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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Grief During the Pandemic

Thursday, June 25, 2020 @ 7:18 PM

When people hear the word “grief,” most often their minds go to the loss of a loved one. But really, grieving happens anytime there is the loss of something, not just when there is the loss of someone.

Consider the COVID-19 pandemic. Since early this year people have entered in a “collective grieving” of sorts, due to the extreme changes in our daily routines. Many of us have lost even more than one thing during this time, such as:

• loss of a job
• loss of normalcy and routine
• loss of a sense of stability or safety
• loss of a graduation or celebration
• loss of a loved one

Grieving over any of these situations is real and completely valid, and yet the journey through grief is often messy with many twists and turns.

The Grieving Process

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross first articulated in her book “On Death and Dying” published in 1969, that there are five stages of grief, though other studies and researchers have added to the stages in the decades since her book was first published. Those original five stages are:

1. anger
2. denial
3. depression
4. bargaining
5. acceptance

It would be reassuring, in a strange way, if we could depend on our grief journey to take us through these stages in order, maybe only spending a day or week in each stage. But the thing about grief is that it is not linear and there is no set timetable. And grieving during a pandemic is no different.

In Dr. David Feldman’s article from Psychology Today, he shares this sentiment:

The unfortunate side effect of our society’s erroneous but firm belief in the five stages is that many people wind up criticizing themselves for “not doing grief right.” When people buy into the idea that there’s only one healthy way to grieve, then it’s easy for them to attack themselves when they naturally find that they're doing it differently. This kind of self-criticism never helps anyone.

I often have to remind clients of this truth. One might revisit certain stages more than once or skip some altogether. The important thing is to be patient with yourself, give yourself some grace, a truth even more important if you have had to endure grief and loss during a pandemic like COVID-19.

When it comes to the loss of a loved one this has also been a major change during this pandemic. Under normal circumstances, family and friends might have had an opportunity to say goodbye and support their loved one in their final days, sharing memories, hugs, and the simple ministry of presence. Not so with COVID-19. Only one or two family members may have been allowed to sit with their dying loved one and extreme cases, maybe no one was allowed in (I have heard of families sitting in their cars in hospital parking lots because it’s how they have felt closest to their loved one in the hospital). The usual support network to help with funeral decisions and tending to paperwork and belongings has shrunk as friends and family members may have restrictions on travel or their own health.

Countless families across the globe have come to realize that this difficult process has been made all the more difficult with the pandemic.

Ways to Remember a Loved One

If you have lost a loved one during this time, first let me say I am so sorry for your loss. I know it has not been easy. But even in the midst of quarantine, it is still important to set aside a time or way to remember them, even if you have to embrace non-traditional ways.

Gather some friends or family members and talk through how you can still remember and honor your loved one. The ideas below can be a starting point for you.

1. Set aside a specific time to remember them, even if it’s not a traditional funeral or graveside service.
2. Include others in the remembering. Even if in-person gatherings have to wait, it will be meaningful to include other family members or friends. Perhaps you can record or write down the funny stories or quotes that loved ones shared.
3. Allow yourself to enjoy the things they once did. Can you cook a favorite meal, read a treasured book or poem they loved, or set out quilts they made?
4. Use your creativity to fuel your remembering. Could you incorporate some pictures, a favorite quote, or some small keepsake into a collage or shadow box? Perhaps you could make a pillow out of an old shirt or quilt from their clothing or other linens.

Whatever you choose, these touchstones are helpful in expressing your loss, but also honoring the memory of your loved one, even during a pandemic.

I specialize in Grief Recovery, so if you are struggling to process a loss, please call me and let me walk this journey with you.
Written by Treneé Tunick, LCSW

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Mind, Medications & Mental Disorders: A Spiritual Approach

Wednesday, June 24, 2020 @ 1:51 PM

MedCentre PLLC

Mind, Medications & Mental Disorders: A Spiritual Approach

March 2010 Journal of Christian Nursing: A quarterly publication of Nurses Christian Fellowship 27(2):76-83; quiz 84-5

In mental illness, individuals may choose faith-based counseling as primary treatment, with medical care as a supportive adjunct. Biblical Framework Counseling (BFC) is based on belief of the Bible's sufficiency to address the root causes of mental disorders that are not otherwise physiologically caused. Clients address underlying spiritual issues while medical care and pharmacotherapy (ie. medications) adherence are encouraged to support symptom relief. Consultation between patient, BFC counselor and healthcare clinician is emphasized to optimize outcomes.

Retrieve from:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/43019584_Mind_medications_mental_disorders_a_spiritual_approach

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Adversity Is

Thursday, June 18, 2020 @ 7:30 PM

“Adversity is never pleasant, but sometimes it’s possible to learn from it that can be learned in no other way. In adversity, a man can become very well acquainted with himself because he is free from admirers.”
E. C. McKenzie


In 2 Corinthians 12:7, the Apostle Paul writes, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” Paul understood the reason for the thorn in his flesh; in contrast, we often find ourselves going to extremes to understand our dilemmas, and not only to understand but to control. Let us be encouraged as we journey through unknown territory that this, too shall pass. From this day forward, we will experience a new life, a new normal, a new hope, and a new humanity.

Rev. Lewis Temple, III, M.Div,

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Why a ministry? There is no money in it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 @ 8:31 AM

Why a ministry? There is no money in that.
A chord was struck in me when a person asked my wife and I why we chose to start a ministry because of there being no money in it. Normally, I would not entertain a reaction to comments like these and move to discard them as ignorance. However, for some reason, this has been eating at me for a few days compelling a response. At first, I wanted to discard this comment as being a meaningless thought from the same minds as those who tend to apply the word “hero” to a skilled athlete as well as calibrate their scales of value and worth by using personal pleasure and selfish gain. Fortunately, I decided not to stay silent.
Let me start by defining what I deem to be a hero. A hero is someone who pushes past every human impulse of danger knowing that there is a greater purpose than their own, someone who is gifted with calmness and precision to remove evil from a distance and who also carries the courage to do the same at arm’s reach, and also someone who sacrifices their own physical and/or personal-self for a purpose which they cannot fully understand.
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13, NLT)
Now let’s look at value. The money that may lack in ministry is replaced by joy and abundance graced by the hands of God. This being the result of rightness, sacrifice, love, and humility. Are the services we provide less valuable or credible because we do not accept blue cross/blue shield, or that we chose not to be state licensed which would place us under the thumb of secular materialism and evolutionary deception? Maybe it is due to the fact that we bridge the Word of God with modern behavioral science, rather than accepting the mainstream theories of who we are, how we are, and what we do to be determined by neuro synaptic activity and whatever gene decides to be transcribed at that moment. Or, maybe it is because we consciously chose not to confuse the order of cause and effect when learning about epigenetics, neuroplasticity, circadian rhythms, CLOCK genes, and levels of glucocorticoids and melatonin and knowing how these can influence our behaviors. In other words, what comes first, belief, then thought, followed by action? Or, is it action first, then thought, followed by belief? If you are told you have PTSD, did it develop before the traumatic experience, or after?
Just because someone maintains a level of cost for their services so that all people can receive it, which likely lessens the probability for providers to afford an oversized home overlooking the ocean, is their purpose and what they can offer less valuable? Are the people who spend their entire adult lives overseas helping underprivileged cultures less valuable because there is no money in that? Is it right that cancer treatments financially destroy those in need of it, and that the cost of private insurance can be equal to that of most mortgages? If monetary reward is the measurement by which we all should use to weigh value, then maybe we should advise against anyone joining the armed forces as there is no money in that either. Let this pandemic open everyone’s eye’s to how off course our society is in regards to what is considered valuable and important. Think about what surfaced as being truly essential. Although all jobs can be viewed essential as they provide a way of living for all families, however, did any of these have to do with the NBA, NFL, filming industry, music industry, etc.? No. It was the farmers, military, first responders, Pastors, ministries, healthcare workers, utility workers, and the shipping industries.
My wife also being a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor with a BA, and I having over 32-years in the fire service along with 9-years of college awarding me a PhD and, because we are not interested in overinflating the cost of our services so that we can drive a fancy car, live in a mansion, and have other worldly materials, which are meaningless apart from God, does this render our services worthless and ineffective? If so, then continue on your way and we will do the same.
“If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave.” (Matthew 10:14, NLT).

Thank you to all the workers of this nation and all nations under God.

May The Lord continue to be your refuge.
Dr. Brett Snow, Licensed Clinical Pastoral counselor.
Surviving Life Ministries.
survivinglifem@gmail.com
sl-ministries.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Truth about Cannabis Products by Dr. Jodi Cabrera

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 @ 7:12 PM

FACT OR FICTION; GET THE FACTS

May 17, 2020
I have noticed a troubling trend in my caseload and in the referrals, I have been receiving for the last 4 years. The call usually begins with a distraught mother, father, or other relative calling me because their loved one is in crisis. Their loved one is irrational, argumentative, agitated, threatening violence, irritable, and, embarrassingly, delusional or hallucinating. When in my questioning to assess the situation, I ask if the individual has stopped using cannabis yet, the concerned family member seems surprised, sometimes mystified, and befuddled. How did I know? How could I have known?
The answer may not be popular in our society that has long encouraged and supported cannabis and cannabis-related products as a wonder drug, as natural, and as created by God. I am not disputing the medicinal effectiveness of cannabis, either inhaled or edible, buds or extract, or even CBD. Though to be honest, the problems noted in the news with vaped cannabis and the complications for the lungs (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI)) do concern me. I am writing this short article to share a concern I have noticed as a trend when, usually young, people seem to suddenly develop severe behavioral symptoms and psychosis after they have been using, usually large, amounts of cannabis for a long period of time.
Several risk factors seem to make this tendency particularly strong. I have done research and found several scholarly articles that support what had, up to recently, been based only on my clinical observations. In one article, Drs. Semple, McIntosh, and Lawrie found 11 previously published studies, and in another article. Drs. Fergusson, Poulton, Smith, and Boden, looked at 6 previously published studies. In all this research, these esteemed doctors confirmed what I had already noticed. Individuals who began using pot at a young age, those who used pot for a long time, those who used large amounts, those who had symptoms of psychosis before using pot, and those who had mental illness running in their families, had up to a 3 times greater risk for developing symptoms of psychosis.
Now, they were all careful to note that cannabis use did not CAUSE psychosis, but they were clear that there is a strong relationship. Dr. Fergusson and his colleagues point out that those who develop symptoms of psychosis are a minority of those that use cannabis. However, they also point out that those who do may deserve some consideration by public health officials.
If you, or someone you love, has been using cannabis and developed symptoms of psychosis, please consider taking these steps:
1. Please stop using cannabis.
2. Seek treatment by a qualified psychiatrist to be stabilized on antipsychotic medications.
3. Consider seeking individual treatment with someone who understand stabilizing psychosis and supporting someone who is in early recovery from drug use.
The good news is that if you stop using cannabis and seek help, you can stabilize. If you stay sober and get properly medicated soon enough, there is a chance that you might not need to be maintained on antipsychotics for a lifetime, which can happen if the drug use triggers full-blown Schizophrenia. Please seek help, and please let me know if I can be of any assistance in your recovery. Dr. Jodi – Stay Safe. Stay Strong, Be Healthy.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

SURVIVOR'S GUILT

Saturday, May 2, 2020 @ 8:07 PM

SURVIVOR’S GUILT
“WHY THEM AND NOT ME?”
“You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:16, NLT)

“You have decided the length of our lives.
You know how many months we will live,
and we are not given a minute longer.” (Job 14:5, NLT)

We are not privileged to know God’s plans and why He does things, or allows things to happen. When someone is consumed by the question of why their life was spared, they will become entrapped by a nearly paralyzing sense of self-value and guilt. I was constantly asking why did God take my friend and not me. What about me is so special, or more important? Am I now living a life worthy of being spared? What are God’s plans for me, and am I serving His purpose He had planned? You may be bearing these same questions. The truth is, we really don’t know the answers to these questions. The feelings that you have or may have felt, is most likely to be what is known as false guilt, which stems from a belief that we had some sort of control, or power to have prevented the outcome. If you feel that it was an action, or inaction of yours to be the cause, then accept God’s forgiveness and comfort. Lay your burdens at God’s feet, as He instructs us to do, and know that He is the final decision maker. Additionally, we need to trust that God knows what He is doing and live a life of gratitude.
Take time to step out of yourself and give your life (relationship with God and family) an honest evaluation.
SIZE IT UP:
• How did your life look yesterday?
• How does it look today?
• How do you want it to look tomorrow?
Brett Snow, PhD.
Surviving Life Ministries
surviviglifem@gmail.com

Friday, May 1, 2020

A Message of Awareness and Insight

Friday, May 1, 2020 @ 3:41 PM

Sharing a message for today that life is surely not an easy journey. Take the time to love and appreciate your family and friends. Reach out to others and show that you care but also don't force yourself on anyone that can't value your genuine worth. Avoid taking people for granted because tomorrow is not promise.

Pray about things and make decisions that are healthy for changes because again tomorrow is not promise. Ask for forgiveness when needed from the people you hurt and God; but take accountability and responsibility for the damages done. Then, take acceptance for the learning and experiences gain. Repent and start a new path remembering that forgetting is not instantaneously when the process of forgiveness begins because time will surely heal.

Remember to breath and live and be okay at times if you make mistakes once you recognize the errors and learn from them. Most importantly love yourself and be the best version of yourself for your own personal growth and development and not anyone else's version of you. Live by ethical and moral codes and conduct. Don't lie, steal and cheat from others for your success. Build on truth, honesty, compassion and good character. Gain insight and awareness in this wonderful journey. Take leaps of faith along the way. Follow through with your ideas, dreams and goals. Believe in yourself and not what others think of you. Ask God for guidance because you can't and will not be successful if he's not by your side. Find less time saying never or I can't do it instead I will try. Take the time to cry, be angry and grieve because these are healthy emotions but remember to keep moving through it all. Remember that you can respectfully agree to disagree because this is part of growth and development. Everyday may present a new challenge or situation but keep trying still. Remain flexible and adaptable because plans and things are subject to change at times. You will fall but please do get up.

Life is a test and you will get through this journey with God being by your side so please don't give up. Remember that you have to exist and coexist with life's decisions whether good or bad. Life is a revolving door so continue to make changes again along the way to better the quality of your life. There is sunrise and sunset in life but what never fails is God's love for us all. Keep trying, stay hopeful and faithful in this journey called life. I am a work in progress and I pray you are as well.

I love you and God loves you even more.

Dr. Judy E. Vansiea
https://www.copingnpservices.com/

Saturday, April 25, 2020

WHAT COULD WE HAVE DONE DIFFERENT...WHAT DID WE DO WRONG?

Saturday, April 25, 2020 @ 12:44 PM

WHAT COULD WE HAVE DONE DIFFERENT...WHAT DID WE DO WRONG?
We tend to ask ourselves these and similar questions when things don’t go well, or the outcomes are considered unacceptable.
It is not the time during the actual event that presses upon me, it is my interpretation of it afterwards that strengthens vulnerability. In order to function, God empowers us with the ability to separate our emotions from the moment at hand. While en route to a confirmed fire, we heard over the radio that there were three people confirmed to be trapped in the building. This infallibly triggers a conditioned mindset response that there is no room for mistakes and that risks will be maximized. No longer are we more worried about the dangers of the fire or the integrity of the structure, we now shift into managed fear. This is what we signed up for.
This was a three-story brick apartment building with fire fully involving the front enclosed stairwell and starting to push into the cockloft. Efforts were being made to knockdown the fire from the outside. My partner and I were assigned to go to the rear and as we approached the backyard, I noticed a group of firefighters waiting for a charged-line before entering the back porches. Heavy smoke filled the enclosed back porches presenting a situation requiring a risk/benefit analysis. Having the confirmation of civilians being trapped inside, raised the benefits well above the risks and too much time had gone by already leaving no time for a charged-line. My partner and I quickly entered the back door to the first-floor apartment while four other members split-off to search the upper two units. Visibility was zero and the heat was rising as we made our way closer to the front of the apartment. In order to get to the bedrooms, making it challenging to complete a search, we had to first reach the entrance to the bedroom located near the front of the apartment and then work our way back through to the other bedrooms which were all joined together. As we made our way to the front, fire began breaking through the front door climbing across the ceiling. Knowing our time was limited, we split up while staying in voice distance. Governed by the growth of the fire and increasing heat, we searched as much of the bedrooms as we could before having to retreat. It was at that moment when we heard over the radio that the three victims were found on the upper units. We then quickly made our way to the back door to help with removing the victims. Unfortunately, all three victims perished two of them being a pregnant woman along with her young daughter found lying next to her. One the members, during his remarkable effort of removing the pregnant mother, suffered burns and later received a high honors award.
My intent for sharing this, one of many stories, is definitely not to encourage rescue efforts without a charged-line, which is quite circumstantial and difficult to delineate between when and when not to, but rather to bring to the surface incidences where we tend to blame ourselves. Self-blame can lead to unnecessary guilt and reoccurring negative thoughts. Remember, we are not mindless machines, we are not designed to carry our yesterdays, and nor do we have full control over the outcomes of our efforts.

“We may throw the dice, but The Lord determines how they fall.” (Proverbs 16:33, NLT)

If you can relate to this story and want to talk about it, feel free to email me.

Brett Snow, PhD.
survivinglifem@gmail.com

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Finding What's Truly Important In Life And Leadership

Thursday, April 23, 2020 @ 12:02 AM

It was a dark and stormy night...really! Off Cape Horn winter waves had reached 50 feet. Sir Francis Chichester was there sailing the 53 ft yacht Gypsy Moth solo attempting to circumnavigate the world in record time when he was caught in a nightmare of gigantic waves and howling wind.

Reefing back his sails and trying to use only a storm jib, he crawled up to the bow and attempted to attach and raise this small jib. Unfortunately, even though it was attached to the bow, he found it was dragged overboard by the huge waves breaking over him and his seemingly tiny boat in the middle of this monster storm. (I know from personal experience how small a giant 10 foot surfboard can feel in large waves.)

Strapped to the boat for safety, he tried again, in vain, crawling to the bow of the boat to get the jib up from under the keel and attach the line to where it belonged. Another monster wave washed over him, washed the jib overboard and pushed him back frustrating his attempt to attach this storm jib.

Then a thought struck him. What was he doing? He was already two weeks ahead of the world record, the boat would be fine in it`s current configuration plus he was wet and tired. What was truly important? He broadened his perspective. The vision for this voyage was to successfully circumnavigate the world in record time: that's what mattered most. Suddenly he thought, "Why worry about a silly storm jib?"

Soon he retired back in his cabin after setting his self steering gear. Getting out of his storm gear, he poured himself a beer and went back to studying one of his favorite books about the Cutty Sark. The next morning, he woke up in calmer seas with the sun shining and a new perspective.

What matters most in your life or in your organization? Are you "majoring in the minors" or are you "majoring in the majors" as a leader? What is distracting you from what is really most important? Is your strategic vision stuck in the weeds?

The Gospel of Luke tells about Mary and Martha and how Jesus responds to Martha's anxiety (Luke 10:38–42). Even though it seems like serving and making sure that everybody has food is the most important thing Jesus speaks to her feelings and then corrects her to help her to realize that listening to him is truly the most important thing.

Defining the most important thing can be found by writing down what comes to mind and heart as well as talking to a mentor, peer, coach or counselor. Our coaching and John Maxwell MasterMind Groups on leadership can do so much to help you find that most important thing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Counseling (The Ugly Word)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 @ 6:12 PM

None of us like to believe we need counseling, as the term is normally identified with weakness, or wrongness. However, the truth is, we all need guidance in our lives. There is an ongoing battle within us between our selfish human nature and our Spiritual nature. When we choose to indulge ourselves in worldly pleasures, such as drunkenness, pornography, gambling, or let greed determine the order of our priorities, destruction is inevitable. If you are finding yourself struggling to walk in through the front door of your home because you cant make sense of what is happening on the other side, or you are experiencing debilitating anxiety, don't be afraid to send me an email, because I have been there too. There is no shame in it.

"First responders (policemen and firefighters) are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty."
(Ruderman White Paper on Mental Health and Suicide of First Responders, 2018)


"Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety."

(Proverbs 11:14, NKJV)


“Man is most free when he is most guided.” 

(Abraham Lincoln)

Brett Snow, PhD.
Surviving Life Ministries.
survivinglifem@gmail.com

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a Very Effective Treatment

Saturday, April 18, 2020 @ 8:34 PM

Check out the following video about EMDR and how effective it has been proven to be for negative experiences and trauma: https://youtu.be/Pkfln-ZtWeY

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Schema Therapy with Couples, A Practitioner's Guide to Healing Relationships

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 @ 1:08 PM

Dr. Chiara Simeone-DiFrancesco is an expert in training other professionals in Schema Therapy. She is the first author of this book published internationally by Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.

If you are a Christian seeking therapy, you will find that Dr. Chiara can offer you Jesus-Centered Schema Therapy. This is not a "new therapy", but a grounding of the evidenced based Schema Therapy on a Christian understanding of how God made us, and what He offers us. It utilizes the love and fruits of the Holy Spirit in the healing process as we are reborn more and more into Jesus' Model for each of us and for marriage.

Schema Therapy integrates tools from cognitive, experiential (gestalt), psychoanalytic, and behavioral therapies under a comprehensive conceptualization. This allows the Dr. Chiara to use her tools of EMDR, Gottman Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy, Medical Analytical hypnotherapy, as appropriate, and geared to the needs of the client and/or couple. It is a depth therapy that resolves and heals with God's grace the underlying roots to chronic disconnection from spouse, others, low-self-esteem, self-criticism, anxiety, depressive symptoms and the like. It also helps through an experiential encounter with Jesus in guided imagery, in His Biblical Word, and through the therapist, to "re-parent" and heal childhood wounds.

In couples' therapy, and even in online therapy, Dr. Chiara can take a more guiding stance to steer a couple into experiencing some positive interactions even in situations that are deeply troubling or involve a history of bad behaviors. We can push judgmental attitudes out of the therapy room, and work to align the partners on one side together, actually working with Dr. Chiara in the healing process for each other.

During this time of COVID-19, we often can still be quite effective together. I am able to securely email you handouts and worksheets that give you assignments to reflect on and a roadmap in between sessions.

I have been trained in online psychotherapy, and have been part of an international group on online schema therapy for a number of years. I encourage you to try it out and see if it can be a fit for you and your spouse!

Besides the website below, you can also find more information at:
https://www.jesus-centeredschematherapy.com

Please note:
While Dr. Simeone-DiFrancesco has taken training in the Gottman Method of couples therapy, I want you to know that I am completely independent in providing you with clinical services and I alone am fully responsible for those services. The Gottman Institute or its agents have no responsibility for the services you receive.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

C. S. Lewis (Written in 1942)

Saturday, April 11, 2020 @ 7:29 PM

Satan "I will cause anxiety, fear and panic. I will shut down business, schools, places of worship, and sports events. I will cause economic turmoil."

Jesus "I will bring together neighbors, restore the family unit, I will bring dinner back to the kitchen table. I will help people slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters. I will teach my children to rely on me and not the world. I will teach my children to trust me and not their money and material resources."



If you are home and struggling with finding joy and can't shake it. First, look up and surrender your life to God. Second, if you would still like to talk about it, email us at survivinglifem@gmail.com, or call me at 866-756-0413 (We have most likely been where you are)



Brett Snow, PhD, Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor
Julie Snow, BA-student, Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Developing Your Own Safe Space

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 @ 5:55 PM

by Sarah Ramsay, MA, LMFT, BC-TMH

With all the changes to our schedules the past several days, we may be returning to our house exhausted or we've been working from home all day, helping the kids with their schoolwork, and finally at the end of the day, we are able to sink into the couch and breathe a sigh of relief. Sometimes we run all day, flooded with emotions whether we are conscious of them or just pushing through them. Once we are able to physically step away from the stressors and are in a space of our own, we can relax and decompress from the pressures of the world.

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to wait until the end of the day to feel this way? Being able to have a place to release this stress is necessary for our health and can increase resilience. Having this space more often can increase tolerance and therefore increase positivity individually and relationally.

What if we could learn to create a space in our mind where we could transport to at any moment? This may sound a little fictitious. In reality, it is not imaginary, but rather imagery. If you have a moment right now, think about the last place you were that felt calm, safe or both. Maybe this is with someone you love or perhaps a vacation in the mountains. If you can’t think of one, imagine a setting that would allow you to feel calm and or safe.

I’d like for you to take a break from this article for just a moment and bring up that image in your mind. While you do this, take a 360-degree view and notice what you see. Notice what you hear, smell, sound and feel. Live in this space for a few minutes and really take it in…

How do you feel? If you feel the same, maybe try it longer and think about it in more detail. This is just one tool that can be used for an escape and the more you use it, the easier it is. Whether you have 30 seconds or 5 minutes in your day, try this mini retreat away from life and see if it helps restore your mood and your thoughts. Everyone needs a vacation every now and then, takes yours today.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Coping with Fear and Anxiety

Friday, April 3, 2020 @ 3:32 PM

How do we find peace in the middle of chaos?

How do we keep hope alive when all around us is full of chaos? Well, this brings me to this blog as I try my best to write under so much stress as the world, the United States, and my home state of New York are battling the Coronavirus. I am living day to day in a state that is experiencing a high rise of COVID-19 cases daily and so many deaths a day. I hurt and cry when New York hurts and mourns the loss of others. Currently, I live in Nassau County, NY and I am an immigrant born of Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa. I graduated from High School in Brooklyn, NY. I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Nursing in 1997 and Master’s in Mental Health Psychiatric Nursing from State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2009, so New York has been good to me. I had my first child at New York University Hospital in 2002. I am a Registered Nurse and a Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry and I have been in the field of nursing for 23 years.

I am also a proud former Army First Lieutenant who was stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and was on active duty during 9/11. I know the chaos New York again experienced during 9/11. That same tension was high as well being in an army hospital in Washington, DC when the Pentagon was struck as well. I have never been to combat, but I have taken care of the most complex medical and surgical cases as a result of combat. I left my civilian job as a Registered Nurse in Manhattan at Beth Israel Hospital to serve my country. I have never seen so much chaos and uncertainty in the medical field as I see in today’s new normal with the war on COVID-19. As I listen to the news and other health professionals, I’m reminded of this new reality. I have aided NY once in the Blizzard of 1996. I am always here to assist again with providing telehealth services since I have recently volunteered to help. My expertise is now as a Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry. I founded my practice as a testament in dealing with my own adversities of challenging health issues.

It is times like this when our faith is tested, and we have no one and nowhere else to lean on or turn to but God. As a woman of faith, I am here to help with a new faith-based mental health practice in Nassau County, NY. (https://www.copingnpservices.com/)

The Bible says in Hebrew 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Basically, the Bible is saying that we should not lose hope during uncertain times like this with the Coronavirus pandemic. I know it’s hard to feel hopeful about the uncertainties of life when you hear of so many morbidities and mortalities. We must not allow fear to win and drive the most valuable ingredient needed to survive such as keeping HOPE alive. God is the great physician. He created the wonderful medical and technological resources to use alongside our faith, which can be used together to improve this situation. We must adhere to the medical recommendations of staying home and social distancing. In addition, we should practice proper hygiene that some of us have been taught from our childhood. We must remember to wash our hands and keep them off of our faces due to increased risk of spreading germs/virus. We must use hand sanitizer as needed. We must self-quarantine if we begin to have symptoms or are exposed to anyone with Covid-19 to prevent the further spreading of the virus.

We must not allow fear, anxiety, depression and despair to overtake our minds. We are no good to anyone including ourselves if we allow fear and despair to incapacitate us. We must tap into our strength to combat the war of COVID-19 versus our weaknesses. Who told you that I am not afraid too? I sure am due to these uncertain times, but I have chosen to hold on to hope. This keeps me of sound mind to prevent me from distorted thoughts of impending dome as many are experiencing. I have learned as a Christian through trials and tribulations that some things, we simply don’t have control over. So the sooner we all learn this, the better off we can refocus our minds to reframing positive thoughts of hope and support for one another despite despair and doom. The Serenity Prayer states God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. This is the reality of accepting things as they are and learning to exist and coexist with them by using our strength as a coping mechanism.

We are more resilient than we give ourselves credit as human beings. Many of us have been ill with other diseases that we have fought. So let’s do the same with COVID-19. We must recognize the signs and symptoms and consult with your practitioners or follow-up with emergency care when needed. Yes, it is a contagious disease but again we must keep the hope alive and fighting spirit to battle the disease. We must not allow fear to tell our minds that this is a death sentence if we contract the illness or have the illness because this will lead to being hopeless and loss of will to live. We must stay hopeful and positive to live another day to tell the story about being a survivor of COVID-19. Fear can lead to poor decisions so don’t live by fear instead keep the faith. Many of us have gone through challenging times in our lives, so we must be our brothers and sisters’ keeper and remain hopeful for the best. As the experts have been saying on television, quarantine does NOT mean isolation. Yes, we can have social distancing but we are blessed with the technology of today with virtual churches, virtual social groups, skyping and zooming or just picking up the phone to say hello. Our society don’t realize how blessed we are with these resources that others may not have, so make good on them. Let someone know how valuable they are to you in your life.

I know some people may have underlying challenging mental illness or substance use disorders that may be worsening; but it is times like this that you may need to utilize the non-traditional route with Telemental Health or interchangeably called Telemedicine. This option will allow you to speak to someone like myself who is a Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry to provide you psychotherapy, which is also known as “talk therapy.” In addition, integrated services of therapy and medication could be offered as well to help stabilize your mood or anxiety levels. You are not alone, so please reach out to someone if you need help. There is also the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which can be reached at 800-273-TALK (8255), to speak with someone too.

Some other positive coping skills that we can utilize as well are journaling our emotions. Journaling is a way of writing an experience to give you a sense of peace once releasing it from the mind. We can also engage in virtual physical exercises or mental health walks or running while keeping in mind social distancing. Exercise helps us release neurotransmitters, such as endorphins which naturally control pain in our body and other neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Increased serotonin during exercise improves our mood, decreases stress levels, and improves sleep too. Exercise will eventually decrease stress and anxiety levels and begin to give you a spirit of calm. Meditation, prayer, listening to music, and deep breathing exercises are good as well. Remember: healing is a holistic approach with mind, body and spirit. We also are what we eat, so we need a balanced healthy diet during this time to improve our immunity to fight off infections, so please do eat your fruits and vegetables along with proteins and carbohydrates. Also, it’s important to stay hydrated so make sure that you are drinking enough water and fluids enriched in vitamin C too. In addition, consult with your primary care physicians in taking vitamins, minerals and other supplements that will aid in boosting your immunity.

So remember a healthy mind, body and spirit is what we need to declare war on the Coronavirus. We must not be so scare or ashamed of the stigma or the thought of having Coronavirus that lead to anyone not seeking out medical and mental health intervention either. Throughout this blog, I have mentioned and shared some coping skills to begin to use as an armor for war against COVID-19. So let’s stay connected, hopeful and positive to overcome this crisis. I pray for healing over our mind, body and spirit and may God grant us protection and restoration. Lastly, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Napoleon Hill that states, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Sunday, March 29, 2020

We Are Available When You Are Ready

Sunday, March 29, 2020 @ 11:53 AM

Many people may be more focused on their own physical health, or that of a loved one's, and less on the devastating emotional and psychological impact this pandemic can carry with it . I just wanted to turn on our "available light" for when you are ready. Give all your worries to God and trust in his Ways.

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.[a]

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:4-8)

He is The Way,

Brett Snow, PhD.
Surviving Life Ministries.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

First Responders and Their Families

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 @ 12:22 PM

Surviving Life Ministries is a fully online Pastoral Counseling ministry allowing us to serve people worldwide. If you, or anyone you know are experiencing the negative side effects of being a first responder, please contact us. After spending 32-years in the fire service, chances are, I have been where you are and/or heading towards. It is not weak to have a weakness, so don't wait.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NLT)

He is The Way,

Brett Snow, PhD, Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor.
Surviving Life Ministries
sl-ministries.com
survivinglifem@gmail.com

Friday, February 7, 2020

Do You Have Them? Using BHAG's and SAG's to Make Your Vision an Everyday Reality

Friday, February 7, 2020 @ 6:55 PM

Kit Hill, Ed.D., Director, The New Life Group, Pleasant Hill Founding Partner & Exec. Coach - John C. Maxwell Team

Caroline M. L. McMillan, Editor & Consultant

What if you told people walking down the street that you had a BHAG? "A what?!" they say. "You know, big hairy-" and before you can finish the sentence you get smacked. So you try a different tactic. "Say, ma'am, did you know I've got SAG's?" This time, you don't just get smacked, the little old lady pulls out a couple of karate moves and leaves you panting on the sidewalk as she totters away.

No, a BHAG is not a new medical abbreviation for something nobody wants to know about. Nor is a SAG, despite its possible implications.

BHAG's and SAG's have a lot to do with your future, both the near future and the rest of your life. A BHAG is a "big hairy audacious goal" and a SAG is a "small attainable goal." BHAG's are more long term, visionary goals. They're wild and crazy!

For example: "I want to stop particulate pollution world wide!" "I want to become the best salesperson in the company!" A father says, "I want to see all of my children reach graduate school if they want to! Or perhaps your church decides, "We want to see a large sub-Saharan African village clothed and fed!

SAG's on the other hand, are the small steps that we can see easily to get to the medium and long-range goals. Using the above examples, maybe you work with the American Lung Association to make people aware of soot and pollutants that they breathe every day to start you towards your BHAG of eliminating particulates in the air.

Or, to become the best salesperson, you take an intensive course in sales and marketing. The father with the BHAG of seeing all of his children through graduate school might take his kids to meet various professionals. And the church with the vision for feeding a whole village might need to start with just gathering information.

”SAG's should be very practical and short term. You can put time limits or event limits on SAG's to make sure things don't become ambiguous or overwhelming. You might narrow your information gathering about poor African villages down to five sources or budget the money or time you spend on a basic sales course.

“Looking up to check your direction and progress is very important and often people get lost when they forget to check.” All goals are attainable, at least in theory, but "attainable" in the SAG sense means a goal that you can see or touch. Stopping air pollution or feeding a whole village does not feel very attainable right now from where I stand but the SAG's under these goals are. BHAG's give direction to SAG's and give them purpose: SAG's under-gird BHAG's and give them structure.

Proverbs 13:4 says that "The soul of the lazy man desires and has nothing but the soul of the diligent will be made rich." Desire is important but it cannot get you to your goals alone. Diligence is one of the main cogs in the big wheel of reaching desire.

Looking up to check your direction and progress is very important and often people get lost when they forget to check. Perhaps you've heard of the airline pilot who says to his passengers after several hours of flight: "I have good news and bad news: We're making good time, but we don't know where we're going."

If you are being unaware, if you are enjoying the getting there too much or if you are going too fast you may end up in the wrong place.

So, if you know your BHAG's, see what your SAG's are, and be diligent there, making sure you look up frequently to check your direction and progress. You should be seeing results in all of your goals whether they are BHAGs or SAGs. Hint: Get a Change Champion to share you BHAG's and SAG's with.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TIRED & Frustrated At Work?
Ever had these thoughts on the job:

Staff or employees seem unmotivated and lazy?
Managers and team leads have created fiefdoms?
You or your work team seems to lack creativity?
Initiative and courage seem to have drained out of the work place or work team?
An employee or manager has good work skills, but has questionable people skills?
WHAT WE CAN HELP WITH
· Listen and help you evaluate what is happening at a deeper level rather than just looking at the symptoms in the work place.

· Apply field-tested science to help you come up with a plan to address the things that are really going on

· Help you put the plan in motion, monitor feedback, make corrections and help you and your team follow through on the plan.

· Help team members and leaders stay on task in the long run with diligent and consistent follow up.



































140 Gregory Ln, Suite 250 Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 (925) 798 4551 www.newlife.com




How to make goals really happen. These ideas and a change champion are great combination

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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Grand Opening

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 @ 4:42 PM

GRAND OPENING: Celebrate A New Life at TruVida, a Christian Residential Addiction Treatment Center, launches Program For Drug Rehab in a Safe and Nurturing Community
Celebrate A New Life, a California faith based Christian Drug Rehab Program at TruVida, provides healing and recovery services for clients.

This new estate will allow Celebrate A New Life to treat 32 adults at any given time...for drug and alcohol rehab.




LAKE FOREST, Calif., January 01, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- This month, Celebrate A New Life announced the opening of TruVida's residential drug treatment retreat. Celebrate A New Life's Director of Admissions, Robert (Bobby) Nicholl reports that TruVida is preparing additional homes to welcome additional clients looking for a serene setting to start their journey to recovery. Mr. Nicholl adds: "There are many clients who seek treatment at a Christian drug rehab, but they look for a certain type of environment for drug rehab.

Compassion, care, and genuine concern means the world to our clients.
Compassion, care, and genuine concern means the world to our clients.
The new residential properties are located in the Laguna Hills of Orange County, California. The estate is gated and features a tranquil backyard with lush gardens and built in barbeques, pool and spa. "When we previewed homes we looked for those that offer wonderful living space and a peaceful setting that can dovetail with our course of faith based treatment," reports Mr. Nicholl, "These properties meet all of our standards and we are looking forward to welcoming our first clients to our new homes."

Celebrate A New Life gladly invites inquiries from family members and future clients. We are happy to explain our services and our faith based treatment approach, incorporating 12 step programs, therapeutic workshops, individual psychotherapy, group therapy, family therapy, spiritual counseling, physical fitness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and more. "Our Christian treatment center professionals creates each client's therapeutic plan according to their addiction history, physical health, mental health and spiritual needs," says Bobby Nicholl.

About Celebrate A New Life: Celebrate A New Life is a Christian Residential Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Program, located in the coastal communities of Orange County Southern California. As an integrated component of one of the very best treatment facilities and drug rehab programs in the United States, Celebrate A New Life culminates a Biblical Christ centered approach to healing, restoration, and reconciliation to God, family, and to one's own dignity and self-worth. Celebrate a New Life offers 30-60-90 day programs in a comfortable safe ocean environment. If you or a family member is in need of help call toll-free (800) 631-7753
24 hours a day seven days per week.

SOURCE TruVida

Saturday, December 21, 2019

New Book

Saturday, December 21, 2019 @ 10:19 AM

“What is it that can never be taken from us yet is priceless and most desirable? What can be given and received unconditionally anytime? What is God’s glue for creation? Love! “A Very Very Very Special Thing” explains love simply for anyone. God connects us to each other, to creation and to Himself through love. This is how we experience peace, joy and harmony. Love is the most Special Thing, especially for children.”

Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Applebooks

Monday, November 4, 2019

Grand Opening-Celebrate A New Life

Monday, November 4, 2019 @ 6:44 PM

GRAND OPENING: Celebrate A New Life at TruVida, a Christian Residential Addiction Treatment Center, launches Program For Drug Rehab in a Safe and Nurturing Community
Celebrate A New Life, a California faith based Christian Drug Rehab Program at TruVida, provides healing and recovery services for clients.
Celebrate A New Life gladly invites inquiries from family members and future clients. We are happy to explain our services and our faith based treatment approach, incorporating 12 step programs, therapeutic workshops, individual psychotherapy, group therapy, family therapy, spiritual counseling, physical fitness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and more. "Our Christian treatment center professionals creates each client's therapeutic plan according to their addiction history, physical health, mental health and spiritual needs," says Bobby Nicholl.

About Celebrate A New Life: Celebrate A New Life is a Christian Residential Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Program, located in the coastal communities of Orange County Southern California. As an integrated component of one of the very best treatment facilities and drug rehab programs in the United States, Celebrate A New Life culminates a Biblical Christ centered approach to healing, restoration, and reconciliation to God, family, and to one's own dignity and self-worth. Celebrate a New Life offers 30-60-90 day programs in a comfortable safe ocean environment. If you or a family member is in need of help call toll-free (800) 631-7753

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Depression, Suicide and Medicine by Rev. Daniel Gowan

Thursday, October 24, 2019 @ 10:18 AM

D2 Counseling

My heart is hurting.

Last summer a good friend of mine died from his depression. As a minister, it was a privilege to serve his widow by presiding at his memorial service. As his friend I have cried before, during and after his funeral. Suicide invites us to evaluate our relationship with the person, and a lot of “what ifs?” and “if only I had…” surface in our mind. Yet as a counselor I know that depression takes people to places they would not go on their own, and at some point, get so far out there they cannot get back on their own, or even ask for help.

It is beyond the scope of this writing to go into depression, medicine or suicide at any length but there is a stigma that surrounds these issues that need to be considered. Mental illness is an organic chemical imbalance. This chemical imbalance can often be addressed in a number of ways. Exercise is one way. We’ve all heard of endorphins and their effect on the brain. While I personally don’t believe in endorphins while I am on the last quarter mile while running on the treadmill (then I only believe in panting), I do know that somehow I feel better if I work out regularly both physically and mentally. There is a physical reaction, an organic reaction that occurs in the brain that addresses the chemical imbalance when someone is depressed. Another way this chemical imbalance can be addressed is through counseling. Changes in brain chemistry can be made with changes in behavior. You can act your way into right thinking (and feeling) in many circumstances. The process is gradual, though remarkable progress can be made. Another way to address the chemical imbalance is through medicine. Sometimes it is the only way, depending on the imbalance.

Depression is best addressed however with a combination of these resources, including medicine. Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to depression, and its treatment. In fact, this stigma continues with most mental illness. With education and time, I hope this stigma disappears. (We used to believe there was something wrong with left-handed people. Ever heard of a “left handed compliment?” The stigma around being left-handed is the etiological source of this phrase). Anyway, there is resistance to the belief that medicine is appropriate for use in depression. That somehow the individual should just “snap themselves out of it.”

If you subscribe to this approach I would challenge you to tell a diabetic to “just get over it” without their insulin, or that someone should just “snap out” of their high blood pressure. The principle is the same. Medicine can help address the chemical imbalance of the diabetic, one with high blood pressure and the depressed.

I cannot begin to imagine the dark place that my friend found himself when suicide seemed like a good choice. To be in a place where the ending of one’s life looks like a reasonable alternative. To be in that place, something is chemically broken in the brain and the illness succeeded in taking his life. If my practice is any indicator, men seek treatment far less that women do, yet studies show that depression affects both sexes about the same. If you or someone you know suffers from depression (or think you might), please take a step towards health and recovery. You do not have to live like this.

My heart is hurting.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Hope in Unhappiness

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 @ 2:27 PM

When you hit a bump in the road, you may feel a bit jostled, but most of the time you can probably recover quite easily and quickly. However most couples will reach a point in their marriage when it doesn’t feel like their relationship has hit a minor bump; it feels like a major pothole. If you’ve ever felt stuck in your marriage, or if you’re feeling that way right now, you are not alone. While there are lots of reasons why couples feel dissatisfied, no marriage is always happy. The encouraging part is that potholes can be filled.

You have more than just two choices: stay in a miserable marriage or get divorced. The idea of a third option can be so freeing! We love to talk about being intentional at Marriage Reclaimed, and a situation in which one or both spouses are feeling stuck in the relationship is no exception. Marriage is no passive or zero-sum endeavor. Your actions, or inactions, will affect the outcome of your relationship – and the beauty in this is that change is possible!

At this point, you may be thinking – yes, but she doesn’t know what we’ve been through. And you’re right – I don’t. What I do know is that if we do nothing, we are choosing option 1 (stay in miserable marriage) perhaps without even knowing it, or realizing that we have a choice in the matter. What follows are some foundational ideas for taking a step forward, being intentional, and making a choice to – if I can borrow from Ghandi here – be the change you wish to see in your marriage.

1. Do some self-reflection
Explore the root of your unhappiness. Are there mental health issues at play? Are you still dealing with baggage from your past, or your partner’s? Are you experiencing stress from your current circumstances or worry about the future? Do you have a lack of spiritual or emotional connection with your spouse? Further, consider your expectations and desires – and whether they are realistic. After all, often it is not what life offers, but what we believe that life should offer us that circumvents our happiness.

2. Exercise humility
It’s easy to say to ourselves, “I’ll change when he/she changes.” But if we continue to rely on someone else to start the change process, it’s more than likely that change simply will not happen. We must take some personal responsibility for our part in the state of our marriages. Regardless of what our spouses may have done, we cannot continue to blame them for being the problem and at the same time expect them to be the solution to our misery. Further, we must notice the positives and love unconditionally. We all said vows which, in one way or another, stated “for better or for worse.” So if you’re experiencing the latter, love through it. In doing so, you will begin to create a culture in which your spouse wants to change.

3. Start the conversation
This is possibly one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have with your spouse, but it is important during this time of doubt to be genuine and to share honestly. There is too much at stake here to hide behind fear or embarrassment or apathy. Finally, know that you are not alone and that you’ll need support to get “unstuck.” Whether this comes in the form of a wise mentor or a clinical therapist, my encouragement to you is to take this action sooner rather than later.

For more information and/or support, check out these resources or visit our website for services that we offer to couples at our practice:

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/marriage-challenges/the-unhappy-marriage

www.wynnsfamilypsychology.com 

https://marriagereclaimedwfp.wixsite.com/marriagereclaimed

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Breakaway Couples Mini-Retreat

Monday, August 12, 2019 @ 12:40 PM

Have you found yourself experiencing an uncomfortable distance in your relationship? Many couples are often unsure of how to approach the situation with their partner and avoid further conflict or possible harm to the relationship. I can help you and your partner learn how to talk to each other, and both of you feel heard and understood. You will understand and develop a deeper appreciation for your partner.

During this all-day retreat, you will learn ways to
communicate more effectively,
build a stronger relationship, &
create an ever-evolving supply of intimacy

Retreat Date:
September 21, 2019
November 16, 2019
January 25, 2020
To learn more and register, visit my website!
https://www.rosalindsmithcounseling.com/mini-retreat

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Managing for Future Generations:The 10 Levers Needed To Steer A Family Business

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 @ 2:50 AM

King Solomon talks about the importance of leaving an inheritance for our children but remember that interference can mean so much more than money.

1. Shared Vision & Values: Regarding strategy, relationships, work ethic, money, and success

2. Shared Influence: Across generations, among spouses, and among siblings/cousins and geared to individual capabilities

3. Valued Traditions: That are characteristic of this family and set it apart from other families

4. Receptivity to Learning and Growing: Being open to new perspectives and new approaches; embodies a critical orientation that underlies mastering change and overcoming obstacles

5. Investment in Relationship Enhancement: The most robust families have traditions and mechanisms they use to play together and enjoy one another; these accumulated playful experiences serve as a buffer during difficult times

6. Demonstrative Caring: Open demonstrations of empathy for family members during good times and bad; making the clear statement, ”You are important to me.”

7. Mutual Admiration: Earned by building trust, based on a track record of being consistently accountable and true to your word.

8. Being There: Especially at times of grief, failure, or embarrassment; how a family interacts with a distressed family member is highly correlated with long-term family harmony and business success

9. Maintaining Space: Respect for individual privacy and for the privacy of each family unit within the extended family constellation

10. Circumscribed/Managed Conflicts: Feuding members all too frequently bring in ”reinforcements”. The family needs to know how to prevent members, who are tangential to a given conflict, out of the middle and then address the conflict with finesse.

How are you going to make sure that the heart of your original legacy is passed on to the next generation? How do you want to set them up for success? Pulling together this group of positive interventions with outside help can make so much of an important difference. Reaching out beyond the family can give you the leverage to steer all of you in the best direction.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The 10 Upsides of Family-Owned Businesses

Thursday, August 1, 2019 @ 3:57 PM

Creating, building, and sustaining a family business is not only a fundamental American dream (over 20 million family businesses in the U.S.– 92% of all U.S. businesses), but is also a powerful dream in most other modern capitalist economies (for example, over 75% of all U.K. businesses are family owned). The benefits of family businesses are manifold, genuine, and in many cases psychologically profound. Remember, though as you read this, that Solomon tells us, "It is better to have a friend that is near than a brother that is far away" which means in families and business it's important to have relationships that are from the heart and not just based on role-obligation or expectation.

Consider WIIFF (What's in it for the family). A family business:

1. Creates a heritage for the family and serves as a medium for perpetuating a family's history, traditions, pride, and core values and belief

2. Serves as a powerful testimonial to the success and potency of a family

3. Provides the ultimate career and financial safety net one’s children and grandchildren

4. Offers participating family members greater independence and control of their fate than a more traditional career path

5. Establishes a very special glue (a bonding material, as it were) that can hold a family together around a common set of interests, activities, challenges, opportunities, threats, milestones, relationships, and daily schedules

6. Demonstrates to an entire community (and various sub-communities) that this is a family to be admired and respected

7. Makes it more certain that individual family members will have the fullest opportunities as adults to “stretch“ developmentally and to self-actualize

8. Improves the chances that family members will be able to involve themselves in meaningful philanthropic activities and become pillars of their communities

9. Makes it more likely that financial advantages, non-trivial net worth (a.k.a. wealth), and “security“ will accrue to the family

10. Provides greater stability and welfare for its employees and for the community in which it operates
------------------------------------

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Spiritual Leadership in the Home

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 @ 1:33 PM

Marriage Center

In my practice, I hear wives talk about how desperately they want their husbands to lead. This desire usually comes as a result of having witnessed their dad or other significant male figure modeling spiritual leadership in the home and/or learning perhaps in church that being a spiritual leader is predominantly the role of the man. But wives aren’t the only ones who want their husbands to lead spiritually, husbands want it too. So what seems to be the problem?

Communication Do's and Don'ts

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 @ 1:27 PM

Marriage Center

If it seems that you and your spouse have grown apart or are struggling to connect, the problem may be rooted in your communication styles. It goes without saying that conflict is inevitable in marriage, but how you handle conflict can either strengthen or weaken your relationship.

There are certain styles of communicating that will make it extremely difficult for your relationship to thrive and can lead to the eventual destruction of your marriage. Why? Because communication is the key to building and maintaining relationships. When communication is mishandled, every area of your relationship is negatively impacted.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Eight Ideas About Grieving Well In Leadership

Thursday, July 11, 2019 @ 10:13 PM

Loss in leadership is inevitable. Certainly leadership is about gain in so many ways which is why we forget sometimes that it is commonplace for us to have loss in leadership.

What do we lose in leadership? You might be surprised about some of the things that we lose along the way.

1. As John Maxwell says few of us end up with people that we started off with. It is normal and perfectly healthy for us to lose people along the way. Not in the bad sense but because people move on, change careers, move on with their life perhaps to a different area and even get promoted to a different area in the same company or organization.

2. Even if we have members of the same original team sometimes the loss of certain key people may make your team a very different one. There are times when the same team will be given a new assignment or purpose that wasn't the same as the old one and everybody feels loss at the same time.

3. There are also times when you make mistakes or have failures or members of your team or group blow it and you have to deal with the losses that come from that. Maybe even as part of that your sense of ideal around the other person or persons has been hurt.

4. Loss is connected to hurt and anger. It can be all kinds of things like losing a chance or losing an ideal. Maybe somehow you've lost some sort of value or values. Perhaps you or your team have lost motivation at least for a season.

5. Unmet expectations, disappointments and a loss of purpose can help us feel frustrated as leaders but also can cause hurt and grief. The loss of opportunity can be a big issue. Not recognizing these can cause dissonance in our leadership.

6. Of course when you have to let somebody go you can grieve even if it's a mutual agreement for them to leave. The whole process of letting somebody go can be a huge loss too. Your loss feelings might be mixed in with your confusion and your anxiety around conflict.

7. In order to deal with grief as a leader first understand that loss is part of the role. Next make sure you express your feelings to God, others and even yourself. Scripture tells us to "Grieve with those who grieve and rejoice with those who rejoice." Be willing to share. Writing out what comes up can also be very helpful as well as writing out a letter to someone you lost as if they were far, far away. Only send the letter if it is wise to do so.

8. Writing out your ideal if the situation warrants that can also be helpful. For example, writing out how a sales project or team building experience was expected to go after a failure or mission creep makes the whole thing go sideways can be very helpful.

Debriefing and a “post-mortem” with a coach can do much to clarify and reset things. Resolving the grief feelings and renewing a sense of purpose can be very helpful.

Monday, July 8, 2019

You Can't Please Everyone

Monday, July 8, 2019 @ 6:59 PM

A big struggle in life for some people is being a "people pleaser".  I know, I am one.  I try to please people, I do it because I want people to like me.  Now, I have come a long way in this and I have learned my lesson (many times) when I get caught in the trap.  But I have had to learn that being a people pleaser is both bad for others and harmful to me.  Do you struggle with being a "people pleaser"? 
Here are a few quotes I found helpful on this topic:

“I can’t tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”  – Ed Sheeran

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“When you say “yes” to others, make sure you aren’t saying “no” to yourself.”  – Paulo Coehlo

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”  – Lao Tzu

“If you try to please all, you please none.”  – Aesop

“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”  – Aristotle

“If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection.” – Lecrae

“The only thing wrong with trying to please everyone is that there’s always at least one person who will remain unhappy. You.”  – Elizabeth Parker

“A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dreams, or your dignity.”  – Dinkar Kalotra

Your Turn:

Do you have any thoughts or quotes about the harmful effects of being a "People Pleaser"?  In 100 words or less please send me your ideas to terry.porter@healthfio.com.  Please remember to like and share this post and follow terry-porter.com/blog.