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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

We're Overcoming Depression Group

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 @ 9:09 AM

Elisha S Lee, CTCC

Are you having a hard time doing everyday, routine tasks? Are you operating on low energy and it's a struggle to function? Are you finding that you are spending your days wearing a mask to operate throughout your day when you are really wanting to retreat to a dark place in seclusion?

Join others who are having similar experiences and wanting a safe space to share what they are feeling.

Where: We will be meeting via secure Telehealth.

When: June 10 at 7 pm. This support group will be running for eight weeks. Space will be limited to a group of seven.

Cost: $25 Registration Fee
$15 Weekly Group Meeting Fee

Our Group Meetings Will Focus On:

Recognizing signs and symptoms of depression
Identifying triggers and how to manage them
Distinguishing healthy and unhealthy relationships
Exploring temperament and how being sad can affect people differently
Mind/ body connection
Improving communication
Developing strategies to overcome depression
To enroll in the We're Overcoming Depression Group, call 443-860-6870.

Could There Be a Relationship Between the Inflammation In My Body And the Depression That I Am Experiencing?

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 @ 9:04 AM

Elisha S Lee, CTCC

Does it hurt to move and are you feeling sad at the same time?

· Are you experiencing fatigue, depression, and swelling while wondering if there is a connection between the three ailments?

The Bible gives examples of people who experienced extreme challenges of sadness and how they handled it. Job experienced excruciating pain and suffered great loss. He was a godly man who suffered great loss. He was a man of great stature that God bragged about in heaven. Even yet, in the story of Job, we learn that extreme sadness can affect the state of our physical body.

The short answer to these questions is yes, there could be a connection. Depression has become one of the most highly diagnosed disorders and disabilities in our country today. With that said, depression is not an inflammatory disorder. Instead, it can be a potential tie that can affect inflammation within the body. This tie is just beginning to be understood.

HOW IT WORKS
In addition, the problem of people experiencing depression is on the rise. There are many different variances and fluctuations of feeling sad, disappointed, or frustrated. Depression expressly affects the quality of life for those who are affected by chronic illnesses.

Inflammation pathways that interact with the brain interact with the multiple systems within the body. Depression can also trigger responses to stressors within the body which can lead to a prolonged inflammatory response.

Like many mental health disorders, depression was once thought to only affect what occurs in the mind. We know that this is no longer true as studies have shown that there is a relationship between depression and inflammation within the body. In addition, depression can also affect normal body functions. Sadly, most people do not get help for depression as they think that it is not something that can be treated.

HOW IT TIES TOGETHER

There can be several variables as to how a person can experience inflammation in their body while navigating through the dark cloud of depression. Childhood trauma, someone who is experiencing depression occurring historically within the family, people who have a sensitive immune system, or a person’s status in society are all factors that can affect the severity of inflammation within the body.

In addition to experiencing inflammation within your body in conjunction with depression, it is also common to experience fatigue. This further shows that there is a connection between fatigue, depression, and how it affects the immune system.

Inflammation within the body would include those suffering from Type 1 Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, or even rheumatoid arthritis. In other words, if you are experiencing arthritis or other chronic symptoms in your body and are also extremely sad, do not ignore what is happening. Infectious diseases, such as hepatitis and sepsis, have been linked to inflammatory response and has been found to increase the risk of depression. Even those who are pregnant moms, who are happening to experience inflammation from the pregnancy, also experience depression during this time.

THE REVERSE IS TRUE
Just as there is a connection between depression and inflammation, doing holistic treatments also can bring a positive result in the reverse direction as well. As take care of your physical health so you can function from day to day, taking care of your mental health can provide a lessening of physical ailments as a result of living a more holistic lifestyle.

In addition to seeking counseling, improvements in the reversal of inflammation and depression within the body are also evident with physical exercise. Having a regular exercise routine helps to improve depression and decrease inflammation.

An additional tie of experiencing a reversal of inflammation and depression is a change in diet. Reports have shown that those who have adopted a Mediterranean style diet or implementing a lifestyle of short-term fasting, have seen a reversal in depression and inflammation.

In addition to working through the challenges involved with improving physical health, navigating through those same challenges during a counseling session can bring improvement as well. Schedule an appointment for a no-cost initial counseling session today.

Friday, May 21, 2021

The New Life-Cloud & Townsend Books and Videos On Leadership And Life

Friday, May 21, 2021 @ 4:43 PM

Boundaries for Leaders
by Henry Cloud, Ph.D

“Why some people get results and others don’t”


Leadership Beyond Reason
by John Townsend, Ph.D

“How great leaders succeed by harnessing the power of their values, feelings, and intuition"


9 Things a Leader Must Do
by Henry Cloud, Ph D

“How to go to the next level – and take others with
you”


Making Small Groups Work: What Every Small Group Leader Needs To Know
by Henry Cloud, Ph.D. & John Townsend Ph.D.
“How to support growth in small groups”


Necessary Endings
by Henry Cloud Ph.D.

“Relationships that we all have to give up to move forward"


The Power Of The Other
by John Townsend Ph.D.

“The startling effect that other people have on you and what to do about it”

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Having a Marriage Perfect for You Is Easier Than You Think

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 @ 9:29 PM

It took me 33 years as a marriage counselor to discover how easy it is to help couples have a marriage perfect for them. When a couple comes for counseling, they are nervous and want to talk about the issues and their feelings. During those first two sessions I can discover what their issues are and can explain how we will overcome them. From that point my job is to get the couple talking together so that we can infuse the Eight Skills I discovered. These are skills most of us did not learn growing up. During this counseling process we will replace the less effective skills practiced all of their lives with the eight more effective ones. So far results have been phenomenal with the couples using this approach.

Because couples have not learned these eight skills, Christian and non-christian couples alike spend too much time absorbed in trying to make their marriages work. They act as though the marriage relationship is the most important. No, one's relationship with Christ is the most important, our following Jesus in serving others. But until they learn these eight skills they continue to be bogged down trying to solve problems for which they have no training. My method of counseling frees the couple from conflicts to serve Jesus and others. We know as Christians that it is more blessed to give than receive. When a couple's purpose is to serve others more than self and selfish interests, they lose much of the anxiety and depression that prevents success in marriage. Why struggle so hard when having a wonderful marriage can be much easier? Contact us at CounselingServicesAtlanta.com and learn more about this new method of marriage counseling.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

12 Ways Of Helping To Reduce Anxiety In Your Staff As A Leader.

Thursday, April 8, 2021 @ 8:29 PM

1. Listen, listen, and then listen. Listen to feelings, thoughts desires, hopes, dreams, vision and expectations. A staff member that feels heard is a staff member that feels validated. And validation tends to reduce anxiety. (‘Be quick to listen…..-James 1:19)

2. Make sure your expectations are reasonable and clear as well as appropriate for the developmental level of your staff member

3. Be careful of judging a staff member or their motives or attitudes. Evaluating them is fine and important but really understanding them is a part of that. (“Judge not, lest you be judged…” - Matthew 7:1-2)

4. Share some of your organizations financial picture. Studies have shown that staff that understand the financial picture are more motivated to work.

5. Help create belonging and comradery so that staff feel like their part of something bigger than themselves.

6. Practice walking in grace and truth with your staff members. This way they have grace around mistakes and the truth of expectations and responsibility combined. (“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.” – Proverbs 3:3)

7. Create opportunities for influence and input by all staff. This gives them a sense of ownership around the workplace and empowers them to contribute in important ways.

8. Make sure you celebrate and have fun. This was one the most important findings from research I did on leadership in my doctorate program. (“Rejoice with those rejoice…” – Romans 12:15)

9. Develop them and develop yourself. Training and coaching can go far to help staff feel better about the job, increase performance and reduce their anxiety.

10. Catch them doing something right. Before you give a critique make sure you also have a compliment to give.

11. Remember the difference between latent and manifest learning. Some staff, when learning a new task, may not perform at your level of expectation at first even though their learning but not manifesting the new behavior.

12. Work to resolve communication problems and conflict as soon as you can. Conflict left unresolved can really create a lot of anxiety in the workplace. (“Do not the sun set on your anger…” – Ephesians 4:26 )

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Trauma Therapy and the Parable of the Sower

Thursday, April 1, 2021 @ 11:30 PM

Willow Counseling

When we think of trauma, we often think of catastrophic events - rape, sexual abuse, war, natural disasters, crime, car wrecks, domestic violence. But trauma comes in all shapes and sizes. For instance, a trauma may also include a medical emergency, experiences of loss and grief, living in chaotic environments, getting fired, infidelity, divorce, bullying, neglect, childbirth, or a humiliating event, to name a few. Even vicarious traumas, such as watching natural disaster coverage on the news or listening to friends recount their own traumatic and painful experiences, can take a toll.

Did you know that trauma harms our mind, body, and spirit? It can distort our thoughts, inflame and weaken our bodies, and lead to despair in our spirits. Willow Counseling views trauma therapy as emotional recovery that is just as necessary as physical recovery from a medical emergency. In addition, as mental health therapists who value our faith, we also view trauma therapy as a God-given tool to help remove the thorns of trauma that crowd and choke the seeds of faith (Matthew 13:7) in a Christian's life. Trauma therapy has come a long way in healing the injury to our brains and nervous systems, and you don't have to keep suffering. Help is available.

Have you been through a recent trauma? Are you burdened by chronic stress? Do you have an old wound that continues to re-open? Let Willow Counseling help you discover emotional health and restoration from trauma. Learn more at our website.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Women should be Submissive to their Husbands - Ephesians 5:22-23 - REVISITED

Tuesday, March 30, 2021 @ 12:43 AM

Husbands Love Your Wives As Christ Loved the Church

Both Husbands and Wives are to be Submissive to One Another

Ephesians 5:22-33 – revisited

(v22)Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

In some traditions, this passage is read on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s. It is known as elbow Sunday – some husbands like to elbow their wives jokingly to pay attention to these words.

Yet, the misinterpretation of this passage and its foundation to the history of Christian marriage theology over the centuries is nothing to joke about, nor is it something of which the Christian church should be proud. I put this on my list of one of the most egregious sins of the church which has paved the road to much depravity insofar as it has pervaded whole cultures and societies with pseudo-Christian values.


In the second of my five years of seminary, I was required to begin learning Spanish since I was studying to minister in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles which is largely Hispanic. Rather than have solely classroom instruction, I sought permission to travel to the heart of Mexico for an immersion experience in the beautiful state of Michoacán where one of my classmates’ family lived in a small village of about four thousand people. For six weeks, I had a memorable experience of reveling in the culture, cuisine, music, festivities, and infectious friendly spirit of the people. Since they didn’t speak a word of English, I was compelled to use my Spanish. I’m grateful that my ability to give intelligible sermons in Spanish when I was ordained a few years later was because of this educational opportunity.

But there was one experience in my cultural visit that made me uncomfortable. A devout Christian family invited me to their home for dinner because they had heard of a visiting seminarian. It was a family with seven daughters and one son. The head of the house, Salvador, decided to slaughter a goat, un chivo, in my honor. At that time in my life I did eat meat, and I still recall how tasty and tender it was. After dinner, I noticed the daughters were not invited to participate in the living room conversation; they were clearing the plates, sweeping the floor, cleaning the kitchen, and serving drinks and dessert to the men. I jumped up to assist them – some of the daughters were young adults older than I. I was taught it was proper for children (and guests) to at least take your own plate to the kitchen, or optimally grab one or two nearby plates as well – by doing so you show your appreciation for your meal.

Salvador boomed in a loud and intimidating voice, “Pablo, no lo hagas” – don’t do that. Apparently, that was women’s work. Even the youngest child, a boy of 15 years, was not expected to do these domestic chores. I quickly adjusted to the customs of my host family and accepted their gracious hospitality. In coming days, I spoke in the village with some of the muchachas, the young women. I listened to many stories of lost opportunities of education and business, and the struggle to advance, because they needed to imbue the culturally-expected stance of submission, giving the opportunities to the men. They were to enthusiastically accept more menial roles so that the men could flourish.

My friend Salvador, in his zeal for mandating that his daughters clean the dishes while the men conversed in the sala, was simply doing his parental duty to ensure they grow up to make good submissive wives, increasing their appeal to potential mates.


This story of cultural grooming of women to be submissive to men from an early age, could may as well be a story from a family in Eastern Europe, Africa, or the United States – from virtually anywhere.

The above scriptural passage must not be taken out of context – it must be seen together with the next ten verses, especially this one:

(v25) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.

There are many cases of identified domestic violence and abuse perpetrated by men that can be traced to cultural grooming which resolutely denies the latter part of this passage, and even greater numbers of marriages where women have been afraid to speak out against abuse due to deference to their husbands. Indeed, the movements of women’s suffrage, women’s liberation, feminism, support for LGBTQ rights, and the dire need for consent education, are all fighting in part against this pseudo-Christian societal conditioning.

Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church. How deeply did Christ love the church? So deeply, that he died for the church. Husbands thereby are called to live selflessly: to serve, protect, and die for their wives. Husbands and wives, therefore, are called to be submissive to each other. This mutual respect is the foundation of intimacy.

Is the husband still called to be the head of the household? Yes, but it must be done with utmost respect, and a submissive attitude. There is a natural order of some roles which become gender-based. Ultimately, however, all humans have both masculine and feminine qualities. Let’s say that two-thirds of men are masculine insofar as they are decisive, strong, confident, and take the lead. These men may also have underlying feminine qualities, like being sensitive, kind, thoughtful, nurturing, and compassionate. WAIT! Although these are stereotypically feminine qualities, a fully developed definition of masculine should include all of these qualities. A man is most evolved when he can at times be thoughtful, kind, and compassionate. Similarly, the other one-third of men can lead with their best qualities of being sensitive, kind, thoughtful, nurturing, and compassionate.

The men of ancient cultures went out and hunted, while the pregnant women and young children stayed at the hearth. This balance was upset in Jean Auel’s female character Ayla from The Clan of the Cave Bear. She clandestinely learns to hunt, defying the norm that only men hunt. She took the lead with her ability to feed the community when necessary. When found out, she was banished from her community for this offense, and suffered excruciating pain due to that isolation, and even more anguish from being forcibly separated, forever, from her toddler son. She discerned not to submit to her male-dominated clan, but rather to her inner spirit, where God dwells. God had given her the gifts of being able to hunt, to lead, to be courageous, and to provide. By listening to her inner-voice she became a steward of her God-given talents. Thus, her species survived and evolved.

After many months Ayla eventually meets a man who accepts her masculine qualities of hunting, providing, and leadership. They marry their lives and talents, in a bonded relationship where they can both lead and both be nurturing to the extent of their innate talents.

When we are baptized into Christ Jesus, there is not a separate rite for women and men. It is the same rite for male and female – we are baptized into community with God, as children of God. Thereafter, as Christians, we are all called to develop our ability to love, depending on what we have been given.

Jesus gave us two commandments:

Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:37-38).

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you (John 13:34).

How are we to love one another? All of Jesus’ life is instruction for us, but especially his central act – submitting to his Father’s will. Recall his words in the Garden of Gethsemane on the eve of his crucifixion:

My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will (Matt 26:39b).

At the wedding at Cana in John chapter two, the mother of Jesus, Mary, takes a decisive leadership role. It is interesting there is not even a mention of Joseph in this passage, though he likely accompanied his spouse and son. It was Mary who became aware of the need for more wine. She exercised a parental leadership quality by telling her son, they have no more wine. Jesus responds, Woman, why do you involve me? My hour has not yet come. I flashback briefly to my own mother saying, “Take out the trash,” to which I would respond, “Why, it’s not even full”.

Next, we have a female, not in the context of marriage, yet nevertheless exercising leadership in a decisive manner as she says to the servants, Do whatever he tells you. These are the most poignant recorded words of Mary. These words are the core of the early Christian community’s devotion to Jesus’ mother, a devotion which has lasted for millennia. These are words addressed to every disciple of Christ, to “do whatever he tells you”. At this event Jesus submits to the will of his mother. Mary is truly nurturing, yet decisive. The lesson here is that we humans, within and outside the context of marriage or romantic relationships, are most evolved when we exercise our inherent masculine and feminine qualities.

Jesus went so far as teaching his disciples that to be a leader, you must be the servant of all (Matt 23:11). He sealed this lesson at the last supper when he washed their feet, commanding them to go forth and do the same (John 13:14-15). It was at this event, upon receiving the instruction of servant leadership, the disciples were ordained apostles.

It is scripturally and theologically inaccurate for a husband to lord his power over his wife, expecting her to submit to him. For the husband to be the head of his household, in the role of priest of his family, he needs to accept the call to be the servant of his wife.

For the married couple, or anyone in relationship – you are called to each be submissive to one another. This is the way to love, respectfully. This is the way of intimacy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Changes That Lead: Applying the book Changes That Heal to Leadership

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 @ 1:12 AM

Everyone of us comes to work with baggage and a need to grow and develop. We symbolically bring in our family of origin to the workplace. We’re human! Few of us have our act totally together when we start a new job. While work is not therapy and it should not be, it can be a powerful catalyst to help us develop in and out of our roles at the job.

Many have read Changes That Heal by Henry Cloud, Ph.D. Here I look at the book as a leadership tool to help develop ourselves and our people and maybe give them an opportunity to make changes that heal and grow. Dr. Cloud sites many examples about healing and growth from Scripture in the original book that support many of the following ideas.

Time is what you need to wait for people to manifest the behavior of learning the job. An illustration of this is when a scientist teaches a lab animal a trick that they know it should be able to do, it is actually learning but maybe not showing its learning. The next morning they come in and run the experiment and the animal does it like it's known the behavior all its life. This is manifest learning as opposed to what was happening before which was latent learning which you can't see.

Grace is the second part of the equation where you allow people to make mistakes and give them grace as they need it to learn the new job or action. Handling this right helps them make good sense of their learning experiences.

Truth is where we begin to have a little bit more firmness in that we hold them accountable to certain standards that they need to perform the job well. We evaluate their performance (but not judge them as people) after raising expectations.

Next Henry talks about bonding and bonding is important in the workplace because it gives people a sense of belonging and connection as well as meaning. Without good bonding in a workplace people will not feel like they are part of a team or that they belong. Research indicates this bonding for staff is even more important than pay. Although good bonding needs to be established well outside the workplace, it is still important so that people learn to trust their leaders and fellow staff.

After that are boundaries which are very important to establish in leadership so that you can define roles and expectations. Henry has a whole book written about this subject called Boundaries And Leaders. Defining Vision, Mission and Goals are other parts a boundaries in leadership. While boundaries are not walls, they help our staff and ourselves define our responsibilities, what is and is not in our bailiwicks as well as keeping people challenged without overwhelming them.

The next part of the book talks about sorting out the bad and good in ourselves and others. We want to get away from black or white thinking. This is important in leadership because we want to be able discern between a bad action or attitude and the actual person. Judging a person from an all bad-all good perspective is counterproductive. The leader that sees a person as all good will be blind to their problem areas and not hold them accountable. The leader that sees a person as all bad will judge the person and not see their good parts or their talents or assets.
It is also important to be careful of the ideal other or self as well as the despised other or self. These four positions can distort our thinking and lead us to expectations and or judgements that benefit no one.

Further on the book deals with maturing into adulthood. Within the rules and structure of the workplace, both the leaders and the staff must rise to the level of maturity and beyond to be able to be effective in their tasks and relationships. This on one hand requires respect and appropriate working together with leaders. On the other hand, it also means that we must not be in a complete one down one up relationship with our authorities or our staff at work. To put it simply, it means that we are to require respect from others as well as to make sure that we respect them.
Some leaders see themselves as one up and believe they have absolute authority over all things and that they don’t have to respect anybody. It is not uncommon for these leaders to be failing in some way. For other leaders they still feel like they are one down with people, even their own staff. This is where it is important to work on our personal bonding so we can grow up to a role that we are called to.

Bonding gives us a “launching pad” with which we can form our boundaries. As part of this growth and maturity it’s important that we disagree sometimes with the first leaders that we ever met (i.e. our parents) [Also see the story of Jesus as a boy at the temple]. And likewise, it’s important that your staff and peers can appropriately disagree with you. It is also important to recognize and pursue our talents and abilities as well as our creative instincts so as to find the right role in our leadership and help others do the same. Maybe you're a creative boss or perhaps maybe you're a boss that's very good about sticking to facts and figures. So, it's important to expand these gifts while at the same time finding people who can help you with the areas you're not so strong in.

Changes That Heal For Leadership was not a book Henry necessarily intended to write but do understand that the real book originated as part of a project to stop burn out in a campus ministry. With that said it can do much to help us develop us as leaders and help us develop our staff. Reach out if you need help with these stages with yourself and or your team.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Bumpy Road or Joy Ride?

Saturday, March 13, 2021 @ 2:24 PM

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2

Life’s journey takes you on an obstacle course of twists, turns, bumpy roads, mountains, valleys, tunnels, wastelands, bridges, lovely landscapes, and deep caverns. Each section of the journey impacts every individual differently. For example, Fred works at a high-pressure job in sales. He thrives when he is with people, and he feels alive when the pressure is on. Following the successful completion of a huge deal, Fred’s boss gave him a “bonus” to help him recover and regroup. He set him up with an all-expenses-paid, three-week vacation at a quiet out of the way cabin with a rented fishing boat. Fred’s boss said, “After a high-pressure close, I always need time to rest and regroup.” Unfortunately, to Fred, alone time felt like torture.

The bumpy roads on your journey might be exhilarating mountain top experiences to someone else, and your friend’s wastelands might be your lovely landscapes. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, unique and precious, and when you remember the following, your path becomes a fret-free flight: you journey this life hand-in-hand with the Lord.

Whatever segment of road to which your journey takes you, whether you consider it a trial or a delight, God has promised to be your refuge and your fortress. You can trust that He will rejoice with you when you are happy and He will protect you when you need sanctuary.

Try reminding yourself about it, this way. Inhale while picturing, “God is my refuge and my fortress.” Now exhale while envisioning, “He is my God in whom I trust.” Go ahead and repeat that a few times; inhale, picturing the first part of the verse. Then exhale envisioning the second half of the verse. Feel the strength, the power, the courage of the Lord filling you with each breath.

God did not promise you a trouble-free life. In this broken world, you will face troubles, but when you do, God will always be your fortress, your refuge, and your loving God.

If you’d like to learn more ways to allow the Lord to empower you toward freedom and spiritual health, visit joshua1nine.com

Thursday, March 4, 2021

"How Your Attachment Style Impacts Your Relationship," by Bernis Riley, Psy.D, LPC-S, Certified EFT Therapist

Thursday, March 4, 2021 @ 9:55 AM

Emotionally Focused Therapy, our therapy model at SoulCare Counseling, is partially based on Attachment Theory (which is actually no longer a theory but a proven science). British psychologist John Bowlby is the father of Attachment Theory going back to his work with separated infants in the 1950’s. He found that a child depends on his or her mother and father or primary caregivers for comfort, soothing, and support. If those needs are met, the child becomes securely attached; if not, the child becomes insecurely attached. Others built on Bowlby’s work, applying it to adult attachment, and found that four attachment styles develop in childhood and most often remain into adulthood.

We know from studies of the brain that we are hard-wired to seek close, supportive, safe, secure, comforting relationships. We need closeness and belonging as much as we need food and water. When our brain perceives that a primary relationship is in danger, it goes into overdrive to save it and triggers the attachment style we learned as children. The problem is that only one attachment style is healthy; the others, ironically, are destructive to the relationship they are employed by the brain to save.

Do You Have An Anxious Attachment Style?
People with an anxious attachment style would say, “You’re good, I’m not good.” They have a negative view of self but a positive view of others, especially their partner. The thought of being alone or separated physically or emotionally from that partner causes great anxiety. They fear abandonment and constantly seek security. As a result, they worry about their partner being as invested in the relationship as they are. They constantly seek their partner’s approval, support, and responsiveness or they experience anxiety. If they perceive that they are not receiving the closeness and support they need, the often become clinging, demanding, or critical, all in subconscious attempts to draw their partner close. In Emotionally Focused Therapy, these are called “pursuers.” The problem with this attachment style is that those who use it experience the very thing the fear, their partner withdraws.

Do You Have An Avoidant Attachment Style?
People with an avoidant attachment style would say, “I’m good, you’re not good.” They have a positive image of self but a low image of others. As a result, they don’t feel that they need a relationship to be happy and fulfilled. They don’t want to depend on others, and they don’t want others to depend on them. They see themselves as strong, independent, self-sufficient types who don’t need the support or approval of others. They identify with the Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, loner-type hero. They tend to be introverts. While they do want physical contact, they don’t feel the need for emotional contact, avoid emotions, and like Spock on “Star Trek” they suppress their emotions. When they are put in a situation with high emotions, they shut down and withdraw or leave. In Emotionally Focused Therapy, they are called “withdrawers.”


Do You Have A Disorganized Attachment Style?
People with a disorganized attachment style say, “I’m good, you’re not good…I’m not good, you’re good.” They shift back and forth in ambiguous, chaotic relationship behaviors. They push people away, then pull them back. They fear getting hurt and therefore avoid strong emotional attachments. They want intimacy and closeness, but at the same time have a hard time trusting and depending on others. They have trouble regulating their emotions. People with this attachment style are usually victims of abuse or trauma.

Do You Have A Secure Attachment Style?
The three attachment styles I just described are all insecure attachment styles. People who have those styles tend to have unhealthy relationships. But people with a secure attachment style are able to have healthy relationships. They say, “I’m good, you’re good.” They have a positive view of themselves and others. So, they have no fears of expressing their emotions. They are glad to depend on their partners, and let their partners depend on them. They are honest, tolerant, and intimate. They thrive in closeness with their partner, but are not anxious when they are separated. They are confident that the relationship is stable and will not be disrupted by the absence. In Emotionally Focused Therapy, we work to help distressed couples move out of insecure attachment styles into a secure attachment style.

CHRISTIAN COUNSELING AND EMOTIONALLY FOCUSED THERAPY, Mark Riley, M.Div, D.Min

Thursday, March 4, 2021 @ 9:52 AM

Having been a pastor since I was 20, when my wife and I founded SoulCare Counseling in 2007, there was no question but that it would be a Christian counseling center. The only question was, what kind of Christian counseling would SoulCare do? That question might surprise you because most people assume that all Christian counseling is the same: the client shares a problem to which the counselor applies some Bible verses and has prayer. That is one kind of Christian counseling but it’s not the only kind. The fact is, all Christian counseling has similarities but also differences.

While all Christian counselors want to help you change, enter into a caring relationship with you, and have a Christian worldview, they use different counseling methods or models based on what they have found to be effective. The Association of Christian Counselors defines Christian counseling as activities that “seek to help people towards constructive change and growth in any or every aspect of their lives, through a caring relationship and within agreed relational boundaries, carried out by a counselor who has a Christian worldview, values and assumptions…Counselors use different methodologies or models for their counseling depending on their training and what they find to be effective.”

There are two basic approaches to Christian counseling:
• Theology Only. This is often called biblical, or nouthetic, counseling. It uses only the Bible and fits the apply-Scripture-and-pray model described earlier. Its biggest advocate is Jay Adams.
• Theology and Psychology. This is called professional Christian counseling. A professional Christian counselor has training and degrees in counseling/psychology and is committed to biblical theology. James Dobson and Larry Crabb are examples. When it comes to integrating psychology and theology, some counselors attempt to separate them, others mix them like a salad, and still others pick and choose only psychological approaches that are consistent with biblical teachings.

SoulCare Counseling falls into the last category. All of our counselors are Bible-believing Christians who have either earned or are working on degrees in counseling/psychology and are licensed by the state of Texas. We don’t believe that there is biblical truth and there is scientific truth; there is just truth, and all truth is God’s. Philippians 4:8 says, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” So, we take from psychology that which is true, right, etc., and consistent with Scripture and use it while discarding the rest.

We have found Emotionally Focused Therapy to be one of the most effective and biblically consistent counseling models. Though not a Christian, in the 1980’s Dr. Sue Johnson founded a counseling therapy that is consistent with biblical teachings. When she realized this, Sue worked with EFT trainer and former missionary Kenny Sanderfer to adapt her book Hold Me Tight into Created For Connection, The Hold Me Tight Guide For Christian Couples. It is based on Genesis 2:18 that “It is not good that man should be alone.” God created human beings for connection, so when we become disconnected, conflict and dysfunction arise. The key to resolving conflict is to reconnect through understanding our true needs and feelings, communicating them in a way our partner will receive, and giving/receiving forgiveness and reconciliation creating a safe, secure attachment bond. Christian themes run all through that: humbling oneself, considering the other as more important than self, being honest and speaking truth to one another, forgiveness, reconciliation, love as the bond of unity, to name a few.
Since EFT is based on biblical principles, it works! Imagine that. Studies of EFT over decades have shown that 70-75% of couples who complete EFT move from distress to recovery, and 90% show significant improvements. No other counseling model can make that claim. Biblically consistent and effective. That’s why our Christian counseling center does Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Dumped by God

Wednesday, March 3, 2021 @ 10:47 AM

We have all gone through seasons where we feel despondent and wonder if God is even paying close attention to our situation. We start wondering, “Does he even care? Does he even see what is going on? Is he still there or am I just talking to the ceiling?” Rest assure, God is not far. During these seasons, please know that you are simply being dumped by God.

Allow me to explain. Imagine as a new Christian, you are a little cup. You fell in love with Jesus and you are full of his love and spilling over the sides of the cup. You are just oozing with the Holy Spirit and you are on a spiritual high. Suddenly and frequently without our permission, God takes our little cup and dumps it into a bigger cup. All that love and Holy Spirit giddiness seems to dampen, and we go through a season of feeling alone and empty. We do not know what to do and we feel like the Holy Spirit high is only for baby Christians. Many Christians give up the pursuit of God at this point. However, this is the season where you need to dig your heels in, dive into the Word of God, and deepen your faith. You will find that over time, the new cup you were dumped into is filling up again and will be over-flowing once more.

Then, suddenly and frequently without our permission, God takes our bigger cup and dumps us into a bucket. Again, we feel shallow, empty, alone, and are hungry to be filled by God. We can get angry that he dumped us because we were content in our smaller cup. We may not understand why he dumped us, or why he chose this bucket. We can kick and scream and pitch a fit, but it will not fill the bucket. Only pursuing a relationship with God will adequately fill the current bucket we were dumped into.

God desires us to grow and that is why he loves us enough to dump us. He continues to dump us into bigger and bigger containers. Every time we are dumped by God and we pursue a relationship with him, in order for him to fill the current container we are poured into, we learn more about his character, his love, and his mercy. Any time we are dumped, it indicates that God desires our faith and trust in him to grow. Being dumped by God means that God loves us too much to leave us where we are at, and he desires for us to grow.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Illness Can Be the Cure!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 @ 2:31 PM

During my medical school and residency trainings, I used to pray about why my patients were suffering from injuries and diseases. I began to hear their souls tell me why. There were always good reasons. In fact, I slowly realized that their souls were guiding their growth in some way. In this workbook, I share what I have learned from this prayerful soul-listening. Readers learn the language of the soul, so they might come to understand the soul communications in whatever symptoms they or their loved are struggling with. Painful afflictions become loving invitations to become more Christ-like when we learn this language of the soul!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

couples communication workshop

Saturday, February 27, 2021 @ 11:45 AM

The Gender Dance: Communication 101
Relationships are can be complicated at times. No matter how much we love our partners, sometimes we may not see eye to eye with one another. Communication can become tense and we can feel distant from our partners. But all hope is not lost. We can learn strategies to strengthen our relationship and learn to draw near to one another. If you and your partner want to learn skills to improve your relationship – this is the right workshop for you both. We will talk about communication styles, impact of early family dynamics on the current relationship, and discuss strategies you and your partner can use to positively talk about areas you need to talk about without tension.


While we will be talking about topics that can be serious at times, we will also talk about how we can implement fun in relationships. We will talk about tips and tricks to healthy communication, use role plays, and hear from couples about what works and doesn’t work-providing each other with support. We hope you’ll join us for this event.

Registration can be done at https://www.vibrantwoman.me/upcoming-events/
We look forward to you joining us.

Friday, February 26, 2021

I’m depressed. Now what?

Friday, February 26, 2021 @ 4:34 PM

If you were recently diagnosed with depression, or you have been feeling unmotivated, down in the dumps, tired, restless, or sad, you might be wondering what are your options to receive help? Many people don’t know where to start in their healing journey and can feel very overwhelmed with what to choose or do. Getting help doesn’t have to be overwhelming!

First, start by finding a licensed counselor. Registered intern counselors or student counselors can be just as good of an option (and cheaper) because they are typically heavily supervised and lean on well-trained clinicians to help guide them through the therapeutic process. Seek a therapist who shares similar value systems. This is especially important if you are religious and want to incorporate your religious beliefs in your counseling. Discover a counselor you feel comfortable being around. If you are a rape victim, being around a person that reminds you of your perpetrator may not be in your best interest.

Ask your therapist if they will assess you for depression and if they will administer The Beck’s Depression Inventory. This inventory assesses your level of depression and allows the counselor to have a deeper understanding of what your depression looks like.

I cannot emphasize this enough; if you are dealing with depression, a consistent exercise routine must be a part of your daily life. The endorphins released by exercise help combat stress and gives your body a dopamine dump. Dopamine is your happy neurotransmitter.

Drink plenty of water and get adequate sleep. Dehydration can cause many problems including depression. Sleep also affects our ability to deal with stress. The more rested we feel, the higher the chances of fighting off depression.

Talk with your doctor and request a full blood panel to make sure a biological origin is not being overlooked. Being low in Vitamin D or B can cause depressive symptoms. Thyroid issues can also cause symptoms of depression. Having the MTHFR mutation can cause depression, anxiety, ADHD and many other problems. Depression can have a biological origin and requesting the proper bloodwork can help.

If an anti-depressant is recommended, then please consider following through with your doctor’s recommendations. These are not drugs that you can start and stop, or skip a day here or there. These are medications that have a great potential to help, but also a great potential to harm, if not taken properly. Think of an anti-depressant like insulin. In diabetes, your body does not produce enough insulin. Likewise, when a person is depressed, your body does not “produce enough” or activates the neurotransmitters properly in order to maintain a healthy balance in the brain. Antidepressants help activate your neurotransmitters to work at their fullest potential.

If being on an antidepressant does not feel like the right option for you, then please seek out a homeopathic doctor or a trained herbalist to help balance your body in a more natural way. There are plenty of herbal remedies available that can positively impact depression levels.

Figuring out how to deal with your depression can feel overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Find someone to talk with and get started on your healing journey.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Hope, Patience, Joy!

Friday, February 19, 2021 @ 2:29 PM

How can you help your children feel hopeful about the future amid pandemic fears, divisive political hostility, and heart-hammering news reports? Romans 12:12 offers three habits that will help you maintain that hope: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Providing a good example of joy, patience, and faithfulness is the first hope-builder for your children because they take their cue from you.

Also, giving your children something to look forward to keeps them at peace in the moment and looking toward the future. Do this by instituting a weekly “Family-Fun,” time. Despite current restrictions and no matter how old or young your kids might be, try this brainstorm-blast every quarter. Get creative. It works like this:
A. Prior to your “blast,” download a list of fun things permitted, available in your area, in-budget, and post it on the fridge.
B. Meet, and encourage everyone to discuss their favorite things to do for your weekly “Family-Fun” time. Ideas will come from the list, and the children can come up with some on their own.
C. Write all suggestions on dry erase, poster, chart paper, or printer paper.
D. Now, give every child (or every family member…your choice) a different colored marker or let each choose a different method of selecting their favorites (underline, circle, box, squiggles).
E. Each person chooses as many “favorites” as s/he likes by circling (with his/her unique color) or by using his/her unique shape (circle, square, underline, box etc).
F. Together, you will review the completed brainstorm plot. Some activities will have zero or one circle and other activities will be circled by everyone.
G. The “fun things” that everyone likes will be evident because THEY will be circled by everyone – notice all of the colors or shapes surrounding them. These will be the first choices to put on the weekly “Family-Fun” time calendar. Work down from there, adding to the calendar for the whole quarter.

Making a game out of finding enjoyable things to do generates hope for tomorrow.
Patience amid chaos? Children struggle with patience just as you do. Sharing the truth with your children about what irritates you, and offering them a safe space to talk about their fears and frustrations builds patience and trust. You might share with them some relaxation techniques, and practice together. Practicing these techniques ensures that you and your children will be able to relax when you find yourself in a situation where you NEED to relax.

Finally, knowing that God has you in His arms gives you hope that your future is safeguarded. Remain faithful by creating a faith fortress. Pray with your children in the morning, building a foundation to their fortress. Draw near to God in the afternoon, establishing the walls; recall three blessings each evening to top off that fortress.

You can help your children and yourself to feel hopeful about the future through Romans 12:12. Start a habit of joy in hope, patience in affliction, and faithfulness in prayer. It’s a good habit that will not only draw you and your children near to God but also keep all of you hopeful and at peace in troubled times and any time.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

A Quiver of Love

Thursday, February 11, 2021 @ 2:28 PM

Our world paints a picture of love as an explosive, emotional tilt-a-whirl that delights our senses, lifting us to endless heights where we experience unimaginable bliss forever, or drops us to the ground to begin again. This lure, dangled in front of millions of teens, single young adults, and even disillusioned spouses escalates in power at this time of year as eyes, ears, noses, and taste buds turn toward hearts – chocolate hearts, gummy hearts, processed-sugar hearts, and even dancing/singing hearts.

With our senses drowning in sugary pleasure, it is difficult to see the Truth. I’m not talking about the facts about dark chocolate hearts; that they increase serotonin in the brain and gut, thus increasing happiness and strengthening the immune system. Although, that IS a blessing.

The Truth -- direct from God's Word -- talks of love more than five-hundred times. The Bible talks about loving God, loving our spouses, loving our neighbors, loving ourselves, and loving strangers. The Word says that God is love, that Jesus is love. It says that love is respect, and obedience, that love is patience and kindness; love is sacrifice; love is unconditional, uplifting and empowering. Love is enduring, unfailing, and everlasting. We could take a lifetime to fully appreciate love according the Truth of the Bible.

Why not place these God-given truths, these facts about love into our metaphoric love “quiver” to use as relationship ammunition, instead of filling that quiver with anger arrows, bitterness arrows, and nit-pick arrows? We can fill our hearts with an ever-expanding love, an ever-increasing knowledge of love. Let’s take a lifetime to fully appreciate the person we’ve chosen to love forever. The only way to do that is to step outside of our own wants and needs and appreciate the different facets of love, why we love this person, who God made this person to be, what loving this person looks like to God, where God wants us to go with this love.

Face it; all relationships have pinnacles and pits. Instead of giving up when we stumble into a valley, we can draw from one of the five-hundred-PLUS types of LOVE we choose to place in our quiver. Apply that love without waiting for a “return” on our investment. Each new love arrow will redefine, reshape our relationship, and teach us new ways to grow together in Christ.

This is the perfect time to LOVE your spouse, your significant other, your neighbor – not with fancy, expensive gifts. Dig in and learn how to really love in Spirit and Truth. Get out of yourself and into your partner’s skin. You CAN do it.

If you’d like more information on HOW love like this, email me at terri@joshua1nine.com with YES in the subject, and I’ll send you a FREE sample of my, Seven-Day Relationship Blast. It is a guide for couples that will be released for purchase on February 14. You can check out this month’s newsletter by clicking the link below.

Until then, do not give up. Love the Lord; love each other, and “trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever” (Psalm 52:8).

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Unpacking Religious Trauma

Thursday, February 4, 2021 @ 10:09 AM

Willow Counseling

Religious trauma isn’t a formal diagnosis. Instead, it’s a broad and informal term that can refer to both traumas from a religious institution and trauma within the faith community itself.

Such symptoms can include:

-Negative beliefs about self-esteem and self-worth
-Pervasive depression and anxiety
-Loneliness
-Loss of meaning or pleasure in most activities
-Struggles with a social support system and strained family dynamics
-Feeling ‘behind’ on developmental tasks
-A pervasive sense of social awkwardness
-Feeling a lost or missing sense of purpose

Undoubtedly, religion can be a sensitive subject. You may feel ashamed to talk about how you feel. You may blame yourself for not doing something right. Know that these are normal reactions. However, these reactions can lead to unnecessary and extreme suffering- which only perpetuates a cycle of fear, shame, and disappointment.

As therapists, Willow Counseling feels honored to sit and explore the subject of religious trauma with you. Whether you’ve been struggling recently or for many years, we can work together to restore your faith in humanity and hope in life.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The REST Approach Workbook

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 @ 7:18 PM

​The REST Approach is a Christian counseling workbook aimed at helping followers of Christ process and heal from psychological distress including anxiety, depression and other symptoms of complex trauma.

Through this scripture-centered interactive workbook, individuals are introduced to a variety of evidence-based psychosomatic treatment interventions such as diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, guided imagery, prayer-based emotional freedom tapping (EFT), somatic soothing and the "mindfulness what and how skills" of dialectical behavior therapy. In addition, narrative and cognitive-behavioral therapeutic techniques are incorporated to help readers process their thoughts and feelings related to self-awareness and God-awareness (SAGA).

The four components of the REST Approach are embedded in the scripture of Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Rest implies release - letting go. Letting go of tension in our bodies by learning to pause and relax. Letting go of tension in our minds by learning to focus on the things we have control over instead of the things we don’t. Rest also implies a divine exchange. Exchanging your worries for God’s peace. Exchanging your bitterness for God’s love. Exchanging your thoughts for God’s promises.

The REST Approach follows the mnemonic, R - E -S -T: 1) Rest & Repent “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest"; 2) Embrace “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart”, 3) Settle “and you will find rest for your souls" and 4) Trust & Testify “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

A Memoir of Spiritual Healing after Adultery: ?The Surrendered Heart

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 @ 7:13 PM

In this remarkable memoir, Christian Psychotherapist, Cherie Burgess shares her story of emotional resilience, spiritual sanctification and renewed hope in marriage. A Memoir of Spiritual Healing After Adultery: The Surrendered Heart is divided into two parts. Part One contains most of the journal entries Cherie wrote to God while she was separated from her husband. The entries highlight the thoughts and feelings she experienced under the spiritual strongholds of adultery, anger, anxiety, betrayal, depression, rejection and suicidal ideation. Cherie shares how the Lord gave her visions, dreams and Bible verses to encourage and edify her through the trial. Part Two focuses on how she was able to grow spiritually and soulfully when she surrendered her heart to the Lord. Cherie felt compelled to write her story so that others would be encouraged to live faithfully focused and free.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Navigate Away from Anger

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 @ 8:32 AM

Galatians 6: tells us, "In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."

At first blink, it looks like a caution against anger; "DON'T EVER BE ANGRY YOU NASTY SINNER!" After a couple seconds, though, it looks different. It IS a cautionary statement, but also an acknowledgment that anger is natural. Everyone gets angry; it's what a person does with anger that matters -- to God, to those he loves, and those around her.

I have a client, call him Nathan. He is kind, passionate about his friends and loved ones, a great listener, caring, and giving -- would give the shirt from his own body to help someone in need. Nathan is in jail right now after he tried to help a friend. In the process of trying to rescue his friend from a crack house, his anger reached its boiling point, and he broke the jaw of a "bad guy."

Unfortunately, even though the crack dealer (bad guy) wouldn't dare press charges for fear his occupation would be under scrutiny, the D.A.'s point system determined that a violent crime had been committed, landing my client, Nathan, in jail for six months.

I could tell Nathan to -- "Breathe away your anger and frustration." Just inhale through your nose, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7; exhale through your mouth, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 -- which is a great strategy for high emotions in many cases. Still, when your anger is high, without a foundation of diffusion strategies, it is near impossible to walk away from that emotion.
Am I saying it's okay to "sin" by giving full vent to your anger? You are going to slip because you are human. When you slip, you will pay the consequences, much like my friend, Nathan. In order to keep from ALWAYS giving vent to your anger (or anxiety or fear), you need to lay a foundation of diffusion, humility, and forgiveness.

WHAT TO DO?
This means praying for humility DAILY; practicing "belly-breathing" so that it is THERE when you need it; memorizing Bible verses (so they are “hidden in your heart”); start with verses on forgiveness, peace, and humility.

When you build a strong foundation of peace, forgiveness, and humility, then you will be able to call on your "tools" to ward off and to diffuse those STRONG emotions. You can't expect to use a tool with which you have never practiced. Right?

Practice this daily: prayer, memorization, and BREATHING. With that foundation firmly in place, you can implement what I call the F.U.N. strategy...it is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy method for diffusing anger. In short, F = FREEZE; U = USE your belly breathing; N = NAVIGATE away from the source of your anger.

Check out my course on Freedom from Anger (Link below) to learn more about F.U.N. In the meantime, build a fortress of peace in Christ daily. Awake every morning to prayer and a devotion and/or Bible reading. Break up your day -- maybe at lunchtime -- by meditating on a Bible verse, an affirmation, or an uplifting podcast. Finish your day by recalling two or three things that went well; write them down in a gratitude journal. Thus, you are building a foundation in the morning, walls of peace to surround, you around noon, and a covering of gratitude every evening. You will find this fortress of peace a great beginning on your way to FREEDOM from anger. God's blessings to you!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Stillness...

Thursday, January 7, 2021 @ 6:48 PM

“be still and know…”

Psalm 46:10

I opened a book today and the is what fell out.

It makes me think about myself and the world around me today. Nobody wants to be still. Sure, it is a good idea in theory and we all say we are working as hard as we can to have the luxury to be still, but really, are we prepared when we finally have a moment? The answer I see is a resounding no.

What I see is a world that is covered in fear. Fear causes us to compulsively move faster because if we slow down, if we are still, we have time to really think of the things that keep us up at night; the Coronavirus, our kids health and wellness, our bills, the next presidential election, immigration, what am I going to make for dinner… as women we are concerned with both the large and small details of life.
mozambican-women-singing-farming-iniciative-by-shannon-wild-004.adapt.1900.1.jpg
A priest once told me that for years his habit was to wake up and watch the news because he felt that it was part of his commitment to serve. He wanted to know what was happening around the world to be informed and aware of all the suffering. Recently, due to logistics he was unable to do this and said that what he found was liberating. All that information was distracting him from the connections and care he could foster right in his backyard community. He now pays more attention to what is in front of him, focusing on helping those closest to him.

In Africa, there is a word Ubuntu. It means I am, because you are. When a neighbor has no food another neighbor provides, it is their way of life. In this country we have spent too much time separating ourselves. We take pride in our ability to be independent. We forget that we are a community that is connected by the same feelings, fears and world around us. If we could remember this tremendous connection maybe we would not feel so isolated and separate, even as our neighbors live a stones throw away.

Paying closer attention to our communities around us, our need for each other, allows us to start trusting. We need to know that not only our husbands and partners have our back but that our friends, families, neighbors, our church and our government have our back too as we have theirs in return. Fostering a trust in the community around us allows space for life to grow and expand. Expanding our ability to be a better mothers, wives, friends and humans. We could start to let go of our unrelenting fear.

Today I am going to bring flowers to a friend I have not seen in a long time, just to say hi. I want her to know that I have her back though we have not seen each other for a while. Today, my prayer is that we can all think a little about what we can do to foster connection in the communities around us. We are all living in the same spaces. We need each other and our separateness is not helpful in defining us. I am because you are…

Let us take better care of the ones around us.
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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Career Coaching group for young adults

Tuesday, January 5, 2021 @ 6:04 PM

Kerin Groves, PhD

Young adults in transition need support. Are you in school but worried about graduating? Have you already finished school and are wondering what to do next? Are you exasperated with job hunting? Do you wonder if you made a mistake? Are you fearful you'll never find what's right for you? Future planning and job searching is stressful, and you need focus, discipline, positive attitude, support, and self-confidence. We have just the crew for you! Dr. Kerin Groves, a professional Career Coach in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, hosts this weekly online career coaching group, just for young adults like you. It's a place to connect with your peers online every week to discuss, explore, complain (just a little), strategize, and encourage each other, plus fill your tank with advice and direction from a professional. Plan now to spend your Hump Day with us (Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 pm Central Time).

Breathe Through Anxiety

Tuesday, January 5, 2021 @ 4:03 PM

Just breathe.
Inhale...exhale.
Deep breaths; you can do it.

Sounds easy…but what if the pain, pressure, anger, depression, and/or anxiety is so intense that it feels like a gorilla crushing your chest, pinning you -- immovable.

Breathe...just breathe.

Emotions carry power. They empower you for good or break you when given control. Annabelle’s anxiety over her adult children is so intense that she experiences panic attacks when her son doesn't call every day.
John says that his children, "are a gift from God. He entrusted them to me during their formative years; I love them enough to allow them to make the good choices I know they can make – even if I don’t agree with those choices." John says that he dodges anxiety, first by trusting in God’s sovereignty, but also by realizing that worry is not useful. He says, “Anxiety does nothing to change the choices my children make or to make their situations any different.”
So, how do you STOP powerful emotions like anxiety, panic, even pain when they are already IN control? "Belly breathing" will diffuse the "fight or flight" mechanism that has taken control and caused the panic attack or even the escalating pain wracking your body. Please practice this process BEFORE a panic attack or strong emotional experience. Try practicing it daily. Here is how:
• Start by getting as comfortable as possible.
• Inhale through your nose, pressing shoulders down, expanding your belly, counting to 7 in your mind as you breathe.
• Exhale through your mouth, compressing your belly, counting to 11 in your mind as you breathe.
• Repeat this 4 times at first and increase to 8 as you get comfortable with the process.
Once your emotions have leveled off (fight or flight has subsided) take the focus OFF of the "trigger," or whatever has escalated your emotions. Go for a walk, bike ride, swim; read a book; use imagery to picture a better outcome; concentrate on every word of a favorite Scripture passage, for example Philippians 4:6,7 " Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 minds in Christ Jesus." It’s nearly impossible for anxiety to escalate while meditating on a peaceful passage. If your mind tries to scoot back to the source of your anxiety – and it will – don’t panic; gently bring it back to the verse, or move on to a new technique. No matter what you do, though. . . .

don't forget to BREATHE!

You can find more tips for freedom from anxiety at https://joshua1nine.com/

Monday, December 14, 2020

Women's Zoom Process/Support Group

Monday, December 14, 2020 @ 2:47 PM

Women’s Small Group: Looking Beneath the Iceberg of Anxiety & Stress (Zoom call: 1 hour/week for 5 weeks) beginning in January. Look on www.transformativewellness.com under Scheduling for sign up!

Monday, November 30, 2020

Why We Hide-New book by counselor/author Mark Brandes

Monday, November 30, 2020 @ 12:16 PM

Mark Brandes-MABC

God created Adam and Eve to walk with Him naked, and He never intended for them to feel guilt and shame. Unfortunately, when Satan appealed to the pride in the hearts of the first man and woman, they responded in disobedience to God’s command. In doing that, Adam and Eve plunged all future generations into lives often filled with sin, guilt and shame.

Shame is Satan’s most powerful tool in keeping Christians at a distance from God, and he relishes every opportunity to disable the spiritual engine of our lives using that tool. Guilt and shame cause believers to hide their primary weaknesses from each other, and in theory, away from God. God’s desire is for believers to find refuge in Him, confessing their sin, and partnering with Him to pursue the good works He has planned for them.

Christians have largely ignored the encouragement of God written in James 5:16: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” We have ignored emphasizing confession to one another because of our shame and fear of rejection.

Why We Hide encourages believers to dig deep into their soul to find their hidden idols, and will step the believer though the process of confession and restoration. Designed as a resource for biblical counseling and group conversations, believers who desire to live a much more effective life for Christ will find Why We Hide to be an excellent starting place for that journey.

You can access an excerpt from Why We Hide at https://www.markbrandes.com/why-we-hide.

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Art of Couple's Therapy

Monday, November 23, 2020 @ 7:44 PM

When intense emotional hurt happens in your romantic relationship, the tendency is to emotionally and sometimes physically distance yourself from your partner while desiring to be understood and comforted by them at the same time. However, this is contrary to the healthy communication strategies that are taught in couple’s therapy. The goal is for partner’s to learn to attune & become contributors to the healing process of one another. Learning how to effectively care for your significant other & to receive care from your partner simultaneously, is the beautiful dance that is taught through this work…

Monday, November 9, 2020

The Bee Hive

Monday, November 9, 2020 @ 11:58 PM

The Bee Hive is a place where we reflect on Christianity, the Christian life, the church, and our culture with thoughtful and "gracious words" that are sweet "to the soul" and bring "health to the body" (Proverbs 16:24).

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Introduction to Bridges Christian Counseling

Sunday, October 25, 2020 @ 1:55 AM

In this video, I explain why I started my therapy practice, and why I landed on the name of Bridges Christian Counseling. Subscribe to my Youtube channel for more “Walk and Talk with Katina” videos!

https://youtu.be/U-zOJbZsWZo

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Walking Alone

Saturday, October 17, 2020 @ 12:58 AM

In 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 the Apostle Paul lays it out that if a person can do it, then they should remain single and celibate; and if not, then it is better to marry. Many people feel a sense of aloneness when they do not have a romantic partner, and then that still, small voice in the back of their mind reminds them of scripts they've heard in the past: "You're not good enough," and "no one will love you." They begin to focus on the need for a romantic partner and the longing and lonely feeling begins to grow.

We were never meant to be alone, God created us to live in relationship. He created us to live in relationship to him and to other humans. He instructed us to fellowship together. In all his devine wisdom he led us into relationships with each other, even with his encouragement in Matthew 18:20 he is calling us to be together.

Our longing for romantic connection is holy. He instilled that longing within us, but when that longing over-powers all the other beautiful qualities in ourselves, our friendships, and the other relationships in our lives it because a distraction the enemy uses to pull us farther from the vision God has of us and for us.

Sometimes, learning to heal those wounds left by those internal scripts or the pain from past relationships or family life can help draw you closer to God. There is less distraction.

When you are feeling like you're not enough or that you're broken in regards to romantic relationships, please pray, read your Bible, remind yourselves of the gifts of relationship that God has placed in your lives, and seek wise counsel.