Mark Sensabaugh, LPC, LMFT
The world we live in provides ample opportunity to experience relational pain, confusing life experiences, and circumstances that expose growth areas and distortions in our perceptions. I love the picture of our lives being a journey in which we face a variety of different seasons . . . winters of loss, stillness, and quiet reflection . . . spring times of new life and discovery . . . warm summers of growth . . . and autumns of harvests and the realization that life as we know it is coming to a close.
As a therapist who believes that healthy attachment and close relational bonds are significant to each of us being and becoming all we are intended to be, partnering with a counselor may be a stepping stone to learning to relate in healthy ways. I love the privilege of being able to come alongside my clients and partner to navigate their journey.
I am a native of the Shenandoah Valley and have lived all but 5 years of my life in the beauty of this area. I met my closest friend—who in 1980 became my wife—as a student at Bridgewater College before receiving my undergraduate degree in Social Work at Eastern Mennonite University in 1981. Nine years later, as a young husband and father of two young daughters, I moved my family to the Virginia Beach area to complete my Masters in Counseling at Regent University, where I worked and attended school full time. In 1995, I began counseling as a Licensed Professional Counselor and by 1997 completed requirements to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. As an active member in my faith community, I became ordained as a Ministry Pastor at my local church, where I served for eleven years before moving to another congregation in Virginia Beach to serve for three years. After moving back to the valley in 2007, I began counseling in a local non-profit Christian agency and am now joining Journey Counseling. At this season in my life I enjoy: being a grandfather of two grandsons, section hiking the Appalachian trail with a good friend, having my own parents now share our home, reading, journaling, life coaching, regular exercise and landscaping.
I was raised in a two parent home as the middle of three sons. Sadly, I experienced sexual abuse by a family acquaintance at age ten that launched me into my adolescent years with a great deal of shame and confusion about these experiences. In my late teens, I encountered the transforming love of Christ and began to sort through my shame, confusion, and isolation.
I was blessed to receive counseling training in a program that openly discussed how faith and therapy can be integrated in practice. For the Christ follower, there is a storehouse of resources available to us, and a great counselor in the person of Holy Spirit.
Perhaps you find yourself in a difficult season and in need of someone to partner with you as you navigate this section of your journey. Maybe you are in a season of disillusionment, wondering if your marriage can survive a metaphorical winter. Maybe you’ve experience depression or anxiety and you’re wondering whether spring will come again.
Whatever has brought you to the Journey website, you may be standing at a fork in the trail. One path may lead to repeating past mistakes, the other to navigating new healthier season in your journey. I would be honored to partner with you.