Be Good: Cultivating Goodness through Christian Counseling

By Lisa Velin, MA LMHC, Seattle Christian Counseling, PLLC

During college in the 1990s, I first read the little book, Be Good To Each Other, by Lowell and Carol Erdahl. I was struck by how simple the title was. Now, after more experience of life and of my own marriage, I find the title to be quite profound. Striving to “be good” to each other is such a straightforward, kind and loving goal. I like the simple idea of being good to each other on purpose and believing the best about the other.

An Attitude and an Action

“Be good.” It is an attitude AND an action. So often, we give all our “good” away during the day to other people - at work, at school, here and there throughout the day. When we get home, we want to let down. Often, we end up taking our frustrations or exhaustion out on our partners, those with whom we want to be our best and whom we want to treat with the absolute best intention.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the...

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A Christian Counselor’s Guide to Holiday Stress

By Lisa Velin, MA LMHC, Seattle Christian Counseling, PLLC

The holidays can be a stressful time. Even worse, your feelings of anxiety may be heightened by the contrasting gaiety and busyness of those around you. Whether you are trying to get some shopping done, find that recipe that you used last year, or finalize plans with your relatives – this time of the year can feel overwhelming.

Confronting Holiday Stress

If you are able to understand what causes you stress at this time of year, you will be better able to cut through the vague sense of dread about family gatherings. By identifying specific problems, you can deal with the stress directly. For many people, holiday stress is triggered by the following factors:

  • Holidays Can Trigger Sad Memories

The holiday season can remind people of difficulties in their childhood and of what they missed while they were growing up. Sometimes a sad or stressful event becomes associated with this time of year, such as the death of a loved one or a diagnosis of cancer. As a result, people can experience intense feelings of dread and anxiety at this time.

  • Unhealthy Relationships


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Premarital Counseling Questions To Ask Before You Say “I Do,” Part 2

By Shirley Lytle, MA, LMHC, Seattle Christian Counseling

This is the second in a two-part series exploring a few basic “dos and don’ts” of marriage. In my previous article, I started with some of the essential “dos” of preparing for marriage— these ideas ranged from identifying your core values to straightening out your finances. In this article, I will continue this list of practical advice to couples, turning my attention to the fundamental don’ts of marriage. Marriage is always a challenging relationship, but preparing yourself can make all the difference for your life together.

Don’t Assume Issues Will Disappear After the Wedding

You may be an exceptional match for your partner, but neither of you is perfect.  If problems and resistance to compromise present themselves before marriage, these same issues will only escalate after marriage.

Don’t Wait To Talk About the Important Issues

It is never a good idea to wait until you are about to walk down the church isle to find out your partner does not want children, doesn’t like your family, or ha...

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Why Family Counseling? How Christian Counseling Can Help Your Family

By Mali Hawkins, MS, LMFTA, Seattle Christian Counseling, PLLC

Are you and your family having a hard time communicating? Are there unresolved issues that regularly cause conflict? Are you struggling to set healthy boundaries with your teen? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Family conflict is inevitable but not everyone is equipped to deal with it on their own. In my practice I seen many clients who come into my office seeking individual counseling for an issue that really involves the entire family. The patterns within a family are hard to address with only one member sitting in the counseling office. My hope is that each of my clients will be able to establish set healthier patterns for their life and their relationships. But, sometimes this can only come about through intentional conversations that include their family.

What Does Christian Family Counseling Address?

There are many issues that can be addressed in family counseling, but those that I most often encounter in my practice include communication, respect and boundaries.

  • Learning to Communicate as a Family: Communication among family members is the pr...
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