The Busy Life of Resident Nick DeJesus

Nick DeJesusNick DeJesus is a CareNet resident at the Harnett Center in Erwin. His path to CareNet counseling is not all that unusual. He was a chaplain at Wake Med in Raleigh when his supervisor, who is a former CareNet counselor, encouraged him to apply to the CareNet residency.

Like the other residents, during the three-year program, he will see the CareNet clients who do not have insurance or who are underinsured. The residents also meet every month for two days in Winston-Salem with their director, Dr. Russell Jones, as well as other CareNet, Inc. employees. They attend seminars and discuss counseling theory, theological and spiritual integration and practical intervention.

Nick reflected on the uniqueness of spiritual-theological integrated therapy:

Every client I see, at least in my opinion, has spirituality, whether or not they practice or ascribe to any particular faith tradition or religious beliefs.  I believe that when people ask questions about surviving the deepest places of human hurt, or are struggling to make sense of the tragedies they’ve experienced, or are attempting to decide how they are going to keep on living in the face of almost unbearable pain, I believe that part of that journey involves exploring the spiritual dimensions of life as that particular client understands it.  This uniqueness is what attracted me to CareNet, and what I have experienced from working with clients who say this is also what attracted them CareNet.  This weaving together of both the spiritual and the psychological aspects of the human experience not only provides clients with holistic counseling, but it also offers them a deeper sense of meaning and hope for their lives.

 He has also had a profound experience with CareNet thus far.

Many mental health centers and professionals do not understand the value and place of allowing spirituality to be a part of the therapeutic process.  I have found it to be a great honor and privilege to be invited into these kinds of sacred places with my clients. It is indeed “holy ground” to walk these places of darkness and light with another human being. And to be sure, these are not usually easy journeys, but often involve a great deal of uncertainty and difficulty. I know that many have deep spiritual questions, and find themselves alone and isolated in their struggles.  My experience in working with CareNet is that this is the place for people to come – regardless of their beliefs, orientation, socioeconomic status, background or diversity, and receive mental health services from a compassionate professional and organization. From what I’ve experienced thus far – CareNet is hope!

As each resident can attest, his or her “other” life does not stop! Nick is also working on his PhD at Oregon State University, he teaches part-time as an adjunct professor at Campbell University in the counseling program, and he serves a church part-time as a supply pastor in Wilson.

The CareNet residents are a tremendous group of counselors. We hope you will get to know Nick and the others a bit better over the next few newsletters.


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