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.
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 the water will find any route around you.
No matter how quick you move, how much space you can take up, the...Read More
The term “nervous breakdown” is often overused and ambiguous. It could mean anything from a bad day and being overwhelmed to a having a psychotic episode.
We often hear of celebrities “going through a nervous breakdown” when there are reports of erratic behavior or a significant change in the way they present themselves, but we may also hear a coworker proclaim “I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown” when circumstances are particularly chaotic at the workplace.
But what does the phrase “nervous breakdown” actually mean? It is first important to note that it is not a clinical term. A trained clinician will assess for symptoms that may lead to a diagnosis, and there is no “nervous breakdown” diagnosis.
Despite this, “nervous breakdown” is used as a blanket term, often in a context where the details of mental distress are not openly discussed. There is some shared sense of what the term means. If I were to conduct a small survey, it is likely that people generally would agree that a nervous breakdown indicates a point of abnormal psychological distress.
In order to label the change in behavior as abnormal, we must first have a sense of what is the standard behavior. From that point, what we see or experience as the norm is jilted by a “breakdown.”
So what does a breakdown actually look like? And how can we prevent it? This article will discuss the perception of a...Read More
The scourge of unforgiveness is relentless and deadly if we allow it to take hold in our lives. It is like an addiction, providing a sense of satisfaction in the form of self-justification because it is based most often on a sense of injustice that we feel deep our souls.
Left unchecked, unforgiveness and the bitterness that comes with it can cause you to die inside, bitter through and through, incapable of experiencing love, good, beauty or joy. You may even live in this wretched state for decades before you die physically. For unforgiving, bitter people, Hell begins now, before they are ever in the ground.
If you have read this far it is not too late for you. If you struggle with unforgiveness, it is not too late for you. If it weren’t too many words, the rest of that title up there would be, “and what to do about it.” So, let’s begin by scoping out the problem.
Unforgiveness is a willful predisposition to dehumanize another person, in such a way that we can despise them as the personification of our negative image of them. Someone wrongs us by stealing from us (a job, a car, a spouse) and we feel deeply wronged and rightly so.
Let’s look at the extremes for a moment. Steal from a mostly compassionate person, and they will most likely (after the initial hurt subsides) eventually try to understand your motivation and use that as the...Read More