Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Encouraging Those Who Follow

By Jinna Marbry, B.S.
Fountain Gate CC Program Manager

     On May 21, 2013 Fountain Gate launched the second year of its internship program with the addition of two new interns to the family. Jessica Bello and Bruce Knight are graduate level interns from Richmont Graduate University in the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) Program. As we welcome our counselors into the fold we would like to take this opportunity to introduce them to you in coming newsletters.

Please welcome our new intern…Bruce Knight.

Bruce Knight, Clinical Intern
Bruce Knight, Clinical Intern
     Bruce Knight, a Virginia native, grew up fast. After losing his father at the age of 12 Bruce struggled for a number of his teen years with rebellious behavior until at age 19 he found his Christian path. While on his journey Bruce acquired a Masters of Divinity degree from Liberty University and met the love of his life and wife of 31 years, Kitty.

     After graduating from Liberty, Bruce and Kitty moved to New York City where they founded the New York Baptist Bible Church with Bruce serving as pastor and began raising their two daughters, Erin (28) and Laura (23). Unfortunately for Bruce and Kitty the pressure of juggling marriage, ministry, and raising young children began to take its toll as Bruce shares.
     “Following the six years in New York my wife and I spent almost two decades in what I would call a roller coaster and ping pong recovery mode. At one point in time we were separated for almost a year. Through all the ups and downs, pain and suffering, and a few really good churches we have come to the place where our relationship is the best it has ever been.”

     Yet while the road was rocky it was this journey to healing that brought Bruce to his true aspiration of working with couples and families in crisis.
     “All that I have experienced has led me to the place of pursuing a marriage and family therapy program with Richmont. Both my wife and I have a passion for coming alongside couples, families, and individuals in their time of pain. The grace and healing that we have experienced, we now desire to pass on to those who are in the midst of it.”

    But like any journey there are obstacles to overcome.

     “One challenge for me was my age, I am 59. That is close to retirement. I however view retirement differently. I do not ever plan on retiring. I was delighted to find out that many of the founders of various theoretical frameworks live to be in their 90s. Each day I am in the program I am grateful for God’s choice.”

    While counseling is definitely Bruce’s passion he has quickly found it is not without its misconceptions.

     “I am pursuing a marriage and family therapist program track and plan on specializing in sexual addiction recovery. Having been a pastor and worked with the men’s support groups for sexual issues has opened my eyes to realize that sexual integrity issues are like the metaphorical elephant sitting in the room in which no one wants to talk about.”

     Not surprisingly Bruce’s Christian faith has played a pivotal role in bringing Bruce to his pursuit as a therapist.
     “I keep reminding myself of a prayer mantra I have adopted, ‘I am yours and you are mine!’ This is spoken directly to the Lord and I find that it calms me. It reminds me that I am never alone and that God is the invisible yet not silent partner in the therapy session.”