John Marshall Jenkins
Georgia Licensed Psychologist
504 Riverside Pkwy NE
Rome, GA 30161
P.O. Box 441
Rome, GA 30162
With 40 years experience providing psychotherapy, I can best assist individuals and couples facing the following challenges:
- Managing stress
- Making hard decisions
- Working through depression
- Improving intimate relationships
- Drawing on spiritual resources
These commitments guide the services I provide regardless of the need:
Offer a relationship conducive to healing and growth. The fundamentals of that relationship include listening with empathetic care and responding with authenticity. Psychotherapy research consistently shows that the quality of the relationship makes a greater difference than the selection of techniques.
Structure conversations around flexible goals. Sessions may seem to flow in unpredictable patterns because I believe in listening to what most concerns you at the time, and I perform better in natural conversations than in preformatted interviews. But you will see my strong interest in clarifying the outcome you want from therapy, and we will collaborate to develop strategies to reach your goals.
Reaching goals usually requires a combination of acceptance and change – accepting circumstances and experiences along with changing attitudes and behavior. There is no silver bullet for managing stress, but the closest we come to one is the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” (Reinhold Niebuhr).
Therapy enhances acceptance through insight (yours more than mine), validation of feelings, cultivating wisdom, reimagining hope, developing nonjudgmental awareness of your experiences in the present moment (mindfulness), and deepening trust in yourself and in God, your higher power, or whatever you call the benevolent powers beyond you.
Therapy enhances change by
- excavating and employing your forgotten strengths and gifts,
- loosening rigid thought patterns that keep you emotionally reactive,
- building skills for more satisfying relationships,
- teaching and modeling ways to calm the physical tension that can provoke worry or rumination, and
- promoting new behaviors that give you energy.
How to Get Started
Call me at 706-766-1937. My practice is very simply organized, so I manage the appointments and billing. We will discuss reimbursement, the rate of which will depend on whether you choose to pay through insurance and if so, what your insurance plan allows. Also, if you pay with insurance, call the mental health number on your insurance card in advance to inform them of your appointment with me—give them my full name, Dr. John Marshall Jenkins—and they will give you an authorization number to bring to me if they require it.
For the first appointment, we may meet online or, if safe and manageable, in person. I will email you a link if we meet online, and the email will also include a request for insurance information (if you use insurance), my HIPAA policy, and consent forms to sign and return. Payment is due when services are rendered, but if we meet online, we will agree upon a plan for reimbursing me in a timely manner. Then we will conduct an intake session, in which you will tell me your concerns, what you hope to gain from therapy, and some critical background for conceptualizing your concerns. We will decide whether I am the best provider for you, and if not, I will recommend referrals. Otherwise, we will set preliminary goals and a treatment plan that will likely involve ongoing conversations until you reach your goals.
It takes a special sensitivity to seek spiritual guidance or direction. You feel addressed, called, sent to fulfill a purpose, however vaguely understood. The questions of your life come clearer by love than calculation, and receiving God’s love sets you on your true path. Furthermore, you sense the Spirit most clearly as you move from solitude to community and back again.
If that describes you, I am available to listen and pray for you periodically. I see myself as a companion and gentle guide in prayerful listening to the Holy Spirit, the true director. As a psychotherapist, I am a very seasoned listener. But in spiritual direction, I put aside therapeutic aims to listen with you to what God says and does through your pain and peace.
Spiritual direction is an ancient Christian practice in which a person seeks another for prayerful conversation and listening together for the leadings and showings of God in their everyday life. The real director is the Holy Spirit. It may be better to call the human “director” a guide and the process “spiritual guidance,” but “spiritual direction” is the traditional term by which the practice is best known. Unlike psychotherapy, the purpose is not to alleviate suffering or teach skills, although those may occur as secondary effects. Rather, the purpose is to discern God’s presence and action in the person’s life.
The following experiences often prompt people to seek spiritual direction:
- Challenging decisions
- Religious doubt or a sense of God’s absence
- Clarification of calling
- Desire to explore more intentional spiritual practices
- The need to share powerful experiences of God
I pursued this ministry after years of receiving direction, after the encouragement of close friends, and after earning two certificates in spiritual formation and guidance, one from Columbia Theological Seminary’s Spirituality Program and the other at Shalem Institute’s Spiritual Guidance Program. As you likely realized from checking the rest of this web page, my career of over three decades as a Christian spiritual writer has focused on living the Christian spiritual life in everyday contemporary life, and spiritual direction is all about that.
Spiritual direction is much less formal than psychotherapy from a business perspective. If you need a psychotherapist, I cannot do both with you simultaneously and will refer you for that if you want direction from me. While I do not want you to forego this ministry for monetary reasons, prayerfully discern what seems right to you to donate to this ministry. There is no standard fee. While there are no laws about privacy and confidentiality as there are with psychotherapy, I will guard your privacy.
“Marshall Jenkins, who has served on the Staff of the Shalem Spiritual Guidance Program for many years, is an outstanding spiritual guide whose exceptional mind and grateful, loving heart can prayerfully weave together a vast knowledge of psychology with deep spiritual awareness. His strong love of Christ, wise understanding of scripture, solid grounding in the contemplative path, and attentive, loving presence contribute to his many gifts for holy listening. He is a treasure who will continue to help you open ever more fully to a deeper, richer life in God.”
—Liz Ward, Director, Shalem Spiritual Guidance Program 2009-2021
Get Free Resources
Subscribe to my blog and I will send you a free digital copy of the introduction and study guide to my book Blessed at the Broken Places.