Clergy Burnout and Depression

I have been a pastor for over 23 years. I know the price that pastors and their families pay to fulfill the calling of God on their life. I have experienced burnout and depression first hand; it is the dirty little secret that many pastors are afraid to admit.

One pastor might be afraid to let his congregation know that he is often feeling depressed, lonely and isolated. A pastor can be amongst people all the time and still feel this way.  Another pastor might legitimately feel that any revelation of his problems, or his family’s problem, could endanger his career and income. There are many more fears that pastors have. Some of these fears are legitimate while others are just misconceptions that end up keeping pastors in the cycle of burnout and depression.

In future blogs, I hope to write about some of the misconceptions that keep pastors from getting professional help when it is needed. I have run into pastors who were dealing with such things as chronic and potentially life threatening illnesses, marriage problems, and even suicidal thoughts and tendencies. This may be hard to believe but let me assure you it is out there and more prevalent than you might think. I became so convinced of the clergy need, after my own experience,  that I became a professional counselor so I could help pastors and others who struggle with such things as burnout and depression. Please feel free to read my story as well as the article I wrote concerning burnout and depression among clergy. I hope it helps some one out there who has just about given up. Believe me, if I got help you can too! I am praying for you!!

Burnout and Depression on Clergy: A research paper

Burnout and depression among clergy is a common occurrence across denominations. This paper presents clergy as candidates for burnout, causes, stressors, emotional exhaustion, and treatment of burnout and depression in clergy. The clergy member’s reticence to reveal personal depression including suggestions for future research is also discussed. Read More…

Counseling Children and Teenagers

In counseling children and teenagers, it can be quite difficult to properly diagnose their particular problem without improperly putting a label on them. Over the years I continue to see kids with numerous behavioral, emotional, spiritual, and neurological problems.
Some of the more prominent issues currently observed in children are: depression, anxiety, fatigue, behavioral disorders, Asperger’s disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I work hard to avoid over or under diagnosing any of these conditions. And once a diagnosis is determined, I go over this with the parents to inform them of the various treatment approaches and if there is a need to involve other agencies. The earlier any problems areas are addressed, the sooner the child and family can begin having a higher quality of life. Many such issues arise throughout the school year where there are an untold number of daily stressors. If emotional or behavioral problems do arise, then it is imperative to get assistance as quickly as possible for the student to not fall behind on schoolwork.

Overflowing Blessings

Sometimes we all struggle to remember how blessed we really are…but here’s a great reminder!!!


I’ve never made a fortune, and it’s probably too late now.
But I don’t worry about that much, I’m happy anyhow
And as I go along life’s way,
I’m reaping better than I sowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

Haven’t got a lot of riches,
And sometimes the going’s tough
But I’ve got loving ones all around me,
And that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for His blessings,
And the mercies He’s bestowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer,
‘Cause my cup has overflowed. Read More…

Unlocking the Treasure of Marriage Conference

Check out our conferences page to learn more about our exciting marriage enrichment conference “Unlocking the Treasure of Marriage.” It’s just what you marriage needs whether you are happily married and just looking to for a fun way to spend a weekend focusing on each other; or if your struggling and really needing some new skills to help you get back on track. You can contact us about having us come to your church or city.

Rethinking Traditional Marriage Roles

By: Debbie L. Cherry, Ph.D.

Maggie and Max are anything but your traditional couple. They have role reversal issues in just about every area of their life. Maggie is quiet, introspective and analytical in her personality while Max is much more outgoing, emotional and social. Maggie has served in the US Navy and is now a captain on the local police department.  She enjoys carrying a gun and is an expert marksman.  She is mechanically inclined and can usually be found in her garage tinkering with her stock car or her Harley. Max, on the other hand, has no interest in any of those things. He actually enjoys cleaning and has turned that talent into a successful professional janitorial service. His free time is filled with reading, Bible study, and gardening. He loves to cook and invite their friends over for dinner and an evening of games and conversation.

In the three years they have been married; their nontraditional roles are evident both around the house and in the way they relate to each other. Read More…


Welcome to ECC’s new website!!!  We hope you find it useful and informative. Please take some time to navigate through the site to learn more about Eaglecrest, our therapists, and the services we provide.  Be sure to stop by our “resources” page where you will find articles by our therapists on a variety of topics that can help you live a healthier, happier life.  You will also find information on books by our own Dr. Debbie Cherry as well as conferences and seminars available through ECC. 

Thanks again for stopping by and please plan to return often for new articles and information.

You’ve Prepared for the Wedding … but What About the Marriage?

You and your fiancé have worked hard to get all the preparations for your wedding just right. You have picked the perfect dress, rings, and cake.  You have invested in a photographer, coordinator and of course the perfect honeymoon. But what preparations have you made for your marriage? Did you considered adding pre-marital counseling into your plans? Or do you just keep saying to yourselves, “There’s just no way!  Our schedules are already so busy. Where in the world would we find time for pre-marital counseling between making all the reservations and addressing invitations? Besides, we have talked things through and know we are made for each other. Who needs counseling? It’s not really all that important is it?” Read More…

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