All Posts by dougl1kj

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Sep 26

Does Splankna Work?

By dougl1kj | Blog , Splankna Healing Ministry

You may or may not have heard of Splankna, a Christian healing technique utilized by a few of us counselors at Grace Wellness Center. If you haven’t I would encourage you to check out the website or see if your counselor is one of those trained to use it, as it is a technique that everyone can benefit from.

I heard about Splankna when I first started at GWC and was on-board with wanting to learn about it before I had even learned what it really was. All I needed was to be told that it was a Christian intervention that could deal with trauma. I had come from a job where my focus had been to work with people who had been through significant traumas and while there where many tools that I had learned that could help a person put their lives back together or to find a sense of wholeness if there had been no healthy base to build on, these tools were often lacking the hope that we have as Christians. So as soon as I learned that there was an intervention that could be used to bring that hope into moments of brokenness that I had so long worked with, I jumped at the chance to learn.

My real introduction to Splankna came when I started attending some practice sessions for those who had already been trained, and it was at this point that I learned, Splankna is weird. If you haven’t experienced it there are certain tools used like muscle testing where the person pushed on your arm. Since we also invite God to work where He wants the topics that come up aren’t always the ones that you expect. Knowing that this technique could work with life traumas, I thought I knew what would come up. Only the first bunch of times, the brokenness I remembered experiencing in my own life is not what God had in mind.

Like many counselors I have had my own experiences and need for support that has taught me to want to help others. The most significant of these experiences was the basis for most of my nightmares as a child, and while I had grown into a well-adjusted adult, there was still this memory that I had built a wall around. An area that, if anything brought up thoughts of it, I would feel like I had been kicked in the gut. A trauma, that despite all my efforts, still affected my thoughts and outlook on life. I thought that with Splankna this would clearly be where we went, as being a counselor with all my years of experience and training of course I knew what I needed to deal with. Only it appeared God disagreed. For my initial experiences I kept processing emotions from ages early enough that I didn’t remember what produced them. I could see how these emotional strongholds had affected my life, but still wondered at the efficacy of Splankna since it wasn’t working where I thought best. Also since I couldn’t remember what had caused the emotions I didn’t notice any major shifts through the work.

Then I went to the training. I should explain that the week I went, I actually left helping out with my church’s teen camp that week to attend. A week where I was spending hours a day in worship, praying over other, and participating in the ministry that God was doing. In this mind frame I went to learn about Splakna. At the workshop, you learn to use the skills not only academically but you practice them with your fellow students. God chose this moment to deal with the worst night of my life. Looking back I think that with Splakna I would still have gotten there, but with spending the days proceeding focused on God I was more willing to trust Him to deal with such a significant source of pain. After processing it, I can still remember that night, but there is no longer any emotional weight to it. So despite its weirdness and despite how even knowing how it works I don’t know where any particular session will go, I can say that my own experience has shown me that this is a tool that God can use to bring healing even to broken areas of your life where nothing else has seemed to work.

called to thrive - eye of storm
Sep 22

Parenting Through The Hurricane

By dougl1kj | Blog , My Kids Program


Chaos, confusion, tiredness, anger, resentment…these feelings and others make up the hurricane many of us experience as parents. Is there something wrong with my kid(s)? Am I a failure? Is this just something I have to endure? Why doesn’t anything work? These are the questions, among others, that we ask when we are in the hurricane.

How do I know about this hurricane? I know it because I have lived it! In fact, I have lived it many times. As the parent of 11 children, many of whom were badly hurt before they came to us as foster kids, I feel like I have seen it all. When my wife and I faced those early hurricanes we scrambled to find the calm in the eye of the storm but we learned that this wasn’t going to work long term. We learned strategies from some of the best in the field of working with hurt and difficult kids and I have put those techniques together into the My Kids program at Grace Wellness Center.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Let talk about this hurricane before I tell you more about the My Kids Program. The hurricane is the chaos that hurt and difficult kids bring into our lives. It causes most of us to react in one of two ways. Either we fight with our kids or we throw our hands up and give in. Neither is a good option and actually, neither is necessary. While, this fight or flight response does helps us survive the moment it is also what sends us scrambling for the eye of the hurricane. The eye of the hurricane is that place where we haven’t really worked through anything but we have peace for the moment. The problem is we will just find ourselves back in the hurricane. There really is no other option, it is all around us if we haven’t worked through it and resolved it. These patterns are reinforced by the immediate relief they sometimes bring but they don’t get us anywhere.

The only way out is through the hurricane. We have to actually deal with the problems and the ineffective patterns. Getting through the hurricane means you get to the point where the same things aren’t happening anymore and you don’t have to live in fear that they will reemerge any moment. If you already know how to do this, then this isn’t for you. However, most people don’t know how to get through the hurricane because it involves doing things differently and practicing therapeutic or reparative parenting. The My Kids program helps you learn therapeutic parenting and is based on solid techniques developed from an in depth understanding of how your child’s brain is functioning. You will learn tools to work with instead of against what is going on inside your child.

So you are on this journey called parenting. Your kids are going to grow up, you can’t change that. However, you can have an impact on how they turn out and what that journey is like for you. I would love to meet you where you are on your parenting journey and help you and your family live the life God has called you to and finally get out of the hurricane.

Are you looking for ways to start wading through the hurricane? Check out our 4 Free Preview Lessons of the My Kids program:

called to thrive
Aug 10

Oh Precious One

By dougl1kj | Blog , Counseling , Depression

Oh Precious One

By Paget McCarthy


Sad, broken one,

What has left you

In so many pieces

You no longer

Collect them?


Laughter, joy, smiles all cease

Fade away, until forgotten.


Pain and sorrow


Taint the past

Distort tomorrow.

How long will it last?


Oh Man of many sorrows,

Surely you can know me.

You who formed me

Like a potter

Surely you can see a ray of hope.

If I’m your son, if I’m your daughter,

Show up, my King, show up, my Papa.


What would my maker say?


Come to me

I will wrap your wounds.

Come to me, my precious one.

See the vessel of your tears?

A regal collection.

Come to me.

I have healing in my wings.

Rest in the shadow of your maker.


In due season,

You will see

There’s a reason

And a purpose

For your story

And the pain.

Sometimes cruel –

But promised gain.

A joy, placed in the distance.

You are fashioned

In my likeness.


Soon enough

Tears no more.

Kingdom come.

Oh precious one

Your story will live

Beyond you.

Come to me, come to me.

Glory, Glory.


You have purpose

You have meaning

Let the light


On your weary soul.

Let your life

Be a part

Of an eternal



Don’t give up

Stand tall.

See the hope

In your call.

You are loved,

Apple of my eye.

The eye who creates

Awesome value…


Grasp the meaning.


Like the psalmist

When in anguish


To his Father

Come, my child.


Do not miss

Your purpose

Oh precious one.





***If you’re hurting and struggling, please consider calling Grace Wellness Center.


You are precious in God’s sight (Isa 43:4,5).

God has a plan for you; a life with a future and a hope (Jer 29:11).

Jun 23

Because they are My Kids!

By dougl1kj | Blog , My Kids Program

“My Kids” Therapeutic Parent Coaching Program and Community

So I was sitting there looking at this woman trying to figure out what to say to such an absurd question…then it hit me, it wasn’t an absurd question to her and probably wasn’t to most of the people she had asked it to previously. We were in the process of adopting two of our kids who had been with us as foster children for almost two years and this woman was asking questions for our home study to see if we could adopt these children. The question she asked was why do you want to adopt “these kids?” After staring at her confused for a few seconds thinking “well which ones do you think I would want to adopt” I simply replied “because they are the ones they gave us.” Now SHE looked confused. She said “yeah but what about them makes you want to adopt them.” Ah, yes, there it is. She was looking for something conditional about these kids that makes me want to adopt them. What’s wrong with that you ask? Well, kids change! If I want to adopt them because I like certain things about them, then what happens when that changes? This is how we pick puppies from the pound but shouldn’t be how we adopt kids.   So my next response was a defiant “because they are my kids!” I wanted to ask why she wanted to keep her kids but I didn’t. You see, when a child is born into a family, the parents already decided to love that child long before he or she was born and no matter what the child’s attributes are, they love them. You don’t see parents at the hospital looking at their child and deciding if they are going to keep them or not, do you? No! So when a foster child comes into our home we have already been praying for that child and loving that child no matter what they are like or what is wrong with them. They are our kids!

As a licensed counselor and therapeutic parent coach who specializes in working with foster, adopted, traumatized and difficult children I work with a lot of parents on this concept of unconditional love. Not only do we have to unconditionally love our kids, but they have to feel and believe that we do. This is where it gets hard. Every child needs someone to say “that’s my kid” and mean it with every fiber of their being no matter what happens or what the child does. But beyond that, the child has to take a risk and believe it. Hurt kids have a hard time doing this and often push parents away and even make parents act in ways that the child uses to confirm that they aren’t loved. Really bad and destructive patterns emerge when we don’t know how to handle situations with “hurt kids.” Notice I say “hurt kids” and not “bad kids.” These kids are hurting and they need someone to love them in a way that the child can believe them.

There was a point in time when I decided to be God’s child. I decided to let him adopt me into his family. Maybe you have as well? When we do that God reaches down, takes us in his arms and says “my kid” and it’s done. You are his kid unconditionally, no matter what you have done or how damaged you are. This is the model we have for adoption and for parenting, but it is hard to live. The “My Kids” program was started to help make this a reality. Our passion is for every child to have someone say “My Kid” and mean it and for every child to have the chance to take the risk and believe it.

My wife and I currently have 10 children in our home. Some are our biological children, others are adopted and others are foster children. But they are all our kids, period. People often ask “which ones are ours” to which we give a really confused look and say, “well all of them are ours.” James 1:27 commands us to look after the orphans. The My Kids program is committed to fulfilling this command and pursuing the goal of every child having someone say “my kid” and mean it.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27


We are your community…

By Stephen Luther

Licensed Counselor, Therapeutic Parent Coach and founder of the My Kids Program and online Community

My Kid’s Therapeutic parent coaching group on Facebook: