A great marriage results from efforts for the good times and even greater efforts to get through the tough times. A wonderful marriage is not an assumed relationship, but one requiring attention and care. The focus of a great marriage is the intent of the article, because it requires intentional efforts.

man and woman sitting on wooden swing while kissing

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Pay attention to your mate by looking at them when you talk to them.

Turn off any electronic devices that might create distraction. Put down whatever you are doing in order to pay attention.

Ask if this is a good time to talk to your mate.

Listen to your mate when they talk to you.

Look at your mate while you talk to them.

Avoid any distractions that may suggest your lack of interest.

It might be helpful to ask questions about what they said to be sure that you understood their message.

Persuasive speech conveys your thoughts while trying to convince the other to your views. This usually brings a positive conversation to a halt.

Listening, asking questions, and being courteous may bring out the best in your mate.

Roger Thompson, LMFT


Trauma is a life event or sudden change in our life that has the potential to overwhelm us. The death of a spouse, job loss, sexual abuse, abandonment, devastation due to storms or fire, are a few sudden changes in our lives that create an overwhelming presence too difficult to cope with alone.

Trauma may impact us with a myriad of symptoms. You may have trouble sleeping, have trouble concentrating, feel detached or in a daze. When you or someone you love begins to deal with the impact of a heartbreaking event, there are some things to help.

  • Understand that it is normal to feel the way you do at this time.
  • Crying is normal and healthy.
  • Telling the story of the event relieves the stress of the trauma.
  • Maintain close bonds with caring people.
  • Begin each day with 5 minutes of deep, relaxed breathing.
  • It is OK to ask for help.
  • Be Patient.

When you are helping others:

  • Never ask “why” they feel the way they do.
  • Do not attempt to solve a problem, just listen.
  • Avoid needless questioning for details of your own curiosity, let them tell their story. They need to be heard
  • Avoid telling your own war stories.
  • Avoid statements that minimize their feelings.
  • Avoid statements of “you should”.

The good news about recovering from trauma is that it is possible and can lead to personal growth that otherwise might not have occurred.

broken heart love sad

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No matter where you live, you have relationships with people who have different cultures. Culture refers to a group or community who share a common experience that shapes the way they understand the world. This includes people of different race, national origin, gender, class, or religion. But it can also include a group we join or become a part of. You might move to a new country, have a change in your economic status or become disabled.

When you are working with people and building relationships with them, it is important to have an understanding of their culture. Their views, their values, their loyalties, their hopes, and their fears are all influenced by their culture. People may see the world differently, but there are many things that we each have in common. We are all human beings. We all love deeply, want to learn, have hopes and dreams. And we have all experienced pain and fear.


We need a wide range of ideas and wisdom to solve problems. Bringing a diverse group of people into the center of an issue can provide fresh perspectives and shed new light on tough problems. Racial and ethnic conflicts drain communities of financial resources, human resources, and distract the community from resolving the key issues they have in common.

We shouldn’t pretend that the differences don’t matter, but we must remember that everyone has an important viewpoint and a role to play when it comes to culture. Everyone can be uplifted by taking the time to understand culture and create diverse groups who can work together. Only then can we form an alliance against discrimination and be effective in reaching common goals.

Listening without judgement requires shutting off the internal noise of your own thoughts, so that you can hear the whole message, and be open to the speaker’s ideas.

Often, we listen and interact with people without thinking. We see the world through the lens of our own experiences, personality and beliefs. When you are empathetic, you can understand a situation from someone else’s point of view. For example, you can validate her perspective by acknowledging her opinion. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with her, just that you accept she has a different perspective from you.

Also, the thoughts, feelings and physical reactions that we have when we feel anxious or angry can block out ideas and perspectives that we’re uncomfortable with.  Prejudice, past experiences, personal motives, and self-interest keeps our own thoughts and needs in the front of our minds, pushing the speaker to the back.business people

Making incorrect assumptions, giving unsolicited advice or analysis, going into denial, and feeling fearful, apathetic, jealous, or defensive can inhibit communication. Don’t interrupt. Listen to understand. Think before you speak.

Would you open your closet and choose to wear the same dress, shirt, or pair of pants to work every day? What about eating the same breakfast, lunch and dinner day in and day out. It is the many varieties of foods, colors, places to vacation that brings highlights to our lives daily.

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We would probably find life less interesting if we were all the same. The dictionary defines cultural diversity as “the existence of a variety of cultural or ethnic groups within a society.” It is with these varieties of cultural or ethnic groups that bring a variation of thoughts, opinions and experiences that we can all benefit from. So how do we begin to value, appreciate and embrace the differences in others? The following are a few hints:

  1. Take the time to listen without judgement
  2. Approach difference with learning as your goal
  3. Accept that time and effort spent can bring understanding
  4. Commit to not giving up

 Kimberly Rowe, M.Ed., LPCA


There never were in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.           Michel de Montaigne 


Mindfulness is a state of being aware. It is a process of intentionally observing our surroundings in the moment, with engaged awareness and free of judgment. Mindfulness is not a passive state and may require practice to be in the moment. Left to itself the mind wanders through all kinds of thoughts — including thoughts expressing anger, craving, depression, revenge, self-pity, etc. As we indulge in these kinds of thoughts we reinforce those emotions in our hearts and cause ourselves to suffer. By purposefully directing our awareness away from such thoughts and towards some “anchor” we decrease their effect on our lives and we create instead a space of freedom where calmness and contentment can grow.

downloadAs a parent, being mindful allows us to choose a skillful response instead of just reacting. Being mindful can help a child regulate his/her emotions, be more focused, and to make better decisions. Practicing mindfulness with your child is a great way to spend time to together and to teach your child to be aware of their experience and to recognize when their attention has wandered. Why not get your toolbox of ideas ready? Here are some ideas to get you started.


Tool #1 Focus on your body: Do a body scan. Wiggle your toes. Let your arms and legs be like spaghetti. Feel your breath go in and out. Depending on the age of the child, you might say, “Pretend your belly is a balloon and watch it expand. Then blow out a noisy breath through the lips. How does that feel?” You might use a breathing buddy. Put a stuffed animal on their belly and watch the rise and fall of their buddy.

Tool #2 Focus on an object. What is the color? Can you touch it? Is it cold? If you have a smooth pebble or marble, feel the coolness. Then hold it in your hand a few minutes. Notice the change in temperature. If you are eating, focus on the food. Is it cold or hot? Is it sweet?

Tool # 3 Focus on sounds. Ask your child what sounds he/she can hear? Is the clock ticking? Can you hear the wind? Use a bell or sound on your phone or just tap lightly on the table. Ask the child to listen and let you know when the sound stops.

Tool #4 Focus on love. Ask your child to name all the people who love them. Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister, grandparent, dog or cat. You can also think of things the child loves about others. What do you like about your friends? Ask what you can do to be kind to the ones who love you.

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  1. Don’t deny that you’ve been hurt. Forgiving isn’t denying.
  2. Make a decision to forgive others. (Luke 17:3-5)
  3. Don’t seek revenge or repay evil for evil. Let God handle it. (I Peter 3:9)
  4. Pray the Lord will release any anger inside you. (Eph 4:26-27, 31)
  5. Pray for those who have hurt you. (Matt 5:44)



Paducah, KY, Monday, May 07, 2018

Christian Counseling Center is A Professional Caring Ministry Since 1986

Roger Thompson, Executive Director, is pleased to announce that Kimberly Rowe, MEd, LPCA will be joining our staff.  She will be accepting all types of referrals for mental and behavioral problems.

Kim obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from the University of Texas at Arlington, TX. She then obtained her Masters of Education with a focus on Mental Health Counseling from the Lindsey Wilson School of Professional Counseling College at Columbia KY. Since 2015 she has worked with clients at Recovery Works to provide group and individual counseling regarding Anxiety, Anger Management and substance dependence.

Kim is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and Kentucky Counseling Association (KCA). She is a Volunteer Tutor and Women’s Support Group Facilitator at the Ninth Street Church of Christ in Paducah. She also teaches life skills to 3rd through 5th graders from local elementary schools. She is an avid gardener and enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.


Kim says, “Beginning again is an opportunity not always given. I am especially excited to work with individuals and families that have made the decision to begin again. I look forward to assisting you in acquiring and utilizing the tools in navigating life’s challenges and moving forward.”

 Appointments can be made by calling the Christian Counseling Center at 270-442-5738. You may also visit us on the web at www.ccchope.com.

Summertime is a great time for families to spend more time together.

Close families don’t happen by accident, they happen on purpose.  If you want a close family, you have to work at it.  Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.

  1. Let each family member pick a day to be “their” day. Circle those days on the calendar and put the family member’s name on the date.  On that day they are to have their favorite meal and choose an activity which they want the entire family to participate in.
  2. Turn off all electrical items that can interrupt (TV, stereo, phone, etc.) and have the entire family play a game together.pexels-photo-279008.jpeg
  3. Have each family member design and make a card for other members of the family in which thoughts and feelings of appreciation are expressed.
  4. Begin a contest to see who can deliver the most hugs in a certain period of time.
  5. Spend the evening looking at family photographs together.
  6. Invite someone you know that is recently widowed to your house to share a family meal.
  7. Send a thank you card in the mail to a family member thanking them for something they have done for you or the family.
  8. Even if it requires getting up early, sit down and have breakfast together.
  9. Let each family member tell their most unforgettable family memory.
  10. Declare a family clean-up day. Work together inside or outside the house instead of assigning separate choirs.

These ideas are just a few of the suggestions in “30 Days to a Closer Family” by David Johnson, M.S.W. and Scott Bonk, M.S.


Research shows that supportive relationships are good for our mental and physical health. However, dealing with difficult people and maintaining ongoing negative relationships is actually detrimental to our health.

The following are tips for dealing with difficult people who are in your life, for better or for worse:

  1. In dealing with difficult people, don’t try to change the other person; you will only get into a power struggle, cause defensiveness, invite criticism, or otherwise make things worse. It also makes you a more difficult person to deal with.
  2. Change your response to the other person; this is all you have the power to change. For example, don’t feel you need to accept abusive behavior. You can use assertive communication to draw boundaries when the other person chooses to treat you in an unacceptable way.
  3. Remember that most relationship difficulties are due to a dynamic between two people rather than one person being unilaterally “bad.” Try not to place blame on yourself or the other person for the negative interactions. It may just be a case of your two personalities fitting poorly.
  4. Try to look for the positive aspects of others, especially when dealing with family, and focus on them. The other person will feel more appreciated, and you will likely enjoy your time together more.
  5. Know when it’s time to distance yourself, and do so. If the other person can’t be around you without antagonizing you, minimizing contact may be key. If they’re continually abusive, it’s best to cut ties and let them know why. Explain what needs to happen if there ever is to be a relationship, and let it go. (If the offending party is a boss or co-worker, you may consider switching jobs.)


Remember that you don’t have to be close with everyone; just being polite goes a long way toward getting along and appropriately dealing with difficult people. Be sure to cultivate other more positive relationships in your life to offset the negativity of dealing with difficult people.


From Elizabeth Scott, M.S.,Your Guide to Stress Management About.com Health’s Disease and Condition

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