Faith at Work: Johnna Showers

Episcopalians on Baptismal Mission seeks to raise up and empower the ministries of all the baptized in their daily lives and challenges the Episcopal Church to do the same. In this vein, this ongoing column shares the stories of laypeople living in their faith in the world.

I have worked as a clinical social worker for over 30 years. I experience my work as a psychotherapist as a true vocation—a calling. I am privileged to help make a living for my family by using my personal gifts in activities that both intrigue and challenge me and, I believe, help others achieve or regain well-being and peace of mind.

Often, I experience the presence of God through my clients. Among the persons who are my clients are many who experience anxiety, depression, and other symptoms due to trauma. This trauma may take the form of a history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse occurring over many years, or of an event such as a natural disaster, automobile accident, or the death of a loved one. I am frequently asked, occasionally by clients themselves, if I am disheartened and discouraged by the sad and disturbing stories that I hear. Certainly, I am saddened and angered by the awful hurts and losses that people experience (and sometimes inflict). I find, however, that I am unfailingly inspired, and my faith affirmed, by the goodness, grace, and hope that persist in the people who come to me for help.

Direct discussion of faith or religion takes place only in the event, and to an extent, that it clearly fits with the client’s belief system and needs. I have, at times, prayed privately for a client or for wisdom and skill in my work with a client. Occasionally, clients have asked me to pray for them, and I have agreed to do so. And one client who had met with me over a period of years, after learning when I had to reschedule an appointment that a member of my family was seriously ill, later asked if she might put him on her church’s prayer list.


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