‘The Workshop’ Counseling Center

The counseling ministry of The Workshop is an arm of Church of Ascension’s congregational care. There can be seasons in our lives where we are stuck or hurting—individually and/or relationally. It can be a gift to have someone intentionally process, guide and walk with us in these seasons of struggle. Jesus meets us in this journey, and, in fact, it is often in the very face of suffering that we get to know him as “the God of all comfort” (II Cor. 1:3). Many of us limp around, dragging or attempting to conceal the parts of ourselves that don’t work very well. It is “for freedom that Christ has set us free.” The ministry of The Workshop hopes to play a role in helping people discover this freedom and live into it more fully.

The Workshop has three counselors:

Mari Stout
Mari grew up as one of six kids in Japan, a daughter of missionaries. After graduating from college, she went to work with adjudicated youth and families in Colorado Springs, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Her experience in the social services led her to seek a better understanding of how people change and encounter hope. She pursued her training at Westminster Theological Seminary, where she received a Masters of Divinity with an emphasis in counseling. Mari’s counseling is greatly influenced by the interweaving of human stories and God’s story. Her areas of interest include: depression, trauma, anxiety, pre-marital and marital counseling. Mari, her husband, and their three children attend Church of the Ascension. She can be reached at macstout@gmail.com.

Priscilla Ortlip
Priscilla comes to us with over three decades of experience as a therapist. She has joined our counseling team through a partnership with the Christian Counselors Collaborative, of which she is the founder. Her areas of specialty include: trauma and abuse, family and relationship issues, and anxiety and depression. Priscilla worships at Allegheny Alliance Church on the north side. She is a wealth wisdom and experience. Those interested in counseling with Priscilla can contact her via the Christian Counselors Collaborative (CCC) at www.cccpgh.org or 1-855-222-2575. The CCC does intake for Priscilla – just ask to see her specifically. Priscilla works at Ascension on Thursdays.

Camden Bianco
Camden is a graduate of Covenant Seminary. She loves working with children, teens, and young adults. She is very insightful and connects quickly and deeply with her clients. She comes to us with an art therapy background. Camden worships at City Reformed Church in Oakland, where her husband is the Assistant Pastor. Those interested in contacting Camden can email her at camdenbianco@gmail.com. She primarily works Fridays at Ascension.