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called to thrive - darkness to light
Aug 12

From Darkness into the Light

By LeeAnn Trout | Blog , Marriage , Sex/Porn Addiction , Sexual Addiction Recovery

called to thrive - darkness to light

Being caught in sexual sin/ sexual addiction is often a place filled with fear and self -hatred; much what I would imagine the adulterous woman from the Bible felt like.

Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.  John 8:1-3

They put her in front of the crowd! She had been found out! I envision her fallen, with her head hanging low; unable to look at Jesus or her accusers in the eye. She had to be terrified and embarrassed as she was probably sitting there naked and fully exposed. How vulnerable it is to be caught! She must have been filled with regret, fear and self-hatred. – Much like the men and women that I work with when treating sex addiction

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”  6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust…When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”  John 8:3-10

I love how Jesus handles this! He shows us exactly how we are to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ when they have fallen! He calls off her accusers!  The one who has the right and the power to JUDGE, instead reacts with compassion and mercy! In calling off her accusers he takes her out of her SHAME and gives her DIGNITY! She deserves to be stoned but He chooses to love her and restore her.

10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said.  And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”  John 8:10-11

He called her out of her sin and asked her to sin no more! If she were filled with shame and condemnation it would have been so difficult for her to turn from her sin. She would have been consumed by it, stuck in it.  But with the way Jesus loved her she would be able to walk in freedom.

This is exactly our mission at Grace Wellness Center – Sex Addiction Program! We want to act in the same manner as Jesus did. We want to give you the place to experience restoration, dignity and self-respect again. We want to help shed light on sin to help you out of the darkness. We want Jesus to be your only Judge and to show you the same mercy that He offers. Let us help you to “Go and sin no more!”

Contact Grace Wellness Center and let us walk with you into freedom.

Phone:  724-863-7332



called to thrive - relationships
Mar 04

Christian Counseling Helps Build Relationships

By LeeAnn Trout | Blog , Counseling , Counseling and Therapy

called to thrive - relationships

Searching for deeper connections with others? Surrounded by others but still feeling alone? Christian Counseling can help build closer relationships. We were not made to live alone regardless of the independent nature of our American culture. The fast pace and media saturated lives may leave less time for nurturing close personal relationships. While our social networks grow through various social media, our true intimate relationships suffer, including intimacy in marriage. Why this loneliness when there is so much going on around us? Within each of us there is a void that can only be filled with an intimate relationship with God. Also, as image bearers of God, we seek intimacy within community. God said that it is not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18). So from Adam he made Eve (Gen. 2:23) and joined them together showing a deep intimacy of the two becoming one (Gen. 2:24). They were naked and unashamed, not just in a physical sense but in a completely emotional, vulnerable, open and trusting relationship. They were truly known by one another and by the Lord. Before sin entered the world the relationship between Adam, Eve and God was perfectly intimate.
Since The Fall, we must now discover a relational God and develop the skills to be in relationship with others. Sin brought shame and the reaction to hide ourselves over being open, resulting in us not allowing others to fully know us. With the inborn desire for intimacy and the ability to increase in knowledge it is possible for us to improve in relational skills. The perfect, intimate relationship of our Triune God is impossible for us to develop but with His grace, He will teach us to be more like His Son, leading us to deeper intimacy with Him and others.
The Lord knows his people and how they work. This drive for intimacy brings benefits when it is being fulfilled. Research shows the importance of intimacy. Intimacy provides a buffer to psychological and physiological effects of stress. Lack of intimacy or emotional support from wives makes a heart attack more likely in men. Both men and women report less depression and anxiety when they also claim to have high intimacy within their relationships. Intimacy difficulties are also associated with maladjustment, personality disorders, admission to mental hospitals, and suicide. Marriages that are suffering from a lack of emotional intimacy will also negatively impact the couple’s spiritual and physical intimacy. So, it is evident that intimacy is a need psychologically, physiologically and spiritually. We were created for intimacy.
What types of experiences keep people from allowing themselves to be known or intimate with others?

1) Abuse – those that have experienced abuse of any type will naturally become guarded
2) Unforgiveness – unable to forgive and harboring the pain and resentment toward those that have hurt you keep people from opening up to others.
3) Judgmental- When expressing one’s self has been met with criticism, sarcasm and judgment.
4) Fear of rejection – fear of not being liked or cared for will also keep others from experiencing the real you.

Healing past hurts and traumas, learning to take steps beyond these experiences and allowing yourself to be open toward others in a safe relationship are all possible and will allow you to experience deep personal connections and acceptance in others. Christian Counseling can assist individuals in the identification of intimacy breakdown and walk with the client in opening up a path to experience real intimacy with others.

called to thrive - worried girl
Mar 04

Depression and The Christian

By LeeAnn Trout | Blog , Depression

called to thrive - worried girl

Christian counselors often have clients walk into their office when their shame and guilt over experiencing depression has reached an unmanageable level. How could a disorder that affects 1 in 6 individuals at some point during their lifetime result in feelings of judgment and condemnation from the Christian community? Many well meaning brothers and sisters in Christ may misunderstand Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The stigma that can follow this disorder can be seen in false beliefs that depression always: 1) indicates a need for salvation, 2) points to possible unconfessed sin, 3) signals a lack of being spirit filled, 4) means attention seeking behavior/ excuse for behavior, 4) evidences a stronghold, 5) signifies a resistance to the call of God, or 6) denotes not trusting or depending on God (Lyles, 2013). When the Christian community supports these beliefs, those suffering from MDD can internalize guilt/shame, stop talking and avoid others, begin self-medicating or increase in suicidal thoughts (Lyles). Depression certainly is not always due to spiritual issues but condemnation and judgment certainly can increase MDD symptoms.
Faithful servants of God, such as David, Elijah and Job, suffered from depression. Job’s significant personal losses, David’s guilt following Bathsheba, and Elijah’s stress certainly brought about depression even though they were walking with the Lord. Christian figures, such as C.S. Lewis, Martin Luther, and Charles Spurgeon have been reported to experience bouts of depression. Spurgeon stated in a sermon, “Fits of depression come over the most of us. Cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.” Christians are subject to depression because they are human not because they are bad Christians.
Understanding the causes and symptoms of depression can allow Christians to seek help more readily and to reach out to other’s in the community who may be suffering. MDD can be due to “genetics, gender, age, trauma/grief, stressful life events, medical/medications, nutrition, psychiatric problems as well as spiritual issues” (Lyles, 2013). Emotional symptoms can include, depressed mood, inability to enjoy oneself, hopelessness, low self-esteem, impaired memory, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, and negative thoughts. However, 69% of people with MDD present only with physical symptoms. These symptoms include: headache, fatigue, disturbed sleep, dizziness, chest pain, vague joint pain, vague back/abdominal pain, GI complaints, sexual dysfunction/apathy, and menstrual problems (Lyles, 2013).
Being aware of depression, the prevalence, symptoms and the stigma for the Christian, we may be able to reach out to others and assist them in receiving proper treatment. Consequences of not seeking treatment can be physical distress or illness, family/marital discord, self-medication, financial stress, addictions, and a higher risk of suicide. Treatment includes prayer, diet, exercise, sleep, counseling, hobbies, and medications. Encouraging those suffering from depression to seek professional help as well as encouraging them with scripture could be the action taken by pastors, church leadership and the congregation. Draw close to those suffering and encourage that “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, NIV).

*Note- LeeAnn used an outside reference, one of our online seminars, for her article. Those are the in-text citations you are seeing.

called to thrive - stress
Mar 04

Counseling Children Through Divorce

By LeeAnn Trout | Blog , Counseling , Divorce , Marriage


called to thrive - stressStatistics surrounding divorce are heartbreaking. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2012) for every 1,000 people there are 6.8 marriages and for every 1,000 people there are 3.6 divorces. Marriages are constantly breaking up and within those marriages are precious children being faced with difficult life situations. The 2009 American Community Survey indicates that only 47% of children reach the age of 17 in an intact married family. The effects of divorce on children are related to the degree of conflict level within the parents’ relationship. Counseling is encouraged for children of divorce to adapt to their situation and to learn to express emotion and gain proper coping skills. Studies in the area of effect of divorce on children vary greatly. Some research will suggest a lower level of well-being in children of divorced families when compared to intact families, while others suggest that the majority of children can overcome this situation with no difference in well-being. Research can conclude though that the higher conflict divorce, the greater the effects on the children. Stressors such as change in community, friends, or school, a decline in economic status, as well as less time with each parent and an inevitable sense or fear of abandonment lead to diminished functioning or health. Effects can be seen within relationships and interpersonal skills, diminished religious faithfulness, educational achievement, future income, and physical, emotional, and psychological health.
The effects of divorce seem to be life altering in many cases. Children’s adjustment to marital discourse and divorce can be helped through various types of therapy. Group therapy seems to be a leading approach to helping children of divorce, such as Divorce Care. Behavior change theory has been suggested to assist the parents in becoming better models and more peaceful in co-parenting. The use of expressive arts in all therapy is intriguing and has shown to be helpful with children of divorce.
Considering level of conflict amongst the parents is a determining factor on how effected the children are from the divorce, co parenting counseling can reduce the conflict and bring parent’s together to raise the children in a united relationship while remaining separated, all within the best interest of the children. Those attending co-parenting counseling are typically court ordered. However, some parents chose to participate in co parenting in order to ensure a healthy environment for their children. Co parenting counseling gives the parents the opportunity to sort through parenting issues and learn to provide a stable atmosphere for their children rather than taking one another to court to resolve conflicts.
It is imperative for our nation to understand the impact that divorce, especially high conflict divorce, has on children. Many children go through these difficult transitions without appropriate care and will possibly pass to the next generation the legacy of divorce. By providing children with appropriate counseling and entering into co parenting counseling the impact can be minimized.