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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Children long for significance and belonging

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 @ 4:48 PM

What to do?
…an adorable baby,
…a teen with attitude,
…an exhausted working parent
…and a fragile nursing home resident

Have in common?
To start with they are all human. And like all of us they have deep longings for love, security, understanding, significance and belonging. These basic emotional needs [...]

This was first published on Courage Counseling on October 14, 2013 by Doris Motte. Visit the Learn More link to read the rest of my article.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Personality Effects Relationships: Pros and Cons

Monday, January 21, 2019 @ 11:22 AM

Personality Effects Relationships: Pros and Cons
By Glyndora Condon MS MFT LPC
Derived from Tracy Moore's book, Me, You and People in Pew

We have all heard that opposites attract, and rightly so. This is how God made us so that we complete each other to work as one and reflect the image of God, as each human lacks aspects that they need. As we consider Adam and Eve, the first couple of the Bible from the date of creation, we must recall the verbiage of God. Genesis 2:18 God speaks that it is not good for man to be alone and that he needed a helper. The actual word means, a counterpart, an opposite, one that fits him. This not only applies to the physiological differences of male and female; but it also describes the differences of cognition, and even the differences of personality. As we consider Adam, then we see that he most resembles the personality of a Melancholy (an introvert who is most analytical, a perfectionist, organized, loyal, considerate, creative; but also who is given to depression, pessimism, un-forgiveness, insecurity, moodiness, and sometimes critical). He was given the duty to name all animals and woman. Others in scripture who reflects more of the melancholy personality are Solomon and perhaps, Elijah.

Adam blends this with a peacemaking personality ascribed to a Phlegmatic who averts from conflict. Other aspects of this personality includes the positives of humility, adaptability, servant focused, patient, humorous, balanced, faithful, submissive with a negative tendency towards apathy (lack of enthusiasm) internalized emotions and experiences high stress. When Satan came in the image of a serpent and then deceived Eve; note that Adam was not deceived. He was there, he was analyzing, he knew what God had said to them. But, part of this personality is one who is more likely to follow others, and one who dislikes conflict.


Then we consider Eve. She appears to possess more of a Choleric personality (extrovert who often is a leader, driven to achieve, persistent and determined, adventurer, decisive, competitive and bold which often, if in an extreme form-then these would have to deal with pride, controlling tendencies, perfectionism, without much sympathy, tact, and who can be rash and manipulative. An example in scripture who also appear to have this personality is Diotrephes that is found in 3rd John 1:9-10. Paul would also be a candidate to consider for this personality type.

This personality appears to blend with the Sanguine. Sanguine is a life giver; who is more animated, expressive, demonstrative, optimist, excitable and inspiring, cute and bouncy-with a negative tendency to get out of control, overly impulsive, most talkative, quick to speak without listening, forgetful, angry naive, scatter brained, and restless. Some examples of this personality type would be Peter (from scriptures) and Tom Sawyer from a literature example.


Satan used these personality tendencies to entice Eve with power and knowledge and she then became prideful and did eat-then gave the fruit to her husband who ate (although he was not deceived but was following her lead). As we consider the punishment to both we find that God forced Adam to be in a role of a leader which was contrary to his personality, along with labor and the responsibility to be in control and he place Eve under submission onto him to squelch her prideful tendency and gave her pain during childbirth. A fitting punishment for the situation where Adam valued Eve over God and where Eve valued being as wise and powerful as God over God's command. They had everything given to them except only ONE thing but greed and ill-placed allegiance upon their selves instead of to God; caused each to sin against God. Interesting isn't it?

Above, we see the personality types unfold and we see that both the Sanguine and the Choleric are extroverts and that the Melancholy and the Phlegmatic are introverts. People can exhibit one or both of the extroverts or one or both of the introvert personality traits; yet do not exhibit naturally from the total opposites. They learn the opposite and act the opposite during times of trial which will lead to some discomfort due to being out of the comfort zone for the personality that is manifesting. For example, people would assume that I was an extrovert, more of a Choleric due to the many leadership hats that I wear, yet would find it interesting to learn that I actually identify more as a Melancholy with a Phlegmatic blend, and that when in a leader position; there is a continual need to persevere and to work through the anxiety and the discomfort that is experienced outside my personality. I would be under the impression that I operate also from a Choleric personality since necessity requires me to navigate that forum and since I do so with success; but I do so with caution and stress even-though years have dictated my need to be self employed due to my physical health and situations that have arose.

I have found that I can provide leadership and own my business from my personality since it is a position of servitude where I am comfortable, as I attempt to keep the peace which works most of the time to de-escalate the level of stress that I would have otherwise experienced. I married a Choleric personality in my husband who I gladly submit to especially during conflict since he is more at ease taking on the conflicts. Both he and I are analytical and organized yet are different in how we do both. Opposites can make life most interesting as each use their strengths to complete each other. Opposites however that become extreme can also alienate their opposite by then taking their strength to an extreme, attempting to force the other to be outside of their own personality, and then ridiculing the opposite for the very strength that drew each together.


The cute Sanguine becomes a nuisance when he/she talks and forgets, and is impulsive throughout their way through life, throwing caution to the wind. When a Melancholy is wrestling with the need for perfection then the Sanguine would pose a difficult personality. The Sanguine may not comprehend the level of stress and or depression and think that the Melancholy just needs to lighten up. The Phlegmatic may so adapt that they lose oneself to a strong Choleric who is more than willing to be over controlling and who can be unsympathetic. Strengths turn into overly obsessive or compulsive behaviors and emotions become out of balance with fear and anger taking charge with each of these personalities thus causing friction. In addition, when you toss in thought distortions and problems with communication, the two, who were drawn together due to those wonderful opposites, then quickly find themselves pushing each other away. Opposites attract and repel.

Each personality is an awesome personality yet can become toxic and each is not complete alone since several aspects are absent from the comfort level.
Marital or couple problems? Seek a counselor who can administer the Myer-Briggs Assessment of Personality to learn who you are and who they are, and then learn about boundaries and cognitive distortions. With these insights then you can find a place of balance where opposites attract once again which aligns with how we were created.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A Black Man Protected My Sexuality

Sunday, January 20, 2019 @ 9:29 PM

There is a lie that has inundated our society. It can be insidious at times if we are not aware of it. But, the injustice infuriates me and calls me to action in every way I know how, no matter how small. My reality is starkly in contrast to the lie that society continues to feed us. The lie that Black men are rapists.
The Truth

My truth is so contrary to the overwhelming LIE we've been inundated with for more than a century in the USA. Today, one specific experience has welled up in my chest and I feel compelled to share.
Incident 1

Undergraduate Statistics class was set up so that everyone taking the class attended a large lecture and then we were broken up and assigned to small classes in computer labs to apply our knowledge. By three weeks in to the class, I found myself the target of sexual harassment by another student in the class. He was huge and intimidating. It didn't matter how I dressed, each class got worse. It didn't matter where I sat or who I sat next to or how many friends and alibis I formed, each time he became more daring and belligerent, louder and more vulgar. It got so bad that I got up and left in the middle of class, making eye contact with the TA (Teaching Assistant; a White man) as a cry for help as he stared back, frozen in silence in his chair as I was taunted out of the classroom. I never returned to that lab. The following week I missed, I emailed the TA why I missed and he replied with understanding. I never said anything else to him. All of our assignments were through the lab class and I never turned another one in. I should have failed that class. The TA gave me a 100. This was swept under the rug and handled poorly, rewarding victimization and leaving me powerless.
Incident 2

During the same semester, a large man at church had begun making me feel very uncomfortable and eventually unsafe. He would request several hugs and would hold on way too long and in a ways that I couldn't break free. He would comment about my body and what he wanted. I tried sitting with a friend's parents and he sat right behind us and continued his behavior. I contemplated running out of the church and not returning. I feared he knew my car or would follow me to the parking lot. I Loved this church. It was more important to me than statistics class and I did not want victimization to win and run my life! But, I did not know the right course of action. I tried skipping church and that wasn't for me. I couldn't let such a good thing go; I loved it and it was right where I needed to be. I determined to try something different and decided to set up a meeting with the pastor.
My Expectation

I don't know what I was expecting from the meeting. I was just going to tell him my experience and what I felt; maybe he could pray the target off my back or give me insight into men that would help me keep creepers away. His reaction took me by surprise. He took notes on the man and exactly what made me feel uncomfortable and unsafe.

Let me be clear: my pastor was a Black man. He was not racially ambiguous looking; not tan and not pretending to be anyone other than who he was and still is. Pastor Don Leavell did NOT tell me it was my fault. He did not condemn me, slut shame me, or comment on my clothes. He made a plan and executed it to perfection. He told me I would no longer have to worry about the predator and to keep coming back to church. This pastor, this African American man had a team of trusted men stationed strategically around the church. He told them to watch me and watch the predator. The scary man never spoke to me or touched me again. I do not know the extent of the plan in place and I really don't care. The important part to me was that it worked. I tell this story to tell the truth. A Black man protected my sexuality. An African American man made me feel safe when I was scared. A Black male saw a vulnerable White female and clothed me with fatherly love.
Race Is Not The Issue

Race is not the issue. In the Church, the new race is Christianity. He was my pastor and loved me as part of his flock. It was not until recently that I felt compelled to tell the story through the eyes of race. The lie is that African American men are rapists; it keeps us all down and in shackles. The Truth sets us free. Telling our stories -the truth- counters the lie. Entrusting him was an excellent decision and consequently allowed me to remain, grow, and thrive as a person responding to Jesus with my life.
Now What?

Today, on Martin Luther King Day, remember that there are still some lies about race in American Culture. Amanda Golden de Duke serves as a bilingual christian counselor at Acorn Counseling Education Services. She brings her clarity of sight to all her interactions. Need someone to talk to? Schedule online or call 940-222-8703 x 702.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Beware social media health hazards

Tuesday, January 08, 2019 @ 12:26 PM

Warning. Social media may be hazardous to your health.

The health of your marriage that is.

Start with what Facebook does so well. Connecting you to old friends. When those old friends are ex-girlfriends or boyfriends, high school sweethearts or college heart throbs – reconnecting may be the first step toward a marital crisis. Ditto for texting, e-mails and phone calls.

It all seems so innocent. What could be the harm? [...]

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This was first published on Courage Counseling on September 22, 2013 by Doris Motte. Visit the Learn More link to read the rest of my article.