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Therapy + Theology with Carley Marcouillier

with Carley Marcouillier

Therapy + Theology with Carley Marcouillier Episodes
When You Hit the Wall: Understanding Deconstruction with Kristi Gaultiere
September 28, 2022 - 38 min
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
“I leave church feeling shame or anger”
“I don’t know if I believe anymore”
“I’ve blown it and God is mad at me.”

Have you found yourself thinking these things? You’re not alone. These are the kinds of confessions Kristi hears in her counseling office all the time. And what she tells her clients is what she wants to tell you today: Your questions are normal, healthy, and God will use them as we come to understand the grace available to us.

Deconstruction does not necessarily mean you are leaving the faith. In fact, it’s often a normal part of the Christian faith journey. Today, we’ll look at what it means to deconstruct and reconstruct our faith when we hit the spiritual wall.

Kristi is a psychotherapist and spiritual director for women in ministry and pastors’ wives. She co-leads Soul Shepherding with Bill. She was personally mentored by Jane Willard and Dr. Jan Stoop.

As a pastor’s wife, mother, and ministry professional, Kristi offers empathy and wisdom from her experience personally and as a therapist who has spent many thousands of hours caring for people. Kristi enjoys speaking, training, teaching, consulting, counseling, and retreat leading with Bill, as well as recording their weekly Soul Talks podcast.

In this episode, Kristi and Carley talk about:

1. Our need for mentorship in our spiritual journey: we need people to walk with us through our challenges and sufferings

2. The Christ Stages of Faith

3. Deconstruction, “Hitting the Wall” and the benefits and temptations before and after the Wall

4. Tips for rebuilding faith after deconstruction and soul care practices

5. Creating a journey map of your faith



Journey of the Soul: A Practical Guide to Emotional and Spiritual Growth:

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4 Ways to Develop Distress Tolerance Skills (Decoding Our Distress, Pt 6)
September 22, 2022 - 20 min
We have covered so much these last 5 weeks, and today as we conclude this series, I wanted to take a moment to sit with what we have discovered and practice a few techniques that pair beautifully with common spiritual disciplines to assist in continuing to understand and make time to reflect and process our emotional distress.

You see, what I am learning in the presence of distress and as I sit with my clients day after day, is that our distress points us to our desires and design.

Ronald Rolheiser suggests in his writings that all human souls experience this internal tension by way- of longing, loneliness, desire, restlessness, or other felt emotions.

Yet, there is something we learn in facing our longings and naming the ways we are left wanting… As we chase after things, feelings, experiences, and people, we come to find that these things cannot quench the insatiable soul.

Despite my desire to alleviate my distress or hope it will never return, the question I have been coming to ask instead is this…

How is my soul being shaped by longing?

So, here are a few ways we can practice being shaped by longings.

In the therapy space, we call these distress tolerance skills, and in the church, you may know them as spiritual disciplines. I encourage you to take time to pause & practice these skills and add them to your daily rhythms.

Observation = silence & contemplation

Mindfulness = solitude & practicing God’s presence

Self-Validation = prayer & scripture

Support = Community & Care


The Fire Within - Ronald Rolheiser:

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Learning How to Grieve Well (Decoding Our Distress, Pt 5)
September 15, 2022 - 20 min
What I’ve come to learn through loss is that it shapes us and renames us. “We must grieve to the level we loved” says Andrew Bauman. Unfortunately, our grief is often suppressed or displaced through other emotions. But what if we gave ourselves permission to name our losses? What if this is the path to healing?

In this episode, Carley walks us through –
1. The grief process
2. The signals of grief
3. Why we resist grief
4. What we learn about grief from Jesus
5. What does it look like to lament and engage with our grief


Andrew Bauman's 'Stumbling Toward Wholeness' -

Mayo Clinic on Grief -

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A Better Way to View Our Anger & Resentment (Decoding Our Distress, Pt 4)
September 8, 2022 - 21 min
We all get angry, although maybe some of us do not recognize it or feel the need to deny it. The feelings associated with anger are a part of the human experience. In the therapy space, I often see how anger causes a significant level of distress. If not acknowledged carefully and resolved it will grow into resentment which holds our hearts in captivity, impacting our relationships with God and others.

Anger is like armor, it is powerful and assertive, and vital to protecting our sense of self. In therapy, it is often said that anger is a secondary emotion because it often acts in response to deeper displaced emotions such as fear, anxiety, guilt, and shame.

Questions We Will Consider in this Episode:

1. How do we become a people shaped by righteous anger that reflects God’s character?
2. Cause - What or who is trigger my anger?
3. Quality - What is our focus change or revenge?
4. Expression - What do you choose to do with it?

Other Episodes in Decoding Our Distress Series –

1. Why Do I Feel This Way? (Decoding Our Distress, Pt 1) –
2. Exploring Our Doubts and Fears (Decoding Our Distress, Pt 2) -
3. The Important Difference between Guilt & Shame (Decoding Our Distress, Pt 3) -

Beyond Identity by Dick Keyes:
Liturgy - Every Moment Holy:

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The Important Difference between Guilt & Shame (Decoding Our Distress, Pt 3)
September 1, 2022 - 17 min
We are continuing our series on decoding our distress by asking the question: Why do I feel this way?

Last week, we began with feelings within the spectrum of fear and doubt. Today, I want to explore the feelings of shame & guilt and how we can respond to them through the lens of the gospel.

What is important to note here is the distinction between these two emotions. From a basic definition: guilt addresses one’s behavior whereas shame addresses one’s self-concept.
Brené Brown researcher on shame and best-selling author defines these two experiences by saying:

"Guilt says, “I did something bad, while shame says, “I am bad.”"

So, the first step to understanding standing these distressing emotional states is by recognizing them as signals of significance - They tell us something about what we have done or not done and what we think of ourselves in relation to our experiences.

What are they telling us? And what is it important? That’s what we’ll unpack today.


Daring Greatly by Brene Brown:

Beyond Identity by Dick Keyes:

Psychology, Theology, and Spiritually in Christian Counseling by Mark McMinn:

What Is the Difference Between Guilt and Shame? by Psychology Today:

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Exploring Our Doubts and Fears (Decoding Our Distress, Pt 2)
August 25, 2022 - 15 min
Today, we are going to explore emotions that fall within the category of doubt & fear: worry, anxiety, concern, nervousness, terror, and the list goes on. How we distinguish these words is by their intensity.

The next time you feel doubt or fear, consider:

1. What is this feeling of doubt or fear trying to tell me?
2. What am I believing that is contributing to this feeling?
3. What value is my fear or doubt pointing to?
4. In what ways can our fear and doubt speak to our needs both spiritually and socially?


Make a list of your fears, name your doubts, and bring them to God’s Word. If there is one thing I have learned through this process personally, it is that God is not afraid of our questions, his love is not weakened by our whys, and His word will challenge and change us as we seek to find comfort and courage in his sovereignty and strength.

Isaiah 43:1-4
John 16:33

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Why Do I Feel This Way? (Decoding Our Distress, Pt 1)
August 18, 2022 - 11 min
Whether you are feeler by nature or not, we all have emotions and have been created with the capacity to feel. We all have different experiences when it comes to emotions. How we were raised, and what has been modeled have a large impact on our current relationship with emotions. Although there are a select few emotions that are easy to acknowledge - emotional distress, which is often uncomfortable, is harder to identify, withstand, manage, and understand.

Over the next few weeks, we are going to walk through a mini-series on emotional distress. There is a need for healthy formation in this area of our lives and I believe the bible provides guidance and grace for us to develop the awareness and practices for acknowledging and understanding our emotions- as given by God, to draw us closer to him and others.

What I often see within both therapy and in Christian circles is that many tend to dismiss or even deny the presence or intensity of their emotional experiences. We make excuses for our actions and seek to distract or distance ourselves from whatever distresses us. In addition to this denial, we can assume that such feelings are unholy or display a lack of spiritual maturity.

Our bodies and minds often pay the toll for our attempts to distract ourselves from our emotional distress or the feelings we most often want to deny. We self-medicate and load up our schedules and social calendars to distract ourselves from the reality that something is not right. The consequence of these methods of coping is damaging to both our bodies and our souls.

One of the largest contributors to our emotional crisis currently, is that we have not learned to validate our feelings. This is a systemic issue, passed down through our family culture; we each learn how to deal with or not deal with emotions.

Yet, within the family of God, we are brought into a new perspective when it comes to understanding our emotions and the experiences we face within our broken world.

The purpose of our emotions:

1. Signals of significance
2. Soul aspect of our divine nature
3. Support social and spiritual connection

*Disclaimer* I am excited to walk through this series together and I want to be sure to acknowledge that this educational discussion is not a substitute for therapy. I encourage you to find a counselor and spiritual mentor to walk with you in examining and exploring emotions of distress in addition to supportive resources.

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How Does Therapy Support Spiritual Growth?
August 11, 2022 - 18 min
In this episode, we a looking at the link between therapy and spiritual growth.

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Is Self-Care Biblical?
August 4, 2022 - 19 min
Today, we are tackling a question that has so much relevance today – both from a health perspective, but also from a spiritual perspective. Self-Care – is it biblical, or not? Sometimes, self-care can seem selfish, if not impossible in the busy schedules we maintain.

But what is the effect of that busy lifestyle? We can emphasize what we do for God rather than who we are to him. Often our doing trumps our being. And the result can sometimes be burnout, and then guilt for needing a break.

Admitting that we have needs is NOT a failure. Our need for rest is not only necessary for each of us, but biblical.

In this episode, we discuss:

- The benefits of self-care
- Why self-care is sometimes looked down on (understandably so!)
- How Jesus modeled self-care throughout his earthly ministry
- How to start practicing self-care
- The 4 areas of self-care (Physical/Emotional/Psychological/Spiritual)
- Pete Scazzero’s 4 elements of Sabbath-keeping (stop/rest/delight/contemplate)

Pete Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality -

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Getting Help: Where Do I Begin with Therapy?
July 14, 2022 - 16 min
If you've ever wondered what the first session of therapy is like, this episode is for you. In this episode, I share 3 steps for anyone who is thinking about getting counseling but isn't sure where to start.

Today, we'll walk through each of these steps together:
1. Start with your story
2. Find sacred spaces
3. Seek out spiritual resources

The producers at LifeAudio and I decided to rebrand my original podcast “Reframed: the power of perspective” to Therapy + Theology! My hope is that this change will capture the intention and direction of my purpose in each episode to explore a question or topic that correlates to the intersection between emotional health and spiritual well-being.

Dr. Dan Allender - To Be Told
Dallas Willard - Renovation of the Heart
Brene Brown - Daring Greatly
Daine Poole Heller- Power of Attachment

Psychology Today
Christian Counseling Network

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