MSW, LCSW & Agency Director
Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of Central FL, Master’s in Social Work from SIUC. Cris has been at Caring Counseling Ministries since 2008, with previous experience as a Rape Crisis Counselor, and student of the School of Hard Knocks. She is also a speaker and an evangelist.
Cris is not your typical Christian counselor. (Read her story.) She had a rough start in life and came to Christ after years of drug addiction, and was healed from that addiction when she reached out to Christ. She believes that since she was what society would have considered a hopeless case, there is no such thing as hopeless cases if Christ is involved. She is passionate about the gospel of grace, and believes that freedom comes through understanding our identity in Christ and the love of God.
Cris works with individuals and couples. She also has experience working with eating disorders and addictions. She specializes in childhood assault recovery. She believes that God has caused all of her past to work together for the good (Romans 8:28) as it helps her empathize with her clients.
She can usually be found in her off-duty time enjoying her husband and their pack of unruly dogs.
Scripture that best encapsulates her life is Romans 5:20-21 from the Message translation: “Sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.”
LCPC, Certified TFCBT
Sarah has obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Bible from FWBBC in 1981 and Master of Arts in Counseling from Missouri Baptist University in 2016. Sarah is also a pastor’s wife and a certified life coach. She claims Isaiah 43:19 as confirmation of God’s calling and placement in the counseling profession.
Before joining the CCM team, Sarah worked in community mental health. Her skill includes DBT, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, CBT and TF-CBT and recently completed training in EMDR. She works with children, adults, couples, and family counseling.
Sarah is a mother of three, and will soon celebrate 40 years of marriage which she says has been more a roller coaster ride than an interstate trip. She claims God’s grace as the glue and His Word as the staying power of their relationship. Her marital experience and background as a pastor’s wife have given her a wide range of experiences, and she understands the challenges of caregiving and the conflict in families facing addiction. Ministry wives hold a special place in her heart and her practice. Sarah is an avid supporter of Celebrate Recovery, a Christian 12-step program she says God used to change her life.
BA, MS. Ed, LPC, NCC
Sarah received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Illinois – Springfield and her Master of Science in Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Southern Illinois University. Sarah works with children, adolescents, and adults.
Sarah grew up in church but really came to know Christ during a difficult season in her adolescent years. Her favorite verse is “Let Your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in You alone.” Psalms 33.22. Sarah was called into counseling while working as an EMT. She jumped right in to finish her undergraduate degree and went straight into her graduate career with a heart set on helping people experience healing and freedom. Sarah has worked within the community setting before joining the CCM team. Sarah loves being able to bring Jesus into counseling, because she believes He is the ultimate healer in whom people can find true healing and freedom.
Sarah is very happily married to her high school sweetheart, Josh. Sarah and Josh have two dogs, Ollie and Rey. In her free time, Sarah enjoys many hobbies which include spending time with her loved ones, playing music, reading, hiking, long boarding, traveling, and eating delicious food.
Dr. Clarice Burchell
BSW, Th. D., Th. M., Mental Health Counselor
Dr. Clarice is a graduate of SIUC with a Bachelor’s in Social Work. Master’s and Doctorate in Theology in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Dr. Clarice has rejoined the staff at Caring Counseling Ministries after a 5+ year sabbatical, and we could not be happier about that! Just one introduction to this little peace carrying power-house and you will immediately understand why we love her so much.
Dr. Clarice has a heart for those who are hurting. She combines her no-nonsense approach to life and her grasp of scriptural wisdom, a chain-breaking combination that makes her quite the addition the CCM staff. While she will work with any population, she specializes in pre-marital/marital issues, depression, anxiety, grief, abuse recovery as well as spiritual needs.
Her favorite scripture is Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, neither things present nor things to come, neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
QMHP, MAPC, MPH
Ray has training and experience in individual, family, and group counseling, focusing on individual, relationships, family, marriage, crisis and trauma counseling, and is trained and experienced in faith-based counseling. He also has been trained and is experienced in career counseling to help people explore and develop a career pathway for a satisfying career. Ray provides counseling services in the CCM office and also has experience counseling in homes, schools, public places, a juvenile detention center and several prisons in the US and Uganda, Africa. Ray values accepting all people as being made in God’s image and thus sacred to God and works with clients to help meet the goals they set. Although Ray attended church regularly as a child and teenager, he believes he was a nominal Christian (in name only) with moral standards for many years. After his 15-yo son passed away in 2003 and he lost his marriage and career, he realized that he was in need of salvation and began to follow God’s way for life. His approach is a non-judgmental approach that assists with skills for urgent symptoms and searches for the reasons why people feel, think, and do what they do to find healing and closure. Outside of work, Ray loves to spend time with family and friends, hike, fish, kayak, travel and attend a weekly Bible study. He has traveled to every state except Alaska multiple times and loves to travel internationally. Ray loves people, just the way they are.