As a professional therapist, Jay Brandenburg-Nau counsels clients in different stages and scenarios of life who aim to improve their well-being and achieve a healthier overall lifestyle. Often, he recommends family therapy to help families heal from trauma and learn to function as a more complete unit, and he shares the benefits of this style of therapy below.
Jay Brandenburg-Nau applies years of counseling and mental health research to client cases ranging from individuals and couples to larger groups such as families. As an experienced professional counselor, he helps them all find their footing towards a happier, healthier life and teaches them new habits to follow for lasting results.
Often, he encounters families who have undergone some form of trauma, which can take on a variety of different shapes depending on each family’s situation and history. Trauma can result from a death in the family, moving to a new location, having a parent go off to war, experiencing a divorce, poor child development and more.
“Not every client situation will require the same solution or process of healing,” says Jay Brandenburg-Nau, “but any family struggling as a whole will find a world of benefits in group therapy.”
Through therapy, Jay Brandenburg-Nau believes families can uncover underlying problems or causes behind certain behaviors. It can be used to treat mental health concerns, which take on forms like excessive anger, eating disorders, substance abuse, depression and more. It allows for each member of the family to tell their story and help the others in their unit gain a better perspective of each individual.
Behavioral problems in children are often a big concern for parents who struggle with everyday challenges or deep, underlying problems. Through family therapy, they can bring those hidden instigators to light and talk out a healthy solution that works for everyone and helps improve behavior in their children.
The goal of family therapy is to promote understanding within the group and to teach collaboration so that families can tackle future concerns as a more wholesome, healthy unit. The skills taught within family therapy can later be applied in other areas of their lives and will teach individuals respect for others and to function better in society and groups in general.
The method of family therapy will likely change from case to case, as every family comes with its own set of problems that need to be addressed. Most approaches borrow from systems theory, which helps the individuals learn how they affect each other and the group as a whole. Psychological approaches like experiential, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic may also factor in. Regardless of the approach, family therapy will improve overall communication, coping mechanisms, and problem-solving skills for everyone.
“It’s a lot more than helping families achieve balance through therapy,” says Jay Brandenburg-Nau. “It’s about improving the individuals so they can function in any group more successfully––especially within their family.”
“The story of your life is the story of the long and sustained assault on your heart by the one who knows who you could be and fears you!”
he story, narrative… Our lives are composed of many lives and many deaths… Our life is one big story with many volumes.
We are apart of a larger story. The story of a God who loves us and will stop at nothing to heal our hearts. The heart is the innermost being. It’s a place where life and beauty reside. It’s the prized possession… So many of our hearts have been assaulted by lies, accusations, wounds from lovers, parents, and friends.
In Hebrew, the heart (lev or levav) is the center of human thought and spiritual life. We tend to think that the heart refers mainly to our emotions, but in Hebrew, it also refers to one’s mind and thoughts as well. The heart is so central to life…. So important and so costly.
The heart is oriented to life-giving things. It’s been wired for deep connection… It’s designed to resonate and reflect the good and perfect love of our true Father. That is why it comes under so much heavy assault from such a young age. The wounding may be subtle, a hurtful word on a playground, or an absent mother or father.
It whispers and sometimes shouts “I’m not enough, or I’m too much… It covers up our deep goodness and the wounds become a landing pad in the heart for the lies of the evil one. The thing about a landing pad is that it is also a launching pad. It compels our hearts to seek life and meaning apart from true connection and intimate trust.
We cover up our wounds with food, drink, money, power, and success. Many just go numb and walk through life aimlessly without purpose or direction. You need to know that your heart is good, that you are good. So good in fact, that God spared no expense to recover your heart. He is beckoning you and me to a greater story.
He is calling you to deep rest and a beautiful story filled with love and beauty. The only requirement is to surrender. What is it that you need to surrender today? What are the wounds you carry? God is ever present. He is not constrained to time and space. Right now at this moment, He is able to touch the wound and heal the long-suffering heart.
Take some time to invite Jesus into old memories of pain, shame, and regret. Ask him to speak the truth over the lie. The truth always sets us free.
“Be still and know that I am God!” Be still… I can remember as a kid being told to settle down… to be still… Be quiet… The message felt so personal, like an indictment on my heart. If you can’t sit still there must be something wrong with you… A cold wet blanket of shame over my strong good heart. “
As a man that has experienced trauma, the words “be still” always felt like a requirement and not an invitation. I could never sit still. I was constantly churning, driven by fear and anxiety.
Scripture is filled with language about stillness and fearing not… Filtered through the lens of traumatic experiencing these words felt more like a mountain to climb than an invitation to sit and be at peace.
Its been a long journey getting to a place where these words feel like an invitation from a good Father that longs to hold His son. Paul Young says we spend a lifetime wiping the images of our trauma from the face of God. Our traumas create a lens by which we see and experience the world. They limit our perspective.
They create tunnel vision and produce a reality where life is just one big battle to fight… The language in scripture about battles is that we are to sit and rest… So counter-intuitive.
Living in this tension of the right now and not yet is the very space we find rest. I am learning that tension is a good thing. It alerts us and reminds us just how much we need Gods good and strong fathering. It’s an opportunity to discover a better and truer reality.
The truth that all things are made new. The truth that we are becoming the men and women God intended us to be from the beginning. Our fears and anxieties surrendered become the container for experiencing how deep and how wide our Fathers love are for us.
The point is that we were created to live, move and have our very being in the context of deep connection with the one that made us.
When I’m driven by fear, I am removed from the present and current reality that today I have all I need. I miss out on the gifts of a warm smile, sunshine, cleansing rain, and beautiful scenery. Instead of hearing the words be still as an indictment, they can be received as an invitation.
An invitation to experience God… To not just know about Him, but to really receive his good heart for us. What would it be like to get still, not as a punishment, but as an opportunity? Stillness settles the swirling chaos. It allows the dust to settle and brings clarity.
Take some time to linger, to rest, to offer your mess to the God who knows you and is so fond of you.
Freedom Is Such a Strange Emotion.
Such a strange feeling. Freedom. The freedom to choose. The ability to enjoy life. The option. Options have always felt like a game of Russian roulette. A choice that could prove fatal. The choices I made always felt like they came with a great price. I spent the weekend on the river.
Anxiety Is Such a Strange Emotion.
As a dedicated counselor, Jay Brandenburg-Nau constantly seeks out new methods of therapy and counseling techniques to deliver lasting solutions to clients in Colorado.
One of his most effective resources for helping people achieve personal understanding and growth is the Enneagram model, which is based on nine basic personality types.
By understanding these types and how they collectively influence our everyday lives, clients of Jay Brandenburg-Nau learn their inner motivations and drives.
“The Enneagram reveals a few basic archetypes of character, including positive characteristics and flaws,” says Jay Brandenburg-Nau.
“The wheel or model of the nine types serves as a kind of blueprint for developing character and understanding motivations, which helps us become more aware and achieve greater happiness by meeting inner needs.”
While most people will find influences from many or all types, they tend to have one that most appropriately fits their personality. According to Jay Brandenburg-Nau, the nine types and their characteristics are:
The drive of the perfectionist is to make things better (or as best as they possibly can be) at all costs. Their motivation is to improve and make some sense or order out of the general chaos. Often, people who associate strongly with the perfectionist type believe that few things are good enough on their own.
People who above all need to be needed are best represented by the Helper type. Love and community are deep interests, and they strive to be helpful in any scenario or event. They’re giving and socially aware, and they tend to be extroverted.
The focus of the Achiever type is to achieve success or some form of validation regularly. They want to feel worthy and so they work hard and are constantly focused on end goals. It’s also typical for this personality type to be competitive and admired for their will to succeed.
The ultimate belief of the individualist is that at their core they’re different than most people and are self-consciously individualistic as a result. Some may see their individuality as a blessing while others seem to believe that it’s a curse on their lives.
Many times, people who associate with the Investigator type have trouble facing the world and tend to draw inwards. They are most comfortable retreating to their minds and observing the world while preparing themselves for the next emergency or call to action.
The Loyalist type describes the people who have trust issues, or who are more reserved to people at first until they have proven themselves loyal. They may be anxious or skeptical about others and tend to feel ambivalent towards people, conflicted between trust and distrust.
The often-restless Enthusiast type is looking to make the most out of their lives, to turn day to day interactions into an adventure. They are often pleasure-seekers and prone to distractions, as well as creatively quick thinkers with lots of energy.
One of the hallmarks of the Challenger is their resistance to being controlled in any way. They are the master of their own fate and tend to be strong-willed and tough. Often, their unwillingness to be controlled leads them to control others.
As the Peacemaker, people with the number nine type strive for peace and tend to avoid conflict. They may be withdrawn as a result or introverted, but can also lead active social lives while “checking out” of conflicting situations.
“Learning which of these types has the most influence on you will ultimately teach you how to appease your inner motivations and live a more complete, wholesome life,” says Jay Brandenburg-Nau.
Jay Brandenburg-Nau is a licensed counselor who helps clients from all over the world using an intensive therapeutic process to achieve peace, happiness, and a healthier outlook on life. He frequently employs the Enneagram model to teach his clients how understanding personality types and deep motivations can encourage personal growth.
Through counseling, Jay Brandenburg-Nau empowersclients in his local community and from around the world providing resources that help them achieve happiness and personal growth. After working as a youth pastor for a decade and earning a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Denver Seminary, he has studied and employed a range of useful tactics to teach clients to understand their inner workings. One of the most helpful tools he uses in therapy is the Enneagram model for personality types.
“Through the Enneagram model, we can improve self-observation and gain a better understanding of what makes us tick and how we can be happiest,” says Jay Brandenburg-Nau. “What we can learn from the Enneagram helps us improve awareness and achieve a greater wholeness.”
When we think of personality models, the Myers Briggs test is likely to come to mind. The Myers Briggs helps many people bring awareness to their cognitive functions and teaches them things they may not have understood about themselves before. Similarly, the Enneagram model also offers a means to observe personality traits and mechanisms, which in turn allows clients of Jay Brandenburg-Nau to satisfy deeply-rooted needs and improve their overall well-being.
The Enneagram is based on nine different personality types or styles that represent a certain world outlook or archetype and influence the way people think, feel, and act. This can mean responses to things going on the world as well as responses to what’s happening inside their own hearts and minds. It delivers more practical information and core personality traits than the Myers Briggs and helps people uncover deep motivations, fears, and defense mechanisms that lie in their subconscious.
On one hand, the Enneagram seems like a model of nine specific traits that ask people to identify with a single one. Instead, it’s likely most or all people find something familiar in each of the personality types. The goal of the model is to discover the one type that dominates all the others, while using the neighboring two trait types to help determine the strongest influences. In this way, people learn that their behavior isn’t always a good representation of their personality. Through the Enneagram, they uncover deep motivations that steer their overall actions and behaviors.
“We’re all born with one of the nine dominating personality types from the Enneagram,” says Jay Brandenburg-Nau. “This type has a big influence on how we adapt to our early environments and ultimately how we respond to life factors later on.”
Through the Enneagram model, counselors like Jay Brandenburg-Nau help clients uncover the deep mechanisms that rule their behavior, perspectives, and motivations so they can learn to be their happiest and healthiest selves.
Jay Brandenburg-Nau has helped people in his community achieve peace of mind and overcome everyday obstacles through fellowship and counseling. As a licensed professional, he shares the benefits of counseling psychology and encourages people to seek out help from qualified professionals in their area.
Jay Brandenburg-Nau was only seven when he discovered an interest in becoming a therapist while listening to a mental health radio segment. His passion to help others struggling in their lives led him to a position as a youth pastor where he worked alongside kids and teens in his community for a decade. Eventually, he set his sights on larger goals and earned a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Denver Seminary in 2010. This degree allowed him to practice counseling psychology professionally and extend his reach to even more community members.
“Through counseling psychology, I can walk alongside men, women, and couples in places of brokenness and help them work towards wholeness,” says Jay Brandenburg-Nau. “I journey with others to help them achieve a greater capacity to know and be known.”
Since he earned his Master’s Degree, Jay has pastored at large churches in busy cities like Chicago and Austin, and has worked extensively in clinical settings as well as private practices. His approach to happiness and wholesome living has helped countless individuals find peace and fulfillment in their lives without the need for extensive therapy or prescription medications.
Counseling psychology is a general practice within professional psychology that focuses on an individual’s personal function and their relationships with others. It addresses lifestyle elements such as emotional, social, and physical well-being as well as work, school, aspirations and other typical life stresses. Clients who struggle in their families, professional environments, and in their own personal lives work with counseling psychologists like Jay Brandenburg-Nau to alleviate stress and resolve crises. Through the process of counseling, patients learn more about themselves and their circumstances so that overcoming recurring obstacles is easier in the future.
“People go through many fleeting life stages that each come with their own unique battles,” says Jay Brandenburg-Nau. “Too many people suffer without understanding what resources are available to them.”
It’s common for people to feel adult life is overwhelmingly stressful, and most aren’t sure where to turn to for answers. Whether they suffer from stress, poor relationships, career problems, dissatisfaction, depression, or anxiety, citizens have the convenience of group or individual counseling in cities across the country.
Jay Brandenburg-Nau and other counseling psychologists listen to patients’ concerns and give them techniques and new habits to manage their stress and improve their overall function. They will likely administer tests and ask a range of questions to fully comprehend each client’s individual circumstance before suggesting various treatments. By hearing out their issues and sharing their own professional insight into personal development, counseling psychologists help restore people to their most confident and happiest selves without the use of medication.