Lighthouse Counseling and Coaching

at 123 Amherst St, Winchester, 22601 United States

Marriage & Family Therapy Mental Health Counseling Certified Christian Life Coaching Certified Sexual Addictions Counseling


Lighthouse Counseling and Coaching
123 Amherst St
Winchester , VA 22601
United States
Contact Phone
P: (540) 665-9585
Website
http://lighthousecounselingandcoaching.com/

Description

As a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Virginia, Fred Sabia has been a Marital and Mental Health Therapist for 23 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Theology and a master’s degree in Counseling, both from Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. Prior to going into private practice in 1999, Fred worked in a variety of settings, including a community-based mental health clinic, a psychiatric hospital (Snowden at Fredericksburg), and a residential school for emotionally troubled teenage boys (Timber Ridge School). While residing and doing post-graduate studies abroad in Rome, Italy, Fred established a private practice, Open Door Counseling, which served the English-speaking community from 1999 to 2001. Returning to the states, he worked for two years as a staff therapist for Winchester Professional Counseling. From 2003 to the present, Fred has been the sole owner-operator of Lighthouse Counseling, located in the Old Town section of Winchester, Virginia. In 2014 he expanded his services and renamed the business Lighthouse Counseling and Coaching. Over the years Fred has given workshops on the following topics: Stress Management Healthy Boundaries Raising Boys Depression Healthy Relationships He also does a 4-part seminar based on Wayne Muller’s book, “Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in our Busy Lives”

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Pilgrimage to Israel: A Spiritual Odyssey Fifth Installment “The Galilee” After peeling myself off The Mount we headed out to the lake of many names: Tiberias; Chinnereth; Gennesaret; Sea of Galilee; and also known today as Kam (Lake) Kinneret (“Harp”, because of its shape). As Naim had pointed out on the very first day, there is much dispute about the exact locations of where events occurred throughout the Holy Land. What we know with certainty, he intoned triumphantly, is that THIS is the Sea of Galilee where Jesus walked and Peter stumbled, and THAT is the Jordan River where many, including our Savior, submitted to a rite of repentance and cleansing administered by none other than John The Baptist. We followed our leader single file down a fairly lengthy boardwalk en route to the mysterious waters, the anticipatory excitement building to a buzz. Under a brilliant sky we stepped onto a wooden ship modeled loosely on the shape of an ancient vessel. This larger replica was made possible, we were told, by the discovery of a fishing boat found petrified in the mud and protruding out of drought-induced receding waters. Scientists had confirmed that the marvel dated back nearly two thousand years! And so as each of us in turn climbed aboard, it felt as if we were entering a time machine. I reflexively looked down at my clothing half expecting to see that it had morphed into a 1st Century garment such as that worn by numberless hardy, smelly men who made their living as fishers of fish. It was a little disappointing to see that I was still dressed and decorated like a regular turista---camera, sunglasses, straw hat and all. Boarding at the same time as us, a group of lively Africans huddled onto an adjacent, identical boat. Their collective spirit radiated along with their brightly colored native dress and magnificent smiles. They immediately broke into song and rhythmic clapping as their ship set sail, a floating Pentecostal church. Their rapture spread like a wave of light onto our boat and had an uplifting effect on our already-high spirits. Though we gazed upon and swayed to their celebration almost magnetically, as if in deference to a brighter light, we nevertheless reflected it with our own luminous joy. They were the sun, we the moon. But a shift occurred soon after the sister ship seemed to disappear into the horizon, a setting sun. For an outpouring of the Spirit suddenly streamed onto our deck prompting unrestrained song and dance. Again I mused: Did their entire congregation ascend to Heaven like Elijah in his fiery chariot, except in a boat? Was this torrential downpour of Spirit a corollary of the double portion of Elijah’s spirit that Elisha requested before his master’s departure? It was SO MUCH FUN to imagine that it was, but I was fancifying and I knew it. What I didn’t know was that the following day held a secret beyond my wildest imaginings, a secret that catapulted me from delightful fantasy to breathtaking reality. I can’t wait to write about that experience and post it. That is if I can put one thought in front of the other. We shall see. In any case, as has been repeated I’m sure countless times over two millennia, a group of pilgrim-disciples in search of their Master went on the joyride of their lives. There wasn’t a serious face on our boat, even among those who sat out the dance for one reason or another, some due to age or infirmity, others perhaps for shyness. As it happened we were joined by a Canadian family and they blended right in with our camaraderie. The father kicked up his heels forthwith as his wife soothed and encouraged their demure young daughter. The teenage son, wheelchair-bound, smiled from ear to ear and his eyes danced right along from where he sat. In what felt like the blink of an eye we were pulling up to the dock and disembarking, another reluctant departure. But off we went happily to a seaside restaurant to indulge our well-earned appetites. The indoor-outdoor eatery was huge, a local mainstay that accommodates dozens of diners at long, festive tables. Keeping alive the spirit of our excursion we chose to sit outdoors under the pavilion, a perfect setting that kept out the sun but let in the breezes and the lake view. It was there, in our post-Galilee elation, that we experienced an earthy version of the adage “Man does not live on bread alone”. Indeed, he lives also on fish, “Peter’s Fish”, as it is dubbed. Yes, the main attraction was an intact, blank-staring, broiled unfortunate---tilapia, I’m told---that one devours a piece at a time, carefully separating meat from skeleton. Delicious! For my part I ate in the same manner as I had just sung and danced, with complete abandon. I never drank so much espresso at one sitting and if the price of beer hadn’t been so ridiculous I must confess I would have kept imbibing until, well . . . lights out!

Published on 2015-11-24 18:51:28 GMT

"I believe in the incomprehensibility of God." Honore de Balzac

Published on 2015-11-10 19:34:58 GMT

Pilgrimage to Israel: A Spiritual Odyssey 4---"Almost Heaven" Fourth Installment "Almost Heaven" (Note: This is not a strictly chronological account in terms of each site visited but instead follows the flow and spirit of my experiences.) It was on the second day of touring that my general state of amazement gave way to particular, profound spiritual experiences. For up until Tuesday, November 16, 2010, I had never in my 54 years on the planet really known true ecstasy, the pleasures of the marriage bed notwithstanding. The itinerary that day included visits to the Mount of Beatitudes, Capharnaum, Church of the Primacy of Peter, and Tabga, where the multiplication of the loaves and fishes took place. We were also on the surface of the Sea of Galilee, in a boat. No one walked. But I’ll reserve the saga of the Sea for the next installment. For now, brothers and sisters in the Lord, my thoughts turn to that place of the Blessed pronouncements, which I’m choosing to call THE MOUNT. The Mount of Beatitudes is the holy ground upon which our Lord preached the “Gospel within the Gospel”, as some have called it: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” Being there was for me a foretaste of that kingdom, like a delicious appetizer before a sumptuous, eternal Banquet. Perched aloft---it is a mountain, after all---the atmosphere is ethereal and otherworldly. It is an extremely “thin place”, as my friend Bob would say, a place where the barrier, the separation, the line between here and There is thin. Atop The Mount the line is nearly nonexistent. For ease of passage picture, let’s say, a child blowing bubbles. One can reach out and effortlessly poke a finger through the flimsy substance. Would that getting There were as easy and as playful. Come to think of it, Jesus did admonish us to become like children, full of trust in a Loving Father. Walking around on The Mount it feels like you’re at the highest point on earth, though the elevation I’m sure is comparatively humble. The place is suffused with harmony and serenity. It’s Eden to the 10th power: the peculiar quality of light; the rarefied air; the birds and their songs; the exquisite gardens; the open-air religious services held simultaneously in a half-dozen different languages. Among my many fantastical musings was the thought that maybe this is the earthly headquarters of the angels who minister to man. Perhaps it’s where their annual retreats are held, or the place from which they alternate in and out of men’s lives like football players entering and exiting the field of play. But it was the next thought that caused me to gasp with delight as for air: could this spot be the portal through which pass unseen all the saints and the blessed, including our own loved ones and ancestors, to watch over, pray for, and cheer us homeward? Transfixed in this moment of my spiritual odyssey, I thought of the fact that back home I reside only miles from the crossover into West Virginia. What a lovely irony to be standing here in the real Almost Heaven. Our time at The Mount was spent in a kind of soul fest, which was to be wonderfully repeated each day: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; the instructive words of Naim and Fr. Charles; the peace that passes all understanding. No wonder that when it was time to move on a part of me didn’t want to go. I mean I did and I didn’t. There was so much more still to see and yet who in their right mind wants to leave Paradise? I would rather linger there for a moment than stay for years in the best place the world has to offer. “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalms 84:10). But alas we had to press on and I probably have miles to go before I sleep. In any case the Galilee beckoned and it did not disappoint.

Published on 2015-11-10 19:23:55 GMT

Pilgrimage to Israel: A Spiritual Odyssey 3---"A City Set on a Hill" Third Installment "A City Set on a Hill" The first full day of touring was Monday, November 15th (2010). After a hearty, healthy Mediterranean breakfast with plenty of tomatoes, olives, fruit, eggs, and bread, we set off for Nazareth on our luxurious bus. The weather that day was perfect, sunny and comfortably warm, with clear blue skies. The first day or two my social interaction was minimal and detached as I was completely absorbed, through all five senses, in my surroundings. Right from the start I was flooded with memories of Italy, having lived in Rome for two years and done some traveling while there. In Israel the atmosphere, the antiquity, the narrow streets, the ruins, some of the foods and scents came at me one after another to the point where, for fleeting moments, I was in Italy again. But the opposite was true: Italy was in Israel. Or at least it had been long ago and its legacy was abundantly in evidence. I liked our tour guide almost immediately. Naim Khoury is a pro. In the business 52 years, 35 of them for the Catholic Travel Office, Naim is an Arab Christian who lives in Jerusalem and speaks five languages. He talks in measured cadences so that you don’t miss anything and you have time to process. The rolling of his R’s is a remarkable auditory experience and seems to flow like music. He speaks with self-assurance and authority. (Remind you of Anyone who once lived in the area?) But it became apparent early on that Naim is a very proud man, especially with regard to his work. Any questioning of his judgment or decisions was likely to trigger a storm, the only inclement weather we saw all week. Several times his anger got the best of him and he became indignant. Some of the offenses were real, most imagined or taken out of context. Still, I remarked to Bob, my traveling companion: “I like Naim a lot, even when he’s being a grouch.” I stayed within earshot of him for much of the trip, not wanting to miss out on his wealth of knowledge. In short order he took to liking me as well, for he could see that my interest was genuine and insatiable. One morning about four days into it he pulled me aside and presented me with a souvenir baseball cap commemorating the Holy Land pilgrimage of Pope Benedict XVI. That sealed our friendship. When I returned stateside I purchased and sent to him a gift of a pocket watch engraved with his first name. Nazareth is indeed a city set on a hill. It cannot be hidden. But incredibly, it can be scaled by a huge tour bus winding its way up narrow streets leading to the beautiful Basilica of the Annunciation. As we neared the summit I couldn’t help but recall the Gospel story about how Jesus was treated after reading (Isaiah) in the synagogue: “And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong.” It was at Nazareth that we got our first taste of what it’s like to jostle through a narrow, maze-like entity known, if I’m not mistaken, as a bazaar, a most apt name for it is a bizarre passage. Pilgrims must navigate this singular oddity in order to reach the church. Think “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, only roofed over with canvas and more claustrophobic, with dozens of merchants in tiny stalls selling hundreds of different products. Most of us slowed down like rubbernecking motorists to get a better look at . . . . “Wait a second. Can that be a butcher shop? No bigger than a medium-sized closet in an American McMansion? It must be, unless those dangling animal carcasses are sold for ritual sacrifice.” Emerging out of the far end of the bizarre bazaar, one enters a religious wonderland. In no time we gathered around Fr. Charles in the underground section of the Church of the Annunciation, whereupon he celebrated Mass in full view of the grotto where tradition holds that the angel Gabriel visited a young Jewish maiden named Mary. The grotto itself is preserved behind handsome ironworks and framed by the ruins of an ancient structure that could have been shrine or church or both. After Mass we filed reverently by the cave, accompanied by our silent awe and prayers. Fr. Charles then deftly outlined, like a professor of antiquity, the probable eras during which the various structures were built or destroyed and by whom. As Naim and Fr. Charles would reiterate throughout the week, modern edifices were erected over more “recent” buildings (read, the last 500 years or so), which had been built over 4th-Century (Queen Helena) and then Crusader-era, fortress-like structures. These in turn had protected and beautified original Christian holy sites. By the time we made our way to the church above I understood through the gift of sight what had always eluded my visual imagination while reading books and articles describing it: Layer upon layer of history in stone, in one spot. These could include two or more of the following: original site; shrine; place of worship; bigger place of worship; modern-era church. I will remember the modern Church of the Annunciation for one thing: the mosaics. It’s not that the church itself isn’t memorable, it is. But the mosaics are so large, so many, and so magnificent that one’s entire attention is drawn to them. Lining both walls of the long sides of the nave, these stunning artworks depicting the Virgin come from all over the world. As I moved from one “country” to another I stopped in my tracks in front of the Japan entry. Now I’m no art critic, and beauty IS in the eye of the beholder, but this one was so captivating, so exquisitely beautiful, that I don’t have the vocabulary to justify an attempt at describing it. So I’ll leave it there. Our next stop was Mt. Tabor, one of two sites believed to be where Jesus was transfigured, the other being Mt. Hermon. To reach the summit, tour buses park in a designated area and pilgrims are then driven up the mountain in vans. The ride can be nerve-wracking as the overworked vehicles navigate hairpin turns and precipitous edges, all the while trying not to collide with the vans making their way back down the slope. I felt for my fellow passengers for whom this part of the day was most unpleasant. But no one lost life or limb, and once we achieved the summit it seemed everyone was transfigured.

Published on 2015-10-28 17:40:32 GMT

". . . Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted. On this home by horror haunted, tell me truly, I implore---Is there, is there balm in Gilead?---tell me truly, I implore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." From the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe Thought I'd post this as both a nod to the spookiness of Halloween---who better to turn to than E.A. Poe?---and to the biblical reference to Gilead he borrows. As explained on the website gotquestions.org, the "balm" refers to a medicinal, healing substance derived from plants native to Gilead, an area east of the Jordan river. The Bible uses the term "balm of Gilead" metaphorically as an example of something with healing, soothing powers, especially for the weary soul. This also recalls the comforting words of Jesus, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Published on 2015-10-25 20:46:39 GMT

"All we do our whole lives is go from one piece of holy ground to another." J.D. Salinger

Published on 2015-10-23 15:34:00 GMT

Life goals: "To live passionately, not lustfully. To love lasting beauty, not passing pleasures. To value people over things and accomplishments. To seek God's will, not my own self-satisfaction." Anonymous

Published on 2015-10-20 21:30:31 GMT

"Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There's just too much fraternizing with the enemy." Henry Kissinger (of all people), quoted in the NY Times

Published on 2015-10-19 17:52:13 GMT

"I count myself in nothing else so happy as in remembering my good friends." Shakespeare

Published on 2015-10-16 22:51:47 GMT

Pilgrimage to Israel: A Spiritual Odyssey Second Installment (out of 7) "I Believe in Miracles" By the time we arrived in Israel the next day there was no trace of the unsightly markings on my skin, none whatsoever (see first installment). Not that the entire trip was smooth sailing, mind you. Throughout the first flight, some seven-plus hours from D.C. to Paris, I slept fitfully and my thoughts were anxious. Several times when I awoke my face felt hot. This only compounded the anxiety because of what I’d just learned about Stephen-Johnson Syndrome, namely that the illness affects one’s face in a grotesque way. One of my friends later told me he had seen on the Internet some of the people whose faces were disfigured by the advanced form of the illness. He said it heightened his concern for me and intensified his prayers. Oddly, I don’t remember much about the second leg of the trip. During the three-hour layover in Paris I slept on and off. I got a phone call while there that I’ll never forget. A dear friend and his wife happened to be traveling in Germany. They had gotten Michelle’s email asking for prayer support and they called to encourage and pray for me. What will stay with me for years to come about the flight that ended on Holy Ground is that I flew not just on a plane but on the wings of the prayers of many loving hearts. I truly believe I was the beneficiary of a miracle, and the miracle was God’s swift response to the faith of friends who interceded on my behalf. I felt a sort of kinship with the man in the Gospel story whose friends lowered him through the roof tiles so that he might be healed. Upon arriving in Tel Aviv restored to health and peace of mind, elated in spirit and filled with gratitude---though exhausted after all the travel and nervous energy---I began my Holy Land pilgrimage in earnest. It was a 2-hour bus ride to our hotel in Tiberias on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. (Tiberias is mentioned only once in the Scriptures, and not as a town but as the “Sea of Tiberias”, another name for the Sea of Galilee.) According to what I had read our Lord never set foot in this town, which was confirmed by Naim, our tour guide. Paradoxically, though, Jesus spent much of his ministry in the nearby towns. In fact, in the book “In the Paths of the Messiah”, B. Pixner’s sweeping account of the topography, archeology, and history of the Holy Land, is the following account: “One of the reasons Jesus left Nazareth to settle in Capharnaum was certainly his desire to meet people, for which this northwest corner of the lake was well suited. The German exegete F. MuBner likes to refer to this corner as the ‘evangelical triangle’. In the middle of the base of this triangle stood Capharnaum. To the west along the shore was Tabgha. . . ; toward the east beyond the mouth of the Jordan was Bethsaida-Julias; and on the rise north of Capharnaum lay Chorazin. These are the three locations of Jesus’ most intensive activity named by Matthew and Luke.” (page 54) Our hotel was a modest, nondescript affair nestled amid a maze of buildings and situated about a 10-minute walk from the shore, as we later experienced. The prevailing mood among our group members upon arrival was a striking mix of fatigue, adrenalin, awe, and pure joy. The hotel provided a small room for Fr. Charles, our spiritual guide, to celebrate Mass for us. By the time he was half way through the homily I loved this man. He could barely get through two sentences at a time without tearing up and having to pause. After a while he stopped to apologize, saying that between how tired he felt and how grateful he was to be back in Israel, his feelings were raw. Well the apology turned out to be an expression of humility and not of circumstance, for throughout the pilgrimage his emotions poured out as a poignant testimony of love for the Lord he had “left everything” to follow. For my part I could hardly believe we were there. It was surreal in the most wonderful way, a kind of time warp. My body was present but my mind and spirit were all over the place. And what was true that first night stayed with me the entire ten days: at any given moment I could be looking around and seeing in my mind’s eye the people and events of long ago. “I went down underneath the earth, to the peoples of the past. But you raised my life from the pit. Lord, my God” (from the book of the prophet Joel, as quoted twice in the film “Jesus of Nazareth”). Reflecting on the feelings now, I’m reminded of one of the most timeless experiences I’ve ever had up until the Holy Land tour. It was on my first (and only) trip to the Grand Canyon as I was approaching the overlook at the south rim. With each step forward my eyes grew wider, the panorama more sweeping, the depth and breadth of this primordial beauty more profound. It was terrifying and satisfying at the same time. I felt as if the eons of time were compressed into that one moment and all the people who had ever lived were present. All of nature and mankind stood awestruck and speechless. That night, both in Arizona years before and now in Israel, I slept somewhere between Heaven and earth.

Published on 2015-10-13 16:58:45 GMT

"They say love is blind but that marriage restores one's eyesight." Quoted by my pastor during a sermon.