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Thursday, April 27, 2023

4 Ways Christians Can Handle Depression

Thursday, April 27, 2023 @ 9:49 AM

Faith doesn’t mean you are happy all of the time. God made our emotions. He made sadness, depression, anxiety, etc. When you feel these emotions it doesn’t mean you are messing up. No, but you need to make sure you are handling these emotions in a healthy and biblical way. In today’s culture we are normalizing the need to receive mental health care. Overall I think this is a good thing. We need to be able to help others receive help when they are facing significant depression or anxiety. In today’s world mental health concerns are rising at a high rate. Christians are not exempt from depression. Many Christians are hesitant towards receiving counseling or any type of mental health care. This is for a myriad of reasons. However, one of the big reasons is Christians often feel they are showing a lack of faith if they admit to being depressed. Therefore, you may feel sin is the only reason you are depressed.

I believe this is not only wrong but it is also quite harmful. There are certainly times our mental health is worsened by sin, no doubt! But we will face many difficulties in life as Christians that are not due to our individual sin necessarily, but due to the sinful world we live in. Even when we live righteous and pure lives we cannot escape the effects of sin. This world is tainted by sin and we cannot escape that fact even if you are a Christian.

I am going to list out 4 practical ways for Christians to deal with their depression.

1. Confess your Sin

I know I said that being depressed doesn’t mean you are sinning. However, depression could be a symptom of sin in your life. If you are engaging in secret sin then this absolutely will affect your mental state. As a Christian this may lead to feelings of depression due to feeling like you are failing.

If you know you are living in sin then you need to confess! First, confess your sins to God. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV 

If your sin is affecting other people then you should confess this to them and ask for forgiveness. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
James 5:15 ESV

I know individual sin is not always the cause of your depression but as Christians we must take serious how our own individual sins are affecting us. It would be wise to take time to confess sin often and strive towards righteous living.

2. Assess the Root Cause

If you know you are living in sin then that is the root cause. Get that solved first. If you have assessed what is going on and there aren’t any apparent sins that are causing your emotional state, then let’s look for the root issue. Did your dog die? Have you lost a loved one recently? Have you experienced trauma? Did you not sleep well last night? Depending on the answers to these type of explorative questions the root cause of your problem will be different.

It is hard to come up with a better way to handle our depression if we don’t know where it is stemming from. Take some time to explore what the root issue is and this will assist with our last step. There may be times finding this root cause can be done through prayer. But you also may need to pray for guidance and wisdom of finding this root cause. You also may need some counsel from a friend, family member, pastor or even a counselor to explore these issues together.

3. Be Active
We need to be active in life. God gave us the ability to act. Sitting around and waiting for God to do things for us is not actually showing faith. Of course praying is great! But God made us to do certain things on our own.

Develop a healthy schedule. This should include physical exercise on a consistent basis. I won’t tell you how often to do this. But remember it is better to consistently do exercise in short bursts (i.e. 15 minutes daily) as opposed to a long time on an infrequent basis (i.e. 1 hour once a week.) God made our bodies to move. And moving often is helpful in managing our depression!

Another healthy part of our schedule is being productive. Being physically active is certainly productive. But this productivity could be getting up and going to work in the morning. Maybe it means reading a book (especially the bible) on a consistent basis. If you are in a deep enough depression even making yourself shower could be a form of being productive. Make sure you are doing productive things in a consistent basis. This will help assist keeping depression in check. in general.

Eat healthy. This isn’t American’s favorite answer. However, our diet is generally poor. We need to be eating consistently with healthy options. Don’t overthink it. Just start eating more fruit and vegetables and less produced food. This alone can help (not solve) your depression.

Talk to someone. Basic research shows the very act of talking to someone about your issues helps you handle your emotions better. The other person doesn’t even have to have the right answers for you. This can be your spouse, your friend, pastor or even a counselor like me. It is vitaly important that you get these issues out of your head though.

4. Have Faith

As a Christian this is incredibly important. There are ample amounts of stories of individuals struggling with their emotional state in scripture. Think of the story of Job. He lost just about everything material in his life. You think he didn’t face issues with his mental state? Of course he did!

But what else did he do? Let’s look at a passage from Job 1:13-21.....13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” 22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

To summarize quickly Job lost all his livestock, servants and children. Talk about trauma! What was his response? Let’s return to 1:21-22
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. Blessed be the name of the Lord! This had to have been one of the worst events in human history! He lost everything! And he responded “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” He also did not sin or charge God with wrong! Now that is faith!

That’s not to say Job was happy at what happened. Of course not! In Job 3 Job lamented his birth! But he lamented to God. He trusted the Lord. He cried out to his Father.

Faith doesn’t mean you are happy all of the time. God made our emotions. He made sadness, depression, anxiety, etc. When you feel these emotions it doesn’t mean you are messing up. No, but you need to make sure you are handling these emotions in a healthy and biblical way. Cast your cares on him as 1 Peter 5:7 states.

Christians, remember that God made our emotions. Don’t run away from them! But also don’t let them control you. Cry out to your Father for help.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

The Four Questions To Freedom! / BLOG

Tuesday, April 11, 2023 @ 2:59 PM

The Coaching Kiva

The Four Questions To Freedom!
by Lateefah Wielenga | Dec 15, 2021 | Higher Consciousness | 3 comments

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do bring forth will distroy you.
-Gospel of Thomas

Have you ever examined your thoughts, and the things you say to yourself? The beliefs you’ve adopted about you? What you think you can or, cannot do? All the shoulds and shouldn’ts?

It’s a great idea to do so, because quite possibly you’ve been lying to yourself for many years.
Consider investigating the thoughts you think about yourself, by questioning their orign.

You do want to discover the truth about the person looking back at you in the mirror every morning, don’t you?

We have a running dialogue in our minds, telling ourselves things about us that aren’t true. What we should do, how we should act, and the societal list goes on. We become attached to what we’ve been told, and they become our default thoughts, which develop into a belief.

Usually those beliefs become a deterrent. They prevent you from believing you can have what you want in this life. They keep you in fear, guilt, anger, and feelings of inadequacy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) involves asking questions, and asking my clients the correct questions assists them in becoming who they really are, without their false brliefs.

Let me explain.

The false beliefs you have about yourself are a hinderance to your happiness. They can make you feel like you’re in quicksand, restricted and unable to accomplish anything you desire. The desire may be a particular career, a creative endeavour, a happy relationship, or more importantly – your personal growth and expansion.

You seem to be stuck! And let’s be real. That’s not you.

The beliefs you’ve adopted aren’t your friends, and the’re really doing an emotional job on you. But you can stop it now, and open the door to your emotional prison to freedom, with these four questions.

Oh, and by the way, the questions came from Byron Katie.

1. Is it true? (Whatever the thought or belief.)
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without that thought?

Your crippling beliefs/default thoughts are what you’re going to alleviate by doing investigative questioning.

You’re going to ask yourself these questions.

Contemplate each one, and go deeper into yourself. Listen for the answers, as they are there inside you. Answer them honestly, (no matter how afraid you are to look at yourself) and unlock the door to your emotional and spiritual prison.


So, let’s say, hypothetically, that one of your beliefs is, you’ll never succeed at , x,y, or z. That belief has keep you from pursuing your dreams, because it’s a thought that you always think, and now it’s one of your crippling beliefs.

1. The first thing you’re going to do is ask youself the first question. Is it true that you’ll never succeed at x,y or z? You must be blatantly honest with your answers if you want to be free.
2. Once you answer the first question, ask youself the second question. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? Again, be blatantly honest.
3. When you believe the thought, what happens, how do you react? Be thorough.
4. And lastly, who would you be without the thought/belief?
Once you ask yourself the four questions, and honestly answer them, you’ll realize you’ve attached youself to thoughts you’ve never investigated. You’ll learn the beliefs aren’t true.

You can breathe. You are now free to live your life.

Remember, a thought is just a thought.

If you need any help with tis exercise you can call the office at

(562) 895-0516

Talk to you soon!

Dr. Wielenga xo

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Monday, April 10, 2023

Finding Strength in Weakness

Monday, April 10, 2023 @ 12:23 PM

If the story of Samson is any indication, men can have all the God-given strength in the world and still be thwarted by our own temptations. No matter how strong we are physically or mentally it means nothing if we are not spiritually strong.

The only protection against sin is our reliance upon the Word and Power of God. If we turn to God in times of weakness, asking for guidance and protection, He will give us the wisdom and fortitude to overcome anything Satan throws at us.

That's why I love the story of Samson. Despite everything he's lost, despite everything he's been through, even in his last dying moment he finds strength in his weakness and relies on the Power of God to help him vanquish his enemies. Like Samson, we cannot fight the enemy alone. For us to heal, grow, and thrive we need the Power of God every step of the way.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Loss, Burial and Resurrection as a Life and Leadership Concept

Friday, April 7, 2023 @ 7:55 PM

What is gone in your life? What have you lost? What has gone away? What seems irretrievable?

Have your kids gone away to college?, Have one of your staff left? Has your status changed?, Are you grieving the way things used to be in life and at work?

All these questions are, in a sense, rhetorical in that they deal with losses that we have in life. It is important for us to grieve the stuff to understand the loss and the feelings around them.

Next step: Have you buried your loss? Given it away? Given it up? Given it over to God? Let it go?, Put it out of reach?, Let go of control?, Given responsibility away?, Let go of your freedom and privilege?, Let go of your entitlement? This important step allows for a clean break from your loss, at least for a season.

Last step. This is where we allow for resurrection. Perhaps the Phoenix bird arises from the ashes as it did after the Oakland fire. If you have any doubts go back and look at the beautiful houses in that neighborhood. Perhaps it's redemption or vindication for you or some you know. Perhaps you reinvent your career and reinvent yourself. Maybe you take on a new role at work. I know of a guy who was involved in a scandal at church. Today he helps ministers avoid finding themselves in that hot water. What resurrection are you waiting for? God is God of resurrection so don't forget to ask. Joseph, in Genisis, let's his old life die and be buried and then it's resurrected in his life in Egypt as VP of the country and reunification with his family.

Find help in identifying what may need to be grieved, buried and resurrected in some new form or another. A good friend, counselor or coach can help you do that.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

10 Benefits of Summer Horse Camp

Thursday, April 6, 2023 @ 2:21 PM

Hope Reins

Our Camp is a social skills camp and a summer camp.

Social Skills Camp
A social skills camp offers many benefits for children. Research shows that those who have better social skills and a higher EQ (emotional IQ) tend to do better at school, in friendships, and even in future jobs. Our social skills camp offers an experience that focuses on learning and practicing the social and emotional skills of Respect, Relationship Skills, Responsibility, Boundaries, Choices, and Consequences. We also teach and practice how to manage feelings using mindfulness and self-regulation skills. We do this all while working with horses!

Horse Camp
We are a horse camp too. Your child or teen will learn all about horses and how one’s intention and ability to manage emotions affect the ability to connect and lead horses. We partner the students up with the horses to practice problem-solving, social skills and self-regulation, and more. All the social skills that we teach are needed to be effective with horses so your child will not just be learning them but practicing these skills! We keep camps at a max capacity of 8 children so every child has a chance to learn and practice with a horse.

Horse Camp Dates:
June 12th-16th for 7-12 years old

July 17th-22nd for Teens

Go here to sign up:

Now let’s get to the overall benefits of summer camp. We’ve got 10 of ‘em and they’re all good ones. Grab a cup of coffee or a snack because this is about to get very educational!

Top Ten Benefits of Summer Camp
1. Your child will get outdoors!

I don’t know about you but my mom would always kick me out of the house to play most days, but especially when the weather was nice. It was fun to play outside and explore. Nowadays this is harder to accomplish with fears about safety and competition with screens. Our camp is located on a beautiful 20-acre property 45 miles from Chicago. We have beautiful oak trees, hills, ponds, and of course horses. Your kid will be immersed in nature! Research has seemingly caught up with what moms seemed to know. There are numerous studies that show being outdoors just 2 hours a week (only 18 minutes a day) leads to improvement in both cognitive and emotional health in children and adults*. In a large study of children ages 0 to 10 years old, for those who spent more time outdoors, there was less risk for depression, mood disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse*. Those who had the least time outdoors had a 55% greater chance of being diagnosed with a mental illness later in life*. Scientists theorize that the more humans are out in nature, they develop a “sense of awe” and feel connected to something bigger than themselves*. And really it is just old fashioned fun!

2. Your child will get off screens:

While being outdoors has great benefits for the health and well-being of children, studies show the opposite for the effects of screen time. Children are more sedentary, experience less time outside, and have trouble interacting socially (i.e eye contact). A recent study showed an increase in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in preteens with more screen time. The study showed that for every hour of screen time, there was a 15% chance of developing OCD*. Another study showed children who are given screens to calm down have less ability to self-soothe or regulate emotions. I think children and teens who are on screens a lot can forget that being outside can be fun. Camp can be a great way to break this pattern.

3. Your child will practice independence:

Children have the chance to experiment with learning new things in a new way. Instead of being in the structured school experience with their usual friend groups; your child or teen will be given the opportunity to be independent, branch out, and explore new skills without judgment or preconceived notions. In our camp, children will have the opportunity to learn, brainstorm and practice the key concepts of emotional intelligence. They will have to master what empathy and connection are as they work with a horse. Horses won’t just automatically ‘connect’ but will assess each child’s ability to connect with them by how well they use the skills.

4. Your child will have fun:

Our camps also make sure that there is fun while learning new skills. Time at school is filled with tests, and performance pressure but our camps are filled with creative, fun, and unique experiences. So even while they are learning new concepts, we incorporate silly costumes and laughter in everything we do. It keeps the challenges fun and playful instead of overwhelming. And they get to see how horses also enjoy the fun!

5. Your child will practice teamwork:

Camps are typically organized in teams and encourage problem-solving and working together in creative and fun ways. Children get to see what they can do in a team vs individually. So while independence and individual activity are important, they will also practice how to be effective in a group. Since horses live in a herd, they are amazingly skilled at making sure everyone is working together as a team.

6. Your child will learn unique skills:

Camps are designed to introduce a skill, teach the skill, and then practice for a whole week. At our summer social skills camp, we focus on the skills of respect, empathy, emotional regulation, making healthy choices, fostering relationships, and setting healthy boundaries. Our facilitators are all counselors with master’s degrees and certified horse specialists with many years of experience. The horses provide honest and unbiased feedback right away. Your child will immediately know if they are practicing the skills of emotional intelligence. And since horses don’t hold grudges they will adjust as your child adjusts. All of this leads to empowerment as your child sees what works and what doesn’t. One of our favorite comments of all time is when a camper said, ‘It’s like the horses know exactly what we are learning for the day!”

7. Your child will get moving:

Most summer camps get kids moving in lots of fun ways, like hiking or canoeing. At our camp, we integrate movement and breathwork whether the students are walking in the pasture with a horse or stretching to relax their bodies. Since horses require a calm and congruent presence, your child will begin to develop body awareness and skills that help with managing their emotions. Movement can be key to self-regulation. And of course, we all know just like our moms did that physical activity is always healthy!

8. Your child will develop confidence:

Being away from home or their usual environment gives children and teens the opportunity to see what they are capable of. Many children don’t feel confident because they haven’t had the chance to try something new or different. Or perhaps they worry about being judged in school and feel stuck in the“box” of what others think of them. Camp allows participants to broaden their horizons. Since horses are animals of prey, they require a confident and calm presence to feel safe. If someone is pretending to be ok –smiling on the outside– but is really afraid or negative on the inside, the horse will know and will not feel safe. So in order to be effective in working with a horse, your child must practice what it takes to be determined inside and out. This leads to huge bursts of confidence when they see how they can lead a 1000-pound animal!

9. Your child will have new friend opportunities

All summer camps give children the opportunity to meet new people. Often they will get a chance to meet people from different racial or economic backgrounds. And some can become lifelong friends as camp friends often share unique and unforgettable experiences. In our camp, we are zeroing in on the skills it takes to start and maintain healthy friendships. For a child who struggles with developing friends, this camp focuses on developing social skills and managing anxiety that can stop them from trying. We also discuss how to have healthy boundaries so that they don’t sacrifice their values to just “have friends”.

10. Your child will be challenged to grow in a safe environment:

Our camps are led by a Master's-level counselor and at least one Certified Equine Specialist. This provides a high level of emotional and physical safety while challenging your child in a way that leads to growth. We have a curriculum that is designed to help children develop emotional intelligence. Your child will reap the benefits of individualized and group coaching from those who are specially trained in these areas. And research shows that as your child’s EQ improves, they tend to do better academically, socially, and in future jobs. We purposely keep groups small so each child has the chance to practice these skills individually and in the group with the horses. Instead of just hearing about these skills, campers get to practice using them with the horse. That leads to better learning and remembering!


Monday, April 3, 2023

Therapy cards, Counseling cards, Tarjetas de terapia, Tarjetas de consejería, Cartes de thérapie, Cartes de conseil, Counseling material, therapist helper, therapy resource

Monday, April 3, 2023 @ 5:01 PM

Caja de 64 tarjetas de terapia (5” x 3”) hermosas, motivadoras, inspiradoras, empoderadoras y edificantes del Dr. Remy Nelson, un psicoterapeuta líder que sirve a Florida y Nueva York. El Dr. Nelson ha estado ayudando a clientes durante muchos años, y sus tarjetas de terapia en inglés, cartes de thérapie (francés) y tarjetas de terapia (español) están diseñadas para ayudarlo a manejar sus sentimientos y mejorar la calidad de su día. Las tarjetas están recomendadas para jóvenes y adultos de todas las edades.
Pueden ayudarlo a enfrentar una variedad de desafíos de la vida, incluida la autoestima, la autoestima, no sentirse lo suficientemente bien, la ansiedad, la depresión, solo por nombrar algunos de los problemas que las tarjetas pueden ayudarlo a abordar. Puede usar las tarjetas cuando esté en terapia, contemplando ir a terapia o no planeando asistir a terapia en absoluto.
Cómo puedes usar las tarjetas: Hay 64 cartas en cada paquete de cartas (disponibles en inglés, español y francés). Use las tarjetas para establecer el tono de su día, para meditar, para  orar o simplemente leer. Puede sacar uno al día y leerlo por la mañana, por la tarde y por la noche antes de acostarse.

English Cards Link:

French Cards Link:

Spanish Card Link:

Therapy cards, Counseling cards, Tarjetas de terapia, Tarjetas de consejería, Cartes de thérapie, Cartes de conseil, Counseling material, therapist helper, therapy resource

Monday, April 3, 2023 @ 4:58 PM

Boîte de 64 cartes de thérapie de 5 « x 3 » belles, motivantes, inspirantes, responsabilisantes et édifiantes par le Dr Remy Nelson, un psychothérapeute de premier plan desservant la Floride et New York. Le Dr Nelson aide ses clients depuis de nombreuses années et ses « Therapy Cards » (anglais), « Cartes de Thérapie » (français) et « Tarjetas de Terapia » (espagnol) sont conçues pour vous aider à gérer vos sentiments et à améliorer la qualité de votre journée. Les cartes sont recommandées pour les ados et les adultes de tous âges.
Ils peuvent vous aider à faire face à une variété de défis de la vie, y compris l’estime de soi, ne pas se sentir assez bien, l’anxiété, la dépression, pour ne nommer que quelques-uns des problèmes que les Cartes de Thérapie peuvent vous aider à résoudre. Vous pouvez utiliser les cartes lorsque vous êtes en thérapie, que vous envisagez d’aller en thérapie ou que vous ne prévoyez pas du tout d’assister à une thérapie.
Comment utiliser les cartes : Il y a 64 cartes dans chaque paquet de cartes (disponibles en anglais, espagnol et français). Utilisez les cartes pour donner le ton de votre journée, pour méditer, prier ou simplement lire. Vous pouvez en sortir un par jour et le lire le matin, l’après-midi et le soir avant d’aller au lit.

English Cards Link:

Cartes de thérapie en français - French Cards Link:

Tarjetas de terapia en español - Spanish Card: