Prism Counseling is a division of Arizona Christian Counseling, a pastoral counseling group practice located in Phoenix. Founded by Tres Adames in 2012, Arizona Christian Counseling is an Institutional Member of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). Below, Tres describes how and why he started Prism Counseling:
Hi, my name is Tres Adames and I am the founder of Prism Counseling. I am a pastoral counselor, a member of the LGBTQ community, and a survivor of conversion therapy. I founded Prism Counseling to be a place for LGBTQ people of faith to receive spiritual support that affirms and empowers them to be who they really are. I know what it's like to meet a new counselor or even a new pastor, only to wonder if they are truly accepting, affirming, and educated, about the LGBTQ community.
My Experience Going Through Conversion Therapy
Personally, I have had good and bad experiences in counseling. I grew up in a conservative evangelical environment that was not affirming of who I really was. It was a struggle to accept myself when I didn't even feel accepted by those around me. This intensified when I had a spiritual experience and felt called to the ministry. In order to feel accepted by the church, I believed that I had to change who I really was. I went through ten years of conversion therapy — from pastors, church programs, and even state-licensed therapists.
Tres Adames, MDiv, BCPC
Read More About Me
Accepting Myself and Coming Out
After these experiences, and a long bout of depression, I realized that hating myself was no longer working. I went through a few more years of legitimate, affirming therapy and found the help I needed all along. I ended up not becoming a traditional pastor in a brick-and-mortar church, but became a pastoral counselor instead. Pastoral counselors are clergy who are trained in counseling and provide clinically-informed spiritual care and support.
Fired for Being Gay
I worked as a pastoral counselor for a couple non-profit organizations for several years in the Phoenix area. I was fired for being gay in 2019 after the director of one of the non-profits interrogated me about my sexual orientation. This experience solidified the desire and conviction I have for the responsible and ethical integration of spirituality and mental health.
I am the owner of a thriving pastoral counseling group practice called Arizona Christian Counseling. As a result of all these experiences, I realized the greater need for LGBTQ-focused faith-based counseling and founded Prism Counseling in 2020. Prism Counseling is a division of Arizona Christian Counseling and not only provides services in the Phoenix area, but online through our secure telehealth platform.