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Following are short snippets of some varied topics that show my point of view and philosophy of life issues that we all can struggle with.

Christian counseling is God centered.  It is allowing God to be the change agent.  It is about struggling with the hard questions about who God is and who I am in Him.  It is about discovering our identity in Christ and changing our filter from the worldly view to a Godly view.  Often if our relationship with our earthly father isn't positive, we believe that our heavenly father will be the same way.  This is far from the truth.  Christian counseling can help separate our view of God to not be the same view as our earthly father. This brings great freedom and allows us to have a special relationship with our heavenly father. God is able to heal our wounds and bring us to Him.

In career development / our gifting and calling from God, Most people fall into one of three categories with their career: 1) they are in the career that fits them and they love it, 2) they are in a career that fits them and they dislike parts of it or 3) they are not in their calling from God at all.  Only the first scenario is healthy and productive.  Through inner healing prayer work, God will break down the walls of what is in the way of knowing your calling in life.  And through spiritual assessment profile testing, we can get closer to identifying what your calling is.  There is no reason to stay in a career or job that isn't what your intended purpose in life is supposed to be.
Grief and Loss is so personal to each person. There are no right or wrong ways to grieve.  And there is no right or wrong amount of time to feel the sorrow.  Each loss is so unique and affects everyone differently.  The stages of grief can seem monumental to get through.  Going back and forth between each stage is normal.  But there is hope.  There is life after a loss.  I have a saying that, "you have to talk about it until you don't have to talk about it anymore."  This is freeing for most because it doesn't put a timeline on when the grieving has to stop.  The journey to healing will be unique and personal.  A new normal will seamlessly occur and life will begin again.

Depression is similar to the "frog in the hot water" story.  It slowly sneaks up on you and before you know it, you aren't able to function and just want to sleep all day.  The loss of joy in life is a normal symptom of depression.  But it goes so much deeper.  It affects every part of your life.   Depression can take on a life of its own and cause one to spiral down so far there doesn't seem a way out.  There is not any one cure. An individual suffering from depression needs a support system in place. They need a safety plan. Possibly psychotropic drugs are needed. And of course, on a spiritual level, it is paramount to believe that Jesus is bigger than the depression.  Jesus can pull anyone out of it and bring comfort and emotional healing.

Anxiety and Stress can undo a person to the point of emotional exhaustion and shut down.  It is important to identify what is causing the anxiety and how it is related to the stress.  Are they the same or different?  Is the stress caused by the anxiety or is the anxiety causing the stress?  What are the stressors in one’s life and what is the root of the anxiety? Identifying these factors will be important so that one can learn how to manage them.  Self-care, self-awareness and applying tools such as meditation, organization, time-management, reducing toxicity and setting priorities will reduce both the stress and the anxiety.

For couples counseling to be effective and for solutions to be had, there is one concept that cuts to the chase.  The concept is to exchange the dividing wall of hostility for the cross of Christ.  To die to self and take accountability.  If both spouses are willing to be walked through this process and look at how to change their behaviors, the success rate is extremely high.  It is my belief that this is the only way for a marriage and relationships to heal and changes to seamlessly occur. The cross brings Christ into the center of the marriage.  It brings down the walls and allows for honesty, openness and vulnerability because this removes the fear of being rejected or emotionally abused.  I have not seen successful couples therapy unless Christ is the intentional path.

Anger can be all encompassing.  It takes over you and it isn't you anymore.  The rage is used to hide the underlying feelings that are really going on.  But not many people are willing to look at the more vulnerable feelings underneath.  Instead, the anger is used to push people away causing us to be isolated and alone.  The cycle quiets down for a period and then starts again like a tornado gaining power.  We take everyone out in our path.  But the shame that follows is as damaging as the anger itself.  The hold that is on you keeping the anger alive can be broken if, and only if, one is willing to look at the pain.  Getting rid of the anger will bring freedom and a new start on life.

Family therapy is all about communication and perceptions.  An event that occurs in the household can affect each family member so drastically differently that sometimes you have to ask the question, "do you all live in the same house?".  Everyone will respond differently and have their own perspective, assumptions and internalize the event uniquely.  The beauty of family therapy is to learn how each person is uniquely different.  Family member's eyes are opened to those differences and more of an understanding and appreciation can be found.  This helps to build relationships to be loving and intimate.  This then builds trust and gives a safe place to share feelings and themselves.

Children won't have the vocabulary that adults have.  In counseling children, it is the job of the therapist to help them identify their feelings through other avenues. Any child who has behavioral changes is talking to us without using words.  It is imperative to pay attention to this.  All of their behavior has meaning.  By helping the child identify what it is, we are giving them permission to say their feelings in a safe way.  If the child doesn't release the pain, it will remain locked away for years within them and the behaviors as an adult will be destructive.  At the pace of the child, help can be given in a trusting, nurturing, safe way.

There are more topics that we all struggle with.  These are just a few that are relevant to most of us.

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