• Who are you?: Identity after Trauma

    Life takes each of us through natural significant developmental stages of transitions (infancy, toddler, childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood, retirement, etc.). Each of these transitional stages requires us to develop a new part of our identity. This can be complicated by a plethora of decisions we are faced with. If we do not transition well due to life circumstances or if we experience a trauma during these delicate times in life, identity can be weakened or lost. DO YOU KNOW YOURSELF? An area I love to counsel is identity work. It is empowering to explore your true self, to find acceptance of self, and to live out an authentic life! What…

  • The Traumatized Brain: why trauma causes triggers

    Life happens to all of us. Throughout scripture we see where we are guaranteed to face trials, tribulations, and persecutions. Knowing this only serves to normalize our experiences, it does not prepare us for unexpected life experiences and it does not prevent us from the impact of trauma. What exactly is trauma? What does it mean to be “triggered”? Why does my life seem to be out of control, can this really be from my childhood or is that just psychology myths? Is there hope to live life without trauma triggers? These are all questions I want to explore in this blog. As a complex trauma therapist, I work with…

  • Childhood Abuse Awareness: The impact childhood has on adulthood

    The experience of childhood abuse is far reaching. The United States is ranked as one of the leading industrialized nations for childhood abuse with nearly 700,000 children having reported abuse each year. Abuse can occur in many forms including physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and neglect. Those who experience childhood abuse are prone to major depression, anxiety disorders, identity issues, dissociative disorders, low self-esteem, eating disorders, hoarding, and many other mental health concerns. When a child is abused they are in a powerless situation. This experience of powerlessness transcends the mind and body becoming a damning struggle for the rest of their life if proper help is not sought for trauma…

  • The Broken Path

    No parents are perfect, but sometimes parents are painfully imperfect. Sometimes parents directly instill fear, neglect, lovelessness, worthlessness, rejection, self-hate, abandonment, and anger that children live with. When these hurting children grow up to be adults they struggle. The challenges we face in childhood become the struggles of our adulthood. Scripture tells parents to train their children up in the way they should go and they shall not part from it (Proverbs 22:6). The reality of this scripture is that the direction parents raise their child, regardless if it is in a healthy direction or not, sets the child on a path that becomes incredibly difficult for the child to…

  • Broken is Not Worthless

    “Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.” Isaiah 61:7 When you hear the word “broken” what comes to your mind? Close your eyes and visualize “broken.” What do you see? Sit here, mindful of the image of brokenness… what feelings are you experiencing? … Sit deeper into that feeling and image… where do your thoughts travel to? Being aware of all your senses right now, what stands out to you as you are focusing on brokenness? How would you put into words what…

  • Negative Belief Systems: The Joy Robber

    I want to tackle the concept of negative belief systems and the joy robber that they are. Negative belief systems are created from life experiences. More on that topic here (The two sides to every life story: The significance of self-talk). Here is how life experiences happen from a neurological perspective: We experience life visually, emotionally, and physically. I want you to think of a negative memory. Close your eyes and visualize this experience. What do you see? What emotions do you feel? Scan your body; what sensations do you have? Tension? Rapid heart rate? Clenching body part(s)? As you experience this negative memory visually, emotionally, and physically, what do…

  • 3 Myths about Christian Counseling

      “I don’t know about counseling…” and Christian Counseling? Can’t I just go to a pastor for free? Doesn’t science contradict the bible? …  Ahhh, yes! I hear this ALL the time! Here are a few common myths about Christian counseling! Yes, I love pastors and their calling! They are often a great first responder, but they are limited in their knowledge of mental health and limited in their ability to give you the time your situation needs and deserves. Most pastors have a limited number of times they will sit with you or they (should) have a limit to their ability to work with situations or problems based on…

  • The two sides to every life story: The significance of self-talk

    As I read the book Unseen by Sara Hagerty a quote from this book jumps out at me. Hagerty states, “There are two stories in a person – the visible story and the invisible story.” From the day we are born our two stories are being written and watered and rooted. External Story: As a young child my parents dote on me, give me hugs and kisses and maybe even put a physical reward in my hands for performing well in school. When I do not perform well in school my parents punish me or I experience a consequence. Internal Story: I am only loved or worthy of love if I am doing well in…