Christian Counselor Directory Blog

Find a Christian Counselor

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Cognitive Distortions you don't need them

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 @ 4:05 PM

For many of us, we are entirely unaware of how prevalent cognitive distortions are in our lives. We have allowed them to run rampant in our every day thought processes and when someone points out how dysfunctional they are, we can even become a bit defensive.

Cognitive distortions serve no healthy purpose. In fact, they often lead to more irrational thinking, dysregulated mood, as well as intrapersonal and interpersonal problems. We find that those struggling with distortions regularly struggle to maintain a positive outlook or hope that things can get better. They often have more difficulties in their interpersonal relationships and allow their distortions to dictate the outcome of their relationships.

All this to say, cognitive distortions are relatively normal to have. Most of us have struggled, and often even after learning about distortions and how to work through them effectively, still do struggle with at least one. Below you will find a list of the 10 most common distortions. It would be beneficial for you to go through the list and notate any that you feel resonate with you, or that you are aware that you do regularly.

1. Mental Filtering: When we choose (often unconsciously) to focus on everything that is not working. We filter out all the good and only see the bad.

Reframe: Begin by listing 1 thing daily that is going right or is good. Eventually work up to 5-10 items daily.

2. Jumping to Conclusions: When we make *irrational* assumptions about other people or situations based on our feelings rather than on facts or evidence.

Reframe: Examine the evidence. Is your conclusion substantiated? Challenge the feeling. Remind yourself that feelings are not facts. Question what the conclusion does for you, does it help you or hurt you? And, are their healthier alternatives?

3. Personalization: When we take undue blame for everything that goes wrong in our lives and others, and we find ourselves to constantly be a victim of circumstance.

Reframe: Examine what part (if any) you did have in the outcome, accept whatever responsibility you have in the matter and work on letting others accept responsibility as well.

4. All of Nothing Thinking: When we see everything in black or white, right, or wrong; there is no middle ground or space to compromise.

Reframe: Challenge yourself by finding alternative (middle ground) solutions or compromises. Start small and work up to adjusting on a larger scale.

5. Catastrophizing: When we blow things our of proportion or make situations/events worse than they actually are. Everything will always be bad.

Reframe: Challenge your thinking. “Are things really as bad as I feel?” And then challenge your feelings; Why am I feeling this way, what evidence do I have that supports this feeling?

6. Overgeneralization: When we have a habit of using past experiences (often based in feelings rather than evidence) to predict or make assumptions about the future. “She ALWAYS…He NEVER…”

Reframe: Challenge the absolutes (always, never, must..) and is there evidence to support a different outcome? Could things be different if we didn’t use absolutes?

7. Labeling: When we make global statements about ourselves or others based on situation specific behaviors. We use one event to label the rest. *this often mirrors our internal belief system.

Reframe: Where is the evidence that this is true in every situation? Reminding ourselves that using one event to determine the outcome of everything requires further reflection.

8. Shoulding and Musting: When we use “should and must” to have unreasonable expectations of ourselves or others. “You SHOULD…I MUST…”

Reframe: When you notice yourself using these words, challenge yourself to see if the expectations are reasonable. How are you feeling? Is your feeling based on evidence? Are there any other healthy alternatives that can help you reach the desired outcome.

9. Emotional Reasoning: When we allow our feelings to dictate how we see situations, people, and outcomes. The tendency to allow our feelings to control our perceptions.

Reframe: Being mindful in the moment and questioning our feelings. “Is how I am feeling skewed or biased? What evidence do I have to support my feelings?”

10. Magnification and Minimization: When we tend to minimize our own positive attributes and devalue ourselves, while magnifying someone else’s positive attributes and putting them on a pedestal. In other words, recognizing and magnifying some else’s good while putting yourself down.

Reframe: Challenge yourself to find reasons that you are deserving and capable. Start out with listing one thing daily that you are good at, that you do well. Eventually build up and add to your list. “What about today/this situation makes me deserving and capable?”

So, what to do once you have identified which ones you struggle with? You work on reframing your thoughts. A mental health professional can work with you to identify which ones you struggle with (do not be surprised if multiple resonate with you) and help you to gain more effective and healthy coping skills. Cognitive distortions often come from a time when they served you. For example, at some point in your life someone you trusted told you what you SHOULD do, and you saw the unreasonable expectations they had on themselves (what they MUST do). This led you to utilizing the “shoulding and musting” in your own life without even recognizing where it came from. At one point it was normal. But that does not mean it was healthy. Which leads you to finding healthier alternatives for the distortions.

To some extent we may all do these from time to time. To say that we could entirely eradicate ever doing any of these would not be beneficial, but we can minimize the frequency and extent to which you utilize these to cope. Our thoughts are based on our perceptions and our perceptions are our reality. But if we can change our thoughts, we can change our reality. We can go from hopeless to having hope. From struggling interpersonally to maintaining healthy and thriving relationships. From intrapersonal discord to shaping who we want to be and loving the life we live. You are not destined to live with unhealthy thinking patterns or maladaptive (unhealthy) coping skills. The thing about our thoughts is, they are often founded through feelings, and feelings are not facts. When we take the time to examine our feelings and their validity, we find that we have unresolved hurts or ineffective coping skills that have served us but no longer do. We find that we can let go of those feelings and focus on the facts, we can change our thoughts, we can lean into the discomfort temporarily to create a life we will love, we can choose a different path than the one we are currently on, and we do not have to let our past dictate our future outcomes.

What Therapy is and who I am as a Therapist.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 @ 4:02 PM

Therapy is a place that you can come to be fully yourself. You can say what you need to say, feel whatever you need to feel, and trust that your therapist will hold a nonjudgmental and safe space for you to process. One of the things I like to go over with clients in our initial consultation call is who I am as a therapist, because let’s face it, we are all different, and what they can expect out of the therapy process with me. So, if you are here reading and are curious, let me do my best to explain myself and my process.

As a therapist I promise to show up and be authentically me. I promise to be transparent with you, to challenge you to grow, and to guide you in your journey. I promise to model a healthy, loving and encouraging relationship with and for you, and that I will always be in your corner cheering you on and believing in you. I promise to hold hope for you, even and especially when, the hurt threatens to overtake any hope you might have had. I promise to work my hardest to help you reach your goals and write a story you will love being a part of. I promise to not make any empty promises.

As a therapist I act as a guide, and you are the expert. I come alongside you and help you navigate your life currently, how the past has influenced the present, and how you would like to mold yourself to create a future that you look forward to. I will utilize a wide range of techniques, tools, and modalities to help you reach your goals. And I will work my hardest,but I can’t and won’t work harder than you. This means you must be willing to do the hard work, make the changes you want to make, and try new things. We might not always get it right, but we will always try, and if you are committed to the process, I can promise the process works. When we discuss what a therapist and therapy is, we also need to discuss what a therapist and therapy is not.

As your therapist I am not a miracle worker or magician. I say this with love. I can’t magically make everything better, and I can’t work out all your problems. What I can do though, is help you navigate life, give you healthy alternatives and encourage you to grow and change to be a healthier and thriving you. I do not have a magic wand and coming to therapy isn’t a miracle answer. Therapy is hard work. It’s a place where you lay it all down, you sort through the hard stuff, you cry, you get angry, you want to give up. You question why you chose to do this, and if you should continue. But therapy works. That I can also promise. Therapy is messy and beautiful, and all the good things life should be. It teaches you to see yourself through new eyes, and it helps you to focus on the things that are most important. Therapy is painful. We are talking about all the things you typically avoid, and each week I challenge you with a new concept to try outside of session. Stagnation has no place in therapy. Even when it seems like we are stuck, there is work being done. And if you get to a place with a therapist where you feel like there isn’t work being done, address it. As a therapist I don’t have all the answers, and I am not always right. I have a genuine and empathic heart. I have strong intuition and often lean on that when I go out on limbs trying to connect the dots. I have years of training, and on-going training that equips me to help you in this process. While I don’t like labels, and I never have, I am able to diagnose and utilize the diagnosis as a lens to formulate the best possible treatment plan for you. But I promise to do that with you. I promise to discuss goals and to do my best to understand what you ultimately want to achieve through therapy.

As your therapist, I am unlike other people in your life. I am not your friend, though it may feel that way. Trust me when I say, there have been clients, and I believe there always will be, that I could see as friends in different circumstances. Its normal to feel this way. We meet regularly, you share openly and honestly with me, I listen and reflect on what you tell me, I challenge you to grow and do so with love and admiration for who you already are. I genuinely care for every single client. And it is not something I can turn off when session ends. As a therapist, I think about clients outside of therapy. I pray for them, sometimes I will even check on them if my heart tells me to reach out. I want the best for you, and I am honored that I get to be part of the process. It is my job to model healthy boundaries for you,but that doesn’t mean I won’t celebrate if you call or text just to tell me something exciting. I guarantee I will scream with you in joy and celebration. Or, if something horrible happens, I will be there to sit with you and allow you to cry or simply be. Sometimes, I will even cry with you, because I am human too, and when you hurt, I hurt. As your therapist, I promise to see you fully. For whom you are, and who you have the potential to become. And I promise that, as long as you will allow me, I will work with you to create the life you want.

As your therapist I promise to create a safe, loving, nonjudgmental and life-changing space for you. I promise to hold hope. I promise to sort through the hurt. I promise to guide you in the process. I want you to know that this isn’t my job, it’s my passion and calling, and I believe that God led me to this to help and to be a beacon of hope and light in the darkness. I won’t always get it right, I will make mistakes, sometimes I will be sick or need to cancel, or be gone on trainings, or take time off to be with my family, but what I can promise you is that while you continue your process I will be here. As long as you and God allow me to be, I will walk alongside you and cheer you on every step of the way.

I might not have all the answers, but I promise to always do my best to understand you, encourage you, and guide you with truth and love. Therapy might not be magical, but magic does happen when we allow someone else the chance to fully be seen.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

10 Practical Tips for Postpartum Rage

Saturday, September 16, 2023 @ 12:11 PM

Bringing a new life into the world is undoubtedly one of the most transformative experiences a woman can go through. While motherhood is often depicted as a time of joy and bonding, it's essential to recognize that it can also be challenging and emotionally complex.

Postpartum emotions can range from elation to exhaustion, but there's one aspect that often remains in the shadows: postpartum rage. In this blog, we'll delve into what postpartum rage is, why it happens, and provide you with 10 practical tips to cope with it.

What is Postpartum Rage?

Postpartum rage, also known as postpartum anger, is an intense and often overwhelming emotional response that some new mothers experience after giving birth. It is characterized by sudden bursts of anger, irritability, and frustration that can be directed towards loved ones, the baby, or even oneself. These feelings of rage can be accompanied by guilt and confusion, leaving new mothers feeling isolated and anxious.

Why Does Postpartum Rage Happen?

Understanding the underlying causes of postpartum rage is crucial for effective coping strategies. While the exact triggers may vary from one person to another, there are several common factors that contribute to postpartum rage:

1. Hormonal Changes: The dramatic shift in hormones during and after childbirth can lead to mood swings and heightened emotions. These hormonal fluctuations can make it difficult to regulate anger and frustration.

2. Sleep Deprivation: Newborns require around-the-clock care, which often results in sleep deprivation for new mothers. Lack of sleep can amplify stress levels and make it harder to manage emotions.

3. Physical Discomfort: The physical toll of pregnancy and childbirth, along with the recovery process, can leave women feeling physically uncomfortable and in pain. This discomfort can exacerbate feelings of anger and irritability.

4. Overwhelming Responsibilities: The demands of caring for a newborn, coupled with household chores and other responsibilities, can become overwhelming. Many new mothers feel intense pressure to meet unrealistic expectations, which can fuel anger and frustration.

5. Support System: A lack of adequate support from partners, family, or friends can contribute to feelings of isolation and resentment, increasing the likelihood of experiencing postpartum rage.

10 Practical Tips to Cope with Postpartum Rage

Now that we've explored what postpartum rage is and why it happens, let's discuss 10 practical tips to help new mothers cope with this challenging emotional experience:

1. Seek Professional Help: If you find that postpartum rage is significantly impacting your daily life and relationships, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. Therapy can provide a safe space to discuss your feelings and develop coping strategies. Make sure to connect with a counselor who is certified in perinatal mental health (PMH-C) to ensure that they have the expertise and experience with postpartum mental health.

2. Connect with Other Moms: Joining a support group or connecting with other new mothers can be incredibly beneficial. Sharing your experiences and hearing from others who are going through similar challenges can help reduce feelings of isolation.

3. Prioritize Self-Care: Don't neglect self-care. Take breaks when you can, even if they're short, to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. This might include reading, taking a bath, or going for a walk.

4. Communicate with Your Partner: Open and honest communication with your partner is crucial. Express your feelings and let them know how they can support you. Remember that you're a team and sharing responsibilities can alleviate some of the stress.

5. Establish a Routine: Creating a structured daily routine can help provide a sense of stability and predictability in your life. Knowing what to expect can reduce feelings of chaos and frustration.

6. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing exercises and meditation, can be powerful tools for managing anger and irritability. These practices can help you stay grounded and calm during challenging moments.

7. Delegate Tasks: Don't hesitate to ask for help from friends and family. Whether it's cooking, cleaning, or taking care of the baby for a little while, delegating tasks can give you much-needed relief.

8. Limit External Stressors: Identify and minimize external stressors that contribute to your rage. This might involve limiting exposure to negative news, setting boundaries with demanding family members or simplifying your daily routines. Learn to say “no” during this season of life. Remember that this is a season of receiving not giving.

9. Track Your Emotions: Keeping a journal to track your emotions can be insightful. Writing down your feelings when they occur can help you identify triggers and patterns, allowing you to develop better coping strategies.

10. Be Kind to Yourself: Remember that it's normal to experience a wide range of emotions during the postpartum period, including anger. Be gentle with yourself and avoid self-criticism. Seek support and remember that you're doing your best.


Postpartum rage is a challenging and often misunderstood aspect of new motherhood. It's essential to recognize that experiencing anger or irritability during this time is not uncommon, and there are practical steps you can take to cope with it.

By seeking support, practicing self-care, and communicating with your partner, you can navigate this emotional journey and focus on bonding with your newborn. Remember that you are not alone, and with time and support, postpartum rage can become more manageable, allowing you to embrace the joys of motherhood.

If you would like additional support with postpartum mental health, please visit: