Category Archives for "Counseling and Therapy"

called to thrive counseling
Feb 17

CTTR: Thrive Counseling

By dougl1kj | Counseling , Counseling and Therapy , Podcast , Thrive

In this episode Steve and Aki discuss how the THRIVE philosophy makes a difference in the counseling relationship and helps people go from broken to not only surviving but to thriving in their lives.

Are you looking to see if counseling is right for you?

Click here for a FREE exploratory meeting to see if counseling is right for you – click here:

called to thrive - guilt
Mar 04

A Christian Counselor’s Approach to Guilt

By Beth Allen | Blog , Counseling and Therapy , Life

called to thrive - guilt

As Christian counselors we often hear people talk about guilt as a negative emotion, causing us to feel like failures, to feel condemned, or unable to meet what is expected of us. However, guilt is not always bad. It can lead us to repentance, towards righteousness and towards making needed positive changes in our lives. So how can we tell the difference between good guilt and bad guilt, or “true guilt” versus what June Hunt (Christian counseling radio host) calls “false guilt”? True guilt is based in fact: I was at fault, I did do something to deserve punishment, or I did commit a sin. True guilt is the result of any wrong attitude, thought, or action.
On the other hand, false guilt is based on the feeling that I’ve failed to live up to my own expectations or someone else’s. False guilt involves self-condemnation – either I blame myself even though there’s no evidence that I committed a wrong, or continue to blame myself even after I’ve apologized and made amends. False guilt causes me to feel accused. False guilt leads to shame, fear and anger.

To get to the bottom of the guilt, we will need further examination of our “self-talk,” that is the
messages we tell ourselves, our thinking patterns, etc. Do you often think about past mistakes and failures? Do you often think to yourself, or say out loud, any of the unreasonable “shoulds”? (Maybe you are giving yourself messages such as: You should be smarter … You should be more careful…You should never show your anger…You should be more like your cousin…). These statements are often impossible to live up to, judgmental, condemning warning signs that we are being affected by false guilt. These lies are unlearned in Christian counseling when held up to the reality of the truth of the Bible.

Take the following steps to deal with guilt effectively:

1. Discuss your guilt with a Christian counselor to find the source of your guilt: fact or feelings? Examine why you are feeling guilty.

2. List out the facts! Take responsibility for your sin and make restitution if appropriate.

3. Ask for forgiveness from God and the person offended if possible.

4. Give up dwelling on the past, and become willing to stop the self-condemnation.

5. Practice prayer and positive self-talk if the old accusations and condemning thoughts arise.

6. Practice some more.

7. Review steps 1-6 and keep practicing!

Adapted from Counseling Through Your Bible Handbook by June Hunt, 2008.

If you would like some personal help please give us a call. Often a little personal time with one of our Christian Counselors can help you get on the right path. Our number is 724-863-7223

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 - hurt teddy bear
May 03

Christian Counseling- A New Perspective

By dougl1kj | Blog , Counseling , Counseling and Therapy

called to thrive - hurt teddy bear

The wounds of the heart are the subject of Christian counseling, but often as a church community we don’t give them the same weight as we do physical wounds. Imagine if I walked into church with a big open wound on my body, I would immediately be approached by several caring people who would offer help and healing. If I told them I didn’t want any help with my wounds and that preferred to just walk around bleeding on everything they would be shocked. While this might sound farfetched, our churches and our communities are full of people walking around with open wounds on their hearts and in their lives. They are choosing not to deal with the problem.

Through the eyes of Christian counselors these people are considered the “walking wounded.” They may have tried to get help, but people didn’t understand or rejected them. If their wound has been with them for a long time, they may have grown comfortable with the problem or may even believe it is normal. Many of us have become accustomed to just accepting the masks people wear. It is more comfortable to accept that people are ok than to dig deeper and get to the truth. The truth is, many in our churches and communities are the “walking wounded” who have put on a mask to convince us they are ok. Are you willing to see the truth? Are you open to what you will see? Will the love of Christ in you be enough to keep you from running? I suggest that it’s time we stop letting people walk around wounded and do something about it. We at Grace Wellness Center specialize in helping the walking wounded become healed and whole again through Biblically based Christian Counseling. Please take a few minutes to look at the outline of our philosophy on healing wounds. Consider having us come and present a seminar that will encourage people to take off the mask and deal with the problem.

The Process of Healing through Christian Counseling
Take off the MASK: We need to begin the healing process by being genuine and open about our pain.
Heal the WOUNDS: Just like physical wounds, emotional, spiritual and relational wounds need to be treated and healed.
Remove the TOXINS: Toxins are the false beliefs that result from unhealed wounds and a life of covering our pain with masks.
Replace with TRUTH: The Bible tells us we are to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” We need to examine our life under the light of truth and replace the false and destructive beliefs with those that are true and healthy. This is what makes Christian counseling different, we get to the root of the problem and allow the truth to set people free.

Do you know people who are hurting and can’t seem to break the destructive or avoidant patterns in their lives? Are their people under your leadership who just don’t ever seem to get it and are spiritually stuck? Is there ongoing and unresolved conflict within families or between members of the church?
Grace Wellness Center can walk with you on your healing path. To schedule a Christian counseling session or just to get you questions answered simply call (724)863-7223 or email us at

called to thrive - stay the course blog post photo
Apr 04

“Stay the Course” with the Help of Christian Coaching

By dougl1kj | Blog , Counseling and Therapy

called to thrive - stay the course blog post photo

Developing vision is central in the process when working with a Christian Life Coach.  We have to have a well defined vision, but if we don’t know how to get there, the vision doesn’t have much value.  That is one of the greatest benefits of Biblical coaching.  How many of us have had so many dreams go unfulfilled that we just give up on dreaming and decide it is best to just go with the flow?  Unfortunately, too many people accept this course and just let life take them where it will without any control over the direction.

Early in my career I was a wilderness therapist working with troubled kids on various wilderness excursions.  On one of these trips to Canada I was charged with training a new staff person while we navigated through complex networks of creeks and lakes.  On one particular day, after some training, I put the new staff in front with the students while I stayed in the sweep canoe.  After navigating through one lake, we needed to head to a small stream that connected us to another lake where we would camp for the night.  The vision was in place for this young staff person, he had to get us to camp.  He could see it on the map but when he looked for the stream, he couldn’t find it.  He knew where it was supposed to be but when he looked at that side of the lake, all he saw was trees and vegetation.   Even though I had confirmed his heading he didn’t trust it because he couldn’t see the stream that would get us where we needed to go.  He started in that direction but every few minutes he looked back and threw his hands in the air wanting to stop and change course.  My only response was to take my paddle and point straight ahead.  I was saying “stay the course.”  He must have needed this reassurance 20 times before he began to see the creek.  When he finally saw it he turned around with the most confused look on his face.  How could it have been there all along and he not seen it.  Had I not been there to encourage him to trust his heading and to “stay the course” who knows where he would have ended up.  You see, I could see the creek all along because I knew what to look for.  I had done it before and trusted the direction we were heading.

Sometimes life is like this example.  We have a vision of where we want to get but we can’t see how to get there.  We question ourselves and without a wise mentor or life coach we often change our course or give up on the dream and just accept staying where we are.  We get stuck!  Not knowing what direction to go in to reach our dream can be debilitating.  Did you know that if the Space Shuttle’s course is even a fraction of an inch off it will end up missing the moon by 13,000 miles?  Not knowing precisely what course to take to reach our dreams can land us just as far off course!

Christian life coaching not only helps you refine your vision but also helps you “stay the course” even when it doesn’t make sense or you can’t see where you are going.  A good Biblical life coach can do this because he has done it before, and knows how the process works.  In Life Coaching you are the expert on your life while the coach is the expert on the process.  With this partnership you can accomplish great things in your life and have the abundant life God always planned for you to have.

1 You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. 2You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. 3 That’s right – you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set.  Psalm 119:1-3 (The Message)

Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

Those of us at and Grace Wellness Center would like to come along side you, help you “stay the course” and help you make your dreams reality.  Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!

To get there you have to begin the journey, let’s get started!

By Stephen Luther

Executive Director of Grace Wellness Center

Licensed Professional Counselor and Biblical Life Coach