Following exposure to a trauma most people experience stress reactions. When trauma survivors take direct action to cope with their stress reactions, they put themselves in a position of power. Certain actions can help to reduce your distressing symptoms and make things better. Plus, these actions can result in changes that last into the future.

Active Coping. Active coping with the trauma makes you begin to feel less helpless. Active coping means accepting the impact of trauma on your life and taking direct action to improve things. Active coping occurs even when there is no crisis. Active coping is a way of responding to everyday life. It is a habit that must be made stronger.

Positive coping actions.

  • Learn more about trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is useful to learn more about common reactions and what is normal. When you learn more you realize that you are not alone or weak.
  • Talk to others for support. It is important not to isolate yourself.
  • Distract yourself with positive activities. Pleasant activities can improve your mood and distract you from your memories.
  • Talk to your doctor or counselor. Part of taking care of yourself means using the helping resources around you. If efforts at coping don’t seem to help, you may become fearful or depressed.

 Practice relaxation methods. Try some different ways to relax, such as:

  • Muscle relaxation exercises.
  • Breathing exercises.
  • Meditation.
  • Swimming, stretching, yoga.
  • Prayer.
  • Listening to quite music.
  • Spending time in nature.

Know the recovery process. Understand that recovering from the trauma is a process and takes time. Knowing this will help you feel more in control.

  • Having an ongoing response to the trauma is normal.
  • Recovery is an ongoing, daily process. It happens little by little. It is not a matter of being cured all of a sudden.
  • Healing doesn’t mean forgetting traumatic events. It doesn’t mean you will have no pain or bad feelings when thinking about them.
  • Healing may mean fewer symptoms and symptoms that bother you less.
  • Healing means more confidence that you will be able to cope with your memories and symptoms. You will be better able to manage your feelings.

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We are here to help if you would like to learn more about coping skills. Whether there is a recent trauma or stress in everyday life, active coping is a habit that can be made stronger.

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adhdIs your child unfocused or over active?

Is your child struggling academically?

As an adult, are you constantly disorganized?

Are you constantly struggling to stay on task?

Early diagnosis and treatment can improve self-esteem, build confidence and make one more productive in the workplace.

The staff at Christian Counseling Center is trained in the diagnostic criteria and treatment strategies to assist children and adults with ADD/ADHD.

Call 270.442.5738 for more information and to schedule an appointment.

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Focus on your future today!

 

Thank you for visiting our page. Do you have questions about our Center or how to get counseling? Here are some frequently asked questions.

Why should I have counseling? Anyone who would like to better themselves or enhance their relationships can benefit from counseling. Our therapists have tools that can guide you to improve the way you interact with others at home, at work, and other areas of your life. They also see people who have depression, anxiety, stress, anger issues, substance abuse, or trauma in their life.

Who will I be speaking to? We have 2 licensed therapist and have offices in Paducah, Benton, and Murray. Roger Thompson is our Director. He has a Master’s degree in Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Karen Diane Reed has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is Licensed Professional Counselor.

What can I expect from counseling? The first session we call an Intake or Diagnostic Interview. There is a lot of information gathered at that time about family, health, current issues and goals. The therapist will make an assessment and discuss a plan that meets your needs. Therapy is not a magic cure, and it requires that you are invested in taking steps to achieve your goals.

How much do I pay? Regarding fees, we are in network with many commercial insurance companies and programs available through employers. Your fee would depend on your Mental Health coverage. We also have fees based on income and there is an additional $15 off for self-pay clients paying at the time of service.

When can I make an appointment? At this time we are scheduling about 3 weeks in advance for new clients, but after the initial visit we will do our best to arrange multiple appointments so the wait is not as long in between. Someone is available Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in Paducah; on Tuesday in Benton; and on Friday in Murray.

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If you are struggling with the direction that you are going right now, stop and take the first step in discovering how things can be better. Call our office at 270-442-5738 to make an appointment.

People generally find themselves functioning in one of these ways. When conflict arises people are most naturally either aggressive or passive. Being assertive is a skill that needs to be learning and practiced. Here are the difference in the three with assertiveness being the ideal.

Aggressive behavior is treating another person as if your thoughts, feelings, emotions are more important than theirs.

Passive behavior is treating someone as if their thoughts, feelings, and emotions are less important than others.

Assertive behavior is treating the other person that displays both people’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions at an equal level of importance.

 

Justin P. Lewis, MA, LMFT

A first-born or only child may be more likely to become a doctor or lawyer. Younger siblings more often turn to the arts or the outdoors. In part, you can credit parenting.

  • Parents may over-protect oldests or onlies. So they tend to follow more brain-based interests. When later children show up, parents can be more relaxed and hands-off.
  • Firstborns tend to try to be “perfect” more often than later-borns. But kids without siblings, who are often treated like little adults, seem to have even more of this trait.
  • 21 out of 23 of the first American astronauts were first born. All seven of the original Mercury astronauts were firstborns. Other famous firstborn trail-blazers: Winston Churchill, Bill Gates, JFK, and Oprah Winfrey.
  • It’s lonely at the top — or at least, at the beginning! A 2007 survey of corporate leaders found that 43% of CEOs were firstborns, 33% were middle children, and 23% were youngest children.200485798-009
  • Even when parents try to be even-steven, it rarely works out that way. Kids born first get as much as 3,000 more hours of quality time with parents than younger siblings do at the same age. Parents spend about equal time with two or more kids. But there’s less total free time than there was when a firstborn passed through a given age.
  • It’s clear why birth order interests us so much. Most of us weren’t born as the only child in a family.
  • Older moms say they feel closest to their “babies” no matter what the family size or spacing between kids. In the same study, mothers said firstborns were the ones they’d turn to when facing personal problems or a crisis.

Depression is a complex problem that affects many people.  It rarely exists in isolation.  It can be triggered and affected by neurons, hormones, nutrition, thought patterns, social interactions, or genetic predisposition.  Many depressive episodes are triggered by major life changes and stressful events; biological imbalance, illness and injury; personality and family history; vitamin deficiency; medications; or other causes.

Major Life Changes and Stressful Events

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  • Childhood trauma
  • Death or a loss
  • Divorce (break up)
  • Redundancy
  • Loneliness
  • Moving
  • Getting a new job
  • Financial worries
  • Difficult social circumstances
  • Abuse (emotional, sexual, physical)
  • Overworking
  • Giving birth
  • Unemployment

Biological Imbalance, Illness, Injury

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  • Brain injury
  • Under-active thyroid
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Celiac disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Kidney disease
  • Pyrrole Disease
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lupus

Personality and Family History

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  • Chronic self-criticism
  • Crippling guilt and shame
  • Being criticized and invalidated
  • Perfectionism
  • Ruminative thinking
  • Negative bias
  • Learned helplessness
  • Predisposition based on family history

Vitamin Deficiency

  • B complex
  • Vitamin D
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Folate
  • Magnesiium
  • Amino acid
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Iodine
  • Selenium

Treatments and Medications

 

  • Hormonal contraception
  • Accutane
  • Corticosteroids
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Opioids
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Anticholinergics
  • Poor Sleep
  • Internet overuse
  • Smoking, alcohol and drug use
  • Passive lifestyle
  • Unmet basic emotional needs

 

–throughdarknessindaylight.com

 

Intellect, athleticism, good-looks, and even “grit” are all qualities that find value in our society. Some more important than others.

A trait that does not feature as much when describing a person is emotional intelligence. This quality may be one that is harder to recognize than other ways to define a person but can be just as important. The good news is that unlike some other traits this can be positively developed.

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So what is emotional intelligence?

Simply put it is the capacity one has to be aware of, control, and express emotions. This skill creates a higher chance of success in interpersonal relationships.

Growing in emotional intelligence can be done with intentional work. One proactive option is to practice self-exploration when feelings arise. Try to specifically identify what feelings you are experiencing. Hurt, anger, and sadness are surface emotions. Being able to recognize a feeling such as rejection, disrespect, or a sense of loss helps solutions to be possible. By recognizing specifically what the emotion is occurring a more specific solution can be planned. Additionally, determining whether that feeling comes from a rational or irrational place is possible. It also helps discuss these feelings with other people.

Ways to practice:

Write down specifically what you are feeling–there may be more than one emotion.

Say out loud what you feel to judge how rational the feelings are.

Focus on remaining calm in highly emotional situations. Mentally prepare yourself to respond a certain way. Pause before reacting.

Although cliche, there is a reason “how does that make you feel?” is asked in counseling sessions. Work on improving emotional intelligence and you may be surprised at how much your interpersonal relationships will improve.

Therapy is a good place to develop emotional intellect. We at Christian Counseling Center are trained and have experience walking with people as they grow this trait. Give us a call at 270.442.5738 for more information or to set up an appointment.

 

Justin P. Lewis, MA, LMFT

Somewhere I once heard the quote:

“Be Yourself. If you won’t who else will be?”

I would like to take credit for this tidbit of wisdom, but alas, it just wouldn’t be right. These two short sentences to form a challenge of introspection can be quite meaningful. Trying to be different in ways that we think are necessary are just exhausting and we end up not really being anyone at all.

Each of us has value and can add through whatever skills and talents we may possess. This does not mean certain times don’t call for different behavior or that we can improve on skills. But, not embracing who we are as a person is highly unfortunate.

 

Justin P. Lewis, MA, LMFT

My Granny Ray had two sayings that I am reminded of quite frequently: “Life gets tedious”, and “This too shall pass.” She didn’t necessarily use these together on the same occasion, but I have found that you can count on both. She used the saying about life being tedious to let me know that whatever I am going through is just part of life and that each person will go through difficulties in life.

Paul Faulkner, in his series, “Making Things Right when Things go Wrong”, sets the premise that things do go wrong. And life is the process of making things right when things have gone wrong. So what can you do about a bad situation?

  • Re-frame your thinking. Look for a positive aspect to the situation. Sometimes it is not what actually happens to us that matters as much as how we react to what happens. The Apostle Paul suffered a thorn in the flesh. But when he re-framed his thinking he was able to say, “When I am weak, then I am strong”.
  • Act better than you feel. Actions seal your commitment to something. While you cannot will yourself to feel a certain way, you can will yourself to act a certain way, which will cause your feelings to follow along. Faulkner says most of the good that’s done in this world is done by people who don’t feel like it. They are people of faith because faith is acting on something you cannot verify with your feelings.7bc994a82a277dc98a861bb33488415d.jpg
  • Cut your line when it is tangled. Experienced fishermen simply cut the tangled line, pull out a new line, and get on with their fishing. The line of life sometimes gets tangled by guilt and resentment. The way to survive and make things right that have gone wrong is to live one day at a time – today.
  • Keep cool, even when you are hot. Once you lose control of your temper, you are no longer capable of making things right. The problem goes unsolved and you must also deal with the damage that your anger has caused.

Life does get tedious. So maybe you find a solution to your difficulty. Maybe you find a way to live with it. Maybe you just start over. I think that Granny Ray was trying to tell me that it is up to me to change my life when things go wrong. But we can also rest assured, this too shall pass.

Cookie Adams

 

If you are a parent, then you most likely have dealt with a some challenging behaviors.  Some parents seem to have more difficulty than otherimages.jpgrs.  The difference is not always luck.  Parents can do specific things that can make problem behaviors worse, keep them the same, or make them decrease.

As a parent, our ultimate goal is to have children who routinely exercise self-control and acceptable behaviors.  It is best to assume that a proactive “teaching” approach will keep yourself calm and avoid power struggles with your child.

  • Rule # 1: Never argue with your child!
  • Before the behavior occurs, discuss choices your child can make about how to act.  Anticipate problems and discuss ways of solving conflicts, how to handle frustrations, and how to express their wants and desires appropriately.
  • Encourage your child to use their words in order to get their wishes and feelings known. “You are too close to me.” – rather than pushing; “Stay out of my backpack.” – rather than hitting; “I really want to go swimming.” – rather than demanding, begging, and pleading.
  • Acknowledge appropriate behavior and reward it intermittently.
  • Remind your child of the reason behind any rule or consequence to a behavior at the time the rule is being enforced. Have them repeat the reason for having the rule, back to you.  “Kicking can hurt someone.” “Kicking doesn’t solve the problem.”  Brainstorm other ways to deal with the problem.
  • Teach your child how to make and keep friends. (smiling, talking, listening, cooperative play, turn taking, how to start a conversation, interactive play, sharing…)
  • Teach problem solving and resolution skills. (role play with puppets, books)
  • Be empathetic to your child’s problems and frustrations. Help them process ways to deal with disappointment, anger, irritation, and sadness.
  • Seek to discover the cause of the behavior. You will gain insight that will make you more empathetic to their problems.

Diane Reed, LPCC

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