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About Bill

Bill Huffman, M. Div., M.A., LPC

I was led into the counseling field as a result of a life event that changed my career path. I was originally working on a Master of Divinity Degree at Eastern Mennonite University and Seminary and had just started my last year of seminary work when my first grandchild was born. It was very difficult to leave family at that point to pursue an assignment in a congregation that could be anywhere in the country. During my pastoral internship, I had received very positive comments from several people who I had counseled with in a local congregation. So, after conversations with family and friends, I decided that entering the pastoral counseling field would be a good fit for me. In reflecting back over my life, I have come to recognize how life events prepared me to be a caregiver to those who are struggling in life.

As a pastoral psychotherapist, I recognize that spiritual issues are often present when we are in the midst of struggle. Since pastoral counseling is a combination of psychotherapy and spiritual direction, the practice provides me with the opportunity to help patients work through both aspects of their experience. In my work, I combine the knowledge that has been gained through several related fields of study to understand the human experience. We now understand that who we are is a result of our genetics and the environment in which we developed; consequently, our wounds make us who we are. Healing comes through our understanding of how those wounds influence us in life and the experience of being accepted unconditionally that provides us with the opportunity for change.

In my work, my greatest satisfaction comes from seeing patients improve their lives through the work that we do together. The work is often life changing for those who undertake it and to see patients become more joyful and stronger is very rewarding. Even more importantly, to see patients of faith reconnect with God and experience God’s grace has an even greater reward. However, regardless of a patient’s faith orientation, healing the wounds of life is always the goal.

In the field of medicine, psychotherapy is a relatively new field of study. We live in a time of rapidly increasing technology that has provided us with the opportunity to understand how the brain functions and how the body’s various systems are interrelated. I find this work to be very exciting because it provides us with opportunity to eventually track changes in the brain as we do therapy. We know that talk therapy works; there have been many studies that have validated that fact. Now we have the opportunity to begin to understand how it works which will eventually improve our technique and hopefully speed up the process of healing.

At VPCC I provide services as a Pastoral Psychotherapist. However, I also have another role as Outreach Coordinator. As Outreach Coordinator, I have the responsibility of publishing our bi-annual newsletter, maintenance of our website, updating our brochure and fielding inquiries related to our services that we make available to the community such as seminars, speaking engagements, and other services that  we make available to our community.  In addition to these roles, I provide clinical supervision to candidates seeking licensure as LPC's in Virginia.  

My Approach to Psychotherapy

One of the questions that I encounter from time to time is, “How do you continue to do this work when you listen to such difficult stories all day long?” Well, that is really simple. I need to hear the story so that I am able to identify issues, start to understand the underlying causes of the pain my client is experiencing and to begin to think about a way that I might be able to help. So, your story is the most important part of the early stage of therapy and is significant in the formulation of a plan that will eventually provide healing and wholeness to those who take advantage of my services. So, how does your story help me?

Your story gives me insight into who you are; your level of pain, distress and most importantly, how you became who you are and how you view yourself. I also listen to the meaning that you give to the events of your life so that I can understand the way you view the world, those around you, your relationships, your life and your future. As we move through this stage of therapy, I work very hard at building a relationship with you that will allow us to work together in a way that will be beneficial to you. So, I work very hard at being non-judgmental and providing unconditional positive regard. We also establish stability in your experience of life by introducing a variety of coping techniques and correcting any misconceptions that may have distorted your view of things. Once this phase of therapy has been accomplished we’ll look at how the formative experiences of your life have contributed to how you have experienced life. Why might I look at those experiences?

Many people have experienced painful formative events; so, they unconsciously try to avoid similar events and circumstances that feels like early past pain. Sometimes you may even react strongly to an event and not understand why. So, by examining the past we can begin to understand your current reaction. We have come to understand that by examining how you became who you are and to help you gain insight into how that has determined the way you are in the world often brings about the deepest and most permanent change for the future. However, not everyone is the same and there are different techniques that may work well for different people. There are also behaviors that are related to the way our brain functions such as Attention Deficit Disorder. Consequently, determining which treatment is best for each individual is a key to helping you to move forward in wholeness and happiness. Who might benefit from my approach to therapy?

Potential clients with a variety of different issues can benefit from my approach to therapy. Psychotherapy that integrates a variety of perspectives tailored to each client holds the greatest promise for success. My areas of specialization include relationship issues, family and couples, anxiety, depression, parenting skills for children with Attention Deficit Disorder or who have been diagnosed as Oppositional Defiant, various compulsive and addictive behaviors, parent-child relational problems, issues of adolescence, aging, grief and loss, and a variety of faith issues.

So, if I sound like we might be a good fit or you want to find out more about my services please contact me, Bill Huffman, at Valley Pastoral Counseling Center (540) 943-8722 or by email at

  300 Chestnut Ave. Waynesboro, Virginia 22980
  Phone: 540-943-8722  Fax: 540-943-5068
Valley Pastoral  
Counseling Center