How Turning to God Can Help with Emotional Eating

By |2023-09-21T10:32:14+00:00September 21st, 2023|Eating Disorders, Featured, Individual Counseling|

We all crave something. For some people, it is fame and acknowledgment. For others, it is money and material possessions. Still, other people find that they crave food to fill them through emotional eating. But at the root of these wants, these cravings are a deep need only God can satisfy. Emotional eating is turning to food for comfort when we feel overwhelming emotions. We desperately want to drown out these feelings and thoughts, so we eat foods that give us temporary pleasure. Our brain recognizes that when we consume specific foods like simple carbs and sugar, we do it to relax. In response, the brain’s reward system floods us with chemicals that do just that – help us relax and feel good. But emotional eating cannot replace God in our hearts, nor can it bury unresolved hurts for long without consequences. The hole in your heart needs to be filled by God, not by food. In the Bible, God warns us about overeating. There are several passages about the sin of gluttony, or uncontrollable eating. The Book of Proverbs also points out how overeating something sweet that God gave us to enjoy can make us ill. “If you find honey, eat just enough – too much of it, and you will vomit.” (Proverbs 25:16, NIV). How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! – Psalm 119:103, NIV The writer of Psalm 119 recognizes that honey is a good food as he refers to Scripture as honey, but he also knows that overeating for any reason can make a person sick. What hole in your heart are you trying to fill with food? We often eat to avoid feeling our negative emotions, yet in some cases, we must confront these sensations to begin [...]

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How to Make Sure Your Teen is Getting Adequate Rest for Mental Wellness

By |2023-08-29T19:02:34+00:00August 29th, 2023|Christian Counseling For Teens, Family Counseling, Featured|

When your child was younger, you may have paid a lot of attention to his or her sleep habits, making sure he or she got to bed on time, creating nighttime routines, scheduling naps, and got adequate rest. Now that your child is a teen, setting these parameters is more challenging because he or she is becoming more independent. It is thought by many teens that sleep is not important. Adults even disregard the need for sleep for their teens as teens stay up later at night. Science has shown, however, that sleep has a big impact on how people feel and on their wellness. This is especially true for teens. How much sleep do teens need? While every person is different, adequate rest for teens is between 8-10 hours of sleep per night. This is in stark contrast to what most teens get. Studies show that over 70% of teens get less than the recommended amount of sleep. This lack of sleep can impact them in more ways than being tired. It can affect their schoolwork, relationships, and mental health. It can also make it hard to make decisions, impact memory, and increase the likelihood of truancy. Ways you can help your teen get adequate rest. While your teen does play a significant role in making sure he or she gets enough sleep, there are things you can do to help promote healthy sleep habits and overall wellness. Bedroom. Make sure that his or her bedroom is cool and dark at night. This will help your teen fall asleep and stay asleep. Create a routine. While the routine will look different from when he or she was younger, your teen can create a nightly routine before bed. Simple things like taking a warm shower or bath, reading, and [...]

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Distracted by Desire: Infidelity and Emotional Affairs

By |2023-08-28T13:24:59+00:00August 28th, 2023|Couples Counseling, Featured, Individual Counseling, Infidelity and Affairs, Marriage Counseling, Relationship Issues|

Statistics concerning divorce rates can be alarming. Most sources report that roughly half of all marriages endure. Among the other fifty percent that end, a lack of commitment and infidelity are cited as top contributors to why many couples part ways. The American Psychological Association (APA) defines infidelity as “the situation in which one partner in a marriage or intimate relationship becomes sexually or emotionally involved with a person other than the partner’s spouse.” While we can respect that description, it is important for believers in Christ to understand that adultery, like other sins, does not originate at the point of a physical or emotional exchange with another human being. Infidelity and the state of an emotional affair, however, begins in the heart (Ephesians 2:3). With unrestricted access, our adversary can influence our thoughts, emotions, and actions. He seeks to gain a foothold in our lives to build a fortress (Ephesians 4:17). For that reason, we need to establish a hedge of prayerful and practical protection around our minds, mates, and marriages. We don’t have to live in fear, but we can be active in saving our marriage before it’s threatened. In the cases where we have been distracted by desire and experienced infidelity or an emotional affair, we can recover to make our marital bond more resilient. There may be many reasons or explanations why we or our spouses sought companionship or intimacy outside of the marriage. These reasons don’t excuse infidelity or an emotional affair. Where there are gaps or unmet needs, we need to be willing to commune with our hearts and face what prompted us to seek fulfillment elsewhere (Psalm 4:4). We must also engage and be present with our spouse in honest, ongoing conversations where we demonstrate an active and compassionate response to one [...]

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Identifying Family Problems and Finding Solutions

By |2023-07-07T08:38:14+00:00June 19th, 2023|Family Counseling, Featured, Relationship Issues|

It is no surprise that there are family problems. There is no perfection in the dynamics of a family because there are no perfect people. We all have issues and when we are growing and learning with others, there are bound to be problems. The good news is that there are ways to spot problems, create resolutions and restore balance to the home. The sooner the problem is identified, the quicker a family can work together to resolve the problem. Catching the problem before it creates an unhealthy home life takes communication and dedication. God designed the family to work together in creating a happy and healthy life. Most common family problems He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?). – 1 Timothy 3:4-5, NASB There are numerous forms and types of family problems. These are some of the most common types of problems that most family face. Poor communication. One of the top problems that families face involves the ability to communicate effectively. Whether you are the one wondering if you are being heard or the one who doesn’t understand what is being said the issue of communication can be challenging. Parenting style differences. When parents disagree on parenting styles it can affect the entire dynamic of the household. Even if you have been together for years, there is a possibility of disagreeing about how to raise a child. Parental pressures. Raising children with the pressures of today’s society is difficult for the children just as much as the parent. Children are faced with influence from social media, television, and peers. The last thing they need [...]

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Children and the Grieving Process

By |2023-06-06T19:21:49+00:00June 5th, 2023|Christian Counseling for Children, Christian Counseling For Teens, Featured, Grief Counseling|

The grieving process for children can look very different from the way adults grieve. For example, a teen who has just lost his father may continue playing video games with his friends as if nothing has happened. This behavior can frustrate and worry his mother. Is his behavior healthy? Should he not be crying and acting depressed? In some ways, coping mechanisms for grief are healthy. Each person responds differently to the loss of a loved one. Children and teens go through the grieving process but can get stuck in one of the five stages of grief or repeatedly cycle back through the stages. Sometimes they need help and support to move through the process and begin healing. How do children react to grief? The grieving process consists of five stages: Denial or shock Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance There is no set time for how long one person may stay in a particular stage. A child may cycle through the stages very quickly or get hung up in a specific stage, such as anger or depression. The depression from grief differs from the type children and teens may experience with clinical depression. Depression from grief centers on the loss and seems to come in waves, while clinical depression is a persistent sadness that centers on the person or their fears for the future. Teens Teens are at an age where they may be curious about death and accepting about the loss of a loved one. This is an age where they begin to question mortality, and the death of a loved one makes it a reality for them. However, this reality is also scary for them. Even if they believe in God and Heaven, they do not feel ready, and thinking about the loss of a loved one (especially [...]

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Aging in America: Effects of Negative Stereotypes

By |2023-05-01T14:47:02+00:00April 30th, 2023|Aging and Geriatric Issues, Featured, Individual Counseling|

Aging in America can be an intimidating prospect. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, older adults are projected to outnumber children by the year 2034. Despite this evidence of an aging America, the elderly continue to be devalued and stigmatized. Some societies, such as Japan, respect their elderly and hold them in high esteem for their experience and wisdom. Old age is viewed as a normal stage of life and something to enjoy, as opposed to something to fear. In America, however, youth is valued over old age, and the word “old” tends to be a put-down loaded with negative undertones. The elderly are often diminished, subject to age discrimination in the workforce, disrespected, stripped of dignity by being addressed in condescending or patronizing ways, and regarded as unimportant and less worthy of care. Older adults are one of the only stigmatized groups that we all become part of some day. And that’s always struck me as interesting – that we would treat so poorly a group of people that we’re destined to become someday. – William Chopik, Assistant Professor of Psychology, MSU America is obsessed with youth. People want to look younger and will lie about their age. Media fuels this desire by glorifying youth and beauty, and is one of the main perpetrators of prejudice and bias against the aging in America. Mass media depicts old people as frail, slow, forgetful, less competent, and senile. Ads featuring older people often reinforce these stereotypical images and messages. They perpetuate negative attitudes toward the elderly and what they can and cannot do, or should or should not do, that are out of whack with reality. This leaves many individuals to fear aging in America. They fear not having enough money to meet their basic needs, becoming a burden to [...]

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Grieving for Good: How Christian Grief Counseling Can Help

By |2023-06-14T19:12:20+00:00January 13th, 2023|Featured, Grief Counseling, Individual Counseling|

Grieving can take many different forms, depending on the person experiencing it and the circumstances surrounding the loss of a loved one, parent, or friend. It has the potential to be debilitating, bringing your life to a grinding halt as you try to make sense of how you feel about the passing of a person who played such a vital role in your life. On the other hand, it may come as a relief and cause for celebration that the person who was dear to you will no longer have to deal with their disease or misery. Complicated grief is a complicated collection of feelings, and it has the potential to throw us off balance and advance the mourning process in ways that we did not anticipate. This might carry on for an infinite amount of time. There is no set time frame for the grieving process; it lasts for as long as we require to go through our emotions and readjust to life without the deceased person in our lives. It may take some time before we can come to grips with the fact that we may have regrets over things that we may have left unsaid, particularly if we had unresolved issues with that person. Honoring those we have lost through grieving. The desire of the people I work with to memorialize their departed loved ones in a meaningful way is something that comes up quite frequently in our conversations. One way that people are often able to achieve closure after the loss of a loved one is by engaging in an activity that is both tangible and significant and that pays honor to the life that was lost. A bereaved person can still honor the memory of a loved one who has passed away by taking [...]

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How to Implement Sabbath in Your Busy Life

By |2023-01-20T20:07:11+00:00January 7th, 2023|Featured, Individual Counseling, Personal Development, Spiritual Development|

Believers hear a lot about the importance of a Sabbath in their lives. In today’s busy world, it can be hard to find the time for the Sabbath, especially if you don’t understand just how helpful it can be. Sabbath goes beyond following a rule outlined in the Bible. It is a principle for wellness and a relationship with God. Even this, however, isn’t enough for many people. The reality is that implementing a Sabbath often feels impossible. But you can make a weekly Sabbath part of your life. But first, you need to understand it. What is Sabbath? The concept many are most familiar with is first introduced early in Genesis when the Bible describes creation. After the Bible describes the creation of the heavens and the earth, night and day, waters and sky, vegetation, sun and moon, sea creatures and birds, land animals, and finally man, all of creation is declared to be good. (Genesis 1) The first six days described are full of life, creation, and work. As we continue, something different happens: By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day, he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. – Genesis 2:2-3, NIV This is the first time we see the concept of the Sabbath in the Bible though it isn't called that. It is simply God modeling the rhythm of work and rest. The very first idea of the Sabbath wasn’t introduced with rules dictated by God. It was modeled for us in the work and the rest of God. Since most people are reading translations of the Bible, it can be [...]

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How Love Languages Impact Relationships

By |2023-08-25T15:57:06+00:00December 23rd, 2022|Couples Counseling, Featured, Marriage Counseling, Relationship Issues|

What kind of influence do the five love languages have on your relationships? What does it mean to speak a love language? It's been said that there are five distinct ways to show and receive affection, and figuring out which one works best for you could completely change the dynamic of your relationship. Even though you may show your significant other affection regularly, do you ever stop to consider whether or not you are conveying that affection in the manner in which they would prefer to receive it? When two people in a relationship speak different love languages to one another, even love can sometimes get lost in translation. What are the five different ways to express love? Words of affirmation, quality time spent together, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch are the five different ways that people can express and receive love. People do not all express their love in the same way. Individuals also have varying preferences regarding the mode in which they are shown love. Gary Chapman, Ph.D., developed the idea of love languages in his book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. In this book, he describes five distinct ways of communicating love, categories that he distilled from his experience in marriage counseling and linguistics. Chapman is credited with the development of the concept of love languages. According to a marriage and family therapist named Sunny Motamedi, Psy.D, “We all may relate to most of these languages, but each of us has one that speaks to us the most.” Motamedi continues, “If you and your partner can determine your primary love language and communicate with one another in that language regularly, you may [be able to] better understand each other's needs and support each other's growth.” The five love [...]

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Should I Get Married? Considerations for a Potential Partnership

By |2022-11-16T20:32:47+00:00November 16th, 2022|Featured, Individual Counseling, Premarital Counseling, Relationship Issues|

"Should I get married?" To borrow and paraphrase from a famed literary work, to marry or not to marry, that is the question. Like anything else, the consideration if we should get married, not simply when, is a heart matter to surrender to the Lord. However, that is not always the way that we operate when getting involved with a partner. We experience life’s rites of passage and organically connect with others in the process. Relationships form, but we don’t always ask the question of whether or not marriage is part of God’s plan for our lives. Society normalizes being in a relationship and can regard the unattached single as a novelty. Often, our families and culture socialize us into becoming part of a couple. Though well-intentioned, our loved ones may persist with questions and matchmaking attempts, as if something is deficient when we approach an age or reach an achievement milestone if we are not paired with a permanent partner. These influences filter through our subconscious, informing our emotions, and actions around the consideration of whether to marry or not. Although wise advisors shield us from misguided motives, the counsel of God’s voice speaking through His Word is the most critical response to the question, “Should I get married?” Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety. – Proverbs 11:14, ESV Should I Get Married? Where to Start One of the first and best steps to take is to reject the pressure to decide on marriage or singleness. God has already planned out each of the days that are written about you, which should be a fact that brings comfort and relief (Psalms 139:16; Philippians 1:6). There are wise principles in His Word to embrace as you consider the [...]

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