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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
  • ...Read More

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...

...Read More

How to Find the Right Counselor for You


 
Trying to find the right counselor that fits your needs can feel overwhelming –especially if you’ve never been to counseling before. The following tips are meant to help the process of finding the right counselor for you feel a little bit easier.

Goals

First, you’re going to want to identify your goals for counseling. Why are you seeking counseling at this time? How are you hoping to see your life changed through counseling? The answers to these questions will help you to find the right counselor whose specialties or focus areas fit your needs and concerns.

Preferences

Next, you’ll want to consider your counselor preferences. You are the consumer, so you get to have preferences about the type of counselor you see. You might prefer to see a counselor of a particular gender, ethnicity, race, faith background, etc. Keep in mind that the more comfortable you feel with your counselor, generally the more honest you’re going to be in counseling. Your openness and authenticity is important to the counseling process.

Budget

It’s also important to take a look at your budge...

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Setting Boundaries: Codependency and Your Loved Ones

Codependency is an unhealthy, excessive reliance on another person. It is a learned behavior and can stem from many factors such as low self-esteem, poor boundaries, addiction, illness of a partner, or insecurity.

Codependency prevents a person from having a healthy, balanced, satisfying relationship with another person. Codependents don’t realize that there needs to be ‘space’ in a relationship. Instead, they become so enmeshed in another person that they lose their own identity.

Cоdереndеnсу сhаrасtеrіѕtісѕ аbоund, but соmmоn ones include:

  • саrеtаkіng
  • people рlеаѕіng
  • hаvіng low ѕеlf-wоrth
  • difficulty setting аnd kееріng bоundаrіеѕ
  • соntrоl
  • mаnірulаtіоn

It'ѕ nоt easy tо lооk at уоurѕеlf іn thе mіrrоr аnd admit thаt уоu'vе bееn harboring such аttіtudеѕ аnd behaviors.

Every аrеа of hеаlіng within соdереndеnсу ѕtаrtѕ with аwаrеnеѕѕ. Acknowledge thаt people аrе not асtіng in a wау thаt is ассерtаblе tо you. You nееd tо оwn уоur fееlіngѕ and learn hоw tо be emotionally honest wіth уоurѕеlf. Onlу when уоu аrе able to be honest with уоurѕеlf, wіll о...

...Read More

4 Common Pre-Marriage Counseling Topics To Help Increase Intimacy

You are engaged. Now comes the time of planning. You have a wedding to plan, and more importantly a marriage to prepare for. Many couples can easily get caught up in the stress, detail, joy, and chaos of planning a wedding and neglect the opportunity to further examine one another’s beliefs, expectations, and realities regarding what marriage will actually look like.

This time of engagement can be full of joy and excitement in anticipation for your big day, while simultaneously be a large point of stress and conflict as you plan. With all of the organization, planning, and time spent on details for the wedding, it can be easy to slip into a pattern of decreased intentionality in pursuing intimacy.

Pre-marital counseling can help with this. The purpose is to improve your relationship to be stronger, increase intimacy, as well as to shine light on topics or issues that you, as a couple, can benefit from with intentional conversations.

Pre-Marriage Counseling Topics to Increase Intimacy

There are several pre-marriage counseling topics that will help increase intimacy in the relationship and assist in becoming more prepared for what marriage has in store. Here are four of them:

Communication

Couples may struggle with communication and therefo...

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Does Marriage Counseling Work? Reversing the Stigma of Couples Counseling

If you’ve found yourself here, something’s probably not going as planned. Where did it go wrong? Why can’t he just listen to me? Why can’t she understand? How could he have done that to me? Perhaps these are some of the questions you might be asking yourself.

You’ve opened up your computer or phone and have started searching for answers to these questions. You’re looking to make sense of what’s happened in the last six months or six years.

Let me first say, just by looking for some understanding you’re taking great first steps toward growth in your marriage. Acknowledging the invasion of marital pain and stress shows great potential for you to grow both personally and as a couple.

Often, such as in this very moment, we tend to look for help on the internet – but why is that? Hopefully by reading this article you’ll find some comfort and hope; I desire that for you. However, we can gain so much more from interpersonal interaction.

If you were learning to play the rules of a new game with your partner, such as a sport or board game, would you rather read about it online or get into it and learn through experience? I would guess the latter. Why then, when the stakes are so much higher, do we seek help through the online world?

There’s the obviou...

...Read More

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