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Getting Help for Depression: You Don’t Have to Struggle Alone

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

Depression is one of the more common psychological struggles a person can experience in a lifetime. According to ADAA.org, “MDD [Major Depressive Disorder] affects more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.”

“In 2015, an estimated 3 million adolescents age 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the previous year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.”

While depression can feel like a very isolating, lonely experience, the fact is, many people have or will experience some form of depression in their lifetime. Anything from a divorce, the loss of a loved one, exposure to traumatic events, or other kinds of emotional or physical harm can lead to feelings of hopelessness.

The good news is that you’re not alone, and because this type of feeling can be so common, there is a lot of research dedicated to providing you with support.

“The smartest thing I’ve ever learned is I don’t have all the answers, just a little ligh...

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Sex Addiction Counseling: The Answer To Your Private Prayers

More than any other addiction, sex addiction has the most potential to dial up shame. This is what can make it so hard to talk about, and therefore too often it stays hidden.

Unfortunately, as they say in 12-step programs, we are only as sick as our secrets. What this means is when we do things we know are wrong and then hide those behaviors from our loved ones, we gradually poison our soul, and the longer we wait, the worse it is when our behavior comes to light. The good news is that God does not think we are disgusting or hopeless. We are loved and worthy of redemption, no matter what.

Understanding Sexual Response

Our bodies are created with the capacity for sexual response, and at the physical level that response is involuntary. People in scientific studies who are shown photos of animals mating often respond with disgust, but almost without exception their bodies display the physical attributes of arousal. This is important to understand when beginning to think about addiction.

We are created to be in relationship, to bond, to join, to procreate, and these needs are interwoven with our deepest emotions of hope (to be seen, known, and loved as we are) and fear (that we will be judged, found inadequate, and be rejected). Addictive behaviors are activated by t...

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How is Depression in Teenagers Different Than in Adults?

Imagine this: you’re feeling lonely. You have connection to a lot of potential friends but you’re not sure if they are ones you can count on or not. You’re constantly second guessing yourself, unsure of who you really are anymore. It’s difficult to get up in the morning, but most nights you can’t fall asleep easily either.

Your body is seemingly rejecting the normal routines you once had with a newfound increased appetite and lack of desire to move. In general, your mood has been low and at points much more unstable. What am I describing here?

Depending where you’re coming from, I might be describing your teenage years, or I might be describing depression. For many adolescents, teenage years present a major challenge and a lot of it can look like depression. Even more so, then, when a teenager does struggle with Depression, it can be an incredibly challenging exacerbator to an already difficult life stage!

Depression in Teenagers

Here are some ways that depression in teenagers is different from depression in adults.

The Social World

One of the hallmarks of depression is a cycle of negative self talk. People struggling with clinical depression often feel like they aren’t good enough, or they struggle with anxiety made worse by ...

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What is Forgiveness, Really?

What does it mean to actually forgive someone who has wronged us in some way? It seems like such a simple concept that we are taught even at a young age. When someone says ‘I’m sorry,’ we say ‘I forgive you.’ And as Christians we are often taught to grant forgiveness even if that ‘I’m sorry’ never comes. But what is forgiveness beyond the spoken words?

What is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is releasing the ‘right’ you may feel to be angry and resentful, laying down all claims to retribution. It is relinquishing any guilt, punishment, or debt that someone may owe you.

Forgiveness seeks pardon, not punishment of the other person. Forgiveness carries the price of surrendering revenge, but the reward is worth it. God began by forgiving us, and He invites us to forgive others.

There are many misconceptions about what it means to forgive, as well as what it means about ourselves as the forgiver. These messages can come from social media, Hollywood, or even our own friends and family.

Ultimately as Christians, we can find clarity in the Scriptures to sort out “What is forgiveness, really?”

Common Myths About Forgiveness

The following are a few myths that the world tends to portray about forgiving.

Myth: Forgiveness is letting ...

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Anxiety Disorder: How Christian Counseling Can Help

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

These words of Christ reach out and beckon our anxious souls toward a mysterious and perfect peace. And yet, for many people suffering from crippling anxiety, the “rest” promised in this passage feels just out of reach.

Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in America today. Multiple studies have shown that ever since the 1930s (the era known as the Great Depression), people in America have reported feeling increasingly anxious. Levels of anxiety today are higher than they have ever been in our nation. Perhaps you are currently experiencing the devastating effects of anxiety in your own life or in the life of a loved one. If so, read on.

Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder

Counselors look for several symptoms in order to identify an anxiety disorder.

Ask yourself whether you or someone close to you is experiencing the following:

  • Excessive worry almost every day
  • Difficulty controlling worries or fears
  • Restlessness or feeling on-edge
  • Easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mind going blank
  • Excessive irritability
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What Happens in Marriage Counseling? 7 Frequently Asked Questions

Your wedding day represented a beautiful union between you and another person. A happy event with lots of celebration. Life as newlyweds seemed wonderful as you and your spouse continued to celebrate each day with each other.

Then, one day, something felt different. Maybe you couldn't name the feeling or the moment you started noticing something wasn’t right, but you do know that outside help might be needed.

As you start to look for a counselor, you might be wondering what happens in marriage counseling.

Hopefully these 7 frequently asked questions can be helpful as you make your decision.

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7 Frequently Asked Questions about What Happens in Marriage Counseling

1) How Does Marriage Counseling Work?

Every therapist is different and they each have their own unique way of working with married couples. However, some things are usually the same regardless, so we will look at what is typical. After you reach out to a therapist about counseling, you decide on a time that works for your schedule, then you and your spouse have an initial session with the therapist.

There will be a disclosure that you and y...

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Identifying the Most Common Anxiety Disorders

You may find it strange to hear that anxiety is a surprisingly complex emotion with many possible causes and manifestations. If you’ve lived with anxiety for a long time and never asked yourself about it, it may seem like just the way you are, a simple state of being.

Anxiety is not our normal state, however. It has causes and symptoms that can be addressed, and can be reduced and managed over time. We don’t have to just accept it.

Physiology

Like pain, anxiety is intended to be a beneficial, healthy part of our normal function. You have probably heard of the "fight or flight" response. This is our sympathetic nervous system telling us what to do in a crisis.

Imagine walking into a dark room in your basement. Out of the corner of your eye you catch a glimpse of an animal shape on a shelf at eye level, the perfect spot from which to pounce on unsuspecting prey. You hastily flip on the light and are greeted by the sight of your beloved stuffed teddy bear.

In that moment between the glimpse and flipping on the light, your body went into high alert, adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormone) pumping, readying your body to either run for it, or grapple with the beast to the death.

When the absence of a threat was revealed, the first thing you did was take a de...

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