• Picture of a family sat around a campfire

    For Better or Worse...

    families matter

  • Picture of the setting sun dipping below the horizon with a stand of trees in the foreground

    Reaching Out...

    for the last kiss of the day

  • Arial view of a beach with incoming wave denoting a different perspective

    Perspective Matters

    a look from another angle

  • Picture of a long road disappearing into the distance with wheat fields either side

    A Journey of 1000 Miles...

    begins with a single step

  • Picture of a church aisle with the doors at the centre and pers either side

    Finding Safety...

    is rarely simple

A Different Experience Requires a Different Response

Are you ready for a Mustard Seed Journey?

What is a Mustard Seed Journey?

That’s a simple question without a simple answer. The truth is the answer is different for all of us. What I have learned in my five+ decades of living on this planet is this:

Providence brings all that is needed to live, grow, move, touch, explore, and love, right where we are planted. What we focus upon will, by necessity, develop and prosper. We teach others how to view us using the lens through which we view ourselves. Words are rarely necessary.

It is, in fact, part of the problem when what we say does not match what we do. These mixed messages beget considerable human misery.

When we reach the end of our own resources, we must sometimes ask for help to understand how internal conflicts cooperate with external contradictions to incubate personal and relational pain patterns.

This help may be found in a therapeutic process. I call that process a “mustard seed journey.”

Leslie in the hope
Leslie Hayes, Ph.D., LMFT

I think a lot about gardening in the soil of life ~ what we sow, what we grow, and what we think we know about the soil we inhabit—where we are planted and the conditions under which we thrive. Because I believe we must all “bloom where we are planted”, I planted my business, Mustard Seed Journeys (MSJ) as a faith-based, grace-inspired therapy service located in Medina County, South Texas, offering services related to:

  1. Pre-Marital / Marital / Relational Therapy
  2. Individual Adult & Adolescent Therapy
  3. Child Play & Family (systems) Therapy
  4. Group Modules
forget me not
Optimism: A daily rebooting of the mind
What would therapy look like with Mustard Seed Journeys?

Each therapy relationship is as unique as the individuals involved in the process. First step is establishing connection between clients (whether one person or a system of people) and specific goals. I use both discussion and hands-on (experiential) methods to address client primary concerns. Initial sessions must be clear and thorough to assess precisely the issues you are facing so we can put first things first in the process.

It is important that the initial piece of the process is unrushed because most of what we do in therapy rests on how well I understand your experience from YOUR perspective. Since research indicates the most important factor in whether the process succeeds is the strength of the relational connection between client and therapist, we will spend time early in the process determining if both parties feel the fit.

  • Therapy may be short term for solution-focused work not rooted in deeper issues, or may be longer, focusing on a specific issue or transition between stages of development.
  • We may focus on an individual or include other members of client systems so a variety of viewpoints can be assimilated and integrated for success. For therapy to be effective, clients must be actively engaged, both during and between sessions. Change can be daunting so it may take some time to initiate changes in your world, or you may immediately experience relief from our work together.
  • You may be asked to read certain materials or do certain tasks, including journaling, between sessions so we can develop your awareness/skills related to your concerns.
  • I sometimes use music, art, sand tray, movement, sensory input and imagery in sessions, drawing attention to elements often taken for granted or ignored with a more right brain focus. Use of the senses in understanding both internal and external responses to input can be extremely helpful to clients.
  • I may point out self-protective patterns which will impact relationships with others. This will undoubtedly cause some anxiety, and perhaps some resistance, because you begin to understand how much responsibility you actually have for the outcomes you desire. When you change your self-talk, mental-emotional loops playing in your head, you can make different choices and you can change your life.
taking a first step
We all have to start somewhere
  • I will not collude with you in any effort to maintain unhealthy or unhelpful habits, beliefs, or emotionally-based actions which are counter to fulfilling your stated goals. You can find that kind of “help” for free from friends, acquaintances, or members of your family.
  • Sometimes people are simply not ready to make changes they thought they wanted. It is unethical for clinicians to “drag” or “push” clients toward change. It never works anyway.
  • Therapy has risks including worsening of symptoms and changes which may prompt other elements unanticipated by the client-therapist system. Sometimes, we loosen or remove the one nail or board holding the rest of the structure together. It takes time to rebuild what has been lost in a storm. Clients who “stick it out” and keep moving toward the goal, generally experience the highest levels of satisfaction from therapy.
  • I am not the source of change; I am a catalyst for change.
Benefits of Therapy: Directed, animated and designed by Isaac Holland
Sky above clouds
The world opens up above the storm.

Read and utilize this site at your own risk.

If you or someone you know needs mental health crisis management, please contact a professional medical or mental health provider as soon as possible. The owner/author of this site intends only to offer general information and all material is subject to change without notice.

Nothing posted on this site is intended as professional guidance or therapeutic advice of any kind. If you find the material helpful, that’s its intent, but please understand your use of the site should under NO CIRCUMSTANCE be considered a professional therapeutic (or personal) relationship between the user and the author of this site. Leslie LaRo Hayes, Ph.D., LMFT, assumes no responsibility for discomfort or other loss that may result from decisions made after utilizing any part of this website.