Christian Psychology Resources

Christian Psychology Resources (CPR) is an independent ministry with the goal of helping you connect with mental health professionals who share your beliefs and values.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

God’s Amazing Plan For Healthy Change

NOTE: The following post was written by James O. Henman, PhD.

God is Deep and Simple; unfortunately we often try to make Him superficial and complex, with a million rules, with Him judging and being ashamed of our flaws, expecting perfection from us. We feel crushed trying to live up to His Perfection.

God’s Plan does not include airtight submarine compartments to protect ourselves from pain and shame. When we block pain and store it in a timeless Tupperware container, we create fractures in our core self, leaving an Adult Child Character. He wants to join us in our airtight compartments, supporting our opening up by drawing us toward Him, through His Loving Spirit and Guidance. God’s Plan is integrated and freely given. It allows us to feel good about noticing unwanted things as the first step in making healthy changes. He wants to live with us, through us, and for us. We provide the willingness; He provides the rest!

God’s Plan is for us to allow Him to share His Loving Grace and Guidance with us:
1. The Adventure of living consciously with Him in the present, with Grateful Humility,
2. Experiencing life through our lanterns of grace with Powerful Vulnerability,
3. Relaxing into becoming who we truly are – His ambassadors, as new creations in Christ, as His Spirit draws us deeper and deeper into His Nature.
4. Applying The Serenity Prayer imperfectly: “God grant me the serenity to change what I can change, the freedom to release to You what I can’t change, and a growing wisdom to know the difference.”

Grateful Humility is the attitude and perception that naturally comes from deeply accepting that His Loving Grace is given to each of us personally and freely. We can never earn it!
Powerful Vulnerability is the attitude and perception that it is more important to learn and grow, than to be right!

God pours His Loving Grace freely into us. The more we pour grace inside ourselves, as His ambassador, to help in the reconciliation process between our true identity in Him, and the wounded parts of ourselves, that are stuck in our old nature, and the more we pour grace outwardly to those we touch, the more room there is inside us to receive His ongoing Grace. As God’s sons and daughters, we will always have a Father who loves us perfectly and offers us His Home. We will always have a loving Big Brother who we can turn to and ask for guidance and direction. No problem is too great for us to handle through Him.

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites us to: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” In Mark 10:15, Jesus goes on to share: “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Paul encourages us to: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1) Paul reminds us: “But by faith we eagerly await through His Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.” (Galatians 5:5)

To find out more about Dr. Henman's work, please visit Changing Attitudes in Recovery.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Think About Your Future. Maintain Your Brain Today.

Dementia is characterized by an impairment in short-term or long-term memory plus difficulty with at least one of the following: (1) language; (2) physical activities; (3) recognizing objects; or (4) planning, organizing, sequencing, and abstracting. Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia and is more frequently diagnosed in women than in men. The course of AD is progressive, yet varies among individuals. In the early phase, the person has problems with recent memory (such as forgetting names or household items), can't remember what she was about to do, and difficulty solving problems. The person may also be irritable, frustrated, and angry.

To learn more about AD through the Alzheimer's Association, please click on the following link: Think About Your Future. Maintain Your Brain Today.

The Relationship Cure

A 5-Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships!
"From the country's foremost relationship expert and New York Times bestselling author Dr. John M. Gottman comes a powerful, simple five-step program based on twenty years of innovative research, for greately improving all of the relationships in your life--with spouses and lovers, children, siblings, and even your colleagues at work."

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sexual Addiction

The Good Shepherd Restoration Ministries, Inc., offers the following explanation of the root cause of sexual addiction:

"Early in childhood we learned not to trust. Many of us share a common history of some type of childhood abuse. We were yelled at, put down, laughed at, criticized, and told we were worthless or stupid or ugly, or responsible for everything wrong in our family. Today we recognize this as emotional abuse. We were neglected, ignored, minimized or overlooked. Today we call this emotional abandonment. We were slapped, punched, hit, beaten, knocked down, or struck with objects. Today we know this to be physical abuse. Lastly, we were touched, leered at, pawed, told sexually lewd or explicit jokes, and coerced or forced into sexual activities. Today we call this sexual abuse. Whatever abuses we suffered we learned that to survive we had to find a way to not feel the overwhelming and unbearable pain.

"Instinctively we built walls around our hearts. At first the walls served merely to protect us from another abuse, but later we found ourselves prisoners in our self-made fortresses. Being cut-off from ourselves and from others we were also cut-off from connection with God. Our spiritual death was as real as our emotional poverty. Sex was the one thing that seemed to restore us to life. Like water to a dying man in the desert our lust served to seemingly bring life back to our aching hearts. The truth is that the lust was just another wall of our fortress.

"Lust is a magical wall in that it gives the illusion of connection. It is transparent. We can see people on the other side and we can pretend that we are connecting with them, laughing, joking, living, sharing, but all the while there is this wall which deadens their voices so we can barely hear a sound, and distorts their faces ever so slightly - or greatly - and absolutely ensures that they will never harm us because they can not touch us. So we feel safe, but we remain alone inside our prison.

"We have always been aware that we are alone. As children we interpreted the abandonment and/or abuses we experienced as..." Read more.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Depression in Children and Adolescents

"Only in the past two decades has depression in children been taken very seriously. The depressed child may pretend to be sick, refuse to go to school, cling to a parent, or worry that the parent may die. Older children may sulk, get into trouble at school, be negative, grouchy, and feel misunderstood.

"Because normal behaviors vary from one childhood stage to another, it can be difficult to tell whether a child is just going through a temporary "phase" or is suffering from depression. Sometimes the parents become worried about how the child's behavior has changed, or a teacher mentions that "your child doesn't seem to be himself." In such a case, if a visit to the child's pediatrician rules out physical symptoms, the doctor will probably suggest that the child be evaluated, preferably by a psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of children." Read more.

To find a Christian therapist near you, please click here.

Men and Depression

"Researchers estimate that at least six million men in the United States suffer from a depressive disorder every year. Research and clinical evidence reveal that while both women and men can develop the standard symptoms of depression, they often experience depression differently and may have different ways of coping with the symptoms. Men may be more willing to acknowledge fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in work or hobbies, and sleep disturbances rather than feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and excessive guilt. Some researchers question whether the standard definition of depression and the diagnostic tests based upon it adequately capture the condition as it occurs in men." Read more.

To find a Christian therapist near you, please click here.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Depression in Women

Unveiling Depression in Women

"I seem to cry over nothing these days.

"Why am I having such a hard time making simple decisions?

"Lately, itís difficult just getting out of bed.

"I'm so irritable; what is wrong with me?

"There are times when life seems dark, when the burdens of stress rain down and the demands of living cloud your thoughts and feelings. But you are not struggling alone in this raging storm. In todayís fast-paced society nearly every woman, at some time during her life, will experience the crippling effects of depression.

"Providing hope and encouragement, Unveiling Depression in Women offers a biblical perspective on how to conquer these debilitating emotions. The authors are experienced therapists who encourage a holistic approach of spirituality, counseling, health care, and medication when necessary. They explain when and why specialized treatment is needed, freeing skeptical women to seek the help they really need.

"This inspirational resource will help you examine the symptoms of depression and understand its causes. Learn about remedies to heal the whole body and how to walk the path to recovery. Discover a proactive approach to growing through or living with depression and how you can redeem it as an opportunity for learning and growth."

To find a Christian therapist near you, please click here.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Compulsive Behavior

The following is an excerpt from an excellent article by the North American Mission Board:

"Compulsive behaviors have an ability to produce a positive and pleasurable mood change. They remove us from our true feelings, and can provide a form of escape. However, over the long haul, these compulsions can control the individual, becoming unhealthy and destructive. Some of the behaviors that are generally included in this broad focus are smoking, overworking, overeating, drinking, shopping, taking drugs, dieting, gambling, and unhealthy relationships. In fact, many therapists believe that almost any activity has the potential to become compulsive for a given individual.

"The foundation for compulsive behavior is within each of us. This foundation consists of a normal desire to live with the least amount of pain and the greatest amount of pleasure possible. In addition, a general mistrust of the world we live in and a pessimism about life is thought to contribute to this foundation. Such feelings and beliefs are often established in childhood, and influenced by relationships within the family. A person with low self-esteem, who has learned that other people are not to be trusted and therefore has difficulty developing healthy relationships, is more likely to develop compulsive behavior patterns as a way to cope with stress in his or her life."


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Looking for a Life Coach?

According to Wikipedia, "Life Coaching is used by a growing number of both credentialed (e.g. psychologists) and non-credentialed practitioners to aid clients with transitions in their personal life, and in the process of self-actualization. Currently no regulatory standards exist, and thus no degree or formal training is required to become a life coach. With roots in executive coaching, which itself drew on techniques developed in management consulting and leadership training, life coaching also draws from a wide variety of disciplines, including sociology, psychology, career counseling, mentoring, and numerous other types of counseling. The coach applies mentoring, values assessment, behavior modification, behavior modeling, goal-setting, and other techniques in assisting clients. Coaches are to be distinguished from counselors, whether counselors in psychotherapy or other careers."

Read more about life coaching at Wikipedia.