mental health


To those struggling with anxiety and/or depression during this pandemic, you may find When Therapy Isn’t Enough helpful. Excerpt:

When God designed our bodies, he instilled in us a natural healing process for when we get injured or sick. Just watch the way a cut heals for an example of this. The healing process doesn’t always happen in the way or the timing that we want, though. This is because we are not in charge of our own healing–God is. The healing is God’s choice, it’s always God’s choice…God is respectful…he doesn’t force his healing on us. He gave us free will. This means that we have the power to make choices, and the choices that we make can either allow God to heal us or hinder him from healing us. Our choices can either facilitate the natural healing process or block it.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625861117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531867727&sr=1-2&keywords=When+Therapy+Isn%27t+Enough

 

As my time staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic drags on (almost six weeks now) with no definite end in sight, I have had to recommit to implementing some previously learned lessons in my life. After all, it seems like an unavoidable truth that some lessons need to be learned, then relearned over and over again. Somehow, one learning experience does not seem quite enough for the more difficult or important lessons.

When I worked the 12 Steps in Celebrate Recovery, I learned that the only things I have control over are my choices and my behavior. I have no control over what anyone else does, says, or thinks. I only have control over how I choose to react to someone else.

I was reminded of this lesson as I was watching and reading about the protests going on in various cities around the country. Though I wholeheartedly support people’s right to protest, seeing people standing shoulder to shoulder with no masks on and obviously not adhering to social distancing guidelines, greatly upset me. Though I was upset about how many more people might get sick and/or die, both those protesting and those who the protesters would later come into contact with, I was also upset about how this might extend the need for me to stay isolated at home. I wish I could say these selfish thoughts did not enter my head but alas, they did.

Anyway, as I’ve been thinking about and processing all this the last few days, I am recommitting to not staying upset and angry about this and to not let it dominate my thoughts and current limited activities. Wish me luck!

“MY FAMILY IS NOT DYSFUNCTIONAL!” When I hear individuals vehemently make this statement I want to reply “How do you know? Are you familiar with the dynamics and characteristics of a dysfunctional family?” As a trained marriage and family therapist with 27 years professional experience, I am familiar with these characteristics. I have a plumb line regarding this issue.

What is a plumb line? According to dictionary.com a plumb line is an instrument or a tool, a cord with a lead bob attached to one end, which is used to determine perpendicularity, the depth of water, etc.

Plumb lines have been used since at least the time of ancient Egypt to ensure that buildings under construction are vertical…Until the modern age, plumb-bobs were used on most tall structures under construction. A section of the scaffolding would hold a plumb line, which was centered over a mark on the floor. As the building proceeded upward, the plumb line would be taken higher, still centered on the mark on the floor. Many cathedral spires, domes and towers have brass marks inlaid into their floors, which signify the center of the structure above… Early skyscrapers used heavy plumb-bobs, hung on wire in their elevator shafts.” (Wikipedia)

BIBLICAL EXAMPLE of NEED for a PLUMB LINE: Josiah, ruler of the people of Judah 600 years before the birth of Christ, decreed that he and the people in his kingdom would live according to God’s standard. Sometime during his reign, while repairs were being done on the Temple, a priest “found the Book of the Law of the Lord that was written by Moses” (2 Chronicles 34:14). It is believed to be what later became the Book of Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Old Testament. The book, which was in the form of a scroll at the time, was taken to King Josiah and read to him. “When the king heard what was written in the Law, he tore his clothes in despair” (2 Chronicles 34:19). He had not realized until then just how far off track, how out of sync with God’s commands, his people were. He did not have an accurate plumb line. Once he understood this, he instituted major religious reforms throughout his kingdom. (The full account of this event is told in 2 Kings Chapter 22 and 2 Chronicles Chapter 34).

Before you vehemently state that your family is not dysfunctional, I gently encourage you to educate yourself on the dynamics and characteristics of functional vs. dysfunctional family systems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from When Therapy Isn’t Enough:

John Bradshaw, in his book Healing the Shame that Binds You, states: “Twelve-step groups literally were born out of the courage of two people risking coming out of hiding. One alcoholic person (Bill W.) turned to another alcoholic person (Dr. Bob) and they told each other how bad they really felt about themselves. I join with Scott Peck in seeing this dialogue coming out of hiding as one of the most important events of this century.”

I join with John Bradshaw and Scott Peck in seeing the dialogue between Bill W. and Dr. Bob, in which they each came out of hiding and gave birth to 12-Step groups, as one of the most important events of the 20th century. I believe that another important event of the 20th century, a building block on what Bill W. and Dr. Bob did, is what John Baker and Rick Warren did. John Baker understood the vision God gave him for a Christ-centered recovery program and acted on it, giving birth to Celebrate Recovery. Rick Warren gave John Baker the needed permission and support to establish and build Celebrate Recovery at Saddleback Church in Southern California and then take it to the world.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625861117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531867727&sr=1-2&keywords=When+Therapy+Isn%27t+Enough

Excerpt from When Therapy Isn’t Enough:

Due to the dysfunction in the family I grew up in, I entered adulthood with many emotional and spiritual wounds, destructive habits and crippling hang-ups, most of which were outside my awareness. I began a healing process in my early adulthood even though I did not have a clear idea of what needed to be healed.

… the first step in my healing process was engaging in psychotherapy…Psychotherapy helped me to change on the outside; my inside, however, remained untouched for a very long time. Without consciously realizing it, I accepted this as normal, assuming I had reached the end of the healing process.

While still in therapy I added secular recovery (ACOA ALANON) to my healing process. Secular recovery taught me that I was not alone. I learned firsthand that other people had life experiences similar to mine and had similar feelings to mine.

In 2003 I stumbled upon Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12-Step recovery program, and that has made all the difference for me. Through working a program that continually pointed me toward Jesus, I learned how to access his healing power. My childhood wounds were finally healed—not coped with but healed. My habits are being broken one by one, and my crippling hang-ups have evaporated. They have been replaced with faith and trust in my Higher Power, Jesus Christ.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625861117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531867727&sr=1-2&keywords=When+Therapy+Isn%27t+Enough

Dedication, When Therapy Isn’t Enough: “To individuals carrying emotional and spiritual wounds. The words in this book, both my words and the words of others, are written to you and for you. Words are powerful. They can hurt or they can heal. They can entertain, encourage, criticize or fill any one of numerous other functions. The words in this book are meant to be healing words, helping words. They are written in the sincere hope that they will help you make sense of your experiences, encourage you, challenge you and comfort you.”

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625861117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531867727&sr=1-2&keywords=When+Therapy+Isn%27t+Enough

Excerpt from When Therapy Isn’t Enough:

John Bradshaw, in his book Healing the Shame that Binds You, states: “Twelve-step groups literally were born out of the courage of two people risking coming out of hiding. One alcoholic person (Bill W.) turned to another alcoholic person (Dr. Bob) and they told each other how bad they really felt about themselves. I join with Scott Peck in seeing this dialogue coming out of hiding as one of the most important events of this century.”

I join with John Bradshaw and Scott Peck in seeing the dialogue between Bill W. and Dr. Bob, in which they each came out of hiding and gave birth to 12-Step groups, as one of the most important events of the 20th century. I believe that another important event of the 20th century, a building block on what Bill W. and Dr. Bob did, is what John Baker and Rick Warren did. John Baker understood the vision God gave him for a Christ-centered recovery program and acted on it, giving birth to Celebrate Recovery. Rick Warren gave John Baker the needed permission and support to establish and build Celebrate Recovery at Saddleback Church in Southern California and then take it to the world.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625861117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531867727&sr=1-2&keywords=When+Therapy+Isn%27t+Enough

 

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