Take stock of your life for a moment. Think about what you dreamed for yourself as a young man, and how that dream developed over time. Now think about where you are today: is this what you wanted? Are you satisfied with your career? Do you feel fulfilled in your relationships? If you feel like you’re not the man you want to be, you are not alone. Fortunately, Christian counseling offers an excellent space to learn and to grow in your development as a confident yet sensitive man in today’s world.
Sadly, our culture does not encourage men to speak openly about their struggles and challenges. For that reason, one of the most common issues facing men today is silence: we often do not feel that we can acknowledge our weaknesses and pain before others. Men, like women, can struggle with eating disorders or abuse; yet, unlike women, we are told to be strong and bury our pain. Counseling can be a wonderful place to find a voice for yourself in all your complexity as a man in today’s world.
The standards of ‘masculinity’ can place a lot of weight on men today: being a man means that you are strong, confident, handsome, and successful in your work and relationships. When we change ourselves to meet these unrealistic expectations, we can become caught up in unhealthy habits and ways of being that betray our authentic selves. This only adds problems to your life and makes true intimacy with others difficult.
At Seattle Christian Counseling, we are interested in helping men discern how to be Godly leaders. What does it mean to be a Christian man in a world where masculinity is so often identified with power and success? How do we learn to be loving husbands and devoted fathers? How can we be role models for the next generation of Christian men? Learning how to be a prayerful man in a world marked by hyper-sexuality, violence, and apathy is a lifelong process that takes patience and strength.
“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 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 light to call my own. Though it pales in comparison to the over-arching shadows, a speck of light can re-ignite the sun, and swallow darkness whole.” – Sleeping at Last, “Emphasis”
Here are...Read More
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.
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 those needs and fears.
The more early trauma we have in our story, the more likely we will be susceptible to addictive tendencies...Read More
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.
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:
One telltale sign that you or someone you know is facing an anxiety disorder is that your worry is negatively affecting your functioning and your quality of life. Anxiety disorders cause excessive worry about multiple topics in multiple contexts. In other words, the anxiety is not isolated to a single issue.
The effects of anxiety of this magnitude on a person’s life can be disastrous. Anxiety stifles action,...Read More