Christian Counselor Directory Blog

Find a Christian Counselor

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Conflict and Repair for Couples According to Star Trek

Thursday, March 31, 2022 @ 12:07 PM

All relationships, even the best ones, have conflict. Couples can be encouraged that it is not the absence of conflict which predicts a healthy relationship, but how that conflict is consistently managed that can indicate relationship longevity and mastery. When it comes to couples counselling, conflict provides helpful opportunities for growth and evaluation as you and your partner learn to manage conflict in a healthy way. If you feel like your relationship stumbles into problematic conflict on regular basis, this article will help you identify four unhelpful patterns of conflict and their cure utilizing imagery that will stick in your memory banks for when it matters most.

Dr. John Gottman coined four predictors of relational unhealth and poor relationship conflict as the Four Horsemen: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling (Lisitsa, 2013). The presence of one or more of these horsemen within conflict serve to gradually erode relationships that could be made stronger through meaningful conflict resolution and repair. So, how do we watch for these predictors and, more importantly, manage them when they arise? Think of Star Trek. Yes, Start Trek – it may provide a fun adaptation to these predictors and their solutions to help you move forward in successful conflict repair.

Deactivate Weapons:

Criticism is emotional weaponry and it signals that you are ready for a fight, and couples need to disarm to manage conflict. Coming into a difficult or emotionally charged conversation with an aggressive tone or statement is like locking your missiles on the target and being surprised when your partner fires back. Instead, by utilizing a soft start up and gentle tone invites your partner to match your tone when engaging in difficult conversations.

Peaceful Exploration ("I come in peace"):

Okay, this one is a bit of stretch, but consider the mission of the Starfleet exhibited in nearly every episode - exploration and discovery (“to boldly go where no man has gone before”). Admittedly, if you prefer lots of explosions and action sequences, Star Trek may not have been the show for you. However, having contempt (or a sense that your partner has nothing valuable to bring to the table) is among the highest predictors for divorce. Contempt shuts things down through mockery and a demeaning attitude towards one’s partner.

Contempt assumes the worst of one’s partner and tears down little by little, but an attitude of peaceful exploration helps promote respect and provide opportunities to express appreciation. Begin looking for the many and little ways you can express gratitude and appreciation to amass a bank account of respect for one-another instead of running into emotional overdraft brought about by contempt.

Shields Down:

In conflict, we can be quick to put our shields up. Any action of defensiveness means that we anticipate an attack and demonstrates an inability to take responsibility for one’s actions and conveys blame. Shields deflect and treat our partner’s well-meaning attempts of repair as unwelcome.

This posture, however, is understanding if one’s partner is being overly critical or attacking but, ultimately, supports a cycle of unhealthy conflict. In keeping with our analogy, it is understandable to have shields up when our partner enters a conflict with weapons locked and firing, but when this is not the case it is necessary to acknowledge there is no benefit to this posture in trying to promote healthy conflict. In keeping shields down, one is invited to accept responsibility for their words and behaviours and receive their partner’s perspective in a conflict.

Hailing frequencies open:

This refers to the open lines of communication between two groups – it serves as Star Trek’s equivalent of answering your phone. Stonewalling refers to an unwillingness to receive a partner’s influence. This is when someone shuts someone else out. It may mean that person is emotionally overwhelmed and needs to take a break. That’s okay but, eventually, lines of healthy communication need to reopen. When hailing frequencies are down, no messages are being received or responded to whatsoever.

This sort of behaviour conveys avoidance and may escalate conflict as well. We avoid when we want to escape an uncomfortable situation. So what do we do? The remedy is to engage in self-soothing, calming, exercises individually and re-open hailing frequencies for communication when you are ready. Take a break. Read a book or go for a walk. Breathe. Re-engage when you are calm and ready to implement the tools listed above.


Conflict is an unavoidable part of relationships that provides opportunity for couples to grow closer together and promote understanding. If you are feeling stuck in some of these patterns of conflict in your relationship, it may be beneficial to meet with a counsellor Calgary to practice and enhance the skills needed to promote healthy conflict resolution in your relationship.

Lisistsa, E. (2013). The Four Horsemen: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling. The Gottman Institute.

Renewing Your Mind: How to Break Through Cycles of Stress and Anxiety and Start Living The Life You Deserve

Thursday, March 31, 2022 @ 10:19 AM

Learn the tools and tips needed to renew your mind in Paulishia's best seller! Renewing Your Mind is dedicated to anyone who has struggled with feeling overwhelmed in their everyday life. Those who wake up every day with new challenges that never seem to end. These challenges include but are not limited to struggling with finances, parenting, marriage, family, or simply your next step in life.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Coping with Grief Through Christian Counseling

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 @ 2:15 PM

Anne Hedelius LCPC

Life often showers us with wonderful blessings in the form of family, good friends, and joyous fun! But at some point in our lives, most of us will also be affected by loss and grief. During these times, it can be immensely helpful to receive help and guidance from a trained and trusted therapist.

But there are many Christians who wonder and worry if working with a therapist will somehow go against their religious beliefs, or if the therapist will eschew those beliefs. This is never a concern when working with a Christian counselor.

Christian counselors understand firsthand that when dealing with the loss of a loved one, a job loss, divorce, or a health crisis, a strong and resilient faith is the VERY THING that can get you through the darkness and back into the light.

What is Christian Counseling Exactly?

Christian counseling combines an individual’s faith with the traditional principles of psychology, with the ultimate goal of improving the individual’s mental health and interpersonal relationships. Christian counselors often use scripture and biblical teachings to help their clients deal with the challenges they are facing.

What are the Main Differences Between Christian Counseling and Secular Counseling?

Perhaps one of the biggest differences between the two types of counseling is that Christian counselors, in addition to mainstream cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, use a wide variety of tools and resources such as prayer, bible study, and affirmations to help their clients deal with grief.

Christian counselors also take more of a holistic approach to mental health, understanding that your spiritual health is directly linked to your mental health and emotional well-being.

And, while secular therapy may focus on the “problem” you are facing, Christian counseling focuses on your relationship with God.

If you or someone you know is suffering from grief and would like to work with a Christian counselor, please be in touch with me.


Monday, March 21, 2022

Sherri-wise Counseling

Monday, March 21, 2022 @ 10:51 PM

This My love Journey journal & planner; will keep you on your journey or path to wellness and wholeness.
This is a life-motivating tool for anyone to access. This planner & journal are real life-changing strategies.

Monday, March 7, 2022

God is Listening 33 Days of Praying with Scriptures

Monday, March 7, 2022 @ 4:25 PM

Wisdom Regalia LLC

Some people find it difficult to pray or read the Bible. Some, even find it intimidating. Nartarsha, wants you to know that she can relate. Although she grew up in the church, there was a time, she was afraid to pray. She didn't feel worthy to pray, nor read the scriptures in God's Holy Word. Now, she has written this day-by-week prayer guide, to encourage anyone. You can read this, praying and asking God to bring you closer to Him. God wants to hear from you. He wants to speak to you in so many ways, and yes, God is Listening Nartarsha has witnessed many miracles, by praying and reading the Bible daily. This allows her to discover the many blessings, as well as testimonies, that God has for her, and those she prays for. In this book, she shares some of those prayers, in hopes that you too will discover all that God has for you and those you pray for.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

How Does Anxiety Affect Brain Fog?

Sunday, March 6, 2022 @ 9:19 PM

Are you forgetting tasks that you must complete?

Is it taking longer than usual for you to complete simple tasks?

Are you frequently distracted?

Are you feeling more tired than usual when working?

What Is Brain Fog?
Brain fog or mental fatigue is a term used when you may not be as mentally sharp as usual. Your thoughts and emotions may feel numb and everyday activities may seem to require more effort. Your thinking is slowed down and how you process information is not the same. You feel like you are not as sharp as you used to be or feel like you are off your game. You’re not sure how to correct it.

Brain fog happens when a person feels anxious and has difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly. It is normal to experience occasional brain fog and anxiety, especially during high times of stress.
The maze of various symptoms you may be experiencing can be different for someone else. This term can be used to describe a range of symptoms. Your symptoms of the brain can include:

• Feeling spacy or confused
• Low energy
• Thinking slower than usual
• Headaches
• You are having difficulty organizing your thoughts or activities
• Losing your train of thought
• Forgetting daily tasks
• Having difficulty finding the right words to put together in a sentence
• Difficulty concentrating
• Insomnia
• Emotional detachment

As a result of experiencing these various symptoms, you may feel like the circumstances and situations you are dealing with make you powerless, irritable, and downcast. These challenges can affect daily life.

What Conditions Causes Anxiety and Brain Fog?

Many conditions cause anxiety and brain fog. The effect of anxiety on various tasks and brain fog may depend on the specific task a person is doing. Anxiety may undermine a person’s thought process, intensifying brain fog. The tasks a person must perform may trigger further anxious thoughts. This can lead to depression, anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Without an outlet, wrestling with anxiety can be mentally exhausting and brain fog can accompany cognitive fatigue.
Stress can exhaust the brain, especially if it is prolonged stress. When your mind is tired, thinking, reasoning, and focusing becomes difficult. Chronic stress can increase blood pressure, weaken your immune system, encourage low-grade inflammation, and trigger depression.

Even the perception of having symptoms of mental fatigue can trigger symptoms of brain fog. Thus, making the struggle with anxiety and stress even more difficult. While there can be serious medical conditions that underlie brain fog, the effects of stress and sleeplessness can bring it on as well. If not reigned in, anxiety can take over the brain, bathing it in stress hormones and exhausting it.

How Can I Overcome This?

Get enough sleep. When we rest, the brain and body clear out the unhealthy toxins that can contribute to brain fog. When we don’t get enough sleep, a certain amount of toxins is left in the brain increasing our risk of brain fog.

Avoid multitasking. Trying to do more than one task at a time drains energy and decreases productivity.

Find the source of your anxiety. Identify and gain clarity as to what is causing the anxiety. Create a plan of what you can control and focus on those issues.

Have fun. Brain fog is a result of mental exhaustion. Doing something that you enjoy creates a mental result and can replenish you when feeling tired.

Talk to a counselor. Talking with a professional can help to give coping skills as well as strategies to assist you in living a calmer lifestyle.

Get help today. Call 443-860-6870 to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

How to welcome God into your counselling experience

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 @ 5:08 PM

As faith individuals, we believe that God wants to play a key and tangible role in our counselling experience and emotional wellness journey Why? Because He loves us and wants to see us thrive and become all that he has destined for our us.

So understanding this, what are ways that we can intentionally involve God in our counselling experience?

#1: Create space for God

Many of us run at 1,000 miles an hour, not leaving anytime for our own thoughts, let alone giving space for the Lord to speak. It’s not in God’s nature to be abrupt, loud and competitve for our attention; he communicates typically in the still and quiet, when we create space for him (see 1 Kings 19:11-13).

So how can we do this?

Firstly, set aside time independent of distraction, noise and other sensory stimuli to reflect on what God has to say. This may take patience and require practice in hearing the voice of God. Ask God questions that may have been developed out of a recent counselling session:
* “In the last counselling session when we talked about a speicifc experience, what beliefs (or lies) did I believe about myself?”
* “God, what is the truth of the situation?”
* “God, where do I need to adjust my thinking? or where do I need to allow you to work in my heart”

Don’t be afraid if you don’t hear anything right away. Even simply just the act of giving space and asking these questions is going to help you become more self-aware of your thoughts and how you respond to these questions. This may lead to further discussion topics in future counselling sessions.

#2: Prayer

Prayer is a powerful tool for welcoming God into your counselling experience. Depending on your style of prayer, you may find that it stimulates and supports you identifying areas that you are stuggling with. Additionally, meditative, self-reflective styled prayer can create space for God to speak to you (as discussed in point #1).

Prayer is a powerful tool in breaking down mental barriers or blocks (sometimes referred to as strongholds). Try not to under-estimate the power of prayer, and consistent prayer for that matter.

#3: Review (or meditation) of scripture

Many times we are receiving counselling support because of belief systems or identities that we have accepted over ourselves (e.g. “I have no value”, and “as such I am depressed which is why I am in counselling”). Meditating on the Word of the Lord can help us to understand who we are in Christ and the true value that we hold. Doing this in parrallel to counselling is like a double-whammy to negative beliefs.


God wants to meet you where you are at and support your counselling experience to make it as effective and life-giving as possible. He wants you to live an abundant lifestyle set free from negative thinking and unhealthy emotional states.

So as you either look to start, or continue, counselling find ways to start practicing letting God into your circumstance and be prepared for the potential for incredible breakthroughs as a result.