When I was in grad school, I met with a therapist for the first time in my life. I remember she had told me that she was a Christian first, then a therapist. That was about 11 years ago and til this day, I have carried those words in my heart. She loved God and she loved people so deeply, so passionately. Her identity was solid on Christ and not on her job title. My therapist passed away shortly due to a rare health condition after I graduated. But I remember our sessions like they were yesterday. She was a very sweet, gracious, loving, and understanding person. I felt like she accepted me as I am with no judgment, no critique. I remember just a few sessions in, I had a huge breakthrough session that involved “empty chair”, an intervention from Gestalt where I had to work through some emotional baggages I had with my own father. This exercise hit me like a ton of bricks and I could not hold back my tears. I wept throughout my session and I remember my therapist just sat with me silently with hands on my shoulder. I felt heard. I felt understood. I felt validated. I felt safe. I knew from that day forward that I wanted to be that same kind of therapist to somebody. To pay it forward. And I did.
I have been a Christian therapist for 7 years and I cannot emphasize enough how involved and influential my faith is, in counseling. I cannot see one without the other. I am in constant prayer over my clients and make it a habit to pray for them before and after my sessions. I believe God has hand picked each of my clients whether they are faith based or not. In fact, with Christian clients, I have had the privilege to pray with them in session and also do “inner healing” prayers (based on Charles Kraft’s teaching). In short, inner healing is an intervention where we invite the holy spirit to lead a client back to a painful memory and invite Jesus there and allow Him to paint a new picture of that memory thus bringing closure and healing. We speak truth based on scripture over that client’s “child part” and also forgive self and the offender, releasing anger, unforgiveness, and instead gaining peace, freedom, and renewal. This can take several sessions or less depending on the level of trauma the client has experienced.
There are many other exercises and meditations I have done that involve scriptural prayers, writing activities, and artistic expressions. I believe God is a God who is creative and imaginative and He reveals Himself in a very personal and powerful way. It is a joy to see Him move in my sessions with clients and to know that I am not alone but He is always working thru me and also in my clients lives. Matthew 11:28-30 writes, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I know that my clients burdens are not my responsibility to fix and heal but ultimately all the burden is placed on Christ who died once and for all so that Christ may reign over them and bring redemption to their souls. I am just a willing servant of God walking alongside those who are broken and lost and helping bring hope and courage to their lives. May the journey begin with Christ who is victorious, whom nothing is impossible, side by side, one day at a time.
- Relationship issues
- Trauma and abuse
I also have experience in Stress, Anxiety, Family conflicts, Intimacy-related issues, Parenting issues, Anger management, Self esteem
LMFT #105880 (Expires: 2020-03-01)
I've been very pleased with being matched with Rika Lopez. She's been amazing! In my life, I do have a close friend with whom I'm able to confide about the relationship issue I'm going through, but with Rika you don't have to worry about judgement of oneself or one's partner, which is very freeing. So this has been wonderful for me. Rika's specialties in relationship problems, intimacy problems, and trauma and abuse have been an excellent match for me.
Rika is a great and definitely experienced counselor. I feel confident in her abilities and reassured on how she approaches her sessions.
After several counselors in my life, Rika is like no other. She has such perception and quickly sees things that I cannot.
Rika has helped me through some of my lowest times in life and given me perspective and hope that things will be okay and get better! She is a great counselor and grateful for her in my life!