Christian Therapists Blog

Find a Christian Counselor

Monday, January 08, 2018

Sacred Place Meditation

Monday, January 08, 2018 @ 6:41 PM

Feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, or fearful? Go to the website below and try this quick Sacred Place Meditation to start feeling calm and at peace.

The Painful Sting Of Harsh Words

Monday, January 08, 2018 @ 4:01 AM

I have been thinking a lot this week about arrogance and those “finger pointing” individuals who enjoy belittling others and just love to be plain old “snarky”. There is a such a harsh “sting to the heart” when the cruel words of someone else intentionally does a “verbal slap down” or shames you. Usually it occurs when THEY believe that THEY are absolutely right or have "superior" knowledge, and that others are the "lesser" and are the wrong- big-"dummies".

This mean and sour arrogance which uses power to belittle or harm others is something that crushes and cripples hearts and dreams.

As a believer, our faith should not be arrogant —nor should a person of faith belittle others! We should never use our faith to pretend that we are superior or more informed than others! NO! NEVER! Belittling is a form of bullying! It’s when someone makes you feel as though you are little, minuscule, not good enough.

Arrogance is the opposite of humility, and humility is supposed to be a Christian virtue. Jesus Christ who, in coming into the world and living and dying alongside of us, lived out what humility is.

You will never reach the place of honor or full use by the Heavenly Father, (and can actually be disqualified from many opportunities) until your insecurities and need to needle, belittle, compete with, or shame others is addressed, repented of
- and buried!

Those who have the sickness of pride in their hearts speak of others’ sins with contempt, irritation, frustration, or judgment. Pride is crouching inside of our meanness and belittling of the struggles of others. It’s cowering in our jokes about the ‘craziness’ of our spouse, the mocking of that ‘too sensitive friend’. It may even be lurking in the prayers we throw upward for our friends that are — subtly or not — tinted with the color of exasperated irritation.

Sometimes, we use sarcasm to voice harsh words we otherwise would not say, often intentionally hurting others. Once the pain is inflicted, however, we retreat, saying, "Oh, I was just kidding." But the sting of our words hurts so much that those we have injured withdraw. Our words don't feel like jokes at all.
Jesus' words should be a warning to those of us who are tempted to use sarcasm as a weapon: "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken" (Matthew 12:36).

Sarcastic remarks usually seem like “no big deal” to the person who makes them. But to the recipient, those words make lasting impressions that scar to the very core of the heart.
Many times, sarcasm shames a person, causing them to feel belittled and unworthy. When shame takes root in the heart, it can cause disastrous behavior, because the person now feels worthless and seeks desperately to find anything that will make them feel otherwise. Shaming others is a serious offense with serious consequences. Jesus said, "By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:37).

Are your words kind and constructive? Do they desire to seek peace and unity, or are they driven by your fleshy desire to sting, aggravate, retaliate, tease, belittle, control, alienate, shame, and manipulate through sarcasm? YEAH... alllll of those HURT PEOPLE!

The enemy is camping out at the gate of your every relationship. Children, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, parents,co-laborers and more. He is lurking around every corner, seeking to find that one open crevice where he can enter. If he has been entering in and camping out in your home or relationships through the use of sarcasm, it is time to boot this verbal enemy out and lock the gate behind him.

Die to your need to be snarky and always the one with a chirpy sarcastic comeback! Allow Christ to show you His ways that love, peace, and compassion can be the source of every word that proceeds from your mouth.

"All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourself then! Bow low under God’s mighty hand, that he may use you to the fullest at the proper time.
1 Peter 5:56

Mary Lindow 2017

Sunday, December 31, 2017


Sunday, December 31, 2017 @ 12:00 AM

relationship, Couples Therapy, Life Coach, marriage counseling, Relation Therapy, Relationship Therapy

Do people really expect New Years Resolutions to stick anymore?  Most of us probably have given up on the whole idea because it has fizzled so many times in the past.  Do you think that real change is just too difficult to attempt?

Maybe the reason that most resolutions  fail is because we have been given wrong information on how change happens.

Coaching people for 15 years I have seen some tips used which actually helped my clients keep their resolutions.

These are surprising because they are counter intuitive.  They can also be applied to any changes you would like to make.



Most advice tells you to be very specific and detailed writing your resolutions. The reason for a direction is that unless you are clairvoyant, you don’t actually have any idea whats going to happen in the future.

Try this experiment:

Think of a time you expected your future to look exactly like ______________? Go ahead and fill in the blank. So I ask you, “Did it turn out like you pictured it?”

So with a direction you allow for the creative wisdom of the universe to bring you amazing, wonderful events, people and situations that you could not even imagine in your wildest dreams.



 Create your emotional state before you do anything. I am a firm believer in the principles of NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming). One of the main concepts of NLP is that “Everything comes from state” (feeling  states). What that means is that whatever state you are in determines how you are going to do whatever you do.

This means that if you get yourself in a state of abundance and gratitude for your abundance(whatever that is at the moment) you will pull situations to you that contain all kinds of abundance, when you least expect it.

We all have so many blessings and focusing on them will bring more of the same.

More recent research in the field of science, especially epigenetics has validated further how important our emotional states are on our health and behavior.

We now know from the  new field of epigenetics  that our feeling states actually influence how our cells behave.  Dr Bruce Lipton, a cellular biologist who taught at  the University of Michigan Medical School  and conducted pioneering studies with stem cells  at Stanford University wrote  The Biology of Belief.   In this book and in his videos in he explains the science of Epigenetics.  Epigenetics  explains how our thoughts, feelings and beliefs  and our very environment control our biology. This  affects  both our emotional and physical well being.

Dr Lipton explains epigenetics in this 4 minute video.

Because your state is so vitally important to your level of manifestation and success and happiness I suggest to my coaching clients that they spend the first 6 minutes that they are awake doing specific things to get themselves in a resourceful state. ( This is the most powerful time of the day because the veil between the conscious and unconscious mind is very thin at this time).

And you may be wondering how anything significant can happen that fast. Believe me if you know how to do it, it does happen that fast.

And don’t take my word for it- try it yourself. I promise you that if you commit to doing this for 2 weeks, with the understanding that you will evaluate it in 2 weeks to see whether you want to keep it or not, you will be pleasantly surprised at the new things that come into your life.

The best part of doing this is that it brings surprising things into your life. This gives you a new sense of vitality! Try it and you’ll see…



As you have probably surmised by now, I believe in the law of attraction. So my last tip is to tap every time you are overcome with the harmful emotions of fear, shame, humiliation, anger, worry and resentment.

These feelings will just bring you more of the same unwanted emotions so lets get rid of them as soon aw we are aware of them.

There’s a process to tap which releases emotions that are unwanted . The process is called EFT tapping or Emotional Freedom Techniques.

I teach this to all my clients because it is so helpful. And I use it myself every day.

In the EFT community we call it creating good feelings for no reason, because there are always good feelings lying just underneath these painful ones. Most people don’t realize that or they would tap more often!

If you would like to know more about this, contact me on this page of my website:

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 5:29 PM

Dear interested parties,

My name is Jovy Lam, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, in the process of specializing in Dance Movement Therapy. My passion is Christian Biblical Counseling/Inner Healing with emphasis in Spiritual Formation. I also provide Artistic Life Coaching incorporating primarily Pilates/Ballet.

I am looking for one or two people who value cleanliness and orderliness to share my recently furnished office. The room size is 10X14 FT, located on the second floor. There is a big window with a nice view, an electric kettle for hot water and a water fountain.

It will be $175/1 day, $325/2 days, $450/3days, $550/4 days. Open to discuss alternatives.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

20 Steps to a Successful Marriage Pt. 1

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 2:16 AM

Two part CD series identify and explaining the first 10 practical steps to a successful marriage.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

TeenHope Therapy Group

Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 2:20 PM


Do you feel controlled by powerful emotions like fear, depression, anger, loneliness, jealousy, or self-pity? Are there harmful habits or destructive patterns you can identify in your life? Like cutting yourself, eating too much or too little, drinking, acting out, depending on others to affirm your worth, or engaging in sexual activity? Do you feel powerless to change?

If this fits you, you’re not alone. Many teen women believe lies about themselves, their parents, their relationships, and even God. Because of believing these lies, young women are kept in bondage to unwanted behaviors and emotions.

TeenHope is an 11-week psychotherapy group designed to help young women identify the lies that they believe and replace those lies with God’s perfect truth.

Topics include:
• The Landscape of Lies • Lies about God• Lies about Satan • Lies about Myself
• Lies about Guys • Lies about Relationships • Lies about Faith and Sin • Lies about Media and My Future • Overcoming Lies • A Collision with Truth

Phone: (321) 543-3833

Beginning: Thursday, January 11, 2018
Ending: Thursday, March 22, 2018
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

$35 one-time fee (11 sessions).
Includes: Lies Young Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh (Book and Companion Guide).

2425 N. Courtenay Parkway, Suite 9
Merritt Island, FL 32953

Pre-registration is required and includes a prescreening interview. Interested participants will complete a registration form and then have a prescreening intake interview. Interested participants for whom individual counseling may be more appropriate (e.g., those with severe suicidal ideation, severe eating disorders, or severe family issues) may be referred for individual counseling.

Seating is Limited. Reserve your seat today.

Melissa K. Weedman, MA, MHC, BCCC
Phone: (321) 543-3833

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 1:58 PM

HEALTHY HOLIDAYS from Wholistic Health Care, 847.784.9667 Northfield, Illinois 60093
For many of us staying healthy through the holidays may be challenging. There may be extra stress of many types and more temptation to eat unhealthy foods and to over-eat. What can we do?
Here's some suggestions:
1. Get plenty of fluids, especially pure water: at least 40 oz/day. Consider keeping a thermos of healthy soup with you.
2. Get plenty of rest.
3. For those with difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep: daily healthy eating, stress management including moderate exercise such as walking, and prayer will reduce problems with these. Psalms, Proverbs in the Bible may provide guidance.
4. Some suggestions for dealing with stress: #1. make a list of all the things that feel like stressors and how you feel about each one, share your feelings with the Lord in prayer. #2. Make a list of at least 3 things you are thankful for each day. #3. Consider joining a small group at church. #4. If you have a Christian counselor reach out to them as needed.
5. Healthiest foods: most vegetables, especially natural sweet potatoes or yams. Most fruits, especially berries, cranberries. At least 60-90 grams of protein/day. Start with a 20-30 gram breakfast smoothie.
6. The Dr. Oz show website has suggestions including a Holiday Breakfast Smoothie and suggestions for eating before going to the holiday gathering.

This practice honors most major insurance including MediShare.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 8:23 AM

Admitting that you’re desperate out loud (and honestly)... often means that you risk ridicule from onlookers who may thrive on others who are in pain. But, don’t worry, those individuals will eventually be in a place where life hits them head on as well, and desperation will shock them! As a Christian, to be desperate for Jesus to help us, means that we humbly have to face our brokenness.
To see and admit our need for healing.
We would have to admit we are in need.
That we got off course.
That we are hanging on the edge of a rocky place and we are getting scared and weary of the exhaustion.
And friends, we are all at one time or another , all of these things!

We do need Jesus!
Of course we will be reminded, all too regularly by others who are masking pain and doubt, that "desperation isn't attractive".
DESPERATE PEOPLE DON’T LOOK PRETTY. But this is who Jesus came for. He came for those who could admit that they can't do life well on their own and for those who are empty and want the sanity that Jesus offers.

We must let go of our ugliness and be willing to run to Jesus! It doesn't come easy either! Accepting the fact that we have bought the lies others have spoken over us, is not easy! “I spread out my hands to you O God! My soul thirsts for you like a parched land” (Psalm 143:6).

Can you hear the tone, the gentle kindness which he uses when He says your name?

Do you know what it feels like? Do you feel the softness of heaven’s breath coming near your very soul? Do you feel the warmth of it all?

Sometimes, many times - as a matter of fact, He reminds me, "Let go of the past. There is nothing there for you. Go forward. Don't pause in the road I’ve laid before you and don't look back for one moment!”

Dear Reader,
Close your eyes today and “hear” His voice as He speaks softly. Listen with your heart. Close out all of the sounds. The ticking away of time, the screaming laundry or dishes, the buzz of your phone demanding that you respond, and especially shut down your own voice that tries to convince you that you are absolutely hopeless or are too broken.

Climb up under a shaded spot - under His shadow, right at His feet and soak in His presence on purpose. Not by accident.

Listen to what He tells us in His word - at this very moment.

“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine.

When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy One, your Savior.

I paid a huge price for you:
That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back. I'd trade the creation just for you.”
-Isaiah 43:1-3

Mary Lindow 2017 ©

Monday, November 06, 2017

The Enneagram

Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 6:15 PM

In my work as a therapist, I enjoy using various assessments and personality tests that can aid clients in their journey to self-awareness and personal growth. The Enneagram is a personal favorite of mine and can be a great tool to help you delve into a deep understanding of yourself. The enneagram helps us understand our compulsive, unconscious drives. Anyone that wonders, “why do I keep doing the same thing over and over again,” and all of us wonder that time to time, could benefit from the wisdom of the enneagram.

The Enneagram takes into account how various unconscious messages heard during childhood may affect your personality. In our childhood, we begin to develop our way of relating to the world, based on what our experiences were as well as our own natural temperament. Then patterns develop, and sometimes certain patterns don’t work for us. The Enneagram also helps us further understand our strengths and weaknesses.

There are nine different personality types, and with each type, there is an explanation of how that type functions at a healthy level, and average level, and an unhealthy level.

The nine types are as follows:

1- The Perfectionist (the rational, idealistic type)

2-The Helper (the caring, interpersonal type)

3-The Achiever (the success oriented, pragmatic type)

4- The Individualist (the sensitive, withdrawn type)

5-The Investigator (the intense, cerebral type)

6-The Loyalist (The committed, security oriented type)

7-The Enthusiast (The busy, fun-loving type)

8-The Challenger (The powerful, dominating type)

9-The Peacemaker (The easygoing, self-effacing type)

The following is a link to the test: (there are many free tests available online.)

Here is another website about the enneagram, as well as another enneagram test, you might find helpful –

If you explore more deeply, you will learn some concepts that further explain your enneagram type, such as wings, security points, stress points, and instincts. There are many components to the enneagram. If you are interested, there are MANY helpful books to further your understanding, including the following:

The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types by Don Riso

The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge by Beatrice Chestnut

Keep in mind that no types are right or wrong, and no test can fully explain you. However, this can be good a starting point in gaining clarity, further understanding our strengths and weaknesses, and understanding differences between people. Plus, it can be fun and you may find yourself having some “a-ha!” moments when you read a description of your type. For more information on the enneagram and how it can provide insight for your life, contact Laura Novak, LCSW, CADC.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Learning to Grieve Naturally, Veronica A. Zinkham, LPC

Friday, November 03, 2017 @ 11:48 AM

Many theories have been developed about the stages of grief. Each of them points out that there is no time frame; each individual will proceed at his/her pace. Although there are stages, these stages do not necessarily follow in any order; emotions will ebb and flow, rise and drop because we are human, and each of us is unique. My frame of reference indicates that, although we can offer certain guidelines to clients, and prepare them for the path their grief may take, it is best to allow them to naturally experience their feelings as they unfold naturally, and merely be present and bear witness to their individual grieving process.

During my own grief, I learned that there are feelings in me that are so strong and deep, they NEED to be fully expressed, and that was necessary for my healing. The sadness or pain must be expressed. Sadness has movement and will express itself in its own time. By being mindful and aware of our emotions and honoring them, we heal naturally. The experienced counselor will help guide and support clients through this process.

The processing of our painful emotions tests our resilience and permits us to find positive meaning in life. It is important that clients seek professional counseling in profound grief and loss, to ensure their mourning is appropriately managed, and they do not become stuck or depressed. The wise counselor will intervene and treat. There are many creative resources to assist clients in expressing and moving through the grieving process. An experienced professional will collaborate with you and find the best natural fit for you to tangibly design storytelling, rituals, memory books, poetry, art as a tribute to your loved one in their honor.

When we grieve, the sadness overtakes us and rules our life for a while, and then a shift toward healing takes place. We learn to reconstruct a new way of being in the world, holding the memory of those we have lost in our hearts and minds forever. Our hearts may become tattered and torn (never broken, we must not allow that), and the sadness may never leave our hearts and that is our testimony of how we love. The sadness shows how deeply we have loved: the investment we have made in loving those we have lost and continue to love.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Turn Your Will Over

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 @ 6:15 PM

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” ~Matthew 7:7

Does anyone notice the door? Do you get it? What do you see in the picture? I took this picture in downtown San Diego and thought this was the perfect quote to go with the picture.

Last time I checked the Lord's Prayer did not say, "MY will be done…" It says "THY will be done..."

In the 12 step program there is a saying, Let go and let God. Not let go of just the parts that I want to let go of but to let go of ALL of it. When we turn our will over to GOD, we are free.

BUT I have to do the ACTION of seeking HIM, asking for Him to take over and I have to actually do the ACTION of letting go and of knocking. God will be the one to open the door, not me.

That is why this picture is so classic! Did you notice it yet? There are no door handles!

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Daniel Plan

Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 1:19 PM

The Daniel Plan
Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 10:57 AM

The Daniel Plan is a plan for health utilizing faith, food, fitness, focus, and friendship. It was authored by Pastor Rick Warren and Drs. Mark Hyman and Daniel Amen. It is a research driven, evidence based program to get fit both spiritually and physically. Here are some excerpts from the book:
• Do choose activities you enjoy; the best activities for you are the ones you’ll do.
• Do get an exercise buddy or accountability partner to keep you honest.
• Do start off moderately, with a few minutes of exercise, and slowly increase.
• Do drink lots of water before, during and after your workout.
• Do cool down after exercising to relax your muscles and gradually lower your heart rate.
The Daniel Plan is unique because it is based on the Bible. It is based on God’s best plan for our lives. And while change of any kind is never easy, it is a necessity for our emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
Making radical changes in our lives requires radical commitment, perseverance, and doing a lot of hard work on our hearts. Pastor Rick Warren teaches us about five key elements to make sure the changes that we make actually stick.
1. Lasting change requires building your life on the truth. Nothing will change permanently until you dig down to the bed-rock of truth about your life and God’s purpose for it.

“If you continue to obey my teaching, then you are truly my followers. And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” John 8:31-32 (NCV)

2. Lasting change requires making wise choices. You won’t change until you choose to change.

“Get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to—the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness” Ephesians 4:21-24 (TEV)

3. Lasting change requires new ways of thinking. If you want to change how you act, you must begin by changing how you feel.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

4. Lasting change requires God’s Spirit in your life. You cannot change by willpower alone. You must have God’s power.

“Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?” Galatians 5:18 (MSG).

5. Lasting change requires honest community. The deepest changes in your life will only happen as you open up to a few trusted friends who will support you.


Dr. Daniel Amen

Cravings can be the culprit that derail your good intentions to stick with a brain healthy program. Here are 10 simple changes you can make to your daily habits to get better control of your cravings.
Avoid your triggers
To control your cravings, you have to control your triggers. Know the people, places, and things that fuel your cravings and plan ahead for your vulnerable times. For example, take a snack when you go to the movies so you aren’t tempted by the popcorn and licorice.
Balance your blood sugar
Low blood sugar levels are associated with lower overall brain activity, including lower activity in the PFC, the brain's brake. Low brain activity here means more cravings and more bad decisions. Low blood sugar levels can make you feel hungry, irritable, or anxious—all of which make you more likely to make poor choices. Here are tips to keep your blood sugar levels even throughout the day so you can reduce cravings and boost your self-control.
Eliminate sugar, artificial sweeteners and refined carbs
If you really want to decrease your cravings, you have to get rid of the artificial sweeteners in your diet. Things like candy, potatoes, white bread, pretzels, sodas, sweetened alcohol, and fruit juice causes your blood sugar to spike and then drop, so you feel great for a short while and then you feel stupid and hungry. Be very careful with high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie foods because they work on the morphine or heroin centers of the brain and can be addictive.
Eat slow carb, not low carb
Carbohydrates are so important for good health. Bad carbohydrates such as simple sugars and refined products are the ones to avoid. Choose high fiber carbs like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains! They will keep you fuller longer and help you with weight loss.
Drink More Water
Dehydration can contribute to increased hunger. When your body sends signals that it is hungry it can actually be an attempt to get more water. Sometimes hunger is disguised as dehydration. If you drink a glass of water before your meals to make you will feel fuller and can moderate your food intake.
Prioritize Protein
Do you want to feel satisfied longer? Make sure protein is an important part of your diet. Protein fills you up and regulates your blood sugar while making your body release appetite suppressing hormones.
Manage your stress
Chronic stress has been associated with increased appetite, obesity, sugar and fat cravings, addiction, anxiety, heart disease, cancer, and depression. To decrease your cravings, get on a daily stress-management program including deep-breathing exercises, prayer, and other relaxation methods.
Follow the 90/10 rule
Make great food choices 90% of the time. For the remaining 10%, cut yourself a little slack and allow yourself margin to enjoy some of your favorite foods on occasion.
Get moving
Scientific research has found that physical activity can cut cravings whether you crave sugary snacks or things like cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs. Instead of immediately giving in to your cravings or focusing on how much you want something, get moving if at all possible. Make this a high priority and stay committed to exercising each week.
Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.


Sunday, October 15, 2017


Sunday, October 15, 2017 @ 8:15 PM

Change is inevitable; we cannot escape it. And change is hard!!! Whether change is something that hits us by surprise, or we are enveloped in some long-suffering pain, we are called to examine some of those habitual behaviors that keep us bound in a comfortable controlled environment, rather than dare push that circle of comfort. Once we do make the decision to step out of that comfort zone, we must boldly move forward and never stop moving, always implementing our innate potential.

Ecclesiastes: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might..."

We must accept that pain is a necessary part of life, but pain and change are opportunities for growth. Regardless of age, the seasons of transition are many: puberty, graduation, first job, marriage, kids leave home, job loss, death, retirement, etc. THE DEMANDS OF LIFE DON'T MATTER NEARLY AS MUCH AS HOW WE RESPOND TO THE LIFE CHANGE. Attitude, open mind, creativity, positivity, and trusting yourself are key.


Change is stress inducing and risky. Change causes us to make adjustments to our habitual way of being. We are forced into the unfamiliar. Our brains have stored up certain chemicals based on our life experiences. When we are forced to deal with change, the brain experiences shock and discomfort. It is accustomed to operating at ease, in the habitual style. It becomes scrambled when patterns change and it has to create new chemical cocktails. This brain scrambling is transferred to us by the effects of anxiety, stress, shock - an entire host of emotions that leaves us confused and seeking clarity. We need faith, a strategy, a plan and goals to execute our plan, and know that it is okay to ask for help.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding..."


Attitude/open mind/positive/creative
Accountability/self discipline
Adaptability/dare to risk/ INNER WISDON
Don't give up/ask for advice/try a new strategy
Remain flexible and adaptable/ LISTEN
There are no failures/ INTENTION
Eliminate guilt, fear, regret/
Know that you have made a difference/ ZEST FOR LIVING
Maximize what works and give gratitude/ Implement CHOICE
Free will
Surround yourself with positive, supportive people

The demands of life are opportunities for GROWTH. Our purposeful response to them is necessary.

"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor." Henry David Thoreau

1 Corinthians 5:17 "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.

Mind Matters - Care Starvation

Sunday, October 15, 2017 @ 12:45 PM

Mind Matters: Care Starvation
Navigating and Healing from Broken Relationships

For those who feel completely disconnected and inconsequential to their existence, some part of you still cares enough to read this blog-----now please, I want to talk to that part of you...the part that seeks to understand you and your actions even while battling an unknown condition called “Care Starvation”.

Over time, as a trauma therapist, it has become apparent that so many of my clients, regardless of their current issues, have the underlying problem of experiencing unhealthy attachments to their primary caregiver. In addition, they attempt to navigate toxic relationships often with this same person. I have spent years studying attachment theory, bonding theories by Bowlby and early imprinting, but the therapist side of me keeps asking “How can I apply these theories to help someone heal and get ‘past their past’ in the present day?”

Often these clients are being negatively affected by the people in their lives that they should by now have a loving, caring relationship with? We commonly accept that our past relationships often define our current relationships and therein lies the problem. While every clients’ history, family and individual circumstances are unique, I have found there are still certain common threads that must be addressed by anyone suffering from something I have termed “Care Starvation.” So, what exactly is “Care Starvation” and are your current problems being caused from this?

The Roots of Care Starvation

Care Starvation starts very early when one does not properly bond with their primary caregiver and especially if one’s emotional or physical needs are not met early on. Often one begins to feel distrustful and hopeless. In response to these situations, a child develops behaviors that serve and protect them. They may split off this “injured part” of themselves, they may act out for attention, get “sick” often, show unstable moods or retreat into a fantasy world. As the individual ages, they may do high risk behaviors such as medicate their feelings through drugs or food or be incapable of maintaining a stable relationship. As a suffering adult, we tell ourselves to “just get over it” or there is no benefit in reliving the past. The important thing to know is that if we do not get help for our Care Starvation, it will continue to surface in ways that do not serve our higher good. The truth is that we often reject these “dissociated parts” of ourselves that are in pain and unhealed. We can only ignore them for so long.

One of the most common symptoms of Care Starvation is the feeling of disconnection or feeling shut out or distanced. Not feeling like you belong anywhere, for any purpose, in the entire universe is recurring theme during session. This is because early on you were given the message that you were not important, that you shouldn’t have been born or that you were simply not wanted. In other words, you were “inconsequential.” Even if these messages are not spoken, a child can hear them loud and clear and accept it as truth. Once this belief sets in, all kinds of unwanted, self-destructive behaviors can result.

Common Symptoms of Care Starvation

• Loneliness, even when others are around, including family members that love you
• Sadness and not understanding where the emotion is originating from
• Feeling like you don’t fit in regardless how much people try to reassure you
• Not feeling good enough even if you have over-achieved
• Feeling like something bad is going to happen when everything is going well
• Doing things to sabotage yourself or displaying behaviors that do not serve your higher good
• Feeling on edge, constant alert and distrustful for no good reason

Worth the Risk--Treatments to Heal Care Starvation

The best way to begin healing is to be honest with yourself and give yourself permission to “feel and explore” your emotions in a safe environment with someone that will have unconditional positive regard for you—this may at times not feel so great. Often a client feels guilty about saying anything negative about their parents or care-givers and their pain is palpable, but I remind them that it’s not about “blame” but about how things affected them and their emotional self and once expressed, healing is free to happen. It’s fine for this to feel risky since we are accustomed to shoving down our own feelings and disconnecting—the payoff is almost always worth it!

Secondly, we have to be willing to accept any parts of ourselves that we have previously rejected. That means exploring the parts that we are sad about, feel disconnected from and are angry about. Then we must begin learning how to accept ourselves. In theory this sounds easy, but in real life it has to be a purposeful act and usually will need a specific path facilitated by a therapist based on your goals.

We have to grieve. Once we realize that we did not receive what so many others got by having their needs met, we have to come out of denial and come into acceptance. This can take different forms:
• Choosing to forgive
• Processing through different stages of grief
• Allowing yourself to experience and feel the emotion of anger.

As the noted therapist Irvin Yalon states, “Sometimes I have to remind clients that sooner or later they will have to relinquish the goal of having a better past”.

Lastly, putting all the pieces together and letting go of shame (which never serves us) proves the catalyst that can propel us to healing and joy. This means we can see patterns over time, understand ourselves better and choose whether or not to forgive. Suddenly, we have the power we need to allow our strong, wise adult self to make healthy choices. Our rejected, immature parts no longer have to be driving our emotions and actions. At this point, we set good healthy boundaries that are right for us and when Mom calls mad and hangs up abruptly, our day is no longer ruined or defined.

To read more about the specific treatments I use to accomplish healing for Care Starvation, see my website at

Live Free

Renee Trimble, MS, LPC, LCDC
Founder Free Indeed Therapy

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Ladies' LIve Online Bible Study

Sunday, October 01, 2017 @ 10:26 AM

Wanted: Ladies to share in online, live Bible study (Maximum 5 participants). Will be provided via Google Hangouts. You will need a Google Hangouts account, webcam, microphone and speakers (built into most devices).

Title: Graceful Living

An 11-week Bible study to help you grow in knowledge of God's grace and how to incorporate these truths into a life of grace-filled living. Sessions run 6-8 pm.

Cost is FREE. Text is FREE.


First come, first served.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Treatment of Animals - Remembering the birthday of St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, September 28, 2017 @ 12:29 PM

Treatment of Animals

October 4th is the birthday of St. Francis of Assisi.  Born in Italy, he has become associated with causes in the treatment of animals and the environment.  In fact, in 1979 Pope John Paul II declared Saint Francis the Patron Saint of Ecology.

Around this time many churches celebrate St. Francis with the Blessing of the Animals services.  People in the neighborhoods bring their pets to the church and the animals are blessed by the pastor.

What Does the Bible Say?

Blessing of the Animals. Ascension Lutheran Church, Citrus Heights, CA. Pastor David Mullen blesses a German Shepherd
The Bible does not address souls.   Animals do not have the capacity to sin and therefore the Cross is unnecessary for them.  I would like to think I will see all of my pets in heaven.  That will be up to God's sovereignty.

We remember St. Francis as one of the few famous people of religion to even mention animals, though God gave a lot of ink to the animals in the creation story.  In Genesis chapter one we read that God spoke "Earth, generate life!  Every sort and kind:  cattle and reptiles and wild animals --all kinds."  God saw that it was good.  And then God made humans the stewards of animals.

Unfortunately, while millions of people are good stewards of animals others are not.  There has been historically widespread abuse of domesticated animals and wildlife.  Being a steward means to be a kind caretaker of the animals as well as the environment.

Our Stewardship

As October 4th appears on the calendars we can remember a man who took that stewardship to a new height.  He actually preached to them and legend has it that he tamed them as well.  He was known as a lover of animals and the land.  So let us wish St. Francis a happy birthday by treating animals with the respect they deserve.  We are God's stewards.

Rev. Dr. Craig Brewick 916-769-4673

Monday, September 18, 2017

Is God Answering Your Prayers? Look More Deeply You May Find the Answer

Monday, September 18, 2017 @ 9:49 PM

Answering your prayers

Recently a client was telling me that that she still has anger toward  God because He wasn’t answering her prayers as she went through a divorce.  She remembered that God ‘told her’ to leave the house three years after she discovered her husband had been continuously unfaithful.  Afterwards, she kept calling for God to help her have the strength to get through all the muck that a divorce brings.  God was silent, She said, “I haven’t been able to shake off the anger.”

As a counselor who believes that God intervenes in our lives with and without prayer, I thought for a moment how I was going to reply to her.  At this moment, she is enrolled in college and working two part-time jobs.  She is stresses over school but no longer stresses about the divorce which is now final.  In fact, she said, her life is so much better than before.

I queried as to what she is asking of God and, for which, she is not receiving an answer.  She said she was asking for strength.

God Will Answer Prayers

My client was facing an age-old mystery.  In the Bible Jesus tell us that if we ask for something and we really believe, we shall have it.  Mark 11:24.  But Christians can tell you they believe that God will answer the prayer but they don’t always see any physical evidence of that happening.  Well, God never said how He was going to answer our prayers.

In 1 Corinthians 13:12 Paul writes to the church at Corinth:   For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  In ancient times there were no modern mirrors that could exactly reflect our image - face-to-face.  The looking glasses at that time only gave us a distorted image.  Therefore, when God answers a prayer we cannot always tell it was answered as we understand ‘answered prayer.’   The answer to prayer in our minds is often what we want in a particular situation.

God can only answer prayers perfectly.  So when we pray we must have the faith that God is working behind the scenes to bring us to His perfection.


How God Speaks When We Don't Hear Him

The Bible is full of answers to our prayers.  If you’re looking for what God is saying go no further than the Bible.  My client was praying for strength.  Strength is mentioned in the Bible many times.  Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.’   My client prayed for strength but heard no audible voice or any real change in the divorce proceedings.  But, by her own accord she said ‘I got through it and now I am living better life.’  Seems to me that God answered that prayer.

Finding Power In Your Weakness

Monday, September 18, 2017 @ 4:18 PM

The world cares very little for those with broken hearts. 💔 People often break the hearts of others by their cruelty, their falseness, their injustice and their coldness. But God cares! Broken-heartedness draws Him down from heaven. He comes to the broken and bruised, with the sweetest tenderness.

Jesus said this about His mission on earth :
"He (the Heavenly Father) has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted.”
(Isaiah 61:1)

God repairs and restores the hurt and ruined life. He takes the bruised reed, the wilted flower and, by His gentle skill, makes them whole again until they grow into the fairest beauty.

The love, pity, and grace of God ministers sweet blessings of comfort and healing to restore the broken and wounded hearts of His people. The God of the Bible is the God of those who have been brought low, whom He then lifts up into His strength.

God is the God of those who fail — (not that He loves those who stumble and fall better than those who walk without stumbling) — but He helps them more. The weak believers get more of His grace than those who are strong believers!

There is a special divine promise which says,
"My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9)

When we are aware of "our own insufficiency", then we are ready to receive His divine sufficiency. So in reality, our very weakness is actually a component of strength!
Our weakness is an empty cup which God fills with His own strength.

You might think that your weakness disqualifies you for, strong, beautiful living, or for sweet, gentle, helpful serving. But really it’s something which if you give it to Christ, He can transform it into a blessing, a source of His power.

Dear friends. I encourage you today to take a moment, right now, and enter into His presence. Know that His desire is for you to trust Him completely. Allow Him to minister to your deepest need, for truly...
...His grace is sufficient.

Mary Lindow 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017


Sunday, September 17, 2017 @ 5:08 PM

written by Veronica A. Zinkham, MA, NCC, LPC. C{C - incorporating resources of Gerald Jamplosky and Everett Worthington.

1. Forgiveness is a Choice. Choice empowers clients to engage in a healing process that promotes relationships with mutuality and satisfaction, and frees them from debilitating emotions and resentment-filled relationships. Forgiveness can play a powerful role in healing. Forgiveness is a process of readying oneself to let go of a deep betrayal or inflicted emotional wounding . Forgiveness does not mean forgetting what happened. In Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25 we learn God requires us to forgive, because He forgave us for our sins.

2. Forgiveness is a JOURNEY OF TRANSFORMATION that involves jumping the hurdle of difficult emotions and self-preservations that block the desire to renew trust. Initially, the choice to forgive gives us a fresh perspective. Secondly, it prepares us to work through difficult emotions. And thirdly, it challenges us to transform our pain and suffering into a significant, meaningful event. "Forgiveness is a path to freedom." R.D. Enright.

3. It's OK to REMEMBER while forgiving. Forgiving does not imply forgetting. Forgiveness begins by perceiving the offense. Clients are often unwilling to forgive because they fear forgiveness eliminates justice, overlooks a grievous wrong, or provides an offender with an easy way out. This misperception is clearly stated in the idiom "forgive and forget." Forgiving does not mean forgetting. Individuals learn to forgive in order to HONOR THE SELF and eventually LET GO of DEBILITATING EMOTIONS.

It takes great courage to forgive. We must forgive because God forgives us and expects us to forgive. It is not healthy to carry bitterness and vengefulness in our hearts. Just as letting go is a process, so too, is forgiveness. One of the hardest things we will ever do is to forgive ourselves. "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong." M. Gandhi

4. Forgiveness has two sides: MERCY AND JUSTICE. For integrity to exist in relationship, the harmful behavior must be entirely stopped. Reconciliation is an ideal following forgiveness. In order to reconcile, the following is desired: an honest heartfelt apology, assuming responsibility and making amends for the wrongdoing, asking for forgiveness, and promising it will not happen again. If the offending party is unwilling to work toward this goal, then (if married) professional marriage counseling is recommended. The only choice for the wounded party is to maintain SELF-RESPECT, DIGNITY, and SAFETY.

5. C. S. Lewis - "don't excuse the wrongdoing, forgive it. Real forgiveness is a tough process; but it is absolutely necessary for mental health. James instructs us to submit ourselves to God and get rid of anything impure. "Cleanse your heart" means to examine your motivations and feelings that are displeasing to God. Through the cleansing process you become ready for all that God has for you.

6. Because forgiving involves changing emotions, it takes a very long time. Trauma disorganizes our worldview. It obliterates our sense of security, causes loss, and destroys our belief in justice. We may obsess about the tragedy, ask why, or what we could have done to prevent it. Retelling the story is the brain's way of reducing the anguish and pain and reconstructing a new worldview. Forgiveness in traumatic events is not always won.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Worry. Thinking Like Jesus

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 @ 11:53 PM

Christian Hope Counseling. -Rev. Dr. Craig A. Brewick. 916-769-4673

Thinking like Jesus: Peace.

Jesus offers salvation. Of course, that is at the end of our lives. In between birth and ‘right now’ there is life and problems to solve. Sometimes those problems are overwhelming to the point of extraordinary worry. Worry is the intellectual thought that something in our future will go badly. Anxiety, the feeling of fear, is the emotion that follows a worrisome thought.

In Matthew 6:25 Jesus addresses the issue head-on. He commands us directly not to worry. If we are having worrisome thoughts we are, in effect, in a sinful state. Jesus tells us not to look around and see what could be going wrong in the future because He is there in our future. He says in Jeremiah 29 that He has plans for us to prosper. But instead of thinking about that, we are like Peter looking down at an angry sea instead of keeping our eyes on Jesus.

In Philippians 4:7 Paul tells us that Jesus offers us a peace that transcends understanding that will guard our heart (that are now pounding from anxiety) and mind (what we are worrying about) with His peace which transcends all human understanding.

We don’t always understand the feeling of peace that Jesus offers us. It is not just a physical resting, though His peace will give us that. It is a peace we feel because our thoughts are on Him and not on the problems in our lives. When we focus on the problems and not Him, we are not receiving that transcending peace. So ask the Holy Spirit to change your thoughts and focus on Jesus helping us instead of the problems that are trying to sink us.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Five Common Eating Disorders Myths

Friday, September 08, 2017 @ 10:29 AM

By: Laura Oyer, PhD, HSPP, Clinical Specialist

When you hear this phrase, “a person with an eating disorder,” what type of “person” comes to mind? Seriously. Close your eyes right now for five seconds and imagine this person before you continue reading.

I’m going to take a guess at what you imagined. There’s a good chance you imagined a young, teenage girl, maybe somewhere around thirteen to sixteen years old. She’s probably pretty thin. Maybe too thin. She likely doesn’t eat much and is always dieting. I would also bet she’s white and moderately to highly affluent. Was I right? I’m hoping I wasn’t, but I imagine for some of you, my description was pretty spot-on.

Why is this? Why does our society have such a stereotype for people with eating disorders? There are many factors that have contributed to this stereotype, but one major contributor has to do with the depiction of eating disorders in our media. In the 1990’s, the media began to highlight eating disorders as a real concern. Movies, TV shows, articles, and books began to shed light on this life-threatening illness. While this was helpful in increasing awareness about eating disorders, the stories and characters depicted were predominately white, teenage, affluent girls who were struggling with Anorexia Nervosa. All of a sudden, the public began to associate eating disorders with this narrow population. Unfortunately, this association has stuck, even though it’s not entirely accurate. Eating disorders do not discriminate. They affect all genders, orientations, races, socioeconomic levels, body types, and ages. They also include various behaviors with food, not just restriction. Let’s start to break down these stereotypes by looking at five eating disorder myths and what researchers have discovered.

Myth #1: Anorexia is the only eating disorder. Restriction is the only eating disorder behavior.

This is one of the most common misconceptions. As mentioned above, when people think about eating disorders, they often think of someone who doesn’t eat or eats very little. Surprising to many people, Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder and has an estimated lifetime prevalence rate of .2% – 3.5% for females and .9% – 2.0% for males (Stice & Bohon, 2012). BED is more common than breast cancer, HIV, and schizophrenia, and is more than three times more common than Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa combined (National Eating Disorders Association – NEDA). BED is characterized as recurrent and frequent episodes of binge eating, defined as eating an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances AND a sense of lack of control.

In addition to restriction and binge eating, other behaviors go along with eating disorders. These may include: vomiting after eating, laxative abuse, frequent diet pill consumption/abuse, compulsive/obsessive exercise, over-exercise, obsession with clean eating, eliminating foods or food groups, food aversion, chewing and spitting, manipulating insulin, frequent body checking, obsessive calorie counting, obsessive weighing of oneself, and eating rituals, just to name a few. Just because these behaviors exist does not necessarily mean a person has an eating disorder; rather, it’s important to be aware of these various behaviors and use them as red flags to ask more questions. If a person associates only restriction with eating disorders, there’s a good chance he or she will miss warning signs in themselves and loved ones who struggle with other behaviors.

Myth #2: Only females get eating disorders.

This statement is absolutely false. Men DO get eating disorders. Although they are less common than females, males constitute about 25% of all eating disorders (Sweeting et al., 2015). Males represent approximately 11% – 25% of individuals with Anorexia Nervosa, 8% – 25% of Bulimia Nervosa, and 40% of Binge Eating Disorder (NEDA; Sweeting et al., 2015). Moreover, subclinical eating disorder behaviors (i.e., eating disorder behaviors that are not severe/frequent enough to meet diagnostic criteria) are nearly as common among males as they are among females (NEDA).

Recently, more men in the media have opened up about their eating disorders and/or past eating disorder behaviors, including Dennis Quaid (actor), Billy Bob Thornton (actor), Richard Simmons (fitness guru, actor, and comedian), Russel Brand (actor), Elton John (singer), Caleb Followill (singer), Zayn Malik (singer), and Joey Julius (collegiate football player), just to name a few. Again, if your mind took you to thinking all these men had Anorexia Nervosa and restricted, you would be wrong. Some of these men struggled with Anorexia Nervosa; however, several struggled with Bulimia Nervosa and others with Binge Eating Disorder. Learn more about men and eating disorders, including risk factors and warning signs here.

Myth #3: Only teenagers struggle with eating disorders.

Although many eating disorder symptoms and behaviors appear during adolescence, individuals can be impacted by these behaviors and preoccupations with their body and food throughout the lifespan. Researchers and clinicians have reported children as young as seven or eight meeting criteria for an eating disorder diagnosis. Similarly, more studies and anecdotal evidence are highlighting that many adults, even into their late 60s and 70s are struggling with eating disorder symptoms.

Margo Maine, PhD, a well-known clinical psychologist and author in the eating disorder world, shared some ideas as to why older adults may struggle with eating disorders. She offers that some of these older individuals may have struggled since youth and never sought help and/or recovered, some may have recovered and have relapsed, some may have struggled with food and weight for many years but the behaviors have become more severe over time, and finally, some, after facing challenges of adulthood (e.g., pregnancy, divorce, death, empty-nesting), develop rituals related to diet and exercise which progress into a full-blown eating disorder. Unfortunately, there is a lack of research to know exactly what percentage of the population struggles with eating disorders in the older adult population; however, researchers found eating disorder symptoms in 13% of women ages 50 and above over a five-year time period (Gagne et al., 2012).

Myth #4: Only people in the U.S. and white people get eating disorders.

Believe it or not, eating disorders are not a recent phenomenon. Many people think this is a disorder that has developed due to Western media and cultural values focused on thinness. While these do have an impact, we cannot say they are to blame as the primary cause. Writings and articles have noted examples of females starving themselves for religious reasons during the medieval period (i.e., taking fasting to an extreme to be closer to God), and some even being elevated to sainthood after their death (Davis & Nguyen, 2014).

Race is another harmful stereotype as much of the general public assume only white people are impacted by eating disorders. Unfortunately, even helping professionals and researchers have held this belief, causing the treatment and research to be biased and lacking in this area. Recently, researchers and practitioners have questioned this belief and found the prevalence of eating disorders is similar among Non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians in the United States, with the exception that anorexia nervosa is more common among Non-Hispanic Whites (NEDA).

Myth #5: You can tell by looking at someone if they have an eating disorder and how bad it is.

This eating disorder myth is so prevalent in our society. Even family members and clients themselves fall into this trap of believing this myth. Would you ever tell a family member, “Are you really sure you have cancer? You look healthy. Maybe the doctor was just being dramatic.” Or would you and say, “Wow! You really look like you have dementia.” Of course not! That seems absurd, right? Well, this is exactly what people do with eating disorders; assume one can judge if a person has or does not have this disorder based on their weight, and then make an assumption about how “bad” it is. As a psychologist who has worked with many clients with eating disorders, weight alone does not tell me how “sick” or “healthy” a person is. Although the research is inconclusive, one study reported mortality rates for 1,885 individuals diagnosed with eating disorders over a period of time. They identified crude mortality rates were 4.0% for Anorexia Nervosa, 3.9% for Bulimia Nervosa, and 5.2% for eating disorders not otherwise specified (Crow et al., 2009). These statistics highlight the seriousness of the disorder, regardless of a person’s weight.

As you can see, we have a lot of work to do to combat the incorrect beliefs and assumptions that exist in our society about eating disorders. I challenge you to notice yours and others’ biases and assumptions in this area and question them. Are they accurate? Additionally, if you or someone you know is struggling with disordered eating or an eating disorder, contact Crosswinds Counseling. We can help!


Crow, S.J., Peterson, C.B., Swanson, S.A., Raymond, N.C., Specker, S., Eckert, E.D., & Mitchell, J.E. (2009).

Increased mortality in bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 166, 1342 – 1346. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09020247

Davis, A.A., & Mguyen, M. (2014). A case study of Anorexia Nervosa driven by religious sacrifice. Case

Reports in Psychiatry, 2014, 4 pages. doi: 10.1155/2014/512764

Gagne, D.A., Von Holle, A., Brownley, K.A., Runfola, C.D., Hofmeier, S., Branch, K.E., & Bulik, C.M.

(2012). Eating disorder symptoms and weight and shape concerns in a large web-based convenience sample of women ages 50 and above: Results of the gender and body image study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 45, 832-844. doi: 10.1001/eat.22030

National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) –

Stice, E., & Bohon, C. (2012). Eating Disorders. In Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 2nd Edition, Theodore Beauchaine & Stephen Linshaw, eds. New York: Wiley.

Sweeting, H., Walker, L., MacLean, A., Patterson, C., Räisänen, U., & Hunt, K. (2015). Prevalence of eating disorders in males: a review of rates reported in academic research and UK mass media. International Journal of Men’s Health, 14(2), 10.3149/jmh.1402.86.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Are You Living The "Real" Privileged Life?

Monday, September 04, 2017 @ 2:50 AM

There I was... down on my knees in our hallway, with my head tucked deep in the bottom section of our linen closet putting away Kleenex and bathroom tissue from our latest run to Costco for household supplies. As I sat back to review my "compact stacking work", a deep wave of gratitude (as well as a moment of intense personal introspection), washed over me.

I sat back, looking at my full closet of supplies. I am able to go at any time and pull out a box of Kleenex or a fresh roll of tissue without the concerns of running out. Now, it may seem rather "inelegant" to mention these two specific "private human necessities" rather than something like laundry soap or bars of bath soap, but I'm reflecting over what a privileged life looks like, and when I look into my closet and see these items...
... I view myself as extremely privileged.

I'm wondering how many mothers tonight are cleaning their little baby's bottoms with leaves or grass in a mud hut somewhere, because they don't have even the foggiest idea where they would obtain something as luxurious as a roll of toilet paper. (Or a diaper.)

I'm thinking about the countless people tonight in the flooded typhoon zones in India and the southern parts of the United States, who have lost everything. I am certain that among them there are those who would weep uncontrollably over a fresh box of Kleenex or a place to use that toilet paper where it is sanitary and not submerged underwater.

Why am I allowed to have such grace and such provision when others are going without? And, even if I empty my entire closet out again and again and give it away, I will be able to go find my own basic supplies and replenish them with ease. (Although there were times in the past when we struggled just to make it.)

Oh my friends!
If tonight you may find yourself not feeling as blessed, well fed, or as opulent as others living around you, stop and check yourself! Check your heart! Many of us have clothing in drawers and closets that we will never wear that could go to someone else, (and would be viewed as treasure)! We have multiple pots and pans under our kitchen cupboards, lots of Tupperware and drinking glasses! The list goes on and on!

I'd like to encourage you to open your linen closets, your cupboards, your shoe closets, your clothing drawers, your pantries and garages. Begin to see all of the items contained in them with new eyes!

It is a privilege to "be privileged" to give!

Find some good sturdy boxes and put the best of what you have in those boxes! And yes, although
the families all over Texas are needing what you have, there are neighbors right down the street from you (who no one sees) that might need that Kleenex, the cans of soup, the fresh fruit sitting on your counter, or even that pair of tennis shoes that you keep thinking you're going to use again.

If you have been blessed with "the privileged life" (meaning you have food, clothing, housing and a warm place to sleep tonight), today is your opportunity to sit back and let a wave of gratitude pour over you!

This is your day to be thankful for the privileged life that you've been granted, and it's a day to rise up and be the hands and the heart of Christ extended outward to a troubled world where loss, constant pain and sorrow are raging through mass flooding, fires and wars.
We are privileged!
Yes indeed!
We are privileged!

Privileged to be able to extend what we have to bring them comfort!
"For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you clothed me,
I was sick and you visited me,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
And the King will answer them,
'Truly, I say to you, as you did these things to one of the least of these my friends, you did it to me.’
Matthew 25:35

Mary Lindow 2017

Friday, September 01, 2017

Divorce Won't Make You Happy

Friday, September 01, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

People who are unhappy in their marriages tend to believe that the reason they are unhappy is because of their marriage. But, the research shows that people who are unhappy in their marriages are not any happier after a divorce.

Happiness is tied to circumstances. Sometimes being in the center of God’s will means that we are in a difficult and painful circumstance. God has never promised us happiness. He does, however, promise His peace. In the bible Stephen wasn’t happy when he was being stoned to death. Paul wasn’t happy when he was in prison. But they both had God’s peace. We don’t always need to leave a situation because we’re unhappy. Sometimes God is working in the situation to grow us, teach us, or prepare us.

Being unhappy in your marriage is an opportunity to learn to depend more on God and to focus more on healing and growth than on happiness. Even if your spouse is unwilling to go to counseling for their own issues or is unwilling to do marriage counseling, you can still go to counseling on your own. You can learn how to create healthier boundaries in your marriage, deepen your relationship with God, and establish healthy relationships with friends and family who can support and encourage you. Growth is not only possible during a difficult situation-that’s the time that it is most likely to occur.

Also, if unhealed emotional wounds from your past are what lead you to choose your current spouse, they are influencing your behavior in the marriage, and if you leave the marriage without dealing with these wounds—the unhealed wounds go with you and lead to more unhealthy choices in the future.

Ultimately, your marriage may not survive, but don’t give up until you have done everything you can to change the dynamics in the relationship including starting the process of your own healing from the past.

Lynn Owens, MS, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a John Rosemond Certified Leadership Parenting Coach.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Guide to Finding a Good Marriage Therapist

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 @ 7:09 PM

For couples seeking marriage therapy, it can be overwhelming to know who to choose from. A healthy google search can produce counseling options of every flavor. A counselor's bio or credentials, while important for establishing professional credibility, are not always enough to satisfy our need for some additional assurance.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What To Do When You Are - "H.ungry A.ngry L.onely T.ired"

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 1:28 AM

"Self-help" for life's stresses is often full of acronyms and a lot of them are more cute than useful, but this one is a keeper.

Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

When you feel irritated or anxious, one — or more — of those four conditions is likely going on, and if not noticed and tended to, they can lead you to very bad places. Explosions at others, self-destructive acts, relapses into addictions.

The beauty of "HALT" is that it reminds us of several things at the same time:
1. To halt before we act out, and reconnect with the God.
2. To tend to our physical and emotional well-being — not just go running around on fumes without eating and sleeping.
3. That these feelings are short lived, and once we see them for what they are and let go of our attachment to them, they lose their power over us.

Are you anxious or irritated? Are you beginning to attack someone or lose control?
Are you feeling hopeless, or like giving up and returning to an addiction?

1. HALT! Pause — especially if there is an escalating situation. Take a deep breath or count to ten.

2. HUNGRY: Did you eat at the last regular mealtime? Or did you skip it?

3. ANGRY: Is your judgment clouded by anger right now?

4. LONELY: Are you feeling disconnected from other people, whether alone or in a group, but without making an effort to communicate ?

5. TIRED: Did you get enough sleep last night? Many people are so unaccustomed to what enough sleep feels like that this may be new territory. (this is one of the biggest problems in our society right now!)

6.)If you identified with one of these problem areas, if possible, address it.
Eat, nap, calm down, or focus on socializing or helping someone else.

7. If you identified a problem area, but can’t address it right now, focus on being aware . Admit that you are feeling this way and that you let yourself get into a difficult state. Often just this awareness is enough to calm down the situation entirely.

8. Make a habit of spot-checking your self and see if you are really taking care of yourself. Are you getting enough sleep, eating well and regularly, and socializing and helping others?

The common thing with "Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired" is that they take us away from conscious and fresh contact with God, which is our natural state. They kick up fear — either an obvious survival fear or a subtle fear that we’re not going to be OK down the road.

Fear is not a thing in itself; fear is the absence of God.
Fear means you’re not trusting that things are as they’re meant to be.
Actually, you’re not trusting God’s plan.

Never FEAR talking to a counselor or Pastoral Counselor when you know that you are not handling anxiety, depression, addictions or the changes that life might be excessively stressing you out with. God prepared them to help others... BE FREE!

Proverbs 13:10
Through insolence comes nothing but strife, But wisdom is with those who receive counsel.

Proverbs 15:22
Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.

Mary Lindow MA

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Divorce Recovery Workshop

Thursday, August 03, 2017 @ 6:35 PM

Over 16,000 have attended this Divorce Recovery Workshop since 1981. I have been privileged to be the speaker at it since 2009. The program runs 6 consecutive Thursday nights. Cost is modest because our team of almost 50 men and women volunteer pro bono. Please click on this link to learn more about this wonderful program.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Does Your Relationship Needs Urgent Repair?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 10:25 AM

Relationships can be messy. Many couples get in a negative spiral that has taken them so deeply down that they have lost hope. If you are one of these people, keep reading. This post is especially for you.

I've surveyed hundreds of couples and their most common causes for crisis include difficulties with communication, lack of time, fighting, and loss of connection and affectionate in their relationship. On top of these, many couples are afraid of their partner having an affair or have already been impacted by infidelity. In order to move forward you need to be able to get out of crisis mode, heal from pain and, learn better ways of relating.

One of the things that happen when you are full of negativity and in crisis mode is that your brain gets flooded with chemicals that make it impossible to think clearly and to problem solve. It becomes a defeating circle that gets you into depression, anger, and despair.

The first thing you need to learn is how to take responsibility for your own feelings and be able to calm yourself enough for recovering clarity of mind. That's why you need the guidance of someone that know how to guide you out of crisis so that you can plan your next steps.

Over more than 30 years helping couples, I have helped many relationships get out of crisis and back into a happy heart-connected relationship. Because I get many calls from couples in crisis I decided to create a very special intensive half day program I have called: Urgent Relationship Repair Challenge. You can learn all about my program by clicking the button asking for more information.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sweet Ideas for Making Family Time Special

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 @ 3:09 PM

Family time is a great way to create strong family ties. Frequent family activities forge a shared identity, while togetherness builds closeness and develops relationship maturity. Children actually function better in day-to-day life when they feel connected to their family. Here are some tips:

Schedule Regular Family Time – Coordinate calendars blocking out time to schedule this valuable experience and be sure to protect it. Carving out the time is the key to making it happen.

Plan the Activity in Advance – Keep a list of fun ideas that each person in the family contributed and allow the children to alternate picking an activity. Decide in advance how to spend this special family time. It is important to be sure to prepare any supplies you will need ahead of time.

Family TimePlay Together – Families that laugh together share many light-hearted moments that encourage acceptance. Playfulness balances the serious sides of life. Encourage your kids to support each other’s activities and endeavors.

Avoid Plugging In – Resist the urge to turn to electronic devices. Instead, come up with creative ideas that encourage creativity, vision, and sharing.

Pray Together – You have heard the quote “A family that prays together stays together.” Sharing a faith, not only builds similar values and a core belief system from which discussion can emerge, but also promotes healthy relationships.

Keep it Simple – The more complex the project or activity the greater the number of variables that can go wrong. Therefore strive for something simple, easy and fun.

Sweet ideas for making family time special are simple but the challenge is to follow through, regardless of the age of your children your family can start now! If you remember to keep family as your priority, it will help to ensure a happy home.

Author: Robin Rosario
Robin Rosario, MA, LPCS is the Owner, Clinical Director, Clinician Supervisor, and Senior Therapist at Rosario Counseling Robin Rosario& Associates. She has over two and a half decades of experience helping people with positive results, treating Adults, Couples, Adolescents, Children and Families. Rosario Counseling & Associates was birthed from Robin’s heart to see excellent compassionate clinical care for those struggling with emotional pain, mental illness or family issues. Her desire then and now is to inspire hope, courage and restoration in hurting families and individuals who come to her.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Sunday, July 16, 2017 @ 10:52 AM

My Brain on Marriage

Last weekend my husband and I went for our “almost” daily walk around the neighborhood. We have a particular route we always follow and on this day our 3 dogs thought it would be beneficial for us to bring them along. My husband had the two smaller dogs which, for the first few blocks, act more like Alaskan sled dogs pulling him down the street as he leans backwards about 40 degrees to keep them from a full run. I had our 70 lbs. well-mannered Weimaraner named Greyson. Since my husband had been nursing an old foot injury, he decided to shorten the regular route and head back to the house. I, of course, had to complete the 1.1-mile route because, if you’ve read my other blogs, I’m OCD and not finishing a task causes me a certain level of anxiety.

He commented to me, as he redirected the 2 little urchins (as we call them) down the alternate path home, that the sky had gotten darker since we left the house and that little bit of thunder you heard could be bringing rain quickly. He suggested that I follow him home via the shorter route. Of course, I didn’t listen.

We parted ways and I began thinking about the clients that I had in store for tomorrow . As I walked down the long back street in our neighborhood, the wind began blowing and the clouds turned into a dark ominous boiling gray mass moving rapidly over me. A few strikes of lightning and claps of thunder later made it evident that my husband was right…again!

As I rounded the corner and headed for home, I still had 3 blocks to go before turning down our street. Four blocks away and across the main road entering our subdivision, I could see a developing blanket of water that began peppering buildings, trees and cars, making them almost obscure under the growing deluge. At this point, there was no rain in our subdivision, only across the main road at the entrance of the subdivision. Do you know that feeling you have when you are trying desperately to reach the open door of a building just before it closes and locks you out? That was my feeling. I was going to get drenched.

What I didn’t know was that my husband had dropped the dogs off at the house and immediately got in his truck and headed out to find me and Greyson. He rounded the corner at our street as the first large drops began slapping the top of my head. By the time he pulled up beside me, my dog was spotted head to tail from the large droplets and I had never been so relieved to see my husband.

He opened the back door of the truck and Greyson jumped in as I hopped into the front seat. As I closed the door, I stared at my husband for a few seconds and said, “I’m so grateful for you, not just for rescuing me from the rain, but for ALL the ways you care for me. “He grinned and said, “That’s what I love to do!”

I relate this little short story not to brag about the fact that I am blessed beyond measure with a great marriage, but to highlight the beauty of spouses that anticipate the needs of their betrothed. Selfless acts relay to the other how much they truly care for them and that their thoughts are constantly filled with that person.

This was not an isolated incident with my husband. He constantly and forever is meeting my needs, even when I don’t think I have a need. He keeps me filled up and never wanting for love, acceptance and security. That’s what I want to convey to my clients – what does it takes to keep a marriage fulfilled to the nth degree? Marriage is an ongoing relationship that needs constant interaction between the spouses to truly fulfill what God intended with this institution. We truly do become one flesh, knowing each other’s thoughts and needs.

Gottman, who has studied relationships extensively, says that we need to always follow what he calls the 5:1 ratio rule. For every single negative interaction, we have with our spouse, it needs to be followed with 5 positive interactions to refill our “love buckets”. Each of us spouses should do a quick check of our marriage from time to time by asking questions like:
• Are we just like ships in the night passing each other?
• Do we have humor, affection and active interest in each other?
• Do we feel a real emotional connection to our spouse?
• Would you count your spouse as your best friend?
• What is our shared meaning together?
• How would I feel and react if I lost my spouse?
• How are we doing on the “first base goals”: trust, love and respect?

If you are not happy with your answers, consider seeing someone experienced with couples counseling to give you tools and ideas to bring you closer to your “ideal relationship.”

As a therapist, many clients come to me looking for a solution to their current problems. Some relationship problems are solvable, but as I explain to everyone most problems are unsolvable, you simply need to learn how to manage your problems. And remember, choosing a partner is “choosing a set of problems” (Gottman). In other words, what Gottman is saying is that it is NOT about solving the perpetual problem, but rather it is the affect that surrounds the discussion of the perpetual problem. Learning to accept “problems” as part of any relationship and having the skills to dialogue about them is key to a productive resolution that does not escalate to anger and disconcertion. Something else important to remember is that romantic relationships and marriage often bring out our own “stuff”. This is good provided we take the opportunity to process our “stuff” and learn to heal as individuals. Often our own “stuff” is what is causing the “couple problems.”

I am grateful to be a therapist and I am also thankful to be a “marriage friendly” couples’ therapist and a member the National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapist, because I know first-hand that having a great marital relationship offers so many benefits. I am not value neutral when it comes to marriage. I believe that marriage is important for our legacy, our community and our society at large.

Rescuing your spouse from an impending deluge, telling your spouse how much your life is better with them in it, knowing how to anticipate your spouse’s needs and genuinely taking care of every aspect of each other’s lives is essential to maintaining and growing a fantastic marriage.
Live Free

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

"Looking for Happiness in All the Wrong Places"

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 @ 3:04 PM

Happiness is a difficult concept for most people. Many see it as a point in one’s life where all the pieces come together and fit, just right. Others look for it in material objects. “When I get that next promotion, new car, IT bag…then I’ll be happy.” For others still, it is very elusive and they may even believe that they have no right to be happy. “Oh, I blew it while I was young, guess I’ll be paying for that mistake for the rest of my life” or “Happiness is just for kids, it doesn’t matter for adults.” I firmly believe that happiness is an essential part of a healthy life. The trick is to understand what you are doing that gets in the way of your own happiness.
The simple truth is that many of us waste valuable time, energy, and mental space on two things: past behaviors that don’t matter anymore and stuff we have no control over. For example, I have worked with a client who carried bitter feelings about his junior high school classmates for over fifty years. This person has convinced himself that everyone else was ‘perfect’ and that since he had acne, he could not make any friends. I am sure that if he were to run into any of his former classmates, he would find more similarities rather than differences. However, he assumes that they all are having ‘perfect’ lives in contrast to him, and he becomes frustrated and angry about his current situation. First of all, whatever happened in junior high school is long gone, and needs to be put to rest. Secondly, there is nothing he can do about the past. He cannot change who he was back then or anyone else’s actions toward him.
So, what is a person to do when they have memories of being hurt or disappointed by others? What if you are the one who caused the hurt and you can’t forget about it? The first step is forgiveness. It’s an old idea, I know, but one that is more needed than ever today. I see many people who let opportunities for happiness slip through their fingers because they are unwillingly to forgive others or believe that they do not deserve forgiveness. It is clear that many of us don’t understand what forgiveness is really about. Recently, I heard a wonderful explanation of how important forgiveness is: having an unforgiving spirit is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. When we hold on to things that damage our very souls, we are only hurting ourselves more. The solution is to learn to let go, rather than continuing to carry the burden of our hurt feelings and disappointments. Letting go is essential, because too many of us are being weighed down by the garbage that we try to stuff down, such as resentment, anger, and sadness. That is like drinking the poison, again and again. It only hurts you. It takes strength to release the pain, not letting it take root in our hearts and souls.

Some people mistakenly think that they won’t or can’t forgive until the offending party makes some effort. That sounds reasonable, but what if they never say “I’m sorry”? What if the person you hurt you is no longer living? You don’t need to carry that burden any longer. But, you have to be willing to let it go. I teach my clients that forgiveness is for their own benefit, the other person need not be involved. Forgive for you, not for them.
Now, if you are having trouble forgiving yourself for something you have done, think on this: are you putting yourself above Almighty GOD? If He is willing to forgive you, who are you to say “No, I don’t deserve it”? When we look at life from this perspective, it takes a lot of the burden off you and me. Don’t let bitterness and a lack of forgiveness stand in the way of your own happiness. Practice letting go of whatever has been weighing you down. Pour out forgiveness on others and yourself, and you will be closer to finding the secret of happiness in your own life.