More?

Recommended Read: The Catholic Guide Through Anxiety: Sacred Heart Mental Wellness

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