Who Am I?


Sheldon Swartz, LMFT

Obviously if any kind of relationship is going to be helpful it matters who the person is that you are looking to assist you and what they believe and how they would work with you. Much of that is learned through the actual experience of relating to that person, but sometimes it helps to have a bit of background and context. Here’s a bit of that:

First, personally, my wife Velma and I have been learning about ourselves and each other in the context of marriage since the summer of 1975. We have four children (two girls, two boys), all of whom are married and have children of their own, which makes us grandparents to 13 children. We enjoy the uniqueness of each!

A foundational belief of mine is that each life has immense value, though it may not always seem so on the surface. Many times we must dig below the surface to see more clearly what makes a person tick and to understand why they do what they do. When people feel understood they are much more able to make healthy choices, and in making those choices they relate to life in a way that lets it unfold more naturally rather than trying to control it. This frees up them and their relationships to be more nurturing and supportive rather than driven by anxiety and fear of loss of control.

I received my MA in Biblical Counseling from Grace Theological Seminary under Dr. Larry Crabb and Dr. Dan Allender in 1984, and I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. As an ordained minister and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors I have 25+ years counseling experience. With my ability and privilege to connect deeply with those experiencing mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges, I work with clients in such a way that the wonder and beauty of life becomes more evident as they work through their suffering. Whether it is working with individuals, couples, or families, I help each identify and lessen or remove the blocks to healthy relationships, and so that the love each wants to give and receive has room to grow.

Depression, addictions (especially sexual addiction), the effects of childhood trauma, abuse, anxiety, grief, loss, and issues of spirituality in all stages of life are issues that I address with my knowledge and experience.

I received some training in spiritual direction at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. As I would work with clients in counseling I was aware that what’s going on in a client’s life often has a spiritual component to it, and I wanted to help clients access that resource as they dealt with the issues on the surface. So I pursued further training in order to be more helpful in honoring client’s longings for deep connection and acceptance of self in relationship with their Creator.

I especially enjoy working with the mystery of life and how God uses difficulties we encounter to bring to the surface our deepest longings and desires. Light is always more powerful than darkness. As we sincerely seek the light, our ways of seeing and living are sometimes quickly, but more often slowly, transformed into the way of Love. Feel free to contact me today to learn more information.