This year the folk musician Bob Dylan won a Nobel Peace Prize for his lyrical work. His musical career which started in the 1960s has continued into present day and the songs he wrote back then have had the staying power to be favorites in all generations of music fans.

One of the songs Dylan wrote was directed to his son. The title of the song is “Forever Young.” In this song he gives encouragement to his son on a life worth living, developing character, and being a good person. The first verse includes the line:

“may you always do for others, and let others do for you.”

Many times, in my opinion, a great deal of focus is given on always doing for others. Sometimes to the point of totally sacrificing the needs of self. I want to be clear here, doing for others is important, as Dylan notes in his song. Just as important, I think, is allowing others to help you.

We were not created to be alone in this life. The bible tells us that God created two people because just one was not good in His eyes. Throughout the word of God community is developed in the family, His holy nation of Israel in the old covenant, and finally the church. Within these institutions all people have a role in service towards each other and also to allow another to serve him.

Of course, there is the teaching of Jesus in which he instructs us to:

“do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

This assumes that at times people will be serving us as well as us being served.

As we keep in mind our relationships with other people may we indeed, “do for others, but also let them do for us.”


–Justin P. Lewis, MA

October is National Bully Prevention Awareness month.  Schools and organizations across the country have joined the Stomp Out Bullying campaign.  The goal is to encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness and impact on children of all ages.  

Bullying is a cruel intentional act that is often repeated.  It is prevalent in schools, playgrounds, neighborhoods, and even workplaces.  If children are not taught to deal effectively with such behavior the bullying becomes worse.  Adult bullies often become very proficient at threats and intimidation to get what they want.  Such behavior may be verbal, emotional, sexual, physical or cyber-bullying.  Being a victim is traumatizing for adults, but even worse for children.

The best time to talk to your child about bullying is before they have been exposed to it.  This helps them to mentally prepare and have a plan of action.  This alone will help build their confidence and self-esteem.

HELPGUIDE.ORG provided the following classifications.

Physical Bullying

  • Hitting, kicking, pushing, threatening
  • Stealing, hiding, destruction of other’s property
  • Hazing, harassment, humiliation
  • Making someone do something against their will

Verbal bullying

  • Name-calling
  • Teasing, taunting
  • Insulting
  • Cursing someone

Very young children can’t distinguish between bullying and unkind behavior.   Children need to know that unkind behavior is also inappropriate—e.g. “Your hair is really messy.”  “Your mom is fat.” “I don’t like you.” and “You stink.”


Some Successful Strategies:

  • Ignore the bully, if possible
  • Walk away and pretend to feel brave and confident.
  • Protect yourself.  Safety is the top priority!
  • Don’t bully back.
  • Don’t show your feelings.
  • Tell an adult. Report every threat or assaults. (Teach the difference between tattling and reporting.)
  • Be proud of who you are!

Bullying typically involves at least three individuals—the bully, bystander, and victim.

As students get older, bystanders should be taught to mobilize together, speak up, support the victim, and be a positive influence.  

Dr. Phil McGraw supports teaching Bully BUSTER Skills for Bystanders.

B-Befriend the Victim

U-Use the Distraction (to focus other’s attention elsewhere)

S-Speak Out and Stand Up!

T-Tell or Text for Help

E-Exit Alone or With Friends

R-Give a Reason or Remedy

Victims of bullying often become bullies as they grow older.  Therefore, it is crucial for a nationwide effort to Stomp Out Bullying!  Bystanders can truly make a difference in reducing peer cruelty and halting the cycle.

As parents and community members, we need to continue the awareness and discussion of bullying and its emotional impact on others!

Diane Reed, MA, LPCC

practiceIt seems to me that often times we limit ourselves by saying something to the effect of, “I am just not good at that.” This probably starts early in life to protect us from the vulnerability of failing. It, however, also blocks us from success. Natural talent is not the only way to achieve greatness or success.

The late Steve Jobs–a highly regarded innovator and founder of Apple Computers–was also nearly as famous for his ability to present and market. His keynote speeches for Apple became famous and often imitated. But, his public speaking skills were not always superb. A video of an interview he gave early in his career was uncovered decades later. He is visibly nervous and even verbalizes his fear of becoming sick. This is not the same Steve Jobs who entertained while unveiling his most recent product. So what gives?

Jobs put in hours and hours of practice. He honed and developed his presentation skills spending hundreds of hours on one presentation.

Dr. K. Anders Ericsonn published a research study that looked into this idea of hard work and practice. He said excellence depends on more than mere practice but deliberative practice. His definition of this is, “improving the skills you have and extending the reach and range of those skills.” So Dr. Ericsonn takes into account natural talent but suggests excellence does not rest there.

So, when we consider our personal well being are we focusing daily on improving our  skills and extending them? In marriage, hone the abilities and strengths so that they cover a number of aspects in relationships. Parent in a way that sees possibility to attain skills rather than give up on that possibility.

The takeaway is this: because you view yourself as, “just not good” at something now, does not mean you can’t be proficient in that area. If you have skills in an area, they can always be improved.


Justin P. Lewis, MA, LMFT


Life is a balancing act for all of us. We are constantly trying to move forward with our purpose, to achieve our goals, all the while trying to keep in balance the various elements of our lives. But if any aspect of our life draws a disproportionate amount of energy, we have to shortchange the other aspects. That throws us off—and we are unable to move forward on life’s tightrope until a balance can be reestablished. We have to deal with any areas that are taking too much energy and put them in perspective, align them, so that we have energy available for all areas.

thCheck on your whole self. The first step is to stop and assess how you are doing. Look at all the  various aspects of your life that you are constantly juggling, constantly trying to keep in balance—marriage and family, money, health, social circles, spiritual development, mental growth. Have you lost touch with good friends?Are you working too much and family life has suffered?

Assess your life as it is right now. With both your money and your health, aim for progress, not perfection. Don’t wait for big leaps. Small steps in the right direction can be a game changer. For example, if you are overwhelmed with debt, saving just $20 a week can add up over time – and best of all, it eventually becomes a habit. It is the same with your health. Maybe you can’t get to the gym, but you can make a habit of taking the stairs, stretching during a commercial or marching in place while you brush your teeth.

Renew your decisions on a daily, minute-to-minute basis. This is especially important after a slip. It allows you to ease into change, instead of expecting things to change overnight. Step back and put things in perspective. Set reasonable goals. If you can’t figure out how to get where you want to be, ask for help. Acknowledge that creating balance is essential to your health in all areas and worth the effort.

Make time for yourself everyday, in a quiet meditative state, to relax and “check yourself out.” The right balance today might not be the same as yesterday. Sometimes priorities change. None of us is going to be perfectly balanced all of the time. But if you don’t keep tabs on your progress, you might find one day that you have moved far away from your goals. The important thing in having a balanced life is the feeling of accomplishment and happiness you enjoy at the end of the day.

We are happy to be hosting an intern for the summer. She wrote this article for us:

Every marriage relationship is looking for stability. When Bipolar disorder comes into the picture stability may seem like an impossible state to reach, and love may seem lost. This does not have to be true! When Bipolar disorder enters a marriage, problems tend to present themselves as more animated and theatrical. However, by honestly communicating with your spouse and working together through your problems, you will not only help the situation, but increase bonding as well.

Here are a few tips to help you along your way:

  1. Keep taking your medication. If this is an option for you, it would be wise to continue taking your medication, even if you believe you are feeling better. Do this for yourself, and for your spouse.

  2. Educate yourself about the disease; what stressors trigger mood swings and what best sooth them. Selflessly comfort your spouse, try to understand what they are going through and what helps. Have compassion and recognize when the disease is speaking, not your spouse.

  3. Both husband and wife attending therapy together may be helpful to learn more about each other, the disease, and to increase your overall marital fidelity.

  4. Maintain a regular sleep schedule, eat healthy, and stay active. Maintaining a healthy, mind, body, and spirit is tremendously beneficial in all aspects of life.

  5. Take time for yourself, to pray, and recall your love for each other, and manage stress. Do something creative, go biking, golfing, fishing, or pick up a hobby.


–Miranda Farthing

At different times of our life all of us will experience feelings of grief and loss. Whether that may be a death of a loved one, an accident, or loss of something vital in life we all will experience the pain that accompany’s the respective action.

There are some things to keep in mind when grieving. Some of these are:

  • Give yourself permission to feel bad. It is normal.
  • Maintain as normal a schedule as possible.
  • Alternate exercise with relaxing.
  • Reach out, spend time with others and be willing to share your feelings.
  • Do not make any big life changes.
  • Get plenty of rest

For family and friends:

  • Spend time with grieving person.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Reassure them that they are safe.
  • Don’t offer false comfort such as “you will feel better in time,” “at least their suffering is over.” Such statements may make you feel better but are not usually consoling.
  • Give them some private time

At Christian Counseling Center we have helped a number of people in all types of grieving situations. If you feel the need of comfort or healing call us at 270-442-5738.

images.jpg‘Tis the season for making positive changes. A new year is here and it is as good a time as any to be better people. Even though it’s a little late; (never too late for a resolution, right?) here are some helpful tips on making a solid resolution.

To have the best chance at success it is wise to set resolutions as a goals. This will lead to many changed behaviors in order to attain the goal. Hopefully, all positive ones.

An acronym that may help you setting goals is SMART.

“S” stands for specific. If you want to be able to judge whether or not you have been successful there is wisdom in making the goal something tangible. An example could be, “I want to bike a century ride this year.” This will give you something specific to measure rather than, “I want to ride my bike more.”

“M” stands for measurable. If you are going to make a change or accomplish something you have to be able to answer the question of why it is important to you. Our resolutions have to be something we want to do.

“A” stands for action oriented. What steps are you willing to take to achieve this goal. What things in your life have to be eliminated? What things must you incorporate? For example, if you want to learn a new sport such as tennis you need to have a plan in place such as tennis lessons and when you would play.

“R” stands for realistic. Although we don’t want to limit ourselves we also do not want to set ourselves up for failure. Is there some evidence this is attainable?

“T” stands for time. When we have a time we want to accomplish something by it gives us more motivation.

One additional helpful tip is to find someone you can be accountable with on how you are doing. Whether it is giving something up or adding value to your life, find a person who is willing to join you on that journey. This may be in having the same goal or just doing things to keep you on track.

I believe when we incorporate these principles into our goal then our possibility of success increases.

Good luck and have fun with your resolutions!


Break_ball_and_chain_bigger.pngWritten by a friend of the center who has broken a strong habit in their life.

Whether it is biting your nails, smoking, overeating, alcohol abuse or drug addiction that you want to stop, you CAN break it.

Even if you have tried before, you CAN make it.

  • Make a decision. You have to WANT to break your habit.
  • Make a list. Write out all the reasons that YOU want to quit.
  • Make a plan. Talk to someone who has already had success.
  • Make a substitute. For instance, if you are trying to quit smoking substitute brushing your teeth when you have a need to smoke. Call a friend, read a verse in the bible.

Do it because you want to, not because someone else thinks you should.

And then do it again. Every time you want to pick up that cigarette, piece of pie or bottle of alcohol either refer to your list, call someone, or find a substitute.

It feels good to be in control instead of having that habit control you.

The holiday season is in full swing. We have already experienced Thanksgiving with Christmas (and Festivus for you Seinfeld fans) already upon us.

Just a few things to remember that may not be obvious in making the holiday season an enjoyable time.

1. Take time alone to reflect. Things can get so busy and rushed that we don’t have time to reflect on things that are truly important to us. Stopping to consider our blessings is always a good idea. Especially during the holidays. For people that gain energy by recharging, this is particularly important as to not burn out on parties.

2. Don’t be afraid to grieve. For some people this is the first time a family member will not be at Christmas or it is a yearly reminder of the fact they are not with the family anymore. It is okay to be sad about this. Even if you become tearful, it is normal. It may be helpful to talk about some of the memories you cherish about this person in your discussions.

3. Have manageable expectations. Most of us are familiar with Clark Griswald’s desire for a “fun, old-fashioned family Christmas.” He spends so much time with the high expectations of everything being perfect that he misses out on the joy that he could be experiencing. Don’t let this happen to you. Wasting mental energy with “if only” and “I wish” cause you to miss out the times you can be enjoying!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Christian Counseling Center!

Many times marriage counseling is seen as a last ditch effort. I often hear things such as, “this is the last chance,” “if this doesn’t work it is over.” Regularly the presenting problem for couples is quite extreme.

While these are appropriate times for marriage counseling, they are not the only times marriage counseling is important. Here is a list of times that marriage counseling can be helpful, in no particular order.

1. Pre-marriage. Okay, so this is technically not marriage counseling but participating in some type of premarital counseling sets a couple up for success in areas where they may be set up for failure. In premarriage counseling the goal is not to discover a reason not to be married, but to recognize hurdles that could develop into more difficult problems. We have all heard the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

2. Communication breakdowns. Marriage counseling is an opportunity to learn and sharpen communication skills. A couple does not have to be in the depths, just care enough about knowing their spouse more intimately to enter therapy for this reason.

3. Changing of life stage. Utilizing a trained marriage counselor is not something that comes to mind for many when undergoing a major life change. This could be growing your family, retirement, empty nesting. Having a place to plan out your next step with your spouse can be valuable.

4. In-laws. Early in the marriage it is not only a new spouse to learn but an entirely new family. Being in counseling with your spouse in navigating the best approach to these relationships can be helpful.

All the counselors at Christian Counseling Center have training and experience to help guide couples through all of these reasons for entering therapy.

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  • Learning how not to do for others what they can learn to do for themselves is one of the golden rules of adult maturity. 2 years ago
  • In an effort to avoid the feeling of failing people often don't put forth effort.By doing this they will not experience their full potential 2 years ago
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