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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Navigating Parental Grief: Faith and Healing Through the Loss of a Child

Thursday, May 23, 2024 @ 6:04 PM

Losing a child is an experience that transcends words; it's a journey through profound pain, uncharted emotional depths, and an altered reality that reshapes the very fabric of life. For parents facing this unimaginable loss, navigating the path of grief can feel overwhelming and isolating. However, integrating principles from psychological theories and Christian faith can provide a framework for healing and resilience.

Preserving Connections

John Bowlby's attachment theory highlights the importance of maintaining bonds with the deceased. This does not mean clinging to the past, but rather preserving a connection that allows the parent to feel that their child remains a part of their lives in some way. This could be through cherished memories, photos, or personal rituals that honor the child's memory. These connections can offer comfort and a sense of continuity in the midst of profound change.

Allowing Time to Grieve

Grief is a deeply personal process that requires time and space to fully experience. It is crucial for parents to allow themselves to feel the breadth of their emotions—anger, sadness, confusion, and even moments of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 reminds us that there is "a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance." Acknowledging and embracing the full spectrum of grief helps in moving toward healing.

Reworking Life

One of the significant challenges in parental grief is reworking life to accommodate the loss. Rather than aiming to return to a pre-loss state, parents must learn to integrate the loss into their ongoing lives. This involves creating a new normal where the memory of the child is woven into the fabric of daily living. This process is about adaptation and finding new ways to live meaningfully despite the loss.

Reaching Out for Support

In times of profound grief, reaching out for support is vital. This includes seeking the comfort and strength offered by God, as well as the support of family, friends, and professional counselors. The Bible encourages believers to bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2), emphasizing the importance of community and mutual support. Sharing grief with others can lighten the emotional load and provide much-needed comfort.

Finding a New Purpose

Finding a new reason to get up each day is a powerful step in the healing journey. This might involve discovering new passions, engaging in meaningful activities, or simply appreciating the small blessings in each day. Trusting in God's plan, as articulated in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future," can provide a profound sense of hope and purpose.

Balancing Grief and Healing

It is important to strike a balance between times of grieving and times of respite. Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 speaks to the natural rhythms of life, including both mourning and healing. Parents should allow themselves to take breaks from grief, engaging in activities that bring joy and peace. These moments of respite are not a betrayal of the lost child but are essential for sustaining the long journey of grief.

In conclusion, navigating the grief of losing a child is an arduous journey that requires time, support, and a deep well of faith. By preserving connections with the deceased, allowing time to experience grief fully, reworking life to include the loss, reaching out for support, finding new purpose, and balancing moments of grief with moments of healing, parents can find a pathway to resilience. Rooted in Christian faith and biblical wisdom, this holistic approach provides a compassionate and hopeful framework for those enduring the unimaginable.

Into the Mourning: A Handbook (and Workbook) for a Grieving Parent

Thursday, May 23, 2024 @ 5:35 PM

Losing a child is an experience that transcends words; it's a journey through profound pain, uncharted emotional depths, and an altered reality that reshapes the very fabric of life. To support parents navigating this challenging terrain, Dr. Kelly authored Into the Mourning: A Handbook for a Grieving Parent along with its companion grief workbook Into the Mourning, A Workbook for a Grieving Parent. The carefully crafted handbook and workbook acknowledge the complexities of parental grief and introduces the P.A.R.E.N.T. Model of Grief, a unique framework designed to offer support, understanding, and a pathway toward healing. The model respects the individual journey of each grieving parent, emphasizing that grief is unique, circular, fluid, distressing, and a lifetime event, while providing the encouragement and hope that there is no wrong or right way to grieve. Embrace one or both compassionate guides to find solace and resilience amidst the unfathomable loss.

The handbook offers a deep dive into the complexities of grief after losing a child, cultural and spiritual impacts on grief, and a historical context of how death is viewed and experienced, as well as the P.A.R.E.N.T. Model of Grief that normalizes the distress and often confusing thoughts and feelings from an attachment perspective. The workbook offers daily practices, journaling exercises, prayers, meditations, and support to help you navigate grief after child loss, and learn how to live with the loss.

Both can be purchased on

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

The Telltale Signs of a Dysregulated Nervous System in Mothers

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 @ 12:59 PM

Motherhood is often romanticized as a joyous and fulfilling experience. However, behind the smiles and adorable baby photos, there is a hidden reality that many mothers face – a dysregulated nervous system. While it may not be immediately visible, the signs of a dysregulated nervous system can manifest in various ways.

In this blog, we will unmask the invisible struggle that mothers with a dysregulated nervous system often face. From chronic fatigue and irritability to difficulty in concentrating and anxiety, the effects of a dysregulated nervous system can be debilitating. These symptoms can not only affect a mother's well-being but can also impact her ability to care for her child.

Understanding the signs and symptoms of a dysregulated nervous system is essential for both mothers and those who support them. By recognizing these telltale signs, mothers can seek appropriate help and support to regain balance and improve their overall well-being.

The impact of dysregulation on mothers

1. Emotional Volatility
Dysregulation turns your emotions into a wild carnival. One minute, you’re laughing at a toddler’s knock-knock joke; the next, you’re crying over mom guilt.

Your fuse shortens, and patience becomes a rare gem. Your toddler’s innocent question? Cue a surge of all the emotions as they run through your body. You’re a tightly coiled spring, ready to snap at the slightest provocation.

2. Physical Toll
Chronic dysregulation takes a toll on your body. Imagine your nervous system as a grumpy roommate – it messes with your sleep, digestion, and overall well-being.

Headaches, backaches, and mysterious twinges become your companions.

3. Sensory Overload
Lights are too bright, sounds too loud? Your nervous system cranks up the volume on everything. Ever need to turn down the volume on the radio to help navigate the road? Yeah, just like that!

You’re like a human antenna, picking up signals from every corner. Even the dog barking is too much.

4. Sleep Drama
Sleep becomes a high-stakes game. You’re either a night owl, binge-watching Netflix till 2 AM, or a daytime zombie, stumbling through life.

Your brain, fueled by insomnia, feels like a squirrel on espresso – darting from one thought to another. “Did I pay the water bill? What do I need from the store?”

5. Attention Whirlwind
Concentration? Ha! Your brain juggles thoughts like a circus performer with flaming torches.

You start a task, get distracted by another task, and end up organizing the sock drawer.

6. Appetite Roller Coaster
Your relationship with food is another roller coaster ride. One day, you devour a family-sized pizza; the next, you forget to eat altogether.

Your nervous system messes with your hunger cues. “Didn’t I just eat? I’m so bloated I feel full! I just want carbs and sweets!”

7. Immune System Tango
Dysregulation messes with your internal GPS. Suddenly, stress-induced colds and hormonal imbalances waltz into your life.

8. Social Acrobatics
Social situations become tightropes. You’re balancing between “I need alone time” and “I miss adult conversation.”

Your nervous system toggles between “hermit crab” and “social butterfly.” Sometimes, you’re both at the same party.

The Role of Stress in Dysregulation

Stress – that pesky gremlin – loves to poke our nervous system. Chronic stress, also known as toxic stress, is like an uninvited guest who overstays their welcome. Here’s how it wreaks havoc:

1. Activation and Dysregulation: Chronic stress activates our stress response systems repeatedly and excessively. Imagine your nervous system as a car alarm that never stops blaring. It’s not adaptive; it’s downright annoying.

2. Cardiovascular Drama: Chronic stress is associated with cardiovascular diseases. Your heart races like it’s in a sprint, even when you’re just reading a grocery list. It’s like your heart’s auditioning for an action movie.

3. Insulin Resistance: Stress messes with your body’s sugar management. Suddenly, insulin – that diligent traffic cop – starts waving cars in all directions.

4. Cognitive Decline: Chronic stress turns your brain into a tangled web of thoughts. Concentration? Rational decisions? Nope. You’re juggling mental post-it notes in a windstorm.

5. Mood Disorders: Bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and anhedonia (the joy-sucking ghost) are part of the landscape. Stress assumes a hidden role, and mental health disorders are actively present.

6. The Bear That Isn’t There: Your stress response gears up for a bear attack. But guess what? There’s no bear – just a pile of unfolded laundry. Your nervous system needs new glasses.

The importance of self-care for mothers with a dysregulated nervous system

As moms, we often find ourselves juggling flaming torches (metaphorically, of course) while riding the unicycle of motherhood on a tightrope. But amidst the chaos, self-care becomes our secret weapon – the oxygen mask we need before assisting others.

Why Self-Care Matters for Moms

1. Replenishing the Well:
Imagine your well-being as a well... When you constantly draw water (energy, patience, love) from it without replenishing, it runs dry. Self-care refills that well.

Moms infuse those around them with their own energy. By taking care of ourselves, we can give more to others – our kids, partners, and everyone else in our orbit.

2. Stress Management:
Motherhood can be a stormy sea. Self-care is our life raft. It helps manage stress, prevent burnout, and keep our emotional ship afloat.

When we practice self-care, we build practical coping skills to weather the tempests. It’s like having a sturdy anchor when the waves get rough.

3. Physical and Mental Health:
Self-care reduces the risk of future medical issues. A healthier mom means a healthier family.

It safeguards our mental health too. As we practice self-care, we learn to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety.

4. Modeling for Our Kids:
Children mimic their parents. When they see Mom prioritizing self-care, they learn its value.

We’re not just teaching them how to tie shoelaces; we’re showing them how to tie emotional knots too.

Strategies for Regulating the Nervous System

As moms, we’re like circuit breakers – handling surges of emotions, responsibilities, and the occasional toddler meltdown. Here’s our toolkit for smoother functioning:

1. Breathe: Inhale Courage, Exhale Chaos
Deep breaths are our secret weapon. They activate the parasympathetic system – our chill pill. Imagine inhaling courage and exhaling chaos.

Try this: Inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4, exhale for 6. Repeat until you feel it in your body.

2. Move: Shake Off Stress Like a Wet Dog
Dance, walk, or do yoga – anything to shake off stress. Picture yourself as a wet dog, vigorously shaking off water after a bath.

Movement releases endorphins – our natural mood boosters. Plus, it’s a legit excuse to dance like nobody’s watching.

3. Connect: Hug Your Kids, Call a Friend, Pet a Dog
Connection soothes frazzled nerves. Hug your kids – their giggles are like mini therapy sessions.

Call a friend. Vent, laugh, or discuss the latest embarrassing thing you did or that mom guilt you feel. Friends are like emotional vitamins.

4. Sleep: Prioritize Those Zzz’s
Your nervous system craves sleep like a toddler craves cookies. Prioritize those Zzz’s.

Create a bedtime ritual: dim lights, cozy blankets, and a cup of chamomile tea. Your brain will thank you.

5. Seek Professional Help: Emotional GPS
Therapists, coaches, and support groups are our emotional GPS. They guide us through the labyrinth of feelings.

It’s okay to ask for directions. Sometimes, we need a detour to find our way back to calm.

Seeking Professional Help for Nervous System Dysregulation

If you’re grappling with a dysregulated nervous system, seeking professional help is a crucial step toward healing. As moms, we often carry the weight of the world on our shoulders – juggling responsibilities, emotions, and the occasional Lego underfoot. But remember, you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) navigate this alone.

Understanding the Struggle
Long after a traumatic event has passed, our nervous system can remain on high alert, like a car stuck in “go” mode while simultaneously trying to minimize internal chaos. It’s as if we’re pressing both the accelerator and the brake pedal, desperately seeking equilibrium. Childhood trauma, chronic stress, and emotional overload can all contribute to this dysregulation.

Breaking Free with Mom Coaching
That’s where I come in. I’m Kelly, a mom coach with a master’s degree in counseling and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. As a once anxiety-ridden mom of four, I’ve turned my pain into purpose. My personalized one-on-one coaching is designed to fit seamlessly into your jam-packed schedule. No more stressing about weekly sessions – we communicate through a secure app, leaving voice, video, or text messages whenever you need support.

Think of me as your continuous cheerleader while you kick guilt to the curb!

Conclusion: Empowering mothers to heal and thrive

Dear mom, you’re more resilient than you realize. Peel off that invisible mask, embrace your nervous system’s quirks, and know that healing begins with compassion – for yourself and every other mom riding this rollercoaster. Let’s thrive together, one deep breath at a time.

Key Takeaways:
You’re Not Alone: The invisible struggle is real, but so is your strength. Other moms are navigating similar waters – sometimes with leaky boats and mismatched oars.

Self-Care Is Survival: Prioritize self-care; it’s not selfish. Delegate tasks, say no, and schedule “me time.” A well-regulated mom is a superhero in disguise.

Regulate and Recalibrate: Use strategies like deep breathing, movement, and seeking professional help. You’re not just a frazzled wire; you’re a conductor weaving chaos into a beautiful melody.

Remember, you’re not just a mom and you’re not just your dysregulated symptoms. There is purpose, passion and JOY in your life and I would love to help guide you to find it all again….maybe it’s re-defined now at this chapter, but you deserve all of it!!!!

With Love and Imperfection,

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Can Different Parenting Styles Influence Emotional Bonds with Children?

Wednesday, May 8, 2024 @ 9:16 AM

To establish a clearly defined frame of reference for various aspects and nuances associated with the concept of attachment, it is imperative to first conceptualize a working definition of attachment. “Attachment style or organization is a concept that derives from John Bowlby’s attachment theory and refers to a person’s characteristic ways of relating in intimate caregiving and receiving relationships with “attachment figures,” often one’s parents, children, and romantic partners” (Levy et al., 2010, p. 193). Feldman (2011) in addressing relationship formation asserts, “Attachment is a positive emotional bond that develops between a child and a particular, special individual” (p. 178). Contextually, as it relates specifically to parent-child relationship, the emotional aspects during the social development of children may result in pleasure or distress (Feldman, 2011). Moreover, some researchers contend that the nature of the infantile attachment has subsequent consequences on adulthood interpersonal relationships. Minnis, et al. (2009) add further speculation to current level of understanding of attachment disorder, “Despite more than 30 years in the psychiatric nomenclature, reactive attachment disorder remains a poorly understood phenotype” (p. 931).

Attachment Disorder and its Relationship to Emotional Sensitivity and Safety

Conceptually, attachment is intricately connected to the nuances of sensitivity and safety. The concept of attachment is rooted in one’s confidence or lack of confidence in the attachment figure, particularly in the context of security. The maternal role is intimately connected to developing appropriate personal sensitivity, while discerning the safety of her offspring. Feldman (2011) convincingly articulates this relationship, “The research showing the correspondence between mothers’ sensitivity to their infants and the security of the infants’ attachment is consistent with Ainsworth’s arguments that attachment depends on how mothers react to their infants’ emotional cues” (p. 181). In other words, infants that feel a sense of security are more inclined to freely explore their immediate world. Moreover, the sense of an established and safe haven builds the infant’s confidence that parental support, protection, comfort exist in times of distress.

The Father’s Parental perspective

Any discussion on parenting styles and attachment theory would be incomplete in the absence of sharing insight from the father’s parental perspective. Guided by the social norms and traditions of his day, it can be argued that John Bowlby’s research was skewed by his distinct worldview. However, given the parental roles that many fathers now assume due to various macro-environmental factors, it would be prudent to redress this issue. “Although infants are fully capable of forming attachments to both mother and father- as well as other individuals – the nature of the attachment between infants and mothers, on the one hand, and infants and fathers, on the other hand, is not identical” (Feldman, 2011, p. 182). At the corpus of the distinctive attachments is the qualitative nature of their individual relationships. Traditionally, the maternal relationship is primarily nurturing, whereas the paternal relationship involves more play, particularly physical and contact sporting activities. However, as previously alluded to, cultural, social, and economic factors significantly impinge on previously held views of distinctive paternal and maternal stereotypical roles.

Continuing Attachment Disorder Research Needed

A plethora of research continues in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of attachment disorder. There appears to be no clear scientific links between reactive attachment disorder (RAD) and attachment insecurity (Minnis, et al., 2009). On the surface, there appears to be some interactions among attachment styles, safety, confidence, and exploration. Levy, et al. (2010) explicate the importance of exploration in the context of interpersonal relationships, “Exploration of the world includes not only the physical world but also relationships with other people and reflection on one’s internal experience” (p. 193). Hypothetically, the context of future research bears the solutions. Minnis et al. (2009) succinctly conclude, “An important task of future research will be to gain a better understanding of attachment in the context of RAD, including the possibility that there may be differences in behavior even with the ‘secure’ category” (p. 939).


Feldman, R. S. (2011). Development across the life span. New Jersey: Pearson.

Levy, K. N., Ellison, W.D., Scott, L. N., & Bernecker, S. L. (2010). Attachment style. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67(2), 193-203.

Minnis, H., Green, J., O’Connor, T. G., Liew, A., Glaser, D., Taylor, E., Follan, M., Young, D., Barnes, J., Gillberg, C., Pelosi, A., Arthur, J., Burston, A., Connolly, B., & Sadiq, F. A.). (2009). An exploratory study of the association between reactive attachment disorder and attachment narratives in early school-age children. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 50(8), 931- 942.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Should I report physical abuse?

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 @ 3:43 PM

Victims of physical violence are often hesitant to report a family member or loved one for hitting, punching, slapping or any type of physical abuse. Compassionate people often become the victims of domestic violence because they have an excess of compassion towards their abusers. Below I address some of the common reasons domestic violence victims give for not reporting abuse.

“I don’t want them to have a criminal record.”

All behaviour has consequences. When victims of abuse refuse to report they are agreeing to take on the emotional burden and consequences of continued abuse. This shelters the abuser from consequences. Sheltering someone from the consequences of their behaviour reduces the chances of genuine change. Many people don’t begin to change until the consequences of poor behavior start to negatively impact them. When consequences are present this reveals if there is a true willingness to change and address the issues, or they will go somewhere that will tolerate their abuse.

Additionally, for a first-time offense the courts are typically more focused on a pathway to rehabilitation than they are on punishment. Pressing charges can allow the courts to provide accountability to a mental health treatment program. This kind of accountability doesn’t exist in mental health services that are strictly voluntary.

“I don’t want to go no contact.”

Many victims experience love towards their abuser. Every relationship has good and bad parts. Clinging to the positives can make it hard for people to see the benefit of temporarily ending contact. While someone is enduring various forms of abuse it alters how the brain thinks.

When the brain is in survival mode it has a hard time considering alternative ways to approach the situation. It’s just seeking to get through it. When you go no contact, this allows your brain to relax and opens the possibility for deeper problem solving.

Once the issue is in front of the courts you can request being able to discuss specific issues or to talk in specific contexts. Some people ask to have an exception to attend couples therapy to improve communication. Other exceptions include communication limited to specific issues like child visitation or having a third party mediate communication. Waiting for the courts to put these things in place also allows for a cooling off period.

“I don’t want to deal with their reaction.”

One benefit of a no-contact order is that if the person does react or attempt to contact you then you can notify police of the contact. In many places a no-contact order is automatic when an incident of domestic or physical violence is reported.

“I can’t afford a lawyer to help with a divorce.”

You can contact local resources, like domestic violence organizations, to learn about your rights and resources available to support you. If you don’t qualify for legal assistance, then you can seek support from other people in your community about how to move forward. Instead of getting overwhelmed by a long process focus on what the most immediate next step is and complete that step.

“I don’t want to leave the children alone with the abuser.”

This is a hard issue to navigate. Living with an abuser can be emotionally damaging to children. Child protection will often investigate when children have witnessed abuse without directly being abused themselves. It is best to seek legal guidance about pursuing supervised visitation, parenting classes, or other restrictions on an abuser.

Other points to consider:

For some people knowing you will report them can curb their behaviour.

Some fight for access and some don’t.

How does agreeing to live with the abuse impact the children?


“The Bible says I should forgive.”

The Bible encourages forgiveness. This does not mean that you should tolerate inappropriate behaviour out of a duty to forgive. The Bible also speaks about the need to tell the truth and confront wrongdoing.


Changing how you respond to abuse can be difficult. It can leave people with a feeling of uncertainty. While uncertainty can be difficult, if you have been strong enough to tolerate abuse you should be strong enough to handle a period of transition.

Need support navigating the emotions of reporting?
Liz Millican has training in domestic violence. You can learn more about her therapy services at

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Kelly Mynatt, MA, BCBA, Mom Life Coach

Thursday, April 4, 2024 @ 11:18 AM

Coaching for Moms Explained: How a Mom Life Coach Can Transform Your Life

Feeling overwhelmed in mom life??! I’ve been where you are - overwhelmed, overstimulated, and feeling isolated (…who am I kidding…I still have many, MANY days of this).

I’m a mom of four wonderful, energetic, and sometimes messy kids. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re navigating through the messiness of motherhood without a roadmap. But guess what? I found my roadmap, and I want to share it with you.

Throughout my journey as a mom, I have faced postpartum issues with all of my babies. These challenges, combined with my existing anxiety, brought out a new level of anxiety that I never knew existed.

I even experienced moments of motherhood rage, which left me feeling isolated and filled with shame. Why doesn’t anyone talk about the normalcy of these feelings??

I constantly questioned my abilities as a mom, doubting whether I was ever going to be what my children needed.

Every night, I would go to bed hating the person I had become and wondering if there was any hope for change. It was at this breaking point that I realized enough was enough.

I embarked on my own life coaching journey, and that's when I met an amazing woman who guided me through the process of rediscovering myself as a mom and as a woman.

Through this journey, I learned to rewire my thoughts and shift my perspective of not only myself but also my confidence as a mom. Over the course of several weeks, I started to find joy in motherhood again. I worked on overcoming my inner critic, tuning out the noise of the world, and trusting myself.

Now, after years of personal growth and transformation, I have made it my mission to turn my pain into purpose. I want to help you find JOY in your motherhood journey, just as I have found it in mine. Together, we can navigate the challenges, overcome self-sabotage, and embrace the joy of being a mom.

What is a Mom Life Coach?

A Mom Life Coach is a professional who specializes in assisting moms navigate the unique challenges and joys of motherhood. They are often experienced mothers themselves, and they use their personal experiences and professional training to provide guidance, support, and practical strategies to other moms.

Here are some key areas a Mom Life Coach can help with:

Time Management:
Motherhood comes with a myriad of responsibilities that can make it feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. A Mom Life Coach can help you develop effective time management strategies, enabling you to balance your responsibilities and find time for self-care.

Stress Management:
Being a mom can be stressful. A Mom Life Coach can provide you with tools and techniques to manage stress, helping you to maintain a positive mindset even in challenging situations.

Goal Setting:
Whether you have personal goals, professional goals, or parenting goals, a Mom Life Coach can guide you in setting realistic and achievable goals, and support you in your journey towards achieving them.

Self-Care + Soul-Care:
Moms often put the needs of their family before their own. A Mom Life Coach can help you understand the importance of self-care + soul-care (check-out the blog on this) and guide you in finding ways to take care of your own physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Confidence Building:
Motherhood can sometimes shake our confidence. A Mom Life Coach can help you build your confidence and empower you to trust your instincts and abilities as a mom.

Community Building:
Feeling isolated is common among moms. A Mom Life Coach can help you build connections with other moms, creating a supportive community where you can share experiences, advice, and encouragement.

Remember, every mom’s journey is unique, and a Mom Life Coach is there to provide personalized guidance and support tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. They’re your cheerleader, your guide, and your confidante in this beautiful, chaotic journey of motherhood.

How a Mom Life Coach Can Help You

A Mom Life Coach can provide you with the tools and strategies you need to manage your time effectively, set realistic goals, and maintain a positive mindset. They can help you find balance in your life, so you can enjoy motherhood while also taking care of yourself.

The transformative impact a Mom Life Coach can have:

Personalized Strategies: A Mom Life Coach doesn’t offer one-size-fits-all advice. Instead, they work closely with you to understand your unique challenges and aspirations. They then tailor strategies and action plans that align with your lifestyle and goals.

Empowerment: A Mom Life Coach empowers you to take charge of your life. They help you realize that you have the strength and capability to overcome obstacles and make positive changes in your life.

Perspective Shift: Sometimes, we get so caught up in our struggles that we fail to see the bigger picture. A Mom Life Coach helps you shift your perspective, enabling you to view challenges as opportunities for growth.

Accountability: It’s easy to set goals but following through can be challenging. A Mom Life Coach serves as an accountability partner, providing the motivation you need to stay committed to your goals.

Emotional Support: Motherhood can be an emotional rollercoaster. A Mom Life Coach provides a safe space for you to express your feelings without judgment. They offer emotional support and help you manage your emotions effectively.

Improved Relationships: A Mom Life Coach can help you improve your relationships with your spouse, children, and even yourself. They provide guidance on effective communication, conflict resolution, and fostering deeper connections.

Work-Life Balance: Striking a balance between work and personal life is a common struggle for many moms. A Mom Life Coach can help you establish boundaries and create a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Remember, a Mom Life Coach is more than just a coach; they’re a partner in your journey towards a happier, healthier, and more balanced life. They’re there to celebrate your victories, big or small, and to provide support during challenging times. They believe in you, even when you find it hard to believe in yourself. And that can make all the difference.

Conclusion to Coaching for Moms

Being a mom is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, but it can also be one of the most challenging. Remember, it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and it’s okay to ask for help.

Here are the key takeaways I want you to remember:

You’re not alone: Every mom faces challenges and struggles. It’s part of the journey of motherhood. Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with others.

Self-care is essential: Taking care of yourself is not selfish; it’s necessary. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

You have the power to change: With the right tools and support, you can overcome obstacles, achieve your goals, and transform your life.

A Mom Life Coach can be your guide: A Mom Life Coach can provide personalized strategies, emotional support, and accountability to help you navigate the journey of motherhood.

Humor is your friend: Motherhood can be messy and chaotic, but it can also be filled with moments of joy and laughter. Embrace the chaos and don’t forget to laugh.

Remember, you are doing an amazing job. You are strong, you are capable, and you are enough. If you’re ready to take the next step in your journey, I’m here to walk alongside you. Let’s navigate the messiness of motherhood together. Contact me today to schedule your first session.

I hope this blog post has been helpful and inspiring. Remember, as a mom, you’re already doing an incredible job. But if you need a little extra support, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help

With love and imperfection,

Ready to thrive and navigate the chaos and overstimulation as a mom? Let’s connect! As a mom life coach, I offer personalized guidance, practical strategies, and unwavering support. Reach out for a free consultation today!

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Thursday, March 21, 2024 @ 5:34 PM

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) 5.7% of adults 18 years of age and older will at some point in life experience Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). It affects about 6.8 million American adults, including twice as many women as men. The disorder develops gradually and can begin at any point in the life cycle, although the years of highest risk are between 30 - 59 years of age. Most fall into the moderate range of anxiety at 44.6%.

In adolescents, twice as many females than males suffer and with the highest incidence in ages 15-18. There is evidence that genes play a role in GAD.

People with GAD go through the day filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety.

Many people with GAD can function normally when the anxiety level is mild (i.e., hold down jobs, interact socially and manage life normally). However, some people are debilitated so much that they cannot keep a job, relationships are affected and even marriages end.

GAD is diagnosed when a person worries excessively about a variety of everyday problems for at least six months. People with GAD can’t seem to get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can’t relax, may startle easily, have difficulty concentrating and have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Signs and Symptoms
Feeling keyed up or on edge
Feeling a lump in your throat
Difficulty concentrating
Being easily distracted
Muscle tension
Trouble falling or staying asleep
Excessive sweating
Shortness of breath  
Intense worry 
Difficulty swallowing

GAD often begins at an early age, and the signs and symptoms may develop more slowly than in other anxiety disorders. Many people with GAD can't recall when they last felt relaxed or at ease.


Talk with your health care professional to determine which treatment or combination of treatments will be the best for you. For example:

Psychotherapy: Having someone who will help process through difficulties and listen attentively offers many people relief from anxiety. Therapy helps identify unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replaces them with healthy, positive ones. Even if an unwanted situation doesn't change, you can change the way you think and behave. Therapy emphasizes learning to develop a sense of mastery and control over thoughts and feelings. EMDR therapy is a powerful tool to deal with anxiety and Spirit of Hope offers that option.

Medication: Several different types of medications are used to relieve GAD symptoms and work well.  Some include:

Anti-anxiety medications such as Benzodiazepines relieve anxiety within 30 to 90 minutes, but can be habit-forming and doctors may prescribe only short-term.

Antidepressants influence the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that play a role in anxiety disorders. These medications are usually taken daily and can be very helpful in minimizing the anxiety.

Monday, March 18, 2024

From Doorway to Path: How Wisdom Empowers Sustainable Recovery from Porn

Monday, March 18, 2024 @ 8:05 PM

This blog post is an overview of how one might utilize Biblical Wisdom in overcoming compulsive porn use.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Coping with Depleted Mom Syndrome

Sunday, March 3, 2024 @ 11:22 PM

Motherhood is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but it also comes with its unique set of challenges.

From sleepless nights to endless to-do lists, mothers often find themselves juggling multiple responsibilities while putting their own needs on the back burner.

In the midst of this whirlwind, many moms experience what is commonly referred to as "Depleted Mom Syndrome."

In this blog, we'll look at what Depleted Mom Syndrome entails, exploring its causes, symptoms, frequently asked questions, and most importantly, coping strategies to help moms reclaim their well-being.


Depleted Mom Syndrome is a term used to describe the state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion experienced by mothers who are overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood and daily life.

It goes beyond typical fatigue and stress, manifesting as a pervasive sense of depletion that affects various aspects of a mom's life.

From caring for children and managing household chores to balancing work and personal relationships, the cumulative stressors of motherhood can take a toll on a mother's well-being, leading to Depleted Mom Syndrome.


Several factors contribute to the development of Depleted Mom Syndrome, including:

Newborns and young children often disrupt their parents' sleep patterns, leaving mothers feeling chronically sleep-deprived and exhausted.

Mothers are often expected to fulfill numerous roles simultaneously, including caregiver, homemaker, breadwinner, and more, leading to feelings of overwhelm and burnout.

Without adequate support from partners, family members, or friends, mothers may feel isolated and overwhelmed by the challenges of motherhood.

Society often places unrealistic expectations on mothers to excel in all areas of their lives, leading to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

Many mothers prioritize the needs of their children and family over their well-being, neglecting self-care activities that are essential for maintaining physical and emotional health.


Recognizing the symptoms of Depleted Mom Syndrome is crucial for early intervention and support. Common symptoms include:

Despite adequate rest, mothers experiencing Depleted Mom Syndrome often feel exhausted and drained, both physically and mentally.

Increased stress and exhaustion can lead to heightened irritability, mood swings, and difficulty regulating emotions.

Mothers may lose interest in activities they once enjoyed and struggle to find the motivation to engage in daily tasks.

Cognitive functions may be impaired, making it challenging for mothers to concentrate, make decisions, or remember information.

Headaches, muscle tension, gastrointestinal issues, and other physical symptoms may manifest as a result of chronic stress and exhaustion.



A: While exhaustion is a common experience for many parents, Depleted Mom Syndrome goes beyond temporary fatigue and is characterized by persistent physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that significantly impacts a mother's overall well-being.


A: Yes, Depleted Mom Syndrome can strain relationships with partners, children, family members, and friends due to increased irritability, mood swings, and difficulty managing emotions.


A: It's common for mothers to experience feelings of guilt when prioritizing their own needs, but self-care is essential for maintaining physical and emotional health. Remember that taking care of yourself enables you to better care for your family.


Make time for activities that nourish your body, mind, and soul, whether it's taking a bubble bath, practicing yoga, reading a book, or simply enjoying a cup of tea in peace.

Don't strive for perfection. Set achievable goals and be gentle with yourself when things don't go as planned.

Don't hesitate to reach out to friends, family members, your pastor, small group, or support groups for help and encouragement. Surround yourself with people who uplift and empower you.

You don't have to do it all alone. Enlist the help of your partner, children, or hired help to share the load of household chores and childcare responsibilities.

Incorporate mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, prayer, or journaling into your daily routine to reduce stress and increase resilience.

Prioritize sleep and establish a relaxing bedtime routine to ensure you get the rest your body needs to recharge and rejuvenate.

Learn to say no to commitments and obligations that drain your energy and prioritize activities that align with your values and priorities.


Depleted Mom Syndrome is a common yet often overlooked phenomenon that affects many mothers worldwide.

By understanding its causes, recognizing its symptoms, and implementing coping strategies, moms can take proactive steps to reclaim their well-being and find balance in their lives.

Remember, you are not alone, and it's okay to ask for help when you need it.

Together, we can overcome Depleted Mom Syndrome and thrive in motherhood.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Becoming A Trauma-Informed Ministry

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 @ 5:18 PM

Is your ministry prepared to support your members through life's toughest challenges? With the increase in hardships and mental health issues, it's vital for ministry leaders to be equipped and knowledgeable in providing the right kind of support.

My training, Becoming a Trauma-Informed Ministry, will empower your ministry with the tools and strategies needed to offer effective guidance and care to your members. Learn how to recognize trauma, provide spiritual and emotional support, and know when to refer members to professional therapists.

Don't wait any longer - contact me today to schedule your training and enhance the well-being of your membership. Let's work together to make a positive impact in the lives of those who seek guidance and support from your ministry.

Schedule your consultation today to learn how to equip your ministry to support your membership and community.

Nature of Counselling

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 @ 2:48 PM

Before you begin therapy, you should be aware of the possible risks associated with counselling. Changes to our awareness, although positive in the long run, can be difficult to adjust to. Some of the insights can be quite different from what we are accustomed to, paying attention to our emotions can be painful, and addressing the challenges present in our lives can be unpleasant. As a result, you may experience uncomfortable emotions such as sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, helplessness, and shame, both in session and between sessions. Together, we will come up with self-soothing and coping strategies, as well as come to understand those emotions and their origins better. Additionally, as you change your perceptions and behaviours, others around you may respond differently than what you expect, often because they themselves are not willing to change the status quo.

I believe that you already have within you the solutions to your problems, and it is likely that learned patterns are keeping these solutions from your awareness. Counselling calls for a very active effort on your part, as you will need to work on changing these long-established patterns. While there are never any guarantees, therapy can lead to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, changes in your perspectives and decisions, significant reductions in feelings of distress, and improved self-esteem.

EMDR for Treating Trauma

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 @ 2:47 PM

Trauma isn’t only military service, abuse, natural disasters, etc. Those are “Big T” traumas, but there are many “Little T” traumas like car accidents, witnessing a crime, or sudden death of a loved one. Trauma is anything that overwhelms our capacity to cope. Left unprocessed, those long-ago traumas can still affect our perceptions and decisions today. It’s uncomfortable to address them, certainly, but that is the only way to be released from their grasp and move forward. EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) can help this process faster than traditional talk therapy, without the need to talk much about it beforehand.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Differences Between a Counselor, a Therapist, and a Bible-Centered Counselor

Thursday, February 22, 2024 @ 2:41 PM

What is a counselor? Is a counselor and therapist the same thing? Is there a difference between them? If so, what are the differences? Should I seek the help of a counselor or a therapist?…

Depression....Exactly what is it and how do I

Thursday, February 22, 2024 @ 10:06 AM

Depression is a common mental health disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities. According to the World Health Organization, over 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression.

Therapy can be a crucial tool in managing and treating depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps one to rewire their brain. I also believe CBT aligns with bible and supports the scripture.

There are various tools and strategies that can help individuals deal with depression, such as mindfulness meditation, exercise, journaling, and social support.

For those battling depression, it's important to prioritize self-care, seek professional help, and build a strong support system. It's also helpful to challenge negative thinking patterns and engage in activities that bring joy and fulfillment. Remember, you are not alone and there is hope for recovery.

Meditating on the scriptures is also a tool. Reminding yourself that God said He would never leave us nor forsake us. That He would be a present help in the time of trouble. Remembering He said He would restore our soul. That restoring is a reset. A space we can breathe and trust that even in our darkest moments that is hope and there is help.

Lastly, remember to give yourself Grace and give yourself time.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Faith Is All You Need

Saturday, February 17, 2024 @ 1:24 PM

I know there are times in our life when we feel like the weight of our problems and struggles are so difficult and overwhelming, that sometimes we actually become paralyzed by them. But the good news is that we don't have to be crippled, or stuck in that place. Even when it feels like you've lost all hope, strength, and motivation, there is light calling you out of the darkness. You may not see it, but it's there. The light is in you, and all around you. That light of hope, strength, and victory is always ready and available for God's children. Through prayer, it's there for the asking.

What is wonderful and amazing, is that God loves you so much, that even when you've lost all strength, and have pretty much given up on yourself and your life, God hasn't given up on you, and never will. And if you are at a point where your struggles and trials have left you completely exhausted, and barely breathing, there is no need to feel discouraged. Because God will, rest assured, carry you through during the times that you are unable to carry yourself.

I know that it may be hard for some of you to see that and believe that right now. And I understand, because I've been there, too. I've been in seasons of great pain, darkness, and discouragement. But I can promise you that it doesn't have to be like that forever, and that God will get you to the other side, to a place of joy, peace, and healing. All you need to do, is lean on God, and trust Him to work all things together for your good, which He has promised in His Word. Allow seeds of faith to take root, and they will blossom.

This is an excerpt from my book called "Words of Wisdom" by Katte Schleif, which was my maiden name.

The Photo is by Alex Shute on Unsplash

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

When Faith And Trauma Collide by Dr. Karen Stallings

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 @ 2:03 PM

When Faith and Trauma Collide," is a self-help workbook of applicable practices that can help anyone overcome the traumas in their life. Dr. Karen Stallings has penned a practical and biblically-based profound guide of "what to do," when one's "faith" is tested during the most difficult times of their lives. Due to the fact, that no-one is exempt from experiencing trauma this book is a gem of information. It will help everyone who reads it to survive the head-on collisions of their faith and traumatic experiences.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Nurturing Your Sensitivity: A Guide to HSP Self-Care

Wednesday, February 7, 2024 @ 6:20 PM

As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), prioritizing self-care is essential for maintaining balance and well-being in a world that can sometimes feel overwhelming. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore effective self-care strategies tailored specifically for HSPs, empowering you to embrace your sensitivity and thrive.

Understanding HSP Self-Care:
Self-care for Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) involves nurturing your unique needs and sensitivities to promote mental, emotional, and physical well-being. By incorporating self-care practices into your daily routine, you can cultivate resilience and thrive in a world that may sometimes feel chaotic or overstimulating.

Recognizing the Importance of HSP Self-Care:
Self-care is not a luxury but a necessity, especially for HSPs who may be more prone to feeling overwhelmed by external stimuli and intense emotions. Prioritizing self-care allows you to recharge, set boundaries, and honor your sensitivity as a valuable aspect of your identity.

Creating a Self-Care Routine for HSPs:

Mindful Awareness: Practice mindfulness to cultivate present-moment awareness and reduce overwhelm. Take time each day to engage in activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or mindful walking.

Sensory Management: Manage sensory input by creating environments that support your comfort and well-being. Invest in noise-canceling headphones, dim lighting, and comfortable textures to minimize sensory overload.

Boundaries and Assertiveness: Set clear boundaries to protect your energy and prioritize your needs. Learn to assertively communicate your limits and say no to activities or commitments that feel draining or overwhelming.

Emotional Regulation: Develop strategies for managing intense emotions and preventing emotional burnout. Practice self-compassion, journaling, or seeking support from trusted friends or a therapist.

Nature Connection: Connect with nature to recharge and find solace in the natural world. Spend time outdoors, go for walks in green spaces, or engage in activities such as gardening or hiking.

Creative Expression: Harness your creativity as a form of self-expression and self-care. Engage in artistic pursuits such as painting, writing, or playing music to channel your emotions and cultivate joy.

Social Support: Cultivate supportive relationships with understanding friends, family members, or fellow HSPs. Surround yourself with people who validate and appreciate your sensitivity, offering empathy and encouragement.

Physical Well-Being: Prioritize your physical health by engaging in regular exercise, nourishing your body with nutritious foods, and prioritizing adequate rest and sleep.

Mindful Technology Use: Set boundaries around technology use to prevent digital overwhelm. Schedule regular breaks from screens, establish tech-free zones in your home, and limit exposure to negative news or social media.

Reflection and Self-Discovery: Take time for introspection and self-discovery to deepen your understanding of your sensitivity and personal needs. Journaling, self-reflection exercises, and therapy can aid in this process of self-awareness and growth.

Prioritizing self-care is essential for nurturing your sensitivity and thriving as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). By incorporating mindful awareness, sensory management, emotional regulation, and connection with nature and creativity into your daily routine, you can honor your unique needs and cultivate resilience in a world that may sometimes feel overwhelming. Remember that self-care is not selfish but necessary for sustaining your well-being and embracing your sensitivity as a valuable aspect of your identity.

Navigating Relationship Challenges with Therapy

Wednesday, February 7, 2024 @ 4:12 PM

The voyage of love and partnership is one of life's most profound adventures, filled with the potential for great joy and significant challenges. As I stand today, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional, I trace back the roots of my expertise not only to my professional endeavors but also to my personal life story, which is rich with lessons and growth.

In 1995, a young woman of 22, grappling with deep-seated daddy issues, I entered into a relationship that was destined to redefine my life. Jim, a man who had weathered the storm of a previous marriage and was navigating the complexities of being a father to three children, became my partner in this unpredictable journey of life.

As Jim's second wife, I stepped into a role that was entirely new to me. With an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education in my toolkit, I was grateful for the knowledge it provided, for it allowed me to avoid some pitfalls in my role as a bonus mom – a role I embraced wholeheartedly despite the steep learning curve and lack of healthy relationship models in my own upbringing.

Growing up, my notions of love and relationships were shaped by street wisdom and the fictional happily-ever-afters portrayed on television. In hindsight, I can see how Disney's portrayals, while magical, also set many of us up for disappointment by creating expectations that real-life relationships rarely meet. I won't even talk about the steady diet of telenovelas that I was exposed to at a very young age and my own addiction to daytime soaps in high school.

My marriage with Jim, which has now spanned over two decades, stands as a testament to the power of commitment, the potential for transformation through therapy, and the guiding light of faith. It's a story that has unfolded with its share of trials and triumphs, teaching us both the value of hard work, understanding, and unwavering dedication to one another. I also know that at any minute that can change walking through valleys of broken relationships with loved ones and clients. We each have our own narratives that have shaped the way we see our relationships.

Come read the rest of the article on my website at

Spirituality Among Americans

Wednesday, February 7, 2024 @ 3:32 PM

A recent Pew Research survey showed that having a spiritual sense of self was widely identified even though, or especially, if they did not think of themselves as religious. Highlights from this survey are listed below:

- 83% of all U.S. adults believe people have a soul or spirit in addition to their physical body.
- 81% say there is something spiritual beyond the natural world, even if we cannot see it.
- 74% say there are some things that science cannot possibly explain.
- 45% say they have had a sudden feeling of connection with something from beyond this world.
- 38% say they have had a strong feeling that someone who has passed away was communicating
with them from beyond this world.
-30% say they have personally encountered a spirit or unseen spiritual force.

Overall, 70% of U.S. adults can be considered “spiritual” in some way, because they think of themselves as spiritual people or say spirituality is very important in their lives.

Monday, February 5, 2024

Overthinking? Here’s How to Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

Monday, February 5, 2024 @ 10:56 AM

For some, the feeling of an overcrowded brain will be all too familiar. It usually happens when you’re trapped in a pattern of overthinking. Read more at

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Are there Practical Benefits to Premarital Therapy?

Sunday, February 4, 2024 @ 12:25 PM

There continues to be considerable debate as to whether there are practical benefits to premarital/remarital counseling. The question further arises as to if premarital/remarital counseling is effective. According to Wright (1992), the institution of marriage is the closest bond that can develop between two people. That said, as many couples progress towards marriage perceptions and expectations as to what constitutes marriage varies considerably. In this regard, Wright (1992) contends that, “Unrealistic expectations and fantasies create a gulf between the partners and cause disappointments” (p. 11). Fawcett, Hawkins, Blanchard and Carroll (2010) contend that promoting healthy marriages and relationships now engages greater attention from principal stakeholders and requires considerable commitment and resources. A 2006 household survey conducted reported that “premarital education is significantly correlated to higher levels of marital quality, lower levels of marital conflict, and lower divorce rates” (Stanley, Amato, Johnson, & Markham, 2006, p. 232). The findings derived from this 2006 study lend support to the theory that premarital counseling may be effective (Proverbs 11:14; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs 19:20-21).

There are numerous approaches employed in premarital counseling. One such interesting paradigm is solution-focused premarital counseling. According to Murray and Murray (2004), “Solution-focused therapy is a brief therapy approach that emphasizes clients’ strengths and attempts to produce desirable solutions to clients’ presenting problems” (p. 350). This specific approach takes on relevance because of the rapidity with which contemporary culture continues to undergo change. Solution-focused premarital counseling may also considered to be an effective option by some scholars as a result of: (a) its constructivist and postmodern paradigm, (b) its emphasis on clients’ perception of truth and (c) clients’ interpretations of their personal life experiences, interpersonal relationships coupled with their personal goals and aspirations ( Murray & Murray, 2004). At the corpus of the effectiveness of solution-focused premarital counseling is: (a) clients’ recognition that change is needed and (b) clients’ commitment to work with their therapist to implement mutually agreeable and sustainable change. “The solution-oriented theoretical framework provides a foundation for expanding the delivery of premarital counseling programs to engaged couples” (p. 356).

Is premarital counseling an effective tool for couples who are about to get married for the first time? Can it be equally effective for others reconsidering marriage after having experienced a failed marriage or failed marriages? In another meta-analytic study, consisting of 14 studies spanning four decades, Lucier-Greer and Adler-Baeder (2012) concluded that couple and relationship education “(CRE) programs that target participants in stepfamilies, both married and nonmarried, are modestly effective in influencing overall participant functioning as well as specific target outcomes, including family functioning and parenting, and appear worthy of support” (p. 765). In other words, there is some level of evidenced-based support to suggests that remarital counseling may also be well supported with the appropriate and meticulously conceptualized educational and/or enrichment programs.

The dynamic of stepfamilies introduced above connotes that some couples may be considered at higher risks for marital problems in the future than others. If this postulation is in fact true, the question arises as to what may be some of the other contributory factors that put some couples at higher marital risks. In an Australian study conducted by Halford, O’Donnell, Lizzio, and Wilson, (2006), 374 newly married couples were tested for the hypothesis that: “religious service attendance, income, age, education, female parental divorce, male parental aggression, cohabitation before marriage, forming a stepfamily, relationship aggression, or low relationship satisfaction predicts attendance at marriage education” (p. 161). Attendance to premarital education programs was reliably associated with attendance to religious services and not cohabiting before marriage, “but not reliably associated with the risk factors” (p. 161). There was also a “lack of reliable association of education attendance with relationship aggression and/or satisfaction or negative family-of origin experiences” (p. 162). In addition, this study reported that, “income, education, age, prior marriage, and forming a step-family were not reliably related to attendance” (p. 162). The study also revealed that many non-religious couples were not aware that premarital education was a resource available to them and that strategic marketing should be employed to heighten mainstream population awareness.

There are obvious complexities, attending variables and nuances associated with both premarital and remarital counseling. As such, I posit that there is a need for ongoing research to explore a plethora of relevant variables. Some of the evaluating factors that may affect couple and relationship study outcomes include: (a) the context of the study’s setting, (b) ethnicity, (c) economic status, (d) family functionality, and (e) parenting styles just to mention a few. Given the liberal marital approaches that continue to evolve in today’s postmodern culture, additional considerations should also be examined such as: (a) how many marriages has each individual been involved in prior to embarking on an educational program, (b) are the individuals cohabiting or are they living apart, (c) if married, at what stage of the marriage are the couple prepared to engage in a CRE program (Lucier-Greer & Adler-Baeder, 2012). In summary, there is empirical data which suggest that couple and relationship programs in various contexts have met with favorable outcomes, yet there remains a need for research that incorporates additional contextual diversity. Lucier-Greer and Adler-Baeder (2012) succinctly surmise this perspective noting that, “quality research designs framed with an ecocultural lens using control groups and long-term follow-up procedures are needed” (p. 766).


Fawcett, E. B., Hawkins, A. J., Blanchard, V. L., & Carroll, J. S. (2010). Do premarital education programs work? A meta-analytic study. Family Relations, 59(3), 232-239. Retrieved from
Halford, W. K., O’Donnell, C., Lizzio, A., & Wilson, K. L. (2006). Do couples at high risk of relationship problems attend premarriage education? Journal of Family Psychology, 20(1), 160-163. Retrieved from
Lucier-Greer, M. & Adler-Baeder, F. (2012). Does couple and relationship education work for individuals in stepfamilies? A meta-analytic study. Family Relations, 61(5), 756-769. Retrieved from
Murray, C. E. & Murray, T. L. (2004). Solution-focused premarital counseling: Helping couples build a vision for their marriage. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 30(3), 349-358. Retrieved from Psy Articles
Stanley, S. M., Amato, P. R., Johnson, C. A. & Markham, H. J. (2006). Premarital education, marital quality, and marital stability: Findings from a large, random household survey. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 117-126. Retrieved from 10.1037/0893-3200.20.1.117
Wright, H. N. (1992). The premarital counseling handbook. Chicago: Moody Publishers.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Discerning Between Spiritual Warfare and Mental Health

Thursday, February 1, 2024 @ 8:41 AM

I have heard a variety of approaches to how to resolve issues for life’s problems based on whether they are mental health problems or if they are considered spiritual problems.

Note: I am going to assume that most readers have an understanding of what the Bible says regarding spiritual warfare. If you are unfamiliar a list of Bible passages can be found at the end of the post.

Some people say that mental health problems and spiritual problems are distinctly separate issues. Mental health problems require therapy and/or medication, while spiritual problems require prayer and spiritual discipline.

Others say that there is no such thing as mental health problems. They believe that mental health problems are problems that arise from unrepentant sin and have been mislabeled as mental health.

I don’t think that viewing issues as exclusively mental health or exclusively spiritual represent the entirety of what we see happening in the world. I think there is an overlap between spiritual warfare and mental health problems, and that it is difficult, if not impossible to make clear distinctions between the two. For example, if we were to define the source of the problem based on which “treatment” provided the best outcome; there are people who testify that they were freed from alcoholism through prayer alone, there are those who have overcome alcohol addiction using a mental health approach and there are those who recovered through prayer, spiritual and mental health support (a combination).

Since mental health and spiritual support are both able to assist people in healing, we should learn when it is best to use each approach, but when possible, an interdisciplinary approach can be very useful. First, mental health approaches are often very compatible with a Biblical approach to the same issue. For example, CBT techniques that involve replacing distorted thoughts with more reasonable thoughts are compatible with Bible verses that talk about renewing our mind with the truth of scripture. If we use scripture to help us challenge false beliefs then we are able to connect the spiritual with mental health.

Mental Health Approaches Through a Spiritual Lens

Any mental health approach that can be used in a way that is consistent with scripture should be used when it is appropriate to do so. Mental health approaches, specifically the ones that help us challenge and change sinful thoughts and behaviors can be useful no matter what the person is dealing with, these techniques are not exclusive to mental health problems.

For example, someone could use the three column technique from CBT to help them identify false beliefs and replace them with more Biblical ones. In this technique the person creates three columns. The first column is for situations, the second for feelings and the third for thoughts. This technique can be very useful for distinguishing between thoughts and feelings. This allows people to see how their thoughts impact their emotions and can create more meaningful change when false beliefs are identified and replaced.

Taking medication to help with a mental health problem can be a useful tool to assist your brain in forming more positive approaches to your problem. For someone who takes anti-anxiety medication, they can also use scripture to help renew their mind and reduce their anxiety. This combination can create better results since the focus on scripture reinforces the changes in the brain made by medication and the medication reinforces the relief provided through encouraging scripture.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

The seminary that I attend recommends that if someone is dealing with a spiritual affliction that they should see: (1) a Christian counselor to help them change sinful behaviors and thoughts, (2) a spiritual director to help them with their relationship with God, and (3) seek deliverance prayer.

Using these three approaches benefits the Christian by strengthening their faith and to guard against a return of spiritual attacks that is mentioned in Luke 11:14-28.

Could this be spiritual?

I have had conversations with Christians who are skeptical of spiritual warfare. Some say that they think Biblical passages reflect a poor understanding of mental health and they didn’t know how to explain it. I find this unsatisfying, because even if you assume that Jesus was only healing people, when the Bible speaks of demons causing people to scream when they leave, this seems to suggest something else. If this was a straight forward healing, why did it involve screaming?

I’ve also spoken to people who believe that spiritual warfare occurs only in places like Africa, but not in North America or places that are primarily Christian. I wonder if this is simply a statement made from a lack of experience. I and others I know have seen manifestations of demonic activity in Canada and the US. I have been witness to people being thrown to the ground, shaking and involuntary screaming that was relieved through prayer.

Any problem that has become repetitive and difficult to break could have a spiritual basis. Things such as anxiety and grief can be the result of a spiritual attack. I was once telling a friend a story of an unpleasant experience I had and he began to weep. I was shocked because he was in tears over something that I myself was not upset about. I prayed that he would be filled with a spirit of joy and he stopped crying and became calm. If you see some odd or out of place behavior it doesn’t hurt to stop and pray, “Lord, what shall I do? How should I pray?”

What to do if a problem could have a spiritual basis?

My recommendation is very simple. Pray the positive: healing, peace, joy, patience, freedom, life, etc. Whether or not a problem is specifically spiritual or not it can still be improved by prayer that focuses on the positive.

From people I have spoken to who lead spiritual deliverance ministries, there are two ways demonic spirits can be removed from a person; one is through specific prayer for them to be removed, the other is through being filled with God’s spirit so that the demonic spirit has no choice but to leave. Trying to cast out a spirit will only work if there is a demonic spirit and even the disciples had difficulty casting out some spirits. When we pray for the positive then God is able to act in ways we cannot see or understand.

Acts 19:13-16 describes the experience of men who came under spiritual attack when they were praying against demonic spirits. Spiritual warfare appears to be quite complex and certain approaches carry less risk than others.

Suicide: Demonic spirit or Mental Health problem?

From my observation, I think there is one exception to the idea that a mental health problem could be a spiritual or mental health problem. I think when it comes to suicidal thoughts, behaviors, and actions it is 100% mental health AND 100% spiritual. Any time I have been in the presence of a person who recently or subsequently made a suicide attempt I discerned the presence of a demonic spirit. If someone you know is suicidal they should seek mental health AND spiritual support as quickly as possible.

Scriptures that I would recommend for people experiencing suicidal thoughts are the ones about God’s love, forgiveness, mercy and blessing towards us. Other helpful topics are verses about purpose, healing, and transformation.

For additional support you can book a consult here.

Liz Millican is a Registered Psychotherapist in Ontario, Canada. She has a master of divinity in Clinical Counseling from Tyndale University, a private Christian University.

Scripture References

Exodus 20:4-6; 34:6-7 Generational punishment for sin and blessing for obedience.

Matthew 8:16-34 Jesus heals people of illnesses, casts our demons, calms the storm and casts demons into animals.

Matthew 9:27-34 Jesus heals the blind and mute.

Matthew 17:14-21 Casting out demons requires faith and some disciples were unable to do it.

Mark 1:21-34 Spirits manifest physically in people.

Contrast: Mark 1:40-45 Jesus heals a man of leprosy without mention of spirits, suggesting some sickness is not spiritually caused, but still able to be healed.

Mark 6:13 [NIV] They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. (Healing of sick seem somewhat separated from those with demons.)

Mark 16:9 Mary Magdalene had been freed from seven demons.

Luke 4:31-37 Man thrown on the ground by a spirit.

Luke 8:26-39 Many spirits can make someone strong and “out of their mind.”

Luke 9:37-43 Demon causes screaming, foaming and throws the person to the ground.

Luke 11:14-28 Pray and obey God to avoid demonic attacks from returning.

Acts 16:16-18 Paul waited several days before casting a spirit out of a fortune teller who was annoying them.

Acts 19:13-16 Stronger demonic spirits can attack someone who tries to cast them out.

Ephesian 6:10-18 Put on the armor of God and be prepared for spiritual warfare.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Elijah House Training

Tuesday, January 23, 2024 @ 4:21 PM

Experience True Heart Healing AND Learn to Help Others Do the Same.We know how it feels to endlessly search for what leads to true transformation, only to come up empty. Whether you are a pastor, ministry leader, or simply someone who wants to find freedom and pay it forward, there is HOPE!

This Elijah House training has helped hundreds of thousands around the world experience freedom. Whether it be depression, anxiety, broken marriages, or whatever it is that needs healing, we've seen God break through time and time again.

This is a 12 virtual week class with small group participation at the end of each lesson

Click below to learn more about how you can register.

How To Silence Your Inner Critic

Tuesday, January 23, 2024 @ 3:14 PM

Resouling Therapy

Whether we are feeling anxious, depressed, a perfectionist, or not, we all have an inner critic residing within us. For some, our inner critic talks all the time and so loud that other thoughts can’t be heard or considered.

Here’s three strategies on how to silence your inner critic.

A common way our inner critic talks to us is by using the word “should”: “I should be able to handle this.” “I should be a better husband.” “I should have written a better email.” “I should be more outgoing.” “I should call my mother, spend more time with my kids, and know what my spouse needs from me (…without telling me)”

Sounds crazy, right? When we hear it from a different source we recognize it as absurd. It’s easier to be a source of encouragement for others to silence their inner critic. But we struggle to silence our own.

These “shoulds” try to convince us we have not met some arbitrary standard, telling us “You’ve missed the mark!” “You’ve failed!” “You’re not wanted here!” A really powerful inner critic goes beyond criticizing our behaviors to sending us the message: “You are not acceptable.” “You’re not good enough.” “You are a failure.” These messages criticize our being.

Take “should” out and replace it with “want to.”

“I want to be able to handle this.” “I want to be a better husband.” “I want to send professional emails and succeed.” “I want to be more outgoing.” “I want to be there for my family.”

Now stop for 10 seconds and allow yourself to feel the difference.

Did you notice it? It feels relieving, doesn’t it? Even hopeful in a way.

The “should“ statements have a finality to them with a judgment of “FAILED!” “REJECT!” The “want to” statements awake our own desires that is within us to motivate, give us hope, and help us make a plan.

Reminding ourselves of our “want to” allows us to see the good within! The “I should be a better husband” statement wouldn’t be so deadly if we didn’t desire that. It stings because I want to be a better husband.

It’s our inner desires that gives the “should” statements their deadly power.

After rewording a “should” statement to: “I want to write effective emails,” imagine how much easier it is to go to your boss and tell her you’d like to learn and grow. You are now freer to ask for her assistance rather than sit in her office feeling the weight of “I failed, I should have written my email like she would.”

Geez… our inner critic isn’t very creative! It just uses the same word, but now in its opposite form.

When you hear in your head: “You shouldn’t be so sensitive.” “You shouldn’t have said that to your roommate.” “You should not feel angry.’ “You should not still be hurt by what happened so long ago,” our inner critic is condemning ourself as weak and not good-enough, not measuring up.

Take the “should not” out and replace it with “wish”.

Hear the difference with these statements: “I wish I wasn’t so sensitive.” “I wish I didn’t say that to my roommate.” “I wish I didn’t feel angry.” You get the picture.

Stop again and allow yourself to feel the difference of the “wish” vs “should not” statements.

Utilizing “wish” allows us to notice where we are without the judgment that “should not” gives, preventing us from noticing what’s going on within.

The revised “wish” statements provide space to hear (what we may think is) the ugly truth of ourself and move forward to problem solve.

Let’s explore the statement: “I wish I wasn’t so sensitive.”

With this new perspective I’m in a better position to consider other ways of seeing the situation. Perhaps being as sensitive as I am in the moment, isn’t the only way to feel about it. I’m able to acknowledge my feelings (I’m feeling sensitive.) and my uncertainty that it’s the only response to have (I’m not sure I have good reason to be as sensitive as I am.).

I can remind myself of the positives that are true, or check-in with others. I might take into consideration other ways to interpret the situation. I may want to wait to see how I feel about it tomorrow instead of choosing to act now.

In our new “wish” statements we can add the phrase: “yet I am.”

The inner criticism can evolve from: “I shouldn’t be so angry!” to “I wish I wasn’t so angry, yet I am.”

This reinforces the ability to tell ourself: “This is what I’m feeling at this time. It may not be pretty. It’s not ideal, It’s not where I want to stay, but I am here. I might need some time to be able to feel differently later. ”

Now it easier to make amends in our relationships with others. We are acknowledging this isn’t my ideal self, it’s not how I prefer to have handle it, I want others to know that. We could tell our friend, “Right now I’m too mad to listen to you, I wish I could talk to you about it right now, but I’ll need some time.”

One of my first bosses shared with me what he often tells himself: “I will not should on myself today.” This was his reminder to fight against his inner critic that caused him to feel anxious somedays, and it helped him deal with depression other days. It also help him to not beat himself up the days he was frantically trying to prove he could be perfect.

Don’t should on yourself today. Or anytime. I encourage you to implement these new strategies of using “want to,” “wish,” and “yet I am” to silence your inner critic and then enjoy the results! You’ll find it so much easier to move forward in relationships and in making plans to improve your situation.

Friday, January 19, 2024

The Great Commission

Friday, January 19, 2024 @ 7:45 PM

When you hear the term "great commission" in the context of the Bible, what do you think of? The first four books of the New Testament are narratives written about the life of Jesus. Jesus gave his followers specific instructions about continuing his ministry when he left the earth. Christ's Great Commission is described similarly by Matthew 28, Mark 16, and Luke 24. People commonly focus on evangelizing and discipleship to categorize the activities described by the Great Commission. "Go and make disciples of all nations, ... teaching ..." (Matthew 28:19-20).
John's gospel narrative is very different from the other three in many ways, and particularly in describing the Great Commission. John records the same event thus, "Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven” John 20:21-23. His view of evangelism and discipleship takes on an inside out perspective. John describes the Great Commision as continually receiving God’s forgiveness for our frequent sins, and teach others to do the same.

Centering on Forgiveness

In contrast to the other three, John describes the Great Commission as a lifestyle of modeling forgiveness. Understanding and practicing forgiveness is central to the Christian faith, however, too few Christians make it a central part of their lives. In my book Escaping the Pain of Offense: Empowered to Forgive from the Heart, I discuss some of the consequences of this deficiency including relational conflict, mental health problems, and lower quality of life. For many, instead of fulfilling the Great Commission of representing Christ's forgiveness to the world, they fall to what I would call the Great Omission neglecting the role of forgiveness in their faith.
A common omission is failing to allow God to be the Lord and final Judge of people and circumstances in our lives. In becoming a Christian, the conversion experience includes recognizing the need for a Savior (Jesus) and receiving God's forgiveness into a new birth. At that point forgiveness is not finished, but it only begins. The forgiveness received from God by a believer (at conversion) is now to be given to others. The initial surrendering to God grows into an on-going relationship that involves deeper surrender and should involve greater capacity to forgive and be forgiven. That is the subject matter of my book mentioned above, and further amplified in a more recent book called PACE to Peace: Finding Inner Rest in a World of Unrest .

Surrendering to God

One of the simplest definitions of forgiveness I've discovered is surrendering to God the right to judge. Offense is a common and unavoidable part of life. At one point or another, we all offend, and we all become offended. In a particular incident, we may find ourselves on one side of an offense or the other, the guilty one, or the guilty one's subject. When we are on the guilty side of an offense, desiring to be forgiven may come to our thoughts more quickly than when we are offended with our thoughts first turning to trying to find someone else to blame for the hurt we may feel.
Sometimes guilt is difficult to ascribe to one party or another. Pre-judgments, mis-judgments, and critical-judgments make it even harder, but surrender is always an essential element of forgiveness. Surrendering your right to judge doesn't mean you are surrendering your rights for justice to be served. God is a perfect Judge, executing perfect justice and perfect mercy simultaneously (see chapter 3 of Escaping the Pain of Offense for an explanation). That’s why he is the Judge, and we are not.
When you surrender to God the final rights of judgment, it puts your heart in a condition to focus on a hopeful future instead of a hopeless past. For both the offender and the one offended, a journey of redemption is possible.

Ministry of Reconciliation

For a Christian, forgiveness is not an option but a mandate. Another theme I unpack in my books is the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. In many cases, forgiveness sets the stage for reconciliation. The New Testament Apostle Paul describes the Christian life as a "ministry of reconciliation." He says, "And he {Jesus} died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. ...  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors ..." (2 Corinthians 5:15-20).
First, let me comment on the phrase "the old is gone, the new is here." Some interpret this to mean Jesus has accomplished forgiveness of sins, and therefore the practice of forgiveness is no longer necessary. Yes, Jesus has completed the work of forgiveness by dying on the Cross and being resurrected to dwell with the Father. No, it does not mean our part is done. Surrendering our hearts to Jesus in a conversion experience is only the beginning of the journey in forgiveness. Jesus uses the illustration of occupying a house to show how our life with Him progresses. In buying a house we receive the legal title and deed, but we still may have to paint, hang curtains, move furniture, and make it a home. Even after habitation, some rooms may need work and remain "projects" for some time. So too, in our hearts, our understanding and practice of forgiveness must continue on a path of cooperation with God to make our being a more inhabitable dwelling for his presence, and useful tool in His hand for the ministry of reconciliation.
A second thing to note is "he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." Both being reconciled to God through Jesus, and being reconciled to one another as human beings reinforces John's perspective of the Great Commission. If Christ followers aren't modeling forgiveness and reconciliation, who will? The symbol of the cross gives us a picture of the vertical and horizontal connection of relationships. As we receive God's forgiveness to restore our relationship with Him (vertically reconciled), He empowers us to forgive and reconcile with fellow human beings (horizontal reconciliation), and help some find their own relationship with God restored and freed to help others as well. This is the eternal purpose and perspective for our lifespan on earth.


Guilt for sin has traditionally been recognized as the main thing standing in the way of this reconciliation. I have recently come to view shame as an even greater hindrance. Guilt and shame are two different problems. While guilt links a person to their behavior, shame attacks the person for who they are. Guilt focuses on the "doing," while shame focuses on the "being." Guilt says, "I did a bad thing." Shame says, "I am bad." Guilty actions can be amended with restitution, but pronouncing shame condemns irreparably.
Whether true guilt is present or not, shaming oneself may result in self-condemnation, self-bitterness, and self-rejection. Shame creates condemning judgments, magnifies feelings of low self-worth, and separates our heart and mind from God as the master Designer of our being and the loving Father relationship he desires for us.
God never shames his sons and daughters. When you feel shame it is not from God. Shame tells you that you are not worthy of receiving God's forgiveness (as an offender). When you are on the other side of forgiveness as the one offended, shame tells you the offender is not worthy of your forgiveness or God's forgiveness.


This shaming often disguises itself in some form of critical judgment. When you are tempted to think of someone as a jerk, loser, or good-for-nothing (usually as a result of hurt feelings), you must surrender to God the right to judge that person (including self) or situation, and repent for any falsehoods believed and wrongful actions you may have already taken. Our bad reactions toward other people are often rooted in the shame residing in our own inner person. Reconciling our relationship with Father God must include identifying the shame we carry by allowing God to show us where it may be hidden, and surrendering it into His care.
God is looking for followers who will allow the Son Jesus to carry the offenses of this world for them. Our world is a broken place to live. We cannot escape offense, but we can escape the pain of offense. The distinguishing mark of a Christian in this world should be to view offense as an opportunity for God's love to pierce the power of offense, and allow His Son Jesus to redeem the offenses one by one in our lives. Forgiveness is God's idea and plan to accomplish his purpose for his people. Facing offense head on may cause some temporary pain. Allowing yourself to feel the pain, affords you an opportunity to experience God in a more meaningful way. Knowing God more intimately can never be a bad thing. We must practice receiving God's love in greater measure so we can give his gift of love to others as part of the great commission. We must grow in our capacity to receive God's love and become the person he intends for us to be. His love grows in our hearts when our judgments are surrendered to him.

Applying Forgiveness

It's time the Church takes this Great Commission seriously and deals with her offenses. The brokenness offense causes is evident all around us. Why can't we admit offense for what it is? Have we adopted a "religiously correct" speech similar to "political correctness." I like to think, for example, of what would happen if instead of using the term "church split" we would call it a "garbage heap of unresolved offenses." Much of what we call "disunity," may in reality be, a lack of willingness to work through offenses. Much of out relational problems and separations are connected to a root of bitterness and lack of forgiveness (see Hebrews 12:15).
Granted, there are many other real problems contributing to our proneness to offense such as unhealthy perspectives of conflict, lack of communication, and lack of trust and trustworthiness. But the greatest impact to be made on our corporate offenses is for each individual to examine his own heart in honesty and humility before God to expose and correct offense as the Great Commission mandates. This also fulfills the vision of the ancient Psalmist who wrote, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them" (Psalm 119:16; KJV). We all want peace of mind and heart, but it comes with conditions. These are not overbearing, but conditions for which our loving Father stands with open arms ready to receive our participation.
When someone offends you, you must be careful not to confuse their guilty behavior with shaming the person (or persons). Condemning judgment toward God, yourself, or other people must be recognized as a chief enemy of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Taking Action

Think of someone you believe has judged or offended you. Are you willing to release judgment of the person(s) who has done you wrong? Whether intentionally or unintentionally on the other person's part, the grip of the pain is in your power to release. Are you willing to surrender it to God right now for his judgment? I guarantee this will be the most freeing thing you can do. I can make this guarantee because I try to practice this regularly, and I help many other people do the same. In doing so you are fulfilling the Great Commission and helping to prepare others for finding their guilt and shame surrendered to God.
The Great Commission is to forgive. The Great Commission is to receive God’s forgiveness and give it away. The Great Commission is to continually accept Christ’s forgiveness for ours sins, and disciple others in the same.
I leave you with an exhortation to stop what you are doing right now amf read Psalm 32. May your journey be filled with Psalm 32 blessings! Here’s one place to find Psalm 32:

Note: For more on how to understand and practice forgiveness see some of my other articles posted on the blog site. I welcome your feedback and an opportunity to discuss this topic further with your study or prayer group. Please contact me to talk in person or make online connection.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Marriage Enrichment Event - West Georgia

Wednesday, January 17, 2024 @ 10:29 PM

I'll Always Kiss You Goodnight - Marriage Enrichment Experience

A marriage enrichment event for couples in a creative, informative and engaging setting.
This is a one-day event with five sessions. (Breakfast and Lunch included)

For details and registration visit

Saturday, January 13, 2024

15 Natural Treatment Options for Postpartum Depression

Saturday, January 13, 2024 @ 3:59 PM

Welcoming a new life into the world is incredible, but it can also bring about significant mental health challenges. Research shows that about 20% of women experience postpartum depression, otherwise known as, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADS) after childbirth.

While conventional treatments such as therapy and medication are widely available and effective, many new moms are turning to natural remedies to complement these other approaches.

Understanding Postpartum Depression:

Postpartum depression is a form of clinical depression that affects women after childbirth.

It's not a sign of weakness or a character flaw; rather, it's a complex interplay of hormonal, emotional, and environmental factors.

Common symptoms include persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, and fatigue, as well as changes in sleep and appetite.

Recognizing and addressing these symptoms is crucial for the well-being of both mom and baby.

15 Tips: Natural Treatment for Postpartum Depression

1. Nutritional Support:

A well-balanced diet is crucial for mental health, and this holds true for postpartum depression.

Nutrient-rich foods can positively impact mood and energy levels.

Omega-3 fatty acids, have been linked to improved mental health.

Additionally, incorporating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables ensures a diverse range of nutrients necessary for overall well-being.


Incorporate a variety of nutrient-rich foods into your daily meals.

For breakfast, try a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh berries and a handful of walnuts. Include fatty fish like salmon in your lunch or dinner for a dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

Snack on sliced apples and almond butter for a satisfying and nutritious option.

2. Mindful Eating:

Practice mindful eating by savoring each bite and paying attention to hunger and fullness cues.

Eating nutritious meals in a calm environment contributes to overall well-being.


During meals, focus on the flavors and textures of each bite.

Put away your phone, sit in a quiet space, and focus on eating your food slowly.

Pay attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues, allowing yourself to stop eating when satisfied rather than finishing everything on your plate.

3. Hydration:

Staying hydrated is essential for physical and mental health.

Ensure an adequate intake of water throughout the day to support overall well-being.


Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day.

Flavor water with slices of cucumber or a splash of citrus for a fun twist.

Staying well-hydrated supports overall physical and mental well-being.

4. Mindfulness and Meditation:

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep-breathing exercises, can be powerful tools for managing postpartum depression.

These techniques help moms cultivate awareness of their thoughts and emotions, promoting a sense of calm and centeredness.

Apps and online resources make it easier for new mothers to incorporate mindfulness into their daily routine.


Dedicate 10 minutes each morning to a mindfulness or meditation practice.

Use a guided meditation app or online resource to help you get started.

This daily ritual can create a positive and centered mindset for the day ahead.

5. Physical Activity:

Exercise has been consistently linked to improved mood and reduced symptoms of depression.

Engaging in gentle exercises like yoga or walking can be particularly beneficial for postpartum moms.

Physical activity releases endorphins, the body's natural mood enhancers, providing a natural and accessible way to combat depressive symptoms.


Incorporate a gentle exercise routine into your week, such as prenatal yoga or a daily walk in a nearby park.

Enlist a friend or family member to join you for added support and motivation.

The release of endorphins through physical activity can significantly uplift your mood.

6. Alone Time:

Schedule regular alone time to recharge.

Whether it's a few minutes of quiet time or a longer break, having time for oneself is crucial.


Set aside 15 minutes throughout the day for quiet alone time.

This could be spent reading a book, practicing deep breathing, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee in a peaceful environment.

Taking moments for yourself throughout the day is crucial for recharging and maintaining emotional balance.

7. Creative Outlets:

Engage in creative activities like diamond art, crocheting, painting, or music as a form of self-expression.

These outlets can provide a sense of accomplishment and joy.


Engage in creative activities like painting, drawing, or playing a musical instrument.

Joining a local art class or music group can provide a structured and supportive environment for self-expression.

8. Acupuncture:

Traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, has gained popularity as a complementary treatment for postpartum depression.

Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body, stimulating energy flow and promoting a sense of balance.

Some women report reduced symptoms and improved well-being after incorporating acupuncture into their postpartum care.


Explore acupuncture as part of your postpartum care. Schedule sessions with a qualified acupuncturist who specializes in women's health.

Many women report reduced stress and improved emotional well-being after incorporating acupuncture into their routine.

9. Social Support:

Emotional support from friends, family, or support groups is invaluable in the postpartum period.

Sharing experiences with others who understand the challenges of motherhood can provide a sense of community and reduce feelings of isolation.

Strong social connections are crucial for mental health and can be considered a natural and essential aspect of postpartum care.


Join a postpartum support group where you can connect with other mothers facing similar challenges.

Share your experiences, listen to theirs, and build a network of understanding and supportive relationships.

10. Massage Therapy:

Massage therapy, especially designed for the prenatal and postpartum period, can provide physical and emotional relief.

Massage helps relax muscles, reduce stress hormones, and promote the release of endorphins, contributing to an improved mood and overall well-being.


Treat yourself to a postpartum massage designed to address the specific needs of new mothers.

Many spas and wellness centers offer specialized massage services that focus on relaxation and relieving tension in the muscles.

11. Radical Acceptance:

Embracing radical acceptance involves acknowledging and accepting one's emotions without judgment.

By allowing oneself to experience and validate the range of emotions that come with postpartum depression, mothers can move towards a place of self-compassion and understanding.


When feelings of guilt or self-judgment arise, practice radical acceptance by acknowledging these emotions without judgment.

Remind yourself that these feelings are valid, and allow yourself the grace to experience and learn from them.

12. Cognitive Challenging:

Cognitive-behavioral techniques can be valuable for challenging negative thought patterns associated with postpartum depression.

Working with a therapist, mothers can learn to reframe unhelpful thoughts, fostering a more positive mindset.

Example: Identify a negative thought related to postpartum depression and challenge it.

For instance, if you catch yourself thinking, "I'm not a good enough mother," reframe it to, "I am doing my best, and it's okay to seek support when needed.

13. Prayer and Spiritual Connection:

Prayer and attending church services can offer peace and a sense of connection to God.

Spiritual practices can provide comfort and hope during mental health struggles.


Set aside time for prayer and make an effort to attend church services even though it is hard to get out of the house with little ones.

14. Journaling:

Expressive writing can be a therapeutic outlet for processing emotions.

Keeping a journal allows new moms to reflect on their experiences, track their emotional journey, and identify patterns that may contribute to postpartum depression.


Dedicate a few minutes each evening to journaling your thoughts and emotions.

Reflect on the positive moments, challenges, and any patterns you observe.

This practice can provide clarity and serve as a therapeutic outlet.

15. Creating a Dopamine Menu:

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward.

Creating a "dopamine menu" involves listing activities that bring joy and satisfaction.

Engaging in these activities regularly can help boost mood and provide a sense of accomplishment.


Develop a list of activities that bring you joy and satisfaction.

This could include taking a warm bath, listening to your favorite music, or spending quality time with loved ones.

Schedule these activities regularly to boost your mood and create a sense of accomplishment.


Postpartum depression is a multifaceted challenge that requires a comprehensive approach to treatment.

While conventional therapies are essential, integrating natural treatments into the care plan can offer additional support for mothers experiencing postpartum depression.

Holistic approaches that address nutrition, mindfulness, physical activity, and social support, along with specific strategies like prenatal massage therapy, radical acceptance, cognitive challenging, support groups, prayer, journaling, and a dopamine menu, contribute to a more balanced and nurturing postpartum experience.

It's important for women facing postpartum depression to work closely with healthcare professionals to develop a personalized treatment plan that considers both conventional and natural approaches.

By embracing a holistic perspective and incorporating a variety of supportive strategies, we can better support and empower new moms as they navigate the complex journey of postpartum recovery.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Forget Vision Boards: Embrace the Faith and Wellness Annual Board for Hope, Purpose and Mental Health #LiberationLunes (Through the Valley Therapy's New Blog)

Tuesday, January 9, 2024 @ 3:41 PM

In a world teeming with challenges and opportunities, the pursuit of holistic well-being, encompassing mental, physical, and spiritual dimensions, takes center stage. As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional dedicated to fostering well-rounded wellness, I've developed a powerful tool that weaves together faith and psychological insights to cultivate hope, purpose, and enhanced mental health – the Faith and Wellness Annual Board. This article not only introduces this transformative tool but also delves into my personal journey of its creation.

My Personal Journey:

I vividly recall the days when I, like many, sought to "manifest" my desires and goals through the creation of vision boards. While some aspects of my life did indeed materialize, I soon realized that the absence of a spiritual foundation led to an unhealthy sense of self-importance. It inadvertently nurtured a selfish and narcissistic perspective, exacerbating my struggles with depression and anxiety.....

For the rest of the article, please visit my website.

Building and Maintaining Strong Relationships

Tuesday, January 9, 2024 @ 3:37 PM

Hello everyone!

🌟 Interested in enhancing your understanding of relationships? Whether you're single, married, divorced, or widowed, we've got something special for you! 🌟

Join us for an insightful panel discussion featuring clinical relationship professionals who are ready to share their therapeutic expertise. 🀝 This event is a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable insights into building and maintaining healthy relationships.

πŸ—“οΈ Date: February 10th, 2024
πŸ•’ Time: 10am to 12pm
πŸ“ Location: Grace Church, DFB

🚨 Registration is required, and spaces are limited, so don't wait too long to secure your spot! Simply click on the link below to register and leave a question for our moderator to ask the experts during the panel discussion:
πŸ”— [Registration Link]: []

This event promises to be informative, engaging, and an excellent opportunity to gain valuable insights into the dynamics of relationships. Don't miss out!
See you there! πŸ‘₯πŸ—¨οΈ #Relationships #TherapeuticInsights #HealthyConnections

Hurting Hearts Restored - Healing the Roots that Bind

Tuesday, January 9, 2024 @ 2:56 PM

Uproot. Replant. Thrive

Breaking free from the past and into the abundant life of Jesus

Get to the root!

Fear, betrayal, rejection, anger, unforgiveness, addictions, unhealthy relationships, and relationship conflict are just some of the real-life struggles facing God’s children today.

Our churches are filled with believers who love Jesus but are often overwhelmed and weighed down, bound up and defeated by life’s issues. So many are unable to live a truly abundant life in Christ and run the Christian race with endurance. These beloved brethren have this in common—they are painfully unaware that the untended roots from the past are creating issues in the present and are preventing them from thriving in the fullness of God.

God’s children are in desperate need of practical, step-by-step, biblical solutions. Hurting Hearts Restored offers that hand of help. Written according to God’s powerful Word and inspired by the promptings of The Holy Spirit, this book is intended to lead you into God’s unending love and grace—to His perfect plan for you—life more abundantly! Filled with easily understood explanations, examples, journal questions, and real-life stories, Hurting Hearts Restored will walk you through the healing process — a journey with Jesus into the depth of your heart where change happens, page-by-page, with all the resources you need to get to the roots that bind.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”
John 10:10