Tag Archives: Counseling

Marriage Counseling Resources

Marriage Counseling

Click the picture to find a marriage counselor

There are many helpful marriage counseling resources available, but remember there are no tools or techniques that have the power to heal hearts that are unwilling to yield to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Research shows over 50% of marriages end in divorce and over 70% of second marriages end in divorce. With statistics like that there’s a real need for quality Christian marriage counseling.

If you count couples that separate and never get divorced, the numbers are even more abysmal…66%!

Couples tend to wait far too long before getting help. Unfortunately many couples never enter into couples counseling until they have already crossed the point of no return.

The reality is more marriages are failing than are succeeding. If we look at the positives…that is who’s succeeding in marriage, according to Neil Clark Warren’s data, only 25% of couples endure and state that they are truly happy!

For some practical information about couples counseling keep reading…


What can you expect from Marriage Counseling?

First of all, you can expect that your counselor has a method or approach for helping couples to positively resolve their marriage issues.

In fact, you should ask what the counselor’s approach is so you can be confident that there is an approach. What you don’t need is mediation every week while you and your spouse duke it out (so to speak) in your counselor’s office.

I have talked to many people who report that their counselor just let them talk (or argue) for an hour, while they nod their head, reflect what was said and reschedule.

If you are having marriage difficulties you need a counselor who is proactive. A proactive marriage counselor will give you practical tools. She will also have the skill to lead you to insight and understanding about the nature of your struggles. Being proactive means your counselor can help create an atmosphere which will optimize your chances of improving and saving your marriage.

Generally speaking, marriage problems are equally balanced between husband and wife, even though one spouse tends to feel it is more their spouse’s fault than theirs. This is normal and has to do with our general lack of objectivity…

This is the log and the splinter syndrome Jesus was talking about. It really does often take a third party to help diagnose the real problem. Now about diagnosing the problem…

In counseling you will want to begin to diagnose the problem. Why? Because you need to learn what you need to do differently (notice I didn’t say you need to learn what your spouse needs to do differently). You need more than just marriage advice, you also need to develop some goals and a plan for success. So how do we diagnose marriage problems…

It is done through an in-depth interview with the couple, sometimes over a series of sessions, both together and individually with your counselor. Another method your counselor may use is a series of inventories. These can provide a lot of helpful data for you and your counselor. They can also help you get a good grasp of the marriage problems relatively quickly.

The quicker the problems are identified the sooner you can get working on what’s really important, IMPROVING YOUR MARRIAGE! Good Christian marriage counseling will help you to identify and eliminate problems, and develop new skills. But most importantly, Christ centered marriage counseling will help you to live out the gospel of grace in your marriage every day.

Marriage counseling issues tend to run the gamut, but at the core there are some pretty general marriage problems that tend to be common to many couples.

Let me introduce you to some of these marriage problems...

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Biblical Counseling

Biblical CounselingHow does Biblical Counseling Work?

Much Bible based counseling is based on reflecting upon the nature and character of God as described in the Bible. Experience the transforming power of God’s word by experiencing what it means that YHVH “Keep in perfect peace those who’s minds are steadfast because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Have you been struggling with issues for longer than you care to admit? Learn to identify negative thought patterns that are crucial to how you feel, act and relate to others. Learning to replace negative, ungodly thoughts with God’s truth is one of the keys to behavior change…

As a person’s mind is transformed we are better able to serve and worship God in greater measure. God’s word tells us that serving and worshiping Him is what we were created for…it is our destiny!

Serving and worshiping God is the only thing that truly satisfies our souls. As our mind is transformed we are released from overwhelming anxiety, depression and hopelessness. Through the transformation of our minds we will experience more happiness, joy and satisfaction. That’s the goal of Biblical counseling.

Additionally, a Biblically oriented therapist will help you discover and understand more about your true purpose in life. Understanding the reason you were created, is crucial to your sense of life satisfaction.

Through counseling based on the Word of God, couples will learn to love and understand each other better. This understanding flows first from a knowledge of your Creator’s intentions for your marriage. Additionally, in counseling, you will learn to improve communication and resolve conflicts. It’s all part of the process of developing a great marriage.

The process of Biblical Counseling involves:

  • Education about the attributes of God, how God works in our lives, and what it means to be created in His image
  • Learning and applying new skills based on scriptures
  • Identifying and repenting of sin
  • Rejecting ungodly ways of thinking and behaving
  • Working through issues of woundedness and forgiveness
  • Learning to trust more in Him rather than others or ourselves

 

Depression Self Help is Available

barley

Depression Self Help Bible Study

Depression self help begins with learning not to put your faith in your feelings. Doing so is the equivalent of building a house on sand instead of rock.

Don’t put your faith in your feelings

God made us as emotional creatures and depression is very much a condition of mood (a pervasive feeling that impacts perception.) But we learn early on in our faith walk that we are not to put our faith in our feelings…In this article on depression help we will explore more lessons on depression self help from the book of Ruth.

During my own Naomi season

I felt that my life had no meaning. I had been through this depression before and had come out on the other side of this lie and experienced the victory. But this time, I found myself languishing like the cripple at the pool of Bethesda…

I could see the water of healing, but I could not see any way to get myself into that pool. I was focused on my feelings and not on the truth of God’s word and the truth of who God is. I was in anguish. I was without hope…

Depression lies to us…our lives do have meaning!

To feel that my life had no meaning was very different than the truth. God’s word tells us our lives have eternal meaning and purpose. God’s word is our greatest source of depression self help.

Naomi felt like the Lord had made her life very bitter. Indeed she had fixed her eyes on her circumstances and not on her heavenly Father. It is He who is our strength and song. It is He who is the lifter of our countenance. YHVH, He is our depression help!

Our God is the God of restoration

Despite her rather depressing circumstances, God used it all to ultimately restore and reward Naomi and of His people Israel through King David the great grandson of Ruth and Boaz.

Naomi was personally restored through the relationships that God brought into her life through Ruth and Boaz. She was also rewarded with a grandson to care for who’s lineage bore the anointed King David and his eternal throne.

See God’s provision in His Providence

Finally, overcome depression by being willing to see God’s provision to you through His providence…and then, give praise and thanksgiving to God for His daily provision as Naomi finally did. Praise and thanksgiving is a powerful form of depression self help because it fixes our mind on YHVH. After all, God promises to provide for our daily needs, not our wants and desires.

Depression self help means we need to be vigilant about looking for the ways that God fulfills His word in our lives. We must be deliberate about giving thanks to Him…

I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High…Psalm 7

Naomi was so full of despair and self loathing that she missed some important signs of hope…signs like the barley harvest that was just beginning as they arrived in Bethlehem. It is also likely that she saw Ruth’s insistence to go to Bethlehem with her as a nuisance rather than as an encouragement.

It was not until Ruth returned with an ephah of barley and a job gleaning in Boaz’s fields, that Naomi recognized and gave thanks for God’s provision. It was then that she began to shed her feelings of despair.

Be vigilant about looking for and acknowledging God’s provision to you every day. Keep your eyes fixed on Him and not your circumstances. For only God knows how He is weaving you and your circumstances into His wonderful tapestry of eternity. Remember God is your depression help.

Surely God’s compassion’s are new every morning; great is His faithfulness (Lamentations 3:23).

 

 

Gird Your Loins: Core Strength for the Mind

yogaHave you noticed that all the exercise gurus are now focusing on core strength exercises? No longer do you just exercise your arms, legs, stomach and back etc. to get a good workout. Now-a-day the focus of a well thought out training program is about developing core strength first and foremost. But why?

What is Core Strength?
Physical fitness experts now understand what yoga teachers and dancers have known and practiced all along. Core strength is associated with the overall physical fitness of the entire body. Your core is what bible writers referred to as the loins…the idea was to prepare, i.e. gird your loins. It’s that part of your body that ties everything else together…it is the center of gravity and the fulcrum for all our movement, stability and strength. So one way to gird your loins is to develop core strength.

Where is the Core?
Anatomically, it is the region which is below the belly button and above your hip joints. More importantly the core is referring to the inner and outer muscular structure of your diaphragm, pelvic floor, obliques, and spine. Without core strength – that is having strength in the deeper muscles of your core – one is more likely to incur injury. Wikipedia defines the loins as the sides between the lower ribs and pelvis, and the lower part of the back.

The Mind is our Spiritual Core
Just as our physical core provides strength and stability for our entire body, the mind is our spiritual core. Instead of muscles in our core that provide strength and stability to our whole body, in our mind we have truth and doctrine that provides strength and stability for our whole spirit man. Isaiah 26:3-4 states…

A person whose desire rests on you you preserve in perfect peace, because he trusts in you. Trust in Adonai forever, because in Yah Adonai, is a Rock of Ages.

Adonai is my strength and shield; in him my heart trusted, and I have been helped…Psalm 28:7

To have the loins of your mind girded with truth is to be strong or prepared in the knowledge of God. It is to have your whole mind filled with the personal knowledge of God so that all your spiritual strength, stability and motion flows from truth based on God’s Holy Word.

Gird Your Mind with Truth
Proverbs 4:23
admonishes “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” The heart is the seat of the mind. Our emotional and relational problems are largely the result of a mind that is lacking core strength, a mind that is not girded up with truth. There is only one way to gird your mind with truth and that is by using the same self-discipline you would to participate in a regular physical fitness routine. Set your sights on strengthening your mind with truth by gaining understanding of God (Proverbs 1) through regular Bible study, meditation and memorization.

 

Depression Warning Sign – Now What?

Depression Warning SignsThe most serious depression warning sign is that of recurring thoughts of death. However there are multiple signs of depression to look for: from loss of pleasure, changes in appetite and feelings of low self worth to difficulty concentrating, changes in sleep patterns, changes in physical and mental activity as well as recurring thoughts of wanting to die.

What if the person is suicidal?

Since the primary sign of depression is feelings of hopelessness, thoughts of wanting to die are not uncommon in a depressed person. However, suicidal thoughts are a serious depression warning sign and should not be minimized.

Find out whether the depressed person has a plan or an intent to harm themselves. A plan with intent is very different than fleeting thoughts of wanting to be dead, although both are indicators of a serious depression warning sign. If you or your loved one indicates they have a plan or strong intentions to harm themselves take action immediately!

Get help immediately

Call a mental health professional that you have been referred to by a reliable source, check your phone book for community mental health services, or call a suicide prevention hotline. In Brevard County, Florida that number is 211 or 321-632-6688. Also, Circles of Care in Melbourne provides emergency services and evaluations. Their number is 722-5257. If the threat is imminent, call 911.

If talking to someone right now would be helpful and you live in the United States phone 1-800-suicide (1-800-784-2433).

If you live in another country, log on to www.suicide-helplines.org.

Get depression help

If you or a loved one is experiencing a serious depression warning sign or other depression warning signs please seek help. Don’t wait until your level of functioning is severely impaired. Get depression treatment now! One of the biggest reasons people do not seek help is because of the shame they feel concerning the idea of having a mental illness. The reality is that our minds are vulnerable to illness just like our bodies. There is no shame in developing the flu or some other medical condition, so why is there with the mind?

Those who avoid seeking help because of the shame they feel only languish longer like the Bible story of the cripple at the pool of Bethesda. He needed help, but he was unwilling to accept any personal responsibility for helping himself.

How Counseling Can Help

A counselor can help a person gain perspective about their illness, resolve problems that may be contributing to the depression warning sign and assist the person in developing coping skills to manage the signs of depression.

However, in addition to counseling, various supplementations known to improve moods may also be a treatment option. You can discuss this with your counselor, who can then refer you to an appropriate health care practitioner