About Me

Dr. David Franzen is Certified by the State of North Carolina as a Practicing Pastoral Counselor. He has over 30 years of experience in psychotherapy with individuals, couples and families in many issues such as depression, anxiety, marital conflict, loss of connection, adjustment and stress disorders, poor communication and grief complications. Dr. Franzen also does consultation and supervision with pastoral counselors-in-training, and chaplains in supervisory training. He teaches and supervises doctoral students in pastoral counseling at Alamance Regional Medical Center in Burlington, North Carolina. He maintains an independent practice from his home office in Durham, North Carolina.


With many years of experience in pastoral psychotherapy, and as a graduate of Duke University his practice focuses on a broad spectrum of clients. His areas of practice include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, adjustment disorders and personality disorders. He works with individuals from older adolescents through the elderly, and with couples of all ages including parents with troubled children.


In addition to being a popular counseling referral source for clergy and other professionals, Dr. Franzen is a leader in pastoral psychotherapy on state, regional and national levels. He is the founder of the Doctoral Program in Pastoral Counseling at Alamance Regional Medical Center in Burlington, NC, a program that functions in collaboration with The Graduate Theological Foundation near South Bend, Indiana to train pastoral counselors. He is President of the North Carolina Association of Pastoral Counselors, and was one of its founders in 1991. He has also served two terms of office on the North Carolina Board of Examiners of Practicing Pastoral Counselors, including a term as its Chairperson. Dr. Franzen also serves on the Executive Committee of the Southeast Region of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and represents the region on the national level of AAPC.

On the ecclesiastical level, Dr. Franzen is an ordained Lutheran pastor in good standing on the clergy roll of the North Carolina Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He served for 16 years on the synod’s Candidacy Committee which oversees students preparing for ordination, and served twice as its chairperson. He is currently a leader in the synod’s Committee for Ministries in Chaplaincy,Pastoral Counseling and Clinical Education.

Dr. Franzen is a psychodynamically and object-relations psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapist who integrates principles from Kleinian analysis, existential psychotherapy, systems theory and object-relations couples and family perspectives. With compassion and understanding, he works with clients to help them build on their strengths, work through emotionally painful issues, and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing.



B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College

M.Div., Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Th.M., The Divinity School, Duke University

D.Min., The Graduate Theological Foundation



Certified North Carolina Practicing Pastoral Counselor

Fellow, American Association of Pastoral Counselors

Diplomate, College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy

Certified Supervisor, Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.

Board Certified Chaplain, Association of Professional Chaplains, 1981-2006

Member, North Carolina Chaplain’s Association


Additional Training

Clinical Pastoral Education at:

  • Elgin State Hospital, Elgin, IL, 1968-69
  • Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Eau Clair, WI 1973-74
  • University of Virginia Medical Center 1974-77
  • Duke University Medical Center 1977-78

Pastoral Counseling Training at:

  • The Pastoral Care and Counseling Institute, Durham, NC 1978-85
  • The Presbyterian Family Life Center, Charlotte, NC 1985-91

Kleinian Object Relations Psychoanalytic Training at:

  • Carolinas Institute for Object Relations Theory & Therapy, Cornelius, NC 1992-2000

Professional Activities

Parish Pastor in northern Wisconsin, 1970-74

Residency in Clinical Pastoral Education, U.Va. Medical Center, Charlottesville, VA, 1974-77

Chaplain and CPE Supervisor, Duke University Medical Center, 1977-88

Senior Staff Pastoral Counselor, Pastoral Care & Counseling Institute, Durham, NC, 1978-85

Pastoral Counselor, Counseling Services, Inc., Durham, NC, 1985-95

Pastoral Counselor, The Pastoral Care and Counseling Institute, Durham, NC, 1995-2004

Director of Clinical Pastoral Education and Doctoral Studies, Alamance Regional Medical Center,

Burlington, NC, 1999-2001

Director, Department of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Alamance Regional Medical Center, Burlington,

NC, 2001-10

Pastoral Counselor in Private Practice, 12 Winthrop Court, Durham, NC, 2004-present