Why Did God Allow This To Happen? [Devotional]

Trauma can happen in any number of forms. Being caught up in a wildfire or flooding, being in, near, or closely linked to a shooting, being the victim or witness of rape, domestic violence, or a car accident all can cause trauma symptoms. This doesn’t even include the every day pains of emotional abuse that can impact us to our core or betrayal and hatred that appear in our daily lives and online.

Why does God allow this to happen?

Read More

A Christian Suicide Prevention Ministry: TWLOHA

We talk about the Church needing to step up with regards to mental health. No greater need from the Church is present than crisis services and suicide prevention and we’ve talked about how churches can help prevent this in their community now. And amazingly, there is a Christian suicide prevention ministry already there you can utilize, To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA).

TWLOHA is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope & finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, & suicide. Originally started simply as the founder Jamie Tworkowski wanting to save the life of his friend who struggled with addiction and suicide, so did a fundraiser to help her get into treatment. Here’s their story.

Read More

How Churches Can Help Counseling Clients

The Church and mental health professionals have a common group of people. If we took the two populations of each and put them in a Venn diagram, there would be overlap with those who are hurting, lonely, and struggling.

Counseling is specifically looking at how to help people work on their own concerns with data-driven psychology and professional care. The Church has been and will always be focused on sharing the Gospel, loving one another, and providing a hopeful community to the marginalized.

Read More

5 Tips To Improve Your Resolutions

Welcome to 2019. A new year, a fresh start. And for Christian bloggers, it seems it is a time to put down those who enjoy coming up with New Years Resolutions. In fact, Gospel Coalition has five articles on their site basically renaming resolutions. Not only do we encourage New Years’ Resolutions, but we want to help you with how to make the best of them with great tips from best counseling practices. (Note: I’m a fan of Gospel Coalition, I know several writers there. Just seems like lazy writing on the topic.)

If you have already made some, but they already seem to not be working, no worries, we can fix them as you go. If you haven’t but thought about it, it’s not too late.

Read More

Prayer As A Coping Skill

Prayer is one of the essential tools a Christian needs to learn in their journey with God. Throughout the last two thousand years, we have seen prayer take many forms, including praying in tongues, breath prayers, intercessory prayer, healing or thanksgiving, and prayers for salvation, to name a few. But for counseling, we see prayers used in a clinical environment as a coping skill.

We will explore a couple of ways that counselors can utilize prayer in their counseling session and how pastors can use it to promote better mental health.

Read More

Dreamland [Book Review]

If you have watched the news for the past 4 years, if you are involved with your local and state communities, or if you are involved in counseling, you know of the opiate epidemic. My experience as a mental health and substance abuse counselor is that many people know some things but few know most of what has been happening. The news is getting this opiate crisis only partially reported, mostly because there is so much happening. Dreamland, authored by Sam Quinones, touches on all that has been happening since the late 20th century.

Read More

Taking The Stress Out Of Money

You may have heard several conversations about money within the Church. From the necessary “tithe your percentage to the church” sermon, being part of a small group on Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey, sitting in on a budgeting meeting for the ministries when it gets heated, or trying to decide if you are going to pay for that $2 donut and $4 coffee at the newly installed church coffee shop, money is apart of every church.

One thing is true, there is stress in money.

We don’t have enough money, it seems difficult to keep money, and it’s hard to obtain money. The Church even talks about how money is the root of all evil.

But what if there was a way of taking the stress out of money?

Read More

Is It Okay For Pastors To Have Anxiety? [Devotional]

When I worked in youth ministry, whether within a church or in a parachurch setting, I discovered a little secret pastors don’t tell anyone. They are human just like everyone else and stress and anxiety are just as bad for them, if not worse. If pastors cannot be successful, how can we have any hope?

Read More

Christian Marital and Premarital Curriculum

Marriage is hard. Think about being in a relationship with someone, them knowing all of your deepest flaws and you knowing theirs. Further, your understanding of family, finances, or sex is different from theirs. You have children, but struggle to keep your own marriage as a priority. Then we throw in disappointment, in-laws, and personal expectations that may not be met. Having a resource to help you understand what you are currently going through in marriage as well as having something before you say ‘I Do’ is huge and having it faith-based is all the more important.

Below, I have shared several resources for people to use, though I will be honest, they all require you to have a mentor couple to work with you. It’s not easy and you should not go it alone.

Read More

Family Phone And Internet Contracts

Working with children and their families in counseling, one conversation that comes up over and over is concerns of the parents, teachers, and other important figures for the children that they are either misusing technology or putting themselves at risk. While you cannot prevent all problems from affecting children, there are several things that parents can do for their family in order to protect them.

Below I have links to several contracts and pledges for the family to go over and sign on how to properly use and expect to work with family members with the internet and smartphones. Further, I have several tips you need to consider as you begin dialogues with your children because a simple contract is not going to prevent harm, but constant vigilance and communication.

Read More