photo of Josie Barnard

Josie Barnard, MA, LLPC

Josie earned her M.A. in Counseling Psychology at Moody Theological Seminary -Michigan. Josie's graduate work focused on integrating the science of psychology with Christian theology. Prior to working at the Family Counseling Center, Josie worked as a college minister at the University of Michigan and has worked as a counselor and intern mentor/manager at other Christian counseling clinics in Southeast Michigan. Josie is passionate about engaging with clients in a collaborative process in order to help them achieve their goals related to mental health, interpersonal, spiritual, career, and other concerns and/or opportunities with which they are faced. She places a high value on developing a relationship with her clients that is characterized by understanding, acceptance, and authenticity. Josie lives in the Ann Arbor area with her husband and son.

Q. Josie, how do you find meaning in your work as a counselor?

A. I find a great deal of meaning in devoting myself to helping others grow and heal in their emotional, psychological, relational, and spiritual lives. At the end of the day, I believe that people are the most important part of life and that one of the primary purposes of my own life is to serve and walk alongside others to help them experience greater flourishing. My role as a counselor allows me to spend my time and energy doing just that, and so I find it incredibly meaningful and rewarding.

Q. How do you find the strength to deal with other people's pain and suffering you encounter daily?

A. I am able to face the pain and suffering of others because I find hope in my Christian faith that this life is not all there is, and that significant personal growth and healing are possible. In addition to my faith, I also find strength to deal with my own pain and that of others from the support of my close relationships and from striving to take good care of my mind, body, and soul.

Q. How do you integrate the science of psychology with Christian values as a therapist at the Family Counseling Center?

A. I approach the integration of psychology and Christianity from the view that God has created and designed every aspect of this world, including the brains and bodies of human beings(with which we deal in psychotherapy). I believe that is it certainly possible for the science of psychology to discover the truth about how people operate, grow, and change, and that much of the knowledge and practice in the field of psychology is based upon objective truth -God's truth. However, this is not always the case, and so before adopting new or unfamiliar psychological approaches to helping people, I carefully consider whether the approach is based upon an empirically-validated theory and objective science or whether it is based merely upon someone's subjective idea about life and people. When approaches are based on subjective theory and/or do not align with my worldview as a Christian, I choose not to use those approaches.

Q. What do you say to clients who are not Christian who seek services from you?

A. Whether someone is a Christian or not, I believe that all people are significant, that all people are worthy of being treated with dignity, and that there is much I can learn from anyone. Christian or not, I believe that we all have much in common and so I feel compassion for the pain and problems people experience. As a counselor, my Christian faith certainly influences the values and perspectives I bring to the therapeutic process. I seek to be honest with my clients about where I am coming from as a counselor when necessary while still respecting their values and seeking to help them in the context of their life and value system.

Family Counseling Center
2301 Platt Rd. Suite 10
Ann Arbor, MI 48104