As a minister’s son, Peter lost count of the number of times his family relocated. Born in Ghana, Africa he moved with his family to the US as an adolescent. Although excited to experience a new culture, moving signified a loss of his culture, loss of familiarity. Caught between two worlds – Ghana and America – Peter struggled to acculturate and establish his own identity. This challenge was complicated by the pressure of being a “Pastor’s Kid”. Being part of a minister’s family means being standard bearers in community. There was little room for Peter to live a life similar to that of his peers, “he had to be proper.” Not knowing any better at the time, Peter fully embraced his role as the “standard bearer” for his family. Over time, this role became a façade, stifling Peter until he had lost himself in the process. He eventually had to step aside from the expectations of his family and church community to truly find himself and the person whom his heavenly Father had created him to be. Gaining this understanding has equipped Peter to better understand the impact of both cultural and family pressures on an adolescent’s development. He is passionate about helping students and young adults unravel God’s design and calling for them as they grow and struggle.
Helping for Peter means creating a safe space for people to sit with their true selves and emotions. When we resist aspects of our true self with which we are uncomfortable or try to stifle painful emotions - judge them, try to push them away, avoid them, or ignore them, it delays healing and growth, triggering more pain and fear. These, in turn, frustrate growth and delay our development of healthy ways to cope. Both emotional and physical pain occur for a reason and are often the byproduct of stress, depression, disappointment, transition, grief, identity confusion, trauma, and anxieties. Understanding and processing our emotions - resisting the urge to deny them – or judge ourselves for having these emotions – is key to healing. A safe space is not for judgement, rather for free expression of yourself in a process to creating a healthier you. A healthy and authentic person is not stifled, rather free to be whom they were created by God to become. Peter’s desire is to create a safe space, an authentic helpful relationship, to help navigate overwhelming life circumstances to establishing or re-establishing an authentic you.