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.
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“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly – that still hurts when the weather gets cold. But you learn to dance with the limp.” – Anne Lamott
I am writing about one of life’s most uncomfortable and difficult topics to discuss – grief. This topic is so much more poignant and sensitive to the touch for me right now, as I have been walking through some personal grief recently that happens to be associated directly with this line of work that I have been called to do.
I must admit, as a counselor, grief is one of the toughest topics for me to grapple with when I am sitting across from you and you’re in the midst of heartbreak and loss. Your world has just been forever changed; the reality that you have been accustomed to is now forever different.
As someone whose job it is to sit with you and share in this heartache, I find that no matter how many skills or tools, or how much knowledge or education I have for you during this time, I am still as human as you are, with...Read More
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is one of the more well-known disorders, made popular, among many other portrayals, by Jack Nicholson in the movie “As Good as it Gets” as Melvin Udall, a misanthropic author with OCD. If you’ve seen the movie, you may recall Melvin turning the lock repeatedly after closing his front door.
As with all mental disorders, it is important not to self-diagnose based on information we have gathered from pop culture or the internet. OCD can cover a broad range of behaviors and thought patterns, and it is perhaps best evaluated in the context of how disruptive or distressing it is in your life. If you are concerned you have any mental disorder, see a mental health professional and get a diagnosis.
The DSM-V Manual defines obsessions as (1) “recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and unwanted, and that in most individuals cause marked anxiety or distress,” and (2) “The individual attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action (i.e., by performing a compulsion).”
The manual goes on to define compulsions as:
1. “Repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that...Read More
In my experience, some of the most common things that bring people into my office are symptoms of depression. However, often people are not quite able to articulate them as such.
Colloquially, we use “depressed” to mean sad. While sadness is a symptom of depression – often the biggest and most salient – it is not the only one. Further, there are many different types of depression that can manifest in different ways.
My goal here is to walk you through some different types and symptoms of depression so that you might piece together a better idea of what is afflicting you. Next, I hope that I can convince you to help seek out treatment by not only giving you options but addressing how these options work towards building recovery for you.
The first broad type of depression to look at is Major Depressive Disorder. Major Depressive Disorder is generally what is being referred to when people say “clinical depression.” When somebody comes into my office indicating they are feeling sad or depressed, this is what my brain is looking at.
More than just a sadness, Major Depressive Disorder indicates that something called a Major Depressive Episode has occurred. This might seem redundant, but I will explain why the distinction exists later. The hallmark symptoms of a major depressive episode include either a depressed mood, or a lack of interest in pleasure, and...Read More