Church offers counseling to bridge spirit and mind

August 20, 2010|By HEATHER LOWERY

Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown has begun providing a counseling office to help people overcome life's problems.

Bridge of Life uses a Christ-centered psycodynamic model of therapy for sexual and physical abuse, and for most mental disorders, including personality, mood, behavioral, sexual, anxiety and identity/dissociative.

Dianne Kleckner, the primary counselor, has been at Bridge of Life for two years. She holds bachelor's and a master's degrees in Christian counseling from Christian Bible School and Seminary.

Kleckner also studied at Oral Roberts University and is completing three final courses to obtain a doctoral degree.

"I have a degree in Christian counseling, the pastor works on marriage counseling, and we have volunteers that help with life issues," Kleckner said.


Kleckner said the church primarily deals with marriage counseling, and she deals with issues such as anxiety, mental and personality disorders, and sexual and physical abuse.

"I have been counseling for 10 years," she said.

The church's services are free. Kleckner charges $50 an hour for her services.

"I do the majority of the counseling, and it costs money because it is professionally done," Kleckner said.

Kleckner said she believes her education has been an important part of her success as a counselor.

"I couldn't do it, or I wouldn't be able to do it correctly. I wouldn't be able to do as much as I do if I didn't have the right training," she said.

Kleckner said that counseling is open to anyone, even people who are not a part of the Bridge of Life Church family.

Kleckner and Bridge of Life use Christ-centered therapy, but she stresses the importance of the psychological aspect of counseling.

"We kind of mix biblical counseling with pyschology because a person is made up of body, mind and soul. If we don't study the psychological part of the person, we can't treat them," she said.

Although the counseling office is at the church at 14 S. Potomac St. in Hagerstown, Kleckner does not treat patients with the Christ-centered model if they are not church members or if they are unbelievers.

"I don't preach at them unless I have the ability to help them that way. I had the extra training to treat them without that," Kleckner said.

Pastor Jim Davies works as a marriage counselor and is available to help with marital restoration.

Pastor Terry King and Pastor Linda Barnhart work on inner-church issues.

Carol Poyner, a volunteer counselor, counsels women of the church.

Information about scheduling a session may be made by calling 301-791-1674 or by sending e-mail to">

More information about the church can be obtained at More information about counseling can be found at

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