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Thursday, August 24, 2023

Gentle Correction At Work, Church And Home

Thursday, August 24, 2023 @ 7:04 PM

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. Galatians 6: 1-5, Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Proverbs 9: 8

1. Pray first, listen second and then do it again.

a. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Luke 11:4

b. It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife; but every fool will be quarreling. Proverbs 20: 3

c. Do not say, “I will repay evil”; Wait for the LORD, and He will rescue and save you.

d. Differing weights are detestable and offensive to the LORD, and fraudulent scales are not good. Proverbs 20:22

e. The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out Proverbs 20:5

With God, process your hurt and frustration as well as your fear and sense of injustice.

2. Be direct.

a. If your brother or sister[a] sins,[b] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[c] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17

b. Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so, drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. Proverbs 17:14

Don't gossip be passive or avoid. Find a good time and deal with the issue.

3. Build up.

a. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

b. A gentle answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

c. Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise - Proverbs 20:1

Don't tear down or unload. Cover one issue at a time.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Faith Prescription for Easing Anxiety Each Day

Sunday, August 20, 2023 @ 1:50 PM

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

As I awaken, my mind reels with anxious thoughts stemming from unsettling dreams.
The pit in my stomach gnaws as I recall all the current struggles in my life. The inspirational phrase placed in a photo frame on my nightstand beckons. "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalms 118:24, NLT)

Armed with this inspiration, I jump out of bed to start my day. After offering a short prayer of thanks, I nourish my body with a healthy breakfast while I nourish my soul with this faith-filled reminder. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The phone trumpets the first challenge of the day. Sure enough, my boss requests that I complete a taxing project by tomorrow morning. I agree to email the final report by 8 a.m.

My heart flutters as I remind myself, "I can do all this through Him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13). Upon quieting the noise in my mind, I outline a realistic game plan to complete the crucial components of this task.

After several productive hours, it becomes evident that elements of this assignment extend beyond my reach. A rival coworker, not exactly known for cooperation, must be consulted. The bible quote, "If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) flows through my mind as I text a request for assistance.

The Lord answered my prayer. I received the precise information I needed in a few minutes. With gratitude, I acknowledged God’s help. "Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:20)

Minutes later, my hopeful mood dampened at receiving an email that a close family member was admitted to the hospital with chest pain. In a moment of panic, I recalled the first lines of the serenity prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference" (Reinhold Niebuhr) *

What's in my control? I muse. Well, I can visit my family member after I finish work this evening. Then I pray for God's healing and divine guidance to all the hospital staff involved. I also pray for the serenity to accept His will in this and all situations. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Satisfied with my efforts with my family member, I focus back on my work. After completing a draft of my project summary, the kitchen faucet starts to drip. Not again, I complain as I call the plumber. I just replaced it last week. Worried about the plumber's fees on my tight budget, I read this scripture passage. "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (Matthew 6:25-26)

Miracles do happen! The plumber didn't even charge me. And I emailed my completed work project to my boss at 5 p.m. - with plenty of time to make it to the hospital during visiting hours. As I entered the hospital room, my family member shared the good news that the chest pain was not a heart attack, just a minor stomach issue that only required medication.

As I left the hospital and headed to my car, my boss called to congratulate me on my fine work on that demanding project and to inform me that I will be recommended for a promotion. “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.” (Psalms 118:1)

Of course, I know that all days do not go so well. And I start to feel anxious about tomorrow when I recall, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34)

* Excerpt from “The Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Niebuhr

Article and Photo by Jessica Loftus

Friday, August 18, 2023

Hitting the Wall: Overcoming Life's Challenges!

Friday, August 18, 2023 @ 2:59 PM

You know the feeling. That moment when things seem dark, like the color has been stripped away from your world when either failure or loss tears away plans you’ve made and dreams you envisioned.

Everything that you had been building towards, all of the progress and struggle and sacrifice, everything falls apart, and you’re unsure if there’s a way to pick up the pieces. No matter where you are in your life, whether buying a house, building a career, or trying to relax, there’s the chance you’ll run into THE WALL.

THE WALL is the limit of our abilities, emotions, patience, or luck. THE WALL is the point where we find that our efforts are not good enough and where we find our greatest struggles. THE WALL is where we are beaten.

But it doesn’t have to be. It turns out we climb THE WALL every single day. That’s right. We climb the wall hundreds of times a day. It’s in our head, and we CAN conquer it.

We will talk about some ways to refocus, dust ourselves off, and get over that beast. There isn’t any single, unified approach. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” road to success, even though many self-help books insist there is. But we can use skills, tactics, and mindsets to keep ourselves in the fight, no matter what that fight may be.

THE WALL is where we fail, but it must not be where we give up!

Remember the story of Moses (Exodus 17) when the Israelites were battling the Amalekites? As long as Moses' arms are raised, God's people will be victorious against their enemies. But should Moses' arms fall, the enemy will win. Even though he bravely tried to hold up his arms so the Israelites would win the battle, Moses became fatigued. He couldn't do it alone. His brother, Aaron, and his general, Hur, knew Moses couldn't do it alone. They had him sit on a rock and stood on either side of him, holding up his arms until the day ended and the battle was won.

All of us will hit the wall, as Moses did, no matter how strong our faith is, how dedicated we are, and how strong we are physically.

That's why we need each other. But we can also look at different ways to climb those walls (obstacles) we face daily.

The first and most crucial step in overcoming an obstacle is to identify what prevents us from achieving our goals and define the obstacle itself. To do that, we also must have a firm grasp on what our goal is and the conditions in which we will find satisfaction.

We do this kind of evaluation subconsciously all the time; “I am hungry; I do not have a burger,” for example. The solution to the obstacle is simple and straightforward in this case. We can hit a drive-thru or get the pan out and cook a hamburger ourselves.

However, when the Obstacle becomes more complex, we may have to take more time and effort to examine what hinders our progress.

This may seem basic to some readers, but the fundamentals are important. We absolutely must be capable of expanding our awareness of the situation before we can dissect and dismantle the obstacle. We have to be able to slow things down, to stop and pay attention, focus, and see where we can improve. This step comes with an important task, which cannot or MUST NOT be skipped.

We have to figure out if we can win the fight at all or if we need to.

Ultimately, we cannot overcome everything. We cannot overcome every obstacle.

Failure is as much a part of the human experience as success, and while it often feels like defeat is a precursor to death, it’s rarely so serious.

As we analyze our situation, we may find that encountering the wall has made us realize our priorities are skewed and need to be adjusted, or the obstacles have challenged us to grow or obtain success we would not have otherwise obtained.

Often, our emotions distort our perception, and we place a heightened level of importance on the immediate challenge that might not be necessary or appropriate. By taking a step back, examining our emotional response, and reframing the problem through a lens of rationality, we might find that the thing that currently confounds us may be out of our control or something that can be side-stepped entirely.

Save yourself the frustration of climbing THE WALL if you don’t need to or want to climb it! If you take the time to determine that you care about the problem you are facing, the next steps become easier, and you can adjust how much you care later down the line.

It’s vital to note that other people's actions and feelings are NOT under our control. If your rational examination of THE WALL reveals someone else is controlling your progress, you’ll have to adjust your strategy. More on that later, but for now, focus on what YOU can accomplish.

Once we’ve figured out what the obstacle is and that there is something we can do to overcome it, we have to enact the plan.

Whether it’s physical improvement, relationship goals, or learning a new skill, having a course of action that includes intent and commitment is necessary. An added bonus is to simply write it down. In short, you must maintain the idea that YOU CAN DO THIS in your mind at all times and learn to manage emotions and expectations until that idea becomes a reality, whether it takes a short time or a long time.

Specificity can be extraordinarily helpful in this stage; it’s better to set a plan that includes performance milestones. It’s HARD to lose 20 pounds or play the guitar like Hendrix, but if our plan is “eat more vegetables and less pie” or “learn how to play a chord this week,” we can break THE WALL into manageable “sections.” The smaller the sections, the easier they are to get over.

OK, we have our plan, our goal, and the all-important realistic and rational appraisal of our own ability. We’re almost there! Now, all we have to do is build our skills and find our flow, and this part can take YEARS! Ideally, in fact, it will take the rest of your life. Ultimately, if we can conquer THE WALL, we will do so by improving ourselves, our communication, our focus, and our habits.

If possible, you’ll want to do something easy to say and hard to accomplish; Detach your sense of self-worth from success or failure.

This isn't easy. It’s INCREDIBLY counter-intuitive to reaffirm that failure does not make you a bad person.

Naturally, there is a sense of scale to be considered; failure to meet a deadline is less of an indication of your character than, say, failure to remain faithful in a relationship, so this step needs to be performed carefully. If THE WALL you face will affect other people, you need to communicate with them honestly and openly before you begin attempting a course of action.

This is essentially your chance to call in a secret weapon. If you can, get help. If THE WALL is too tough to break down alone, find someone with a jackhammer. If you don’t naturally have the skill set necessary to achieve your goal, getting assistance from someone that does will help you develop new skills more efficiently.

In most cases, the people who can help you have had to do the same thing themselves. This might be a personal trainer or a gym buddy for obstacles like physical fitness. For relationship hurdles, we (of course) highly recommend therapy, or at the very least, an honest and open discussion with the people involved in the relationship. If you’re trying to develop new skills or a new career, get insight from those who have walked that road before or have expertise in those areas. They may show you holes in THE WALL that you didn’t see before and help you overcome the wall more quickly or successfully.

Finally, you’re going to want to find a community. NO MATTER WHAT YOUR STRUGGLE IS, YOU NEED COMMUNITY, even if it’s a problem you can solve yourself.

We are human. We will fail, possibly several times, until we succeed and ALL hit THE WALL. We need other people who understand the struggle and can provide support, especially those who share our values.

Sometimes, we will need encouragement through the more complicated parts of our personal growth, even if it comes from someone uninvolved in our personal WALL. We need people to celebrate when we finally get over the top, and we need to share what we have learned as well. It is incredibly important that we share the lessons that we have learned with others to lessen the burden of the struggle.

Humans have the most amazing capacity for change and achievement. It may take a ton of time. It might take assistance, organization, or tools. But that’s life. Getting over THE WALL makes our lives and communities better, stronger, and more capable of supporting each other. In the end, that’s the greatest goal.

We can start building bridges once we hit the top of THE WALL. And that’s when we can become advocates to help others overcome their walls and find joy in our and their journeys.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Healthy Cell Phone Habits for Your Kids

Thursday, August 17, 2023 @ 12:45 PM

Based on extensive research studies, it is evident that children on social media checking on their number of likes and followers have led to increased number of suicides (pre-COVID). Many children suffer from anxiety due to their activity on social media and feeling not good enough or unloved. Research says that the amount of time spent on social media negatively effects children’s well-being and mental health. However, there is good news…we have tips that may be benefit your children and family unit.

 Tip #1: Connection before Correction
o It is imperative that you establish a healthy relationship with your children before jumping right into rules. Rules without relationship leads to rebellious children. Talk with your children about the research studies mentioned above and engage in a dialogue to answer their questions.
 Tip #2: Delay social media until High School
o Although this is very difficult and you may get lots of push back from your children, it is beneficial to resist giving in. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Children’s Online Privary Protection Act (COPPA) children are not legally permitted to be on social media until they are 13 years of age. There are lots of content that your children under the age of 13 should be restricted from viewing.
 Tip #3: Keep electronic devices out of the bedroom at night
o There have many horror stories of children getting into troubling situations after they turn in for the night having their phones with them in their beds. To help parents avoid unfortunate events from occurring, it is best practice to collect your children’s phones every night about an hour before bedtime. Watch out for your children making excuses of why they need their phones with them at night such as “But Mom, I need it for my alarm”. Be strong and keep their phones and buy them an alarm clock.

Provide your children with evidence-based research of why you are setting these ground rules surrounding their possession of a smart phone. You will be saving them from negative thoughts about themselves and prevent them from experiencing severe levels of anxiety and depression.

Healthy vs. Toxic Relationships

Thursday, August 17, 2023 @ 12:44 PM

Is your relationship considered a healthy or toxic one? It may be difficult to decipher between the two, dependent upon the dynamics of your family of origin and what you consider to be normal. For instance, one may believe that their relationship is healthy based on what was modeled to them during their childhood upbringing. The important question here is how you define a healthy relationship versus an unhealthy relationship. If it was a simple and/or obvious question to answer, then I believe that no one would allow themselves to remain in an unhealthy relationship. It is a complex distinction for others, especially for those who grew up witnessing domestic violence between their parents.

In my experience working with couples, it has become evident that in a marital dynamic, one spouse may view an unhealthy relationship differently from their spouse. This means that one partner may normalize and minimize any issues that cause distress because of their own childhood experiences. It is likely that the other partner may become easily frustrated with their marriage and would rather dissolve their relationship. Therefore, when a couple is at odds, it is vitally important to reach out to a professional to gain a greater understanding of the difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship.

Below are bullet points emphasizing characteristics of each type of relationship

Healthy Relationships
• Honesty and transparency
• Exchange of kind and loving words
• Respect and appreciation
• Compromise without giving up either partner’s core needs
• Expressing vulnerability without blaming the other partner
• Accepting responsibility of your own behaviors and apologizing

Unhealthy Relationships
• Criticizing
• Contemptuous comments or behaviors
• Tearing down your partner with negative comments (publicly or privately)
• Name calling
• Physical violence
• Addictions
• Always holding a “righteous” stance
• Blaming

Which characteristics do you identify that is occurring in your relationship? If you circled more than one under the Unhealthy Relationships category, it may be helpful to reach out to a professional to shift towards healthier patterns.

Prioritizing Your Marriage

Thursday, August 17, 2023 @ 12:44 PM

Your marriage will go through various stages as you grow and experience things together. At times, it may feel that your marriage is placed on the back burner while focusing on other things that may appear more important. How many times do you find yourself hyper-focused and consumed of other things such as your job, children, finances, extended family members, health, service, etc.? Don’t worry, you are not alone, this happens to probably most if not all marriages. However, as it is written in Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”, it is clear that as you agree to marriage, you must put your spouse after your relationship with God.

There have been numerous times when couples are asked, what are your priorities in life, that their spouse is listed towards the bottom. This is the number one reason that couples experience distress and in turn loveless relationships. It is imperative that once you decide to get married, your priorities in life must be shifted. Always place your relationship and spiritual life first and your spouse comes next. Even when you transition into parenthood, be careful to shift all of your focus on your child(ren). It is easy for this to happen, therefore take time to reflect on your life and identify how much time is spent on nurturing your marriage versus your children. There is no doubt that young children need your attention, but so does your spouse. Make time to spend quality time with your spouse (without the children) at least once a week. Be creative with how you want to spend your date time without it breaking your financial bank. Take turns to schedule date days/nights and look forward to that time alone.

Here are some simple ways to show your spouse that they are important in your life:
• Be kind to your spouse
• Be a friend to your spouse
• Accept their influence as you value your own opinions
• Look for the good in your spouse and speak it
• Express appreciation daily
• Assume the best from your spouse
• Ask God to present your best self in front of your spouse
• Meet your spouse’s emotional needs while putting yours aside
• Express verbal and non-verbal affection
• Thoughtful gifts
• Special notes or texts
• Make your spouse breakfast in bed
• Cook a special meal that you both can share after children are in bed
• Whisper in your partner’s ears something that they can look forward to

Prioritizing your marital relationship will bring your days, weeks, months, and years of joy and happiness. Your marriage will not make you happy, but you can make your marriage happy with your positive intentions.

Conflict Interaction

Thursday, August 17, 2023 @ 12:43 PM

Conflict Interaction

Think about replaying your last big argument/fight with your partner. Describe what you see both partners doing and/or saying. Does this type of behavior remind you of another couple, maybe friends, parents, siblings, co-workers, etc.? The way that you converse with your partner during a highly conflictual interaction may resemble something that you are too familiar with. It is likely because that is what was modeled for you and it may have been normalized. Think back during your childhood experiences, what did you witness your parents saying or doing while they were arguing? How did they manage conflicts? Generational patterns are carried out…is this happening to you? If so, there is good news, you can break that pattern. The first step is to recognize it, then become aware of it when it happens in your relationship, finally begin to make changes in the way you are dialoguing with your partner.

St. James depicts is clearly in his passage, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” James 1-19. To engage in a healthy dialogue, remember that you are speaking to the one you love and chose to be your life partner. Take time to think about how you want to express a negative emotion without blaming your partner, rather complain about a behavior with a positive suggestion. Listen to your partner as they express their thoughts and emotions. Validate what your partner is feeling, because feelings are real. If you feel that you are beginning to lose control of the conversation, ask for a break. Take time to self-soothe and then come back to the conversation using a soft start-up. Listen to your tone and adjust it if needed.

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary education, that it may impart grace to the hearers” Ephesians 4:29. The words that are used during a conversation can either improve or damage your relationship. Once words are released out of your mouth, it is impossible to take it back. Words can be hurtful, therefore use kind words to express your thoughts. If you feel defensive when your partner is talking to you about a situation, it probably means that it’s too difficult to admit some truth to what they are saying. Research studies have shown that we are all responsible for at least 30% of what is happening or being said in a conversation. Take accountability and admit when you fell short.

Use repair attempts when you feel things have gotten out of control during a conversation. Admit when you are wrong and say “I am sorry” or “I didn’t mean it that way”. Accept influence by saying “Yes, that makes sense, I agree with you”. Understand your partner’s perspective recognizing that you do not necessarily have to agree with their viewpoint. It’s healthy to have opposite opinions so embrace each other’s differences. Always keep in mind that you chose each other for life and want to have healthy conversations. Bring things up that cause you both to laugh. Laughter is a great way to lighten the mood when things get difficult to talk through.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Free Stress Management Workshop: Unwind, Relax, and Thrive

Wednesday, August 16, 2023 @ 11:14 AM

This stress management workshop is designed to help participants understand and manage stress in a healthy and effective way. Through various techniques and strategies, participants will learn to identify stressors, develop coping mechanisms, and create a balanced lifestyle. This workshop will provide practical tools to help individuals navigate stress and enhance their overall well-being.

Registration Required * Limited Slots Available

Sept 16 * 3:00-5:00 PM EST * 1009 Frederick Rd. * Suite 1 * Catonsville, MD 21228

To register, complete the Registration Form below:

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Premarital Group

Tuesday, August 15, 2023 @ 4:54 PM

Are you thinking of getting engaged? Are you in a serious relationship? Are you already engaged?
If you answered yes to any of these join us for 8 weeks of premarital group counseling.
The group is led by one of our certified PREPARE/ENRICH Facilitators and Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapists.
We have 4 locations for you and your partner to choose from: Bloomfield, Randolph, Fort Lee or Midland Park. We also offer a video group for those who are further away and want to build relationships and be prepared for a long and vibrant marriage.
We have openings for just 5 couples at each location so don't wait. Groups start the week of September 11.
Contact for more information and to sign up.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Feed Your Marriage

Sunday, August 6, 2023 @ 8:38 AM

This blog is going to focus on what steps to take to feed your marriage. However, I would like to begin with an analogy of what will likely happen to your marital relationship if you don’t spend time nourishing it. Think of your indoor/outdoor plants…if they are not watered, fed, clipped, trimmed, pruned, transplanted, etc., what is likely going to happen to them? Simply put…they will begin to wither and eventually die. That’s exactly what happens in a relationship that is not fed with healthy nourishments. I don’t mean to sound harsh when I say this, but excuses of not having enough time are just that, EXCUSES. Think of your professional career, if you begin to neglect your duties and responsibilities, it may lead to your termination.

From personal experiences, I understand that ‘Life’ can get busy and chaotic. As child-rearing parents of three, from infancy to adulthood, my husband and I found it challenging to just keep up with fulfilling our children’s basic needs, desires, schedules, and spending quality time with them. Over time, we noticed that we both became too comfortable in our marriage and shifted priority to our children. This was a very dangerous situation we found ourselves in. As our marriage was dwindling, we found that our children were suffering due to increased bickering, disagreements, and arguments causing familial distress. Hence, after becoming aware of our shortcomings, we became intentional to carve out alone time spent with each other. This took a lot of concerted effort on both of our parts as we were very busy raising our children.

As a result of my personal and professional experiences, I am providing suggestions of how to feed your marriage, surrounding chaotic and busy schedules.

• Schedule daily 20-30 minutes to engage in stimulating conversations with your spouse; no complaining about each other
• Plan and execute caring behaviors (make your spouse his/her favorite meal once a week)
• Coordinate a babysitter to have weekly date nights
• Surprise your spouse with a Because I Love You gift (monthly or bi-monthly)
• Initiate sexual intimacy when your spouse least expects it
• Show physical affection (i.e. holding hands, hugging, kisses, and cuddling) in front of your children
• Leave loving post-it notes for your spouse (weekly or monthly)

These are just some suggestions; however I am sure that you can come up with a few on your own. Stay focused on doing or saying something that will put a smile on your spouse’s face. Please do not keep score on who does what; this is called Quid Pro Quo and will NOT work. This will likely cause you both to feel discouraged and disappointed. Be intentional to feeding your marriage with positive contributions that will last a life time.

Sexual Intimacy: The Creation of Sex

Sunday, August 6, 2023 @ 8:37 AM

God created sex with an amazing design in mind! Part of his design is that it only occurs in the safety and security of marriage. There are three reasons for sexual intercourse that is found in the Bible:
• Oneness before God
• Pleasure
• Procreation
God created sex to be enjoyable, pleasurable, and passionate in marriage. He created sex and called the union between man and woman "very good". The purpose of sex is a celebration of our oneness in the sight of God.

Married couples often have different expectations and desires relative to sexual intimacy. The following are identified areas that needs to be addressed in your marriage:
• How often you engage in sex
• The timing of when to have sex is chosen
• Your emotional connection
• Quality time spent together outside the bedroom
• Time spent in foreplay before having sex
• How you verbalize your affection and love
• The amount of nonsexual touch you share with your spouse
• The strength of your relationship with God
I advise you to take one of these areas to discuss with your spouse weekly until they have all been addressed. Talking about sex may be awkward or uncomfortable, especially if there have been some "rocky" times in the relationship. Here are a few ideas for communicating about sex:
1. Pray for wisdom and that God would help your heart be in the right place before you approach your spouse
2. Wait for the right moment and location when talking about sensitive subjects
3. Be clear about your sexual likes and dislikes. Your spouse cannot read your mind, so he/she needs to know about the turn-offs as well. When you feel pleased in the bedroom, it will help your spouse know that they did a great job.
4. Use good communication techniques; avoid using words like "You always..." or "You never...". Phrases like "I feel like..." and "Help me understand...". Rephrasing the way you communicate with your spouse will help your spouse not feel like you are accusing him/her.
5. Learn to flirt with each other outside of the bedroom to lighten the mood. Whisper in your spouse's ear to mention your desires which can help build the excitement and anticipation for the big moment.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

International Overdose Awareness Day: Honoring Lives, Inspiring Change

Wednesday, August 2, 2023 @ 12:47 PM

August 31st marks International Overdose Awareness Day each year. In recent years, the world has been coping with a devastating opioid epidemic that has claimed countless lives and left communities in disarray. This day serves as a poignant reminder of the lives lost and an opportunity to raise awareness about the overdose crises. This day is not only a time to remember those who have passed, but also to support those survivors affected.

After a traumatic event such as overdose, it can be extremely difficult to grieve your loved one. Some reactions that may follow your grief are guilt, anger, shame, and isolation. There are many emotions that occur when someone dies, but when the death is from an overdose, the most difficult ones rise to the surface.

Due largely to the opioid and fentanyl epidemic, Ohio has one of the highest per capita death overdose rate. On July 18th, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner issued a public health alert due to nine overdose deaths within a 24-hour period.

We’ve learned from our Cleveland Overdose Loss Support Group participants that there are common, yet unique, challenges faced by those grieving an overdose loss. These groups offer a safe place, and sense of belonging to individuals and families who may feel isolated or stigmatized due to addiction. Being surrounded by others who have faced similar struggles can provide a comforting and non-judgmental space to share stories, emotions, and challenges.

For anyone that has lost a loved one due to overdose, knowing that others have face similar battles can provide a sense of relief and hope. Through shared stories and guidance from our facilitators, the support group participants can find peace and learn healthy ways to navigate their emotions.

Last year, Cornerstone of Hope began a Mid-Ohio Traumatic Loss Response Team program in Central Ohio. This program provides the survivors of overdose loss with emotional support, crisis intervention and links these survivors to local resources or faith communities.

Our response team volunteers are trained in crisis intervention and peer companioning. They are all reliable, gentle, and compassionate individuals that have also been through their own healing journey and are ready to provide care to others.

It is important to reach out to your friends or family that may be affected by this kind of tragic loss. Grief can be very isolating. Those that have lost their loved ones often want others to check in on them, sit with them, listen and embrace their pain. Overdose Awareness Day is a solemn yet powerful reminder of the devastating impact of addiction and the urgent need for action. By sharing personal stories and advocating for each other, we can drive meaningful change and turn our pain into purpose.

by Juliana Myers

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Ways to Show Up for Your Partner

Wednesday, July 19, 2023 @ 6:21 PM

In any romantic relationship, showing up for your partner is vital for building trust, intimacy, and maintaining a healthy connection. It encompasses active engagement, support, and understanding. In this blog post, I will explore practical ways to show up for your partner and nurture a deeper bond.

1. Cultivate Open Communication: Effective and healthy communication styles form the foundation of a strong relationship. To show up for your partner, create an environment that encourages open and honest dialogue. Be an attentive listener, validating their feelings and perspectives without judgment. Establish an atmosphere where both of you feel safe expressing yourselves authentically.

2. Be Present: Being present goes beyond the physical form as mental and emotional presence are emotionally present is equally important. When you spend time with your partner, minimize distractions and focus on them. Show genuine interest in their life, actively engage in conversations, and create opportunities for quality time together.

3. Support Their Dreams and Goals: One of the most meaningful ways to show up for your partner is by supporting their dreams and aspirations. Take an active interest in their goals, provide encouragement, and help when needed. Celebrate their successes and be a pillar of support during setbacks.

4. Prioritize Quality Time: It is crucial to prioritize quality time together. Set aside dedicated moments for shared activities and create rituals that nurture connection. It could be as simple as cooking together, going for walks, or enjoying a weekly date night. By making time for each other, you reinforce the importance of your relationship.

5. Be Responsive to Their Needs: Everyone has unique emotional and practical needs in a relationship. By actively listening and observing, you can understand your partner's needs better. Be responsive and supportive in fulfilling those needs, whether it's offering your listening ear, helping with household chores, or providing encouragement during challenging times.

Showing up for your partner is an ongoing journey that requires intention, effort, and commitment. By cultivating open communication, practicing empathy, being present, supporting their dreams, showing affection, prioritizing quality time, and being responsive to their needs, you can build a deeper, more fulfilling relationship. Remember, the small acts of love and support you show each day can have a profound impact on your partner and your relationship.

Benefits of Physical Touch

Wednesday, July 19, 2023 @ 5:27 PM

Physical touch has numerous benefits for our overall well-being and the development of social bonds. Here are some of the key benefits of physical touch:

1. Enhances emotional connection: Physical touch, such as hugging, holding hands, or cuddling, releases oxytocin, also known as the "love hormone." Oxytocin promotes feelings of trust, bonding, and emotional connection between individuals, whether they are family members, friends, or romantic partners.

2. Reduces stress and anxiety: Physical touch has a calming effect on the body and can help reduce stress and anxiety. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation and lowers the levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Touch therapies, such as massage, have been shown to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

3. Boosts immune system: Research suggests that physical touch can have a positive impact on the immune system. Oxytocin, released during touch, has been linked to increased production of certain types of immune cells, promoting a stronger immune response.

4. Relieves pain: Physical touch, particularly therapeutic touch like massage or gentle stroking, can help alleviate physical pain. Touch stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body.

5. Enhances communication: Physical touch can be a powerful form of non-verbal communication. It can express comfort, support, empathy, and affection more effectively than words alone. Touch can create a sense of understanding between individuals.

6. Improves relationship satisfaction: Regular physical touch between partners has been associated with increased relationship satisfaction. Touch can create a sense of intimacy, improve emotional connection, and strengthen the bond between partners.

7. Enhances overall well-being: Physical touch has a positive impact on overall well-being. It can promote feelings of happiness, relaxation, and contentment. Regular touch can contribute to a greater sense of self-worth and improve overall mental and emotional health.

It is important to note that the benefits of physical touch may vary depending on cultural and personal preferences. It is always essential to respect personal boundaries and obtain consent before engaging in physical touch with others.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Listening & Understanding Your Partner

Monday, July 17, 2023 @ 11:38 AM

In successful relationships, be it romantic, familial, or friendship, effective communication builds trust, manages conflicts, and fosters a deep emotional connection. While expressing oneself is vital, equally important is the art of listening and understanding your partner. In this blog post, I will explore the power of active listening and empathetic understanding in nurturing healthy and fulfilling relationships.

1. Active Listening: Active listening involves being fully present and engaged in the conversation, focusing on understanding your partner's perspective without judgment or interruption. By actively listening, you create a safe space where your partner feels valued, respected, and heard. It allows for the expression of emotions, thoughts, and desires.

2. Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It goes beyond sympathy, as it requires you to put yourself in your partner's shoes, experiencing their emotions and perspectives as if they were your own. By practicing empathy, you gain a deeper understanding of your partner's experiences, needs, and desires, enhancing your ability to support and nurture your relationship.

3. Building Trust: Listening attentively and understanding your partner's needs and emotions builds trust in a relationship. When you genuinely hear and validate their experiences, it strengthens the bond between you. Trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship, and by actively listening and empathizing, you demonstrate your commitment to their well-being, which fosters a deep sense of security and intimacy.

4. Enhancing Intimacy and Connection: Listening and understanding your partner's needs, desires, and fears can profoundly enhance intimacy and connection. When both partners feel seen, heard, and understood, it deepens the bond and strengthens the sense of togetherness.

By actively listening and empathetically understanding your partner, you create a safe and nurturing environment where love, trust, and connection can flourish.

Patience is Your Friend

Monday, July 17, 2023 @ 11:37 AM

Patience is a virtue! How many times in your life have you heard this phrase? I know that I have heard it many times throughout my life and continue to still hear it and even say it to others. However, the key point to identify is how many times have you practiced patience? It seems to me that as time goes by, society is in a bigger rush than ever before. Life can get busy depending on the stage that you are in, but imagine what it would be like if you slowed down. When you take time to reflect on your blessings, accomplishments, failures, losses, gains, milestones, etc., it will ground you to be present.

Welcome patience into your life and even treat it as your friend. When you are in distress, who do you typically turn to for comfort? Some may say, a friend or partner, others may say God, while many may say nobody. What would it look like for you to turn towards patience?

It’s the testing time that patience becomes your friend. In the Bible, patience is defined as the ability to remain constant and enduring. To persevere and continue in faith when what you believe is challenged. Patience is the “staying power” you need to remain loyal to what you know to be true during a difficult time. Here is an example that may pertain to you in the present time or something you have experienced in the past. Praying for a loved one that has been diagnosed with terminal illness can be a testimony of your faith. As believers, we think that our prayers to God must be answered only in the way we want and when we do not witness our loved one improving, we begin to question our faith. Is God there? If so, why is he not listening to me?

Turning towards patience and waiting for God’s response to your prayer will be the key factor. God answers prayers in the way He sees best fit for all His children. He can view things in the long run and know that what you are praying for is not in your or your loved one’s best interest. This is difficult to accept, but when you are struggling, stop and ask God for His strength to continue embracing patience while He is working.

“…being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” Colossians 1:11

During those days, weeks, months, or maybe even years when you recognize that you are feeling frustrated, angry, irritable, upset that God has not answered your prayers, turn towards patience, and invite it to become your friend. Jesus Christ demonstrated patience while he was waiting for the right time to begin performing His miracles. When you are honest, patience is one of those qualities that most everyone could use more of. Patience has a positive effect on you and to those you encounter. “To lose patience is to lose the battle”. Mahatma Gandhi.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

What's Postpartum Depression? Understanding the Emotional Journey After Birth

Saturday, July 15, 2023 @ 12:37 PM

Hey there, fellow mamas! Today, let's dive into an important topic that affects many new parents: postpartum depression (PPD). As a therapist specializing in this area, I've had the privilege of helping mothers navigate the emotional journey that follows childbirth. So, grab a cup of coffee, find a cozy spot, and let's have a friendly chat about what postpartum depression really is.

Picture this: you've just welcomed your bundle of joy into the world, and everyone expects you to be filled with joy and happiness. But what if, instead, you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, sad, or even disconnected from your baby? These feelings can be confusing and distressing, and that's where postpartum depression comes into play.

So, what exactly is postpartum depression? Put simply, it's a mood disorder that affects parents after childbirth. It's not the same as the "baby blues," which are common and typically last for 2 weeks. Postpartum depression, on the other hand, is more intense and long-lasting, often extending beyond the first few weeks or months after delivery.

The symptoms of postpartum depression can vary from person to person, but they often include persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness. You may find yourself losing interest in activities you used to enjoy, experiencing changes in appetite or sleep patterns, or even having difficulty bonding with your baby. It's essential to recognize that postpartum depression is not a sign of weakness or failure as a parent. It's a real and treatable condition that affects many mothers, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Now, you might be wondering, "What causes postpartum depression?" Well, the exact causes are still being studied, but hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and a history of mental health issues can all play a role. Additionally, the physical and emotional demands of caring for a newborn, coupled with the societal pressure to be a perfect mom, can contribute to the development of postpartum depression.

If you're nodding along, relating to what I'm saying, please remember that you're not alone in this journey. Seeking support is crucial. Reach out to your healthcare provider, talk to a therapist, or connect with support groups for new moms. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength and self-care.

Stay tuned for more insights and tips on how to navigate the storm of postpartum depression. You've got this, and I'm here to support you every step of the way.

To learn more about the help I offer for postpartum depression, please visit:

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Finding Peace Amidst the Storm: Managing Anxiety as a Christian Mom

Wednesday, July 5, 2023 @ 11:03 PM

As a Christian mom, navigating the challenges of anxiety can feel overwhelming. However, with faith as our anchor, we can find strength, peace, and effective strategies to manage anxiety. This blog post is dedicated to Christian moms seeking practical ways to overcome anxiety while nurturing their spiritual well-being. By integrating faith and practical techniques, we aim to provide guidance and encouragement for finding peace amidst the storms of anxiety.

1) Lean on God's Promises and Prayer

The foundation of our faith lies in God's promises and the power of prayer. Dive into Scripture and meditate on verses that speak of God's love, provision, and peace. Memorize and declare these promises daily to combat anxious thoughts. Cultivate a consistent prayer life, pouring out your worries and fears to God, trusting in His faithfulness. Allow the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, to guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

2) Practice Mindfulness and Deep Breathing

Anxiety often stems from dwelling on past events or worrying about the future. Practice mindfulness by focusing on the present moment. Engage in deep breathing exercises to calm your body and mind. Take intentional pauses throughout the day to reconnect with your breath, allowing God's peace to flow in and anxiety to subside. Be fully present with your children, savoring the precious moments and releasing worries about what lies ahead.

3) Engage in Regular Exercise

Physical activity is not only beneficial for your overall health but also plays a significant role in managing anxiety. Engage in regular exercise that suits your lifestyle, whether it's going for walks, practicing yoga, or dancing to uplifting music. Exercise releases endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones, which help reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being. Invite your children to join you in active play, fostering a healthy and joyful bond.

4) Prioritize Self-Care

As a mom, it's essential to prioritize self-care to nurture your well-being. Take time for activities that recharge your spirit, such as reading, journaling, taking relaxing baths, or pursuing hobbies. Set healthy boundaries and learn to say no to unnecessary commitments that may add stress to your life. Practice self-compassion, recognizing that you are doing your best and that it's okay to prioritize your own needs.

5) Seek Support and Community

Remember that you are not alone in your journey. Seek support from trusted friends, family members, or fellow Christian moms who can offer encouragement, understanding, and prayer. Consider joining a small group or Bible study where you can share your struggles and receive support rooted in faith. Surround yourself with a community that uplifts and strengthens you, reminding you that you are not alone in your battles.

6) Seek Professional Help

If anxiety persists and significantly impacts your daily life, seeking professional help is a wise step towards healing. Christian counselors or therapists can provide specialized guidance, integrating faith-based principles into therapy sessions. They can equip you with effective coping strategies, help identify underlying causes of anxiety, and guide you on a path towards emotional well-being. Remember, seeking professional help is a sign of strength and a valuable investment in your overall health.


As a Christian mom, managing anxiety may be a continuous journey, but remember that you are not defined by your anxiety. By leaning on God's promises, practicing mindfulness, engaging in regular exercise, prioritizing self-care, seeking support, and, if needed, professional help.

To learn more ways that I help Christian moms with anxiety, please visit:

Sunday, July 2, 2023

How to Balance Faith and Motherhood as a Christian Mom

Sunday, July 2, 2023 @ 9:41 PM

Being a mom is a tough job, and being a Christian mom comes with its own set of challenges. Balancing your faith with the demands of motherhood can be difficult, but it's not impossible. In this guide, you'll find helpful tips and advice to help you navigate the ups and downs of being a Christian mom.

1) Prioritize Your Relationship with God.

As a Christian mom, it's important to prioritize your relationship with God. This means making time for prayer, Bible study, and attending church services. It can be easy to get caught up in the demands of motherhood and neglect your spiritual life, but remember that your relationship with God is the foundation for everything else in your life. Make it a priority and you'll find that everything else falls into place more easily.

2) Make Time for Personal Devotions and Prayer.

One of the most important ways to balance faith and motherhood as a Christian mom is to make time for personal devotion and prayer. This can be challenging with the demands of motherhood, but it's essential for nurturing your relationship with God. Set aside a specific time each day for prayer and Bible study, even if it's just a few minutes. You can also listen to Christian podcasts or worship music while doing household tasks to help keep your mind focused on God throughout the day. Remember, a strong spiritual foundation will help you navigate the challenges of motherhood with grace and wisdom.

3) Involve Your Children in Faith-Based Activities.

Another way to balance faith and motherhood as a Christian mom is to involve your children in faith-based activities. This can include attending church together, reading Bible stories with them, and praying as a family. By involving your children in your faith, you not only strengthen their spiritual foundation but also create opportunities for bonding and quality time together. Additionally, it can help you model the importance of faith and instill values that will guide them throughout their lives.

4) Connect with Other Christian Moms.

Connecting with other Christian moms can be a great way to find support and encouragement in your faith journey while navigating the challenges of motherhood. Consider joining a local church group or online community for Christian moms. These groups can provide a safe space to share your struggles, ask for advice, and receive prayer and support from other moms who understand what you're going through. You may even make lifelong friends who can walk alongside you on your journey.

5) Practice Grace and Forgiveness.

As a Christian mom, it’s important to remember that we are all imperfect and make mistakes. Practice grace and forgiveness towards yourself and others. When you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, take a moment to pray and ask for guidance. Remember that God's love and grace are always available to us, and we can extend that same love and grace to those around us. By practicing grace and forgiveness, we can create a more peaceful and loving home environment for ourselves and our families.


Being a Christian mom can be challenging, but finding a balance between faith and motherhood is possible. If you would like to talk about ways I can help in your journey to wholeness as a Christian Mom, please reach out today to schedule a free consultation.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Between Mother's Day and Father's Day: Understanding how your parents impact our own parenting and leadership.

Friday, June 23, 2023 @ 7:23 PM

Since this is a season where we celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day I'd like to look at what that relationship does for us and how we can make a difference in the lives of our kids and or staff.

Mom does a lot of the bonding part especially when we're young she helps us belong and matter as well as connect to other people in appropriate ways. She helps create a solid base and a place where we can make mistakes, receive grace and learn how to do things better. This is a place where we begin to learn creativity.

Then as dad enters our life around 4 or 5 years old he begins to take his out of orbit around mom and put the lion in our heart or the fire in our belly. He begins to help us have good aggression as well as help us bridge into the world not to be of the world but to be in the world. As we've been internalizing mom's love we internalized dad's love so we can be independent and know that even though our parents aren't there at the moment we know we are loved and worthwhile.

Of course I'm talking about the ideal situation and sometimes we need uncles and grandfather's and others to help us to come that full distance into adulthood. ( See Changes That Heal by Henry Cloud, PhD and Making Peace With Your Father by Dave Stoop, PhD)

If mom and dad had done a good job it's relatively easy for us to be a parent as well as a manager or leader. We know how to bond with our kids or staff. We know how to individuate from them and we know how to help them individuate from us and from others. We know how to empower them. We know how to bond to them as part of helping them feel included in a part of a team. We have a sense of where they are developmentally given their age, their maturity and the tasks in front of them.

No parent is perfect just like no leader is perfect but you can find out a lot about your leadership through understanding how you were parented. This is where coaching, therapy and mentoring can come in to really help. They can encourage what's working, understand what's not and help you grow into a more effective parent and leader

Kit Hill Ed.D., LMFT
The New Life Group
Counseling and Executive Coaching
925 351 7240

Altruistic & Caring Behaviors

Friday, June 23, 2023 @ 3:46 PM

In today’s world, it appears that it is filled with self-interest and personal gain. Acts of altruism and caring behaviors will have positive long-term effects. Altruism refers to the selfless concern for the well-being of others, while caring behaviors encompass actions that demonstrate empathy, compassion, and genuine concern for the welfare of those around you. These behaviors have the power to transform lives. In this blog, I will explore the importance of altruistic and caring behaviors, highlighting their benefits for individuals and society.

1. Promoting Well-being: Engaging in acts of kindness and compassion releases endorphins and other neurochemicals in the brain that promote feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Additionally, studies have shown that helping others can reduce stress, boost self-esteem, and improve overall mental health. When you extend a helping hand or offer support to those in need, you will be creating a positive connection and enhance your own well-being in the process.

2. Building Stronger Communities: Altruistic and caring behaviors are the building blocks of strong and resilient communities. When individuals come together to support and uplift one another, they create a sense of belonging and unity. Acts of service, volunteering, and community engagement foster social connections, strengthen bonds, and create a shared purpose.

3. Leaving a Lasting Legacy: Finally, engaging in altruistic and caring behaviors allows you to leave a legacy. When you prioritize the well-being of others and work towards the betterment of society, you create a positive impact that extends far beyond your own lives. The acts of kindness and compassion you decide to engage in today can inspire future generations to follow suit, creating a cycle of altruism that endures over time.

Let’s take a moment here to reflect on your own feelings when someone extends a helping hand or listening ear. What positive emotions and physical sensations do you experience during this process? In my own personal experience, when going to the bank, a stranger takes the time to hold open the door for me. I feel valued, important, and that I matter. I feel seen! Imagine having this type of effect in others daily.

Altruistic and caring behaviors are not only acts of selflessness but also catalysts for positive change. By promoting well-being, fostering empathy, creating a ripple effect, building stronger communities, and leaving a legacy, these behaviors have the power to transform individuals and society. Let us embrace the opportunities to be kind, empathetic, and caring, and together, we can make a significant and meaningful difference in the world.

Wedding Planning Stress

Friday, June 23, 2023 @ 3:45 PM

If you are a bride, groom, or parents of the bride or groom, this blog is for you! I am writing this blog from personal experience and wanted to offer several suggestions of how to enjoy the process with minimal stress. My daughter is presently planning her wedding and we have both noticed that stress is creeping in which is taking away from the enjoyment of the journey.

In the early stages, I specifically told my daughter and her fiancée to focus on enjoying the process and push away the stressors. It is much easier said than done, that’s a given. Ignoring the stressors are only going to make it worse. Address the stressors one at a time and understand how you are feeling about them. The more individuals involved in the preparation process, the more you may feel stressed. Other people’s opinions and suggestions are important, but they are not the deciding factor. As the bride and groom, constantly remind yourselves of your vision of your special day. Kindly respect other’s suggestions and let them know that you will take them into consideration during your planning process.

Bride and Groom

Carefully choose who you would like to help during the wedding planning process and in which ways you would like to implore their support. Be direct, but kind and gentle. Describe your individual visions to each other and exercise open communication. Avoid build up resentments by sharing your desires, hopes, visions, thoughts, and emotions effectively. Take time away from your planning process to create memories with date days, nights, weekends, etc. Balance your talk and avoid discussing your wedding plans daily. Focus on your end goal and what you are both attempting to accomplish.

Parents of the Bride and Groom

As the mother of the bride, I understand that parents want to support their children during this exciting time. However, ask them in what ways they would like your support. Offer your support and then step back! This is their wedding, not yours. It is very easy to fall into the trap of imposing your vision. Listen to the bride and groom and gain a deep understanding of their vision! Be kind, courteous, and loving during the entire process. Many parents feel that if they are financially providing for the wedding, that they should tell the bride and groom exactly what they should and should not do! If you want a future relationship with your adult children, please avoid doing this! Only offer suggestions when prompted.

To conclude, expect surprises, especially financial ones. It is best to adjust your expectations during this process and take time to laugh!! Please also remind yourselves that the most important part is marriage, which is a lifetime. A wedding is a beautiful day of celebration, and it is only one day.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

How to Develop and Implement an EMDR Intensive

Thursday, June 22, 2023 @ 8:41 AM

Learn how to develop and implement an EMDR Intensive to fit your practice and style! In this conversation-style webinar, we will go over 3 steps for developing and implementing an EMDR Intensive for Complex PTSD that can be easily adapted for a variety of other clinical presentations.

EMDR Skills for Treating Complex PTSD Live Webinar

Thursday, June 22, 2023 @ 8:24 AM

Parts work and attachment repair are fundamental skills interwoven through EMDR’s 8 phases of therapy to treat Complex PTSD. In this training, you will receive a therapist manual along with a client workbook equipped with techniques, skills, and journal exercises to easily implement parts work and attachment repair into the 8 phases of EMDR therapy with clients. Together, we will explore each phase, incorporating additional interventions to help you diagram, compose, and demonstrate new skills for identifying protective parts that block processing, reframing protective parts to internal helpers, and healing the inner baby, child, and teen with attachment repair.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Elisha's Space New Episode: From Heartbreak To Healing: A Mother's Journey Through Loss

Wednesday, June 21, 2023 @ 3:52 PM

Discover the Power of Love, Resilience, and Healing with Linda Triplett, Author of "Healing Reflections for a Grieving Mom's Heart"

In this deeply moving and inspiring podcast episode, we welcome Linda Triplett, the author of the heartfelt book "Healing Reflections for a Grieving Mom's Heart." Linda shares her emotional journey of losing her beloved son and how she found the strength to navigate through the darkest days of her life.

Join us as we delve into Linda's incredible story of love, loss, and resilience. Through her candid storytelling, she offers invaluable insights and advice to other grieving mothers and anyone who has experienced the pain of losing a loved one. Discover the transformative power of grief and loss, and learn how Linda turned her heartbreak into a message of hope and healing.

Don't miss this powerful conversation that will touch your heart and inspire you to find strength in the face of adversity.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Finding Strength in Faith: Navigating Postpartum Depression and Anxiety as a Christian Mom

Tuesday, June 20, 2023 @ 11:58 PM

Becoming a mother is a joyful and transformative experience, but for some Christian moms, the journey may be accompanied by postpartum depression and anxiety. In this blog post, we want to offer support and encouragement to Christian moms who are navigating the challenges of postpartum depression and anxiety.

You are not alone in this journey, and with faith, practical strategies, and a supportive community, healing and hope are possible.

1) Recognize the Signs and Seek Help

The first step in overcoming postpartum depression and anxiety is recognizing the signs and seeking help. Be aware of symptoms such as persistent sadness, irritability, excessive worry, sleep disturbances, and loss of interest in activities. Reach out to your healthcare provider, a trusted counselor, or a support group specifically tailored for postpartum mental health. Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a courageous step towards healing.

2) Lean on Your Faith

Turn to your faith as a source of comfort and strength. Engage in daily prayer, pouring out your heart to God and seeking His guidance and peace. Meditate on Scripture verses that remind you of God's love, faithfulness, and ability to bring healing. Find solace in knowing that you are not alone in your struggles and that God is with you, carrying you through the difficult times.

3) Prioritize Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is essential in your journey towards healing. Prioritize self-care by establishing routines that promote physical and emotional well-being. Make time for activities that nourish your soul, such as prayer, journaling, reading uplifting books, or engaging in hobbies. Ensure you are getting enough rest and proper nutrition. Remember, caring for yourself allows you to be the best version of yourself for your child and family.

4) Create a Supportive Network

Surround yourself with a supportive network of family, friends, and fellow Christian moms who can provide understanding, encouragement, and prayer. Join a postpartum support group where you can connect with other moms who have experienced similar struggles. Share your journey with trusted individuals who can offer a listening ear and a compassionate heart. Having a supportive community can provide a sense of belonging and lessen the feelings of isolation.

5) Seek Professional Help and Treatment

Postpartum depression and anxiety may require professional treatment to aid in your healing process. Consult with a mental health professional experienced in working with postpartum disorders. They can provide therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy, tailored to your specific needs. In some cases, medication may be recommended to alleviate symptoms. Remember, seeking professional help is a proactive step towards regaining your emotional well-being.

6) Embrace God's Grace and Patience

As a Christian mom with postpartum depression and anxiety, it's important to extend yourself grace and patience. Remember that healing takes time, and recovery may involve ups and downs. Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions without judgment. Give yourself permission to ask for help when needed and to take breaks when necessary. Trust that God's grace is sufficient and that He is working in your life, even in the midst of the challenges.

Christian moms facing postpartum depression and anxiety, you are not alone. With faith, support, self-care, and professional help, you can find healing and reclaim joy in your motherhood journey. Hold onto hope, lean on your faith, and remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I would love to talk to you about ways I can help with postpartum depression and anxiety symptoms. To learn more, visit:

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Desires vs. Decisions

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 @ 2:04 PM

Desires vs Decisions

Is it an easy or difficult process for you when attempting to make decisions? For many people, the process can be extremely challenging and psychologically and emotionally distressing. If you are someone who finds it easy, good for you! However, this blog is targeting those who are finding it to be an extremely difficult process. The most important ground rule to remember is to NEVER decide based off your emotions. You will most likely be making a vulnerable decision that may come with a level of regret. Make sure you are in a calm and peaceful space in your mind.

Your desires is not the same as your decisions. There is a big distinction between the two D’s. Desires are driven by your feelings and emotions while decisions are more concrete and logically based. Here are several ideas to help you with this process:

• Make a ‘pretend’ decision for five days. During that time, write daily about how you feel about the decision you are pretending to have made. Don’t bargain with the decision. The more you buy into having made the decision, the more information you will receive about yourself. Consider the emotional sensations you experienced with previous decisions you made in the past made you feel good and compare your present sensations with your pretend decision.

Put aside the pressures of planning when it is causing you significant distress. It is most likely causing you discomfort while attempting to decide. There are many decisions in life that you will need to make, but choosing the best time for that process is vital.

• Create separation between desire and decision by putting the decision to the sidelines until clarity of your desire is known. To do this, make a list of all your fears related to this decision. Then list all the specifics, or externals, in your life that you can’t stop thinking about (age, health, career, relationship status, etc.) Then put these two lists in an envelope and put that envelope out of sight. Do not look at it or entertain anything in it until you have clarity of your desire, and you know why you want what you want. The why is important, not because you owe anyone an explanation but because you need to know what is driving your desire from the inside out so that you can be honest with yourself.
Be kind and gracious to yourself during this process as you may become influenced from outside sources. Do what you feel is right for you and be honest with your feelings.

If you need further assistance from a professional counselor, please contact our office at 714-617-5955. We have qualified therapists to assist you in this process.

Way of Love

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 @ 2:02 PM

Is love a feeling? Most individuals believe that it must be a feeling that you experience to be in a committed relationship. Sure, there are erotic feelings in the beginning of a relationship, however those feelings tend to dissipate after the newness of the relationship wears off. Let’s get real – relationships take two unique individuals to choose to continue to love each other. How do you do that when you become frustrated with your partner or start to experience boredom? Here are a few suggestions of what you can do:

• Begin each day with prayer asking God to help you love your partner the way he or she needs
• Tell yourself that you are choosing to love your partner because God chose to love you
• Love without setting any conditions
• Identify what love means to you
• Write down ways that you can demonstrate love daily
• Be intentional and ask God for peace in your heart
• Demonstrate acts of kindness

I would like to reference 1 Corinthians 13:
a. Love is patient
b. Love is kind
c. It does not envy
d. It does not boast
e. It is not proud
f. It does not dishonor others
g. It is not self-seeking
h. It is not easily angered
i. It keeps no record of wrongs
j. Love does not delight in evil
k. Love rejoices with the truth
l. Love always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres
m. Love never fails

There will be those seconds, minutes, hours, days, and weeks when you experience challenges to choose to love your partner which is normal and understandable. However, those are the moments that it may be helpful to turn towards God and ask him to help pull you out of those feelings and show love to your partner the way he/she needs you to.

Pray with your spouse daily about your marriage and union together recognizing that during struggles, you are willing to work through them together.

“Love one another as I have loved you” John 13:34

Friday, June 9, 2023

Elisha's Space New Episode: Exploring the Impact of Trauma on Mental Health with Kwajera Jackson

Friday, June 9, 2023 @ 7:06 PM

🎙️🧠 *New Podcast Episode Alert!* 🧠🎙️
🌟 Exploring the Impact of Trauma on Mental Health with Kwajera Jackson 🌟
Are you curious about how trauma affects our mental well-being? Join us in our latest podcast episode as we discuss this crucial topic with renowned licensed social worker and trauma expert, Kwajera Jackson!
🔍 Discover the different types of trauma and how they manifest in our lives
💔 Learn about the complex relationship between trauma and mental health issues
🌈 Gain insights into coping mechanisms and strategies for healing
Kwajera's invaluable insights and personal stories offer hope and guidance for those struggling with the aftermath of traumatic events. Don't miss this enlightening conversation that will help you foster resilience, growth, and recovery in the face of adversity.
🎧 Tune in now and share this episode with your friends and family who might benefit from understanding the impact of trauma on mental health. Together, let's break the stigma and support each other on the path to healing! 💜

A Grief Journey Through Child Loss

Friday, June 9, 2023 @ 10:00 AM

Most of us live with grief from the loss of someone or something. If you’re living with grief then you likely understand the immense pain it can bring. The pain is a commonality we all share. And although we understand each other’s pain, our journeys with grief are unique and we certainly can’t plan the day it will become part of our story.

For many years, my story was happy and easy until grief walked through my door. That day was July 6, 2021 and it is the day my beautiful daughter, Ayla Grace, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Before this day, Ayla was a healthy, vibrant, silly and sassy almost-six year old girl but her symptoms came on suddenly. The doctors informed us that the type of tumor Ayla had was called a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (dipg for short) and it is rare, inoperable, and untreatable. The average survival rate is nine months post-diagnosis. There are no survivors of this type of cancer, and with that news, grief landed on me in a heavy, suffocating heap.

My daughter was my person. We were inseparable; we could often be found finishing each other’s sentences, laughing together at our inside jokes, making up songs, working on crafts, baking treats, reading books … everything I did, I did it with Ayla. She made me a better person because she made me a Mom, and being a Mom is the greatest and truest joy I’ve ever felt. As hard as parenting can be, there is no greater gift that God can give us, than our children. I am blessed that God has given me three.

After Ayla was diagnosed she went through months of intense medical intervention. A major brain biopsy, 45 rounds of radiation, trial chemo therapies, appointments, constant pokes and prodding. The journey felt tiresome and endless. My husband and I lived with the fear of not knowing what tomorrow would bring and the reality that one day we would lose our daughter. When the weight of our fear felt crushing we would remind ourselves that the most important thing we could focus on was the here and the now. Our mission was to fill Ayla with love and joy every single day. Ayla deserved nothing less than our best and so that is what we strived to give her as parents. We adopted practices into our daily lives, like prayer and meditation, to help keep our faith strong and our hearts on Jesus. We lived for each day with so much presence and love that you could feel it when you walked into our home. The distractions diminished and our only focus was on each other, everything else became an afterthought. There is beauty in simplicity. God gave us what we needed for each day.

But the journey we were on was gut-wrenching. We had to watch our child’s health decline rapidly. We watched her lose mobility and basic bodily functions all while she remained mentally sharp. I will forever be grateful that God blessed her with the ability to stay light-hearted, bright, and happy through the hardships. When I look back on that year the pain is ever present but love and joy is what fills my heart the most. It was the hardest yet simplest time in my life. And although it felt like nothing made sense, everything did.

Ayla fought courageously for almost a year. On June 29th, 2022 Ayla left this Earth and became our angel. There is a grace that grew over the moment almost instantaneously. God held Ayla in His loving arms and showed us that He would take care of her.

In the months after Ayla passed away a new kind of grief set in. This grief wasn’t easier, or less painful, but it was no longer filled with fear. We had lived through our greatest fear as parents and when Ayla passed away, her love filled up the hole that the fear of the unknowns of her diagnosis had dug. The loss of a child will never become easier. People say that time heals everything but sometimes I feel like it's the one thing time cannot heal. Yet through the daily tears, reminders and impossibly hard moments, time is helping me live with the loss. I’ve learned to invite grief in, as a friend. I let myself sit with the sad and take comfort in the love we have for each other and the incredible signs that Ayla shows me. Daily prayer has been my life preserver. God has been my strength and Ayla has been my inspiration for everything.

I know that something good is coming from this. I try to keep the daily reminder that our lives are fluid, not to be thought of as a series of events that happen to us, but a beautiful, intricate story woven perfectly for us. Some of us will have short stories and some of us will have long stories, but all of us have stories filled with unique purpose. Ayla’s story was short here on Earth, yet her spirit keeps imprinting more and more on my heart each day. Our stories do not end with death, they continue writing themselves within the people that we love.

ERIN SLIVKA, Friend of Cornerstone of Hope