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.

Depression can be more prevalent in the winter time. Dark dreary days can hinder our moods. There are some simple things to be done in order to handle feelings of depression. In no particular order here are a few simple tips in handling feelings for depression.Depression

1. Turn to trusted friends and relatives. Sharing what you are going through is helpful because you do not feel like you are carrying the load on your own.

2. Challenge negative thinking. Think outside yourself, are these thoughts rational? Try to adopt the positive thinking of those in your life who tend to see the bright side.

3. Take care of yourself. Live a healthy lifestyle, get the appropriate amount of sleep, eat in a healthy way and get exercise.

4. Be open to professional help. Sometimes we just need someone to walk with us for a little while. This does not mean we are any less of a person.

We have plenty of training and experience in treating those dealing with depressive thoughts and feelings at Christian Counseling Center. We are able to provide in depth help for depression. If you need someone to support you for a time feel free to call us (270) 442-5738.

Henry Cloud and John Townsend are the authors of the very helpful book, “Boundaries in Marriage.” In this book they list these two common pitfalls in a marriage.

Moralizing Your Preferences

The problem here comes when one of the partners in the marriage claims his or her preference in somehow superior. One person’s hobby may seem more “productive” or “important” because it is satisfying or enjoyable to them; but that does not mean the other person’s hobby or way of relaxing is somehow wrong. Spouses may have differences in how they relax or socialize. This does not make one way right and the other wrong. We are in danger of working against our spouse in our marriage if this becomes a norm.


Another problem area in marriages is score-keeping. At times couples may get into seemingly endless arguments about how time needs to be more balanced. When this replaces kind loving exchanges our marriage is obviously going to suffer. Trying to keep up with what the other person gets to do versus what you get to do can be a way to build resentment. Remember, balance does not have to mean equality. The important thing is that both people are satisfied. It all probably evens up in the end, anyways.

Most importantly always be open when there is conflict or resentment building. It’s much easier to handle in the early stages than when it becomes a habit. At Christian Counseling Center we are willing and able to help couples create healthy habits and learn communication strategies. Feel free to contact us for an appointment.

Emma Goldmann, a political activist from the early 20th century wrote, “No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.”  Ms. Goldmann’s words aptly describe the attachment injured child.  It is as if they are gems waiting to be discovered and polished.  Until that discovery, they are viewed as useless and unwanted.  In order for these children to reach their value, persons like foster/adoptive parents, teachers, and friends will have to learn the skills needed to “unlock that treasure.”  


It might be appropriate to call these children, “Children from the hard places.”  They may have known safety and stability at some point in their lives.  More likely, most of these children have had a “hard time” and have been forced to rely on themselves.  They do not have a sense of safety or stability.  A child’s sense of safety is created when the child begins to feel that his needs will be met not only physically but also emotionally.   This is called “felt safety.”  As a byproduct of the lack of “felt safety,” many children function in ways that seem dysfunctional.  These behaviors and attitudes have been useful survival tools.  Within a new family system, these behaviors are not only dysfunctional but can are destructive. 

Children, who display unwanted behaviors, are often diagnosed with disorders like ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, or Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder.  While your child might exhibit and meet the qualities of these disorders, the scope and severity of many of these problems may be exacerbated by a developmental trauma and attachment injury.  In a sense, attachment injury is the body’s defense to the lack of safety or care it has received.  By this standard, it might be impossible for a child from the “hard place” to function in a “normal way.” 

A child who is from the “hard places” functions out of the lower brain.  This child has not experienced a stabile relationship where he learned to interpret and understand every day human interactions.  He has not had healthy, nutritionally loaded food to eat for brain development.  He has likely experienced chronically high levels of fear which compete with higher brain function.  More precisely, the events, in utero, infancy, or childhood create a neurochemical set point for how the child will respond in stressful situations.  These set points can occur if a mother experiences a stressful or difficult pregnancy, the child has a traumatic birth, or if the child experiences early hospitalization.  These are significant and profound ways that children can be programmed to struggle with attachment.  Furthermore, a child can also receive attachment injury through abuse, neglect, or other forms of trauma (i.e., an overly critical parent). 

Dr. Karyn Purvis, creator of TBRI© (Trust Based Relational Intervention), believes that gaining the trust of an attachment injured child is the integral part of helping the child heal.  A child cannot operate at a higher brain function if he remains wary of his environment.  This requires that the caregiver learn to respond by first connecting to the child, later empowering the child, and last and least, correcting the child.  This seems to be the antithesis of most parenting approaches.  This approach, however, makes the most sense.  A child who is healthily attached to a parent can whether some emotional turbulence.  A child who is not securely attached will be tossed about in that same storm.

Most often, parents fear that if they are not correcting this child, he will not learn.  An attachment injured child’s brain will not learn if he is in a constant state of fear.  Fear must be reduced for learning to take place and new behavior to be enacted.  Connection is the best tool for reducing fear.  Connection is a time consuming work, but it is extremely rewarding.  Connecting requires that the parent learn to manage her fears about how she is perceived by others as well as managing fears about not being “in charge” of the child. 

There are several simple methods for connecting.  First, create an environment of “felt safety” by making available high nutrition snacks, attending to a child’s sensory needs (i.e., too loud, too bright, too scratchy, etc.), addressing their physical space needs, and using safe child appropriate language.  Second, model the positive behavior desired from the child.  This will include using encouraging language.  An example: Instead of saying, “Don’t run” say, “Remember to walk.”  Third, work to match the child.  A parent will make a powerful statement to a child about connection when he is attuned to the child.  One of the easiest ways to show attunement is through play.  Play by matching the child’s motions and actions; allow them to lead. Last, make both eye and, as allowed, body contact with the child.  This will require the adult to get down on the child’s level when talking to them.  If a parent can do nothing else with an attachment injured child, it is imperative that he work to make connection with the child. 

The sad truth is that many adults in our world are unprepared to deal with developmental trauma and attachment injuries.  Attachment injured children not only show up in foster and adoptive homes, they also appear in schools, churches and playgrounds. While these interventions will not “fix” attachment injured children, the connection created is the bridge to helping this child begin the healing process.   Understanding and connecting to attachment injured children not only helps the hurting child, but also those who are in the daily struggle with them. 

If you are in the midst of the struggle with an attachment injured child and are interested in more information on this subject, seek a licensed mental health professional, preferably one trained in TBRI©.  You may also be interested to read, The Connected Child, by Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. David Cross, and Wendy Sunshine.

Click logo to follow us on facebook

Twitter Feed

  • Learning how not to do for others what they can learn to do for themselves is one of the golden rules of adult maturity. 1 year 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
  • The ability to successfully handle conflict is more important than the amount of conflict in a marriage. 2 years ago
  • Weekend challenge: Tell your spouse something you love about them and expect nothing in return. 2 years ago
  • Word Wed:Don't be anxious about anything,but in every situation,by prayer and petition,with thanksgiving,present your requests to God.Phil4 2 years ago

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 24 other followers




Christian Counseling Center does not endorse any advertisement that may be seen on this blog.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.