God’s Forgiveness: Is it for Me?

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.1 John 1:9-10

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.Ephesians 4:32

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.Matthew 18:21-22

When I have worked with individuals and with families, forgiveness has often arisen as a stumbling block in the path of progress. It’s a simple concept, to forgive, but often so hard to truly do.

In marriages, the inability to forgive can begin to eat away at the foundation of the relationship to a greater extent than the act that needs forgiving, itself. For individuals, holding onto anger and bitterness towards others can dampen moods. Holding onto anger directed inward, even more so.

The inability to forgive acts like an anchor, keeping us from growing and living a m...

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Does Online Couples Therapy Work?

Does online couples therapy work? Before I can fully answer this question, let’s first talk a little about what couples therapy is.

A Definition of Online Couples Therapy

By its very nature, the definition of couple’s therapy is a form of mental health counseling used to treat relationship distress, such as poor communication skills, incompatibility or a wide variety of other psychological disorders. Its purpose is to restore functioning to the coupled relationship and address the reasons for the distress in the first place.

There are several different theories of couples-based therapy treatments that have proven to be effective in various forms. According to the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders ( below are some of the more commonly used models for treating couples.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the different schools of thought related to couples therapy, but just an idea of what types of therapeutic practices your particular therapist might employ.

  • Traditional behavioral therapy which focuses on behavioral change, communication, and problem-solving.
  • Psychoanalytic therapy where the focus is on unresolved childhood conflicts with parents and how these are part ...
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Does Marriage Counseling Work? 6 Arguments For And Against

If you are thinking about marriage counseling, don’t be surprised if you feel a lot of resistance to finding a therapist and scheduling an appointment. Couples who see marriage counselors typically have reached a point where things are so bad that they are willing to see a stranger to talk about it.

Often there are feelings of shame associated with the marital disruption, which makes it even harder. To make the decision even more complicated, you may be asking the question, "Does marriage counseling work?" Not surprisingly, the answer ends up being, yes, usually depending on both spouses’ commitment to the process.

Does Marriage Counseling Work?

While there are arguments for and against, you are trying to preserve your most important relationship on earth, and you may have to overcome a lot of reluctance to make the journey.

Arguments for Marriage Counseling

1. We Need a Mediator

Usually, by the time we need help with our marriage relationship, communication has broken down enough that we can’t discuss issues that matter without it turning into an argument.

We need a referee to call timeout, to call fouls or out of bounds, and generally direct the way we are talking to each other, so each side is heard and emotions are k...

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The Importance of Play as a Balance to Work

Many successful and joyful people have worked with dedication and responsibility on their life’s work, only to find that along the way somewhere, they have lost their love of life.

The opposite of play is not work – the opposite of play is depression. Over the long haul, when these spice-of-life elements of play are missing, what is left is a dulled soul.

Play and work are mutually supportive. Neither one can survive without the other. We need newness of play, its sense of flow, and being in the moment. We need the sense of discovery and liveliness that it provides. We also need the purpose of work, the economic stability it offers, the sense that we are doing service for others, that we are needed and integrated into our world.

And most of us need also to feel competent. Even people who are independently wealthy and never need to work a day in their lives find that they need to volunteer or donate to good causes to feel that sense of connection and purpose.

The quality that work and play have in common is creativity. In both we are building our world and creating new relationships, neural connections, and objects. Respecting our biologically programmed need for play can transform work. Play is nature’s greatest tool for creating new neural networks and for reco...

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Effective Coaching Techniques to Overcome Burnout and Enjoy your Work Again

Most people I work with who are feeling “burnt-out” describe feeling like being a gerbil on a hamster wheel. Some describe it as that panicked feeling, a fluttering, or a “wash of overwhelm” that is difficult to manage, and has started affecting their everyday way of living.

For confidentiality, we’ll describe the following client as ‘Nancy.’ Nancy is a healthcare provider who came to me for burnout coaching and anxiety counseling during a crisis.

She was balancing over 70 hours a week in an emergency room, and had arrived at a point where she had driven her car to a cliff and contemplated continuing off of it.

She felt drained, rarely replenished, suffered from extensive ‘mom-guilt’ for not being able to see her kids and family anymore, and was no longer keeping up with the demands of work. On top of it all, her entire work was focused on helping people in trauma.

She was exhausted.

Her first instinct was to blame herself, and maybe you’ve been here: “I should find a way to make it all work. There’s really no time to take time off right now because nobody is available to cover. My kids are angry, and my husband and I don’t talk much anymore.”

The reality is, according to (2017), people in the United States work longer hour...

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Signs of Self Harm in Teens and How to Help

Do you know someone who intentionally cuts or burns themselves? Chances are that you do know someone who has engaged in self-harm behaviors, since it has been estimated that 14% to 17% of adolescents and young adults have reported engaging in self-injurious behavior (Whitlock, Eckenrode, & Silverman, 2006).

In one study of community adolescents, researchers discovered that 46.6% of participants reported engaging in non-suicidal self-injury (Lloyd-Richardson, Perrine, Dierker, & Kelley, 2007).

From these and other studies, it is obvious that self-injury in teens is a major concern. What most people think of as self-injury is referred to as Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) in the psychology community. NSSI is when an individual intentionally harms himself or herself in a manner that is not socially acceptable and does not have suicidal intent. From this point forward, NSSI will be referred to as self-injury.

When you hear the phrase self-injurious behavior, what is your initial reaction?  You may have questions such as: Why would someone intentionally harm themselves? Are there any warning signs? How can I help?

Throughout this article we will examine these and other aspects of this very important and often misunderstood topic.

What Does Self-Injury Look Li...

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8 Effective Anger Management Techniques for Men

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!Galatians 5:2-23

One of the most common things I hear from men in my office is “… and then I just get so angry.” Anger seems to rest on our population like a plague, often creating a wake of devastation in the lives of families all over America. While many men experience anger, their loved ones, friends, and co-workers feel the ripple effect. Even that guy who you cut off in traffic.

Anger spreads, invades, and infects those around us. Further, when we try to bottle it down, it becomes like a pressure cooker ready to explode. As such, many treatments men try to use for themselves either end up having no effect or else the opposite effect. Treating anger in isolation, head on, can often be a futile task.

Imagine this: you are standing in a cove on the beach, and I instruct you to stop the waves from coming in. How could you accomplish such a task? Would you stand in front of the waves and tell them to stop? Would you lean into the waves and use your body to block their path? These attempts would likely yield poor results as ...

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