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Achieve the Max
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Achieve the Max
or Always Anxious
Balancing a Career
Can't Think Straight
Can't Get Anything Done
Changes in Behavior
Children of Alcoholics
Children of Divorce
College Major Coaching
Confidence, Lack it
Control Issues/ Needs
Follow Through and
Mad at God
Men's Midlife Crisis
Past Abuse or Other Hurts
Seeing or Hearing
Speakers on Counseling
Stay on Track
Traumatic Life Events
"We Counsel-God Heals"
The following provides some brief introductions to different
counseling, coaching, mediation, behavioral needs and other area of interest
that we at Counseling the Lord's Way have experience with and seek to help
others resolve in a biblical manner using prayer, teaching, scripture,
biblically based learning and therapy procedures, Christian Coaching and
term from the left hand side and click on it:
Achieve the Max -
Many people have lives that are O.K. but they don't
want to be just O.K.
They want to be the best that they can be and as we say "Achieve the Max".
God has given each of us great potential, but too often we get stuck in what the
world thinks is sufficient rather than pushing forward. At "Coaching the
Lord's Way" we can help clients discover their God given talents, strengths and
weaknesses and develop ways to put
those talents and strengths to use in order to move closer and closer to their potential, far
exceeding where they have been before. If you are interested in being your
best, as God would have you be, call and give us a chance show you how you can
meet and exceed your goals through Christian Professional Life Coaching.
Jesus said, "I tell you the
truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same work I have done, and even
greater work, because I am going to the Father. You can ask for anything
in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.
Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it"
- The Scriptures remind us that we are and
will be accountable for all of our behavior when judgment time comes. We
will have to stand before the throne and be tested by fire. Accountability
is a biblical concept that many try to avoid by blaming others for our actions
or thoughts. But we cannot just pass off our actions to others, we must be
accountable for them. Once we accept and confess our wrong doings then
forgiveness is available to us both from ourselves and from others. Another aspect of accountability involves
obtaining help in altering addictive or obsessive behaviors. We often have
to turn to others to help us, that is, we become accountable to them to ensure
correct behavior. Scripture is very clear about having accountability to others
for our behavior. Changing behavior is not
easy especially when the behavior is well ingrained or is addictive in any way.
One of the primary ways to move away from addictive behaviors or difficult
behaviors is to use an accountability partner who shares in helping you focus on
what you are doing and the new behavior you seek to develop. Both
counseling and coaching can be sources of accountability. They can aid you in acquiring
the accountability necessary to make the changes you need to make. Groups
are another especially effective way to develop strong accountability.
Call and see how we can help you with your accountability needs.
Two can accomplish more than twice as
much as one, for the results can be much better. If one fails , the other
one pulls him up; but if a man falls when he is alone, he is in trouble.
...And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand
back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not
easily broken. Ecc 4:9-10, 12
Accomplish More -
Many of us have a problem of not getting enough done or
not getting it done in the way it should be completed.
We are become overwhelmed by having more and more to do and getting less and less done.
or Coaching are both effective ways to help you learn appropriate methods for
getting more done in less time. We teach time management along with other
methods for being more efficient. If your goal is getting more done and
doing it better, let us know and we'll show you how you can make this happen.
if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more.
You can even say to this Mount of Olives, "Move over into the ocean" and it
will. You can get anything...anything you ask for in prayer...if you
believe." Matt. 21:21
Today's world is filled with many, many types of
addictions. Many of these ruin lives not only of the person who is
addicted but also of the family and friends of the addict. Addictions are most often
the result of a search for something or an attempt to escape from something
else. Most addicts cannot "just quit" as their loved ones and others think
they should. Usually addictions require some form of intervention which
may include counseling. Often we find that addictions are best treated
with counseling in conjunction with other types of therapy. We deal
especially with non-substance abuse addictions such as sexual addictions,
pornography addiction, food addictions and so forth. A biblical approach
to addictions can be very helpful in discovering the roots of addiction and
resolving the issues related to the addiction. We will be happy to
review your situation or that of a friend or loved one at no cost to see what
kind of treatment might be best. Addiction is frequently about control.
Who or what controls you?
"...For you are a slave to whatever controls
you." 2 Peter 2:19
Hyperactivity Disorder -
much is written about ADHD today that many people have come to believe that it
is not a real phenomenon. It is real and it can be devastating for adults
who have been diagnosed but not treated or for those who haven't been diagnosed.
The effects can cause loss of jobs, inability to get a job, inability to
function within the family setting or other interpersonal settings, inability to
learn and retain material, and "mistakes" in behaviors even though you try to
avoid them. I cannot go into all the symptoms here but we will soon have a
place on this site where you can go to learn more. We can help the Adult ADHD through
coaching and occasionally when necessary through counseling. So if you
have been diagnosed or suspect ADHD is one of things holding you back let us
help you look at what might be done.
Affection Needs -
We all require some degree of affection.
God has made some of us with a greater need to receive affection than others and
some with a greater need to give affection than others. Sometimes these
needs get in the way of our family life or our social life and we and our
families have to learn how to deal with our differing needs. Differences
in affection needs and the way they are satisfied have caused marital discord
and divorce as well as the development of addictive behaviors. If you feel
that there might be an imbalance in your affection needs please let us know and
we can analyze and determine what might be done. God tells to guard our
affections (our heart) above all else since it affects everything else in life.
all else, guard your affections. For they influence everything else in
your life." Prov. 4:23
Alternative Dispute Resolution
- ADR or
alternative dispute resolution is another name for mediation. In mediation a
"neutral" helps two or more parties come together and find an acceptable
solution to a disagreement without resorting to legal processes. ADR is
almost always cheaper and less time consuming than going through the court
system. It is more private and often ends in much better outcomes
that allow both parties to be satisfied.
Court resolution of disputes almost always ends up with one party losing and one
or both parties being left angry. Today we often find courts requiring
conflicting parties to seek ADR before they will try to settle the dispute in
court. We are specifically trained in Christian Mediation, biblically
based methods for resolving conflict. God has directed Christians to take
their disputes to other Christians rather than to the courts and non-Christians.
See Christian Mediation to learn more.
- Some of us are more passionate than
others. God made some of us with greater emotions and passions. The
problem is not that we are passionate, but rather how we exhibit the anger that
arises in various situtations. Anger
is o.k. and appropriate in some situations. The Bible never says do not
get angry, but admonishes us not to let anger be carried on too long or to
influence our actions toward others in a permanent or violent way. It is when the anger is always
there, when it overwhelms the life of the angry person and those around them, or
when it constantly gets out of control that it is a problem and a sin.
When anger controls you life, when it carries over from a situation to life
style or holding grudges or when it can lead to harm of the angry person or
someone else it needs to be controlled. Often the person with anger issues
is not even aware that their behavior is a problem until someone else points it
out. Most people with anger issues have
learned anger as a Control mechanism of others. They have a great need to
control or perhaps to keep themselves separated from others. For others
anger boils over when their pride is hurt. It is
essential to try to find the source of the behavior so that the underlying
issues can be dealt with and new more appropriate responses to situations can be
learned and used. If anger is affecting your life or someone you love,
contact us and let us see if we can be of aide. If someone else has
suggested to you that you need to learn to control your anger, chances are you
need outside help, call us.
sin by letting anger control you. Think about it over night and remain
silent." Psalms 4:4 "Sensible people control their temper; they earn
respect by overlooking wrongs. Prov. 19:11
Anxiety Attacks or Always Anxious
- Some people have anxiety attacks in
which they become afraid of a perceived or expected situation and their body
physically reacts as though it wants to fight or run away. This is
anxiety. For some people anxiety is a learned way of coping with life, but
although it can act as a protective mechanism, it often interferes with the
ability of the individual to live a normal, productive life.
It doesn't have to be that way because new ways of coping can be learned. God
gave us the ability to react defensively, but He did not intend for that
reaction to control our lives.
For some people the anxiety attacks are so severe that they become unable to
function normally when stress gets too high. For some people anxiety comes on every
now and then related to specific things or situations, but for others it is
a constant state of overreacting to what is happening around them. Anxiety
is one of the most common problems dealt with by counselors and therapists.
If your work, or home life are being disrupted by you feeling of uneasiness
and worry, or if anxiety is overwhelming your life and keeping you from being
happy and getting things done, we may be able to help you. Call us.
your burdens to the Lord. He will carry them. He will not permit the Godly
to slip or fall." Psalm 55:22
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Alcohol Abuse -
Alcohol abuse is the most prevalent type of substance
abuse and is very destructive to the lives of the alcoholic and to their
families, friends and co-workers. Many people who "drink casually" find their
drinking starting to affect others and their health. When it does so it's
time to begin to look for help. Alcoholism is deadly both for the
alcoholic and for the family. One of the most frequent behavior problems
seen in families is co-dependency which is related to trying to cope with an alcoholics
behavior and life style or that of other addicts. Co-dependency can be
just as devastating and deadly as alcoholism. If you have a family member
whose drinking is beginning to control you or other members of your household it
is time to seek help both for the alcoholic and for family members or others
affected by their behavior.
"The temptations in your life are no
different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow
the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted he will
show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Cor. 10:13
Avoidance Behavior -
Avoidance behavior often takes the form of doing things
other than what is important or necessary to do. It could be not leaving
the house, missing meetings, being constantly late, finding an "excuse" for not
doing something, not making appointments you are supposed to make.
Avoidance behavior typically comes out of a fear of some kind. For some people
this might be a fear of rejection, so they avoid places where people are.
It might be a fear of failure so they don't get a job, don't go for a test,
don't start a project they need to do. Procrastination is a kind of
avoidance behavior. A fear of illness or pain may keep you from making a
doctors appointment or keeping one you've made. Generally the avoidance
behavior does not resolve the problem it is designed to avoid but puts it off
for a short time. If you find yourself not returning phone calls, not
leaving the house unless you have to, or other behavior which are designed to
keep you from being fearful, you will be much happier if you can learn to not
fear these things and learn to face what is holding you back. We can help.
little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to
rest--then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit. Prov.6: 10-11.
Balancing a Career -
Most married working people who desire a close family and
a functional home have to find a balance between their career and the family.
Sometimes the family gets in the way of moving ahead, accomplishing life plans
and goals even though we desire to make them first. In today's demanding
society with so much competition work sometimes is overwhelming and keeping the
family happy and well cared for is a struggle.
Many people have discovered ways to balance both jobs. You too can learn
to do it. You may have a struggle with multiple jobs, or multiple demands,
but we can help you find ways to level out those struggles. Christian
Professional Life coaching
can be just the thing you need. God's given you the ability to do many things,
and He wants you to be able to handle and reap benefits from al that He has
given you. We can help you find a way to make it work and be pleasing to
both you and God.
are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up
wealth not knowing who will spend it." Psalms 39:6 "Teach us the brevity
of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm
Conflict between people often occurs because of a lack of
set boundaries that are known and applied. Boundaries define us; what is
me and what is not me. They set rules that apply in our everyday life as
to what we will and will not do and what others can and cannot do in relation to
us. They are anything that sets differences between you and someone else.
You can have boundaries on time, words, emotions, truth, relationships,
attitudes, behaviors, feelings, choices, values, love, etc. etc. You have
boundaries in many if not all areas of life. It is when we fail to set
boundaries that we often get into trouble, or when we let others trample
boundaries that we have set without making it clear that they have exceeded the
bounds, or even when we don't apply our own boundaries. Sometimes we also overstep others boundaries and fail to respect
them, thus causing interpersonal problems. Setting boundaries is taking
control of your life. We often find that we have to help people set
boundaries and learn to protect them because their life has not given them
boundaries or has been filled with people who have crashed their boundaries
repeatedly. If you are having boundary problems, we can help you find
them, understand them, set them and learn to protect them. The Bible is
filled with instructions about boundaries such as "Let your yes, be yes, and
your No, be No". Knowing God's boundaries and accepting them, often helps
us set and control our own boundaries for a happier more productive life.
people the Lord has told you what is good. And this is what he requires of
you. to do what is right, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God." Micah 6:8. "Guide my steps by your word, so that I will not be overcome by
evil." Psalm 119:133
is not unusual for today's worker to have so many things going on in life that
they become totally overwhelmed. The expectancies of the family, friends,
the boss, and of one's self is so high that in order to even keep up becomes a
struggle. When burnout occurs the individual often feels fatigued, unable
to think, unable to get things accomplished, starts but doesn't finish things,
plans but doesn't start things. In other words, their need to accomplish
so much interferes with their ability to do anything. It may lead to
depression, or illness. It may lead to reduced production in all areas of
life or in just one. Often it is the family that gets left behind leading
to increased family stress. The desire to escape is not unusual in this
circumstance. The individual needs to take a careful look at their life
and their needs and bring their life back into balance for both their physical,
mental and spiritual well being. We can help you see where and why things
have gone awry and help you refocus your life to be more productive and yet less
floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can't
find a foothold." Psalms 69:1-2 "Come to me, all of you who are weary and
carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest...You will find rest for your
soul." Matthew 1:28-29
Can't Think Straight
The inability to think straight can be due to many
different kinds of problems. It can be due to physical problems, stress,
depression, burnout, fear of rejection or other social fears or a lack of focus.
Usually we can determine the primary causes of inability to keep on track and
resolve problems and then set up means to aide the person in achieving better
focus and better outcomes from their attempts to solve problems, remember
things, or communicate appropriately. The first step is looking at your
current methods of thinking, the stressors in your life and the things that you
are dwelling on. Then we can teach you ways to focus and control thinking
patterns. This may involve reducing stressors in life or learning new ways
of coping with those stressors.
Can't Get Anything Done -
Failure to accomplish tasks can be due to a number of
things including lack of planning, stress, burnout, lack of or insufficient
organization, too many jobs, too much interference, procrastination,
inefficiency and so on. The first task is to determine the situations in
which things go unfinished, and to examine the daily use of time.
Sometimes something as simple as keeping a calendar or a planning book can
resolve the problem. Sometimes a much more extensive adjustment of daily
functions must be undertaken. It is rare when this situation cannot be
corrected if the person is willing to cooperate and change their circumstances.
Professional Life Coaching can usually resolve issues such as this, sometimes
coupled with Christian Counseling when issues are emotional or spiritual in
"Commit your actions to the Lord and your
plans will succeed" Proverbs 16:3 "I run with purpose in every step"
1 Corinthians 9:26
Career Coaching -
Many people have a problem selecting the career that is
best for them. Others find that they have careers but they are going
nowhere in them or they feel that they are in the wrong business or job.
Career coaching can help in selecting the best job or career and it can help
with improving performance, advancement, enjoyment and success within the chose
field of work. God gave each of us abilities that will always us to
function well and usefully in his church and his world. We will only
function fully as He planned when we know what gifts He has given us and we
proceed to follow the path He has laid for us. Do you know your gifts and
temperament? If not, how do you what you are supposed to be doing for a
career? Can we help you? We may be able to. Call us and
"I know the plans I have for you", says the
Lord, "they are plans for good, and not for disaster, to give you hope and a
future" Jeramiah 29:11
Changes in Behavior or Thinking
Some of our clients have specific behaviors which they
don't like or find that their mind is preoccupied with thinking patterns or
repetitive thoughts which they would like to gain control over. Except for
a few types of addictions and some obsessive compulsive behaviors changing
behavior is a relatively straightforward process.
It begins with identifying the behaviors or thoughts and when they occur and
then applying substitute behaviors or thoughts for them. No it's not that
easy, but it is a process that can be learned for most people. As for
addictions and obsessive compulsive behaviors, they are somewhat more difficult
to change and take a more extensive set of processes to have successful and
permanent change. Return to
Character Coaching -
Character coaching is one of many types of coaching.
It focuses on helping the individual to change significant portions of the way
other people view them. Usually people come for character coaching when
there are areas of their behavior or personality that they intensely dislike and
that affect their interaction with others. Usually that involves the way
other people view them. It is basically a personality make-over. No,
we cannot really change the inborn person that God gave us, but we can change
the set of
learned behaviors that are due to environment, family interaction, or training.
For instance, if a person always comes across as and is seen by others as angry and
unfriendly, they can learn to alter their interaction to appear more friendly
and acceptable to others. This is a relatively long process but can be
very successful for most who truly need it and work on it.
"I pray that on every side love will
overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and
Children of Alcoholics -
Children of alcoholics (COAs) have one of the toughest times
growing up of all children. We find that most if not all learn to cover
for their parents habit and become highly co-dependent. This co-dependent
behavior bleeds over into all aspects of life and may be partially responsible
for the number of COAs who become alcoholics or drug addicts themselves.
A small percentage are able to get through life adequately without too many
problems, but the large majority end up with a variety of problems unless they
seek out help learning how to cope with the alcoholic and other co-dependent
family members. The learned co-dependent behavior is carried over to their
family and continues for generations unless the cycle is stopped. If you
are a COA or know of someone who is, please seek support either from a counselor
or a COA group.
Children of Divorce -
Children of divorce often have developmental or
adjustment problems due to the process of divorce and beliefs that they come to
assume about themselves and their parents during the divorce process.
Often they believe that they are at fault for the divorce and feel that if they
had not been around the divorce would not have happened. This sometimes
leads to attempts to escape either physically or mentally from the situation.
Thus they may run away, withdraw, or even attempt suicide. The effects
depend at least part on the developmental stage they are in when the divorce
occurs and the degree of anger and family discord that occurs during the
process. The effects of divorce can carry over generation to generation if
not dealt with. Adults who come from divorced families may continue to
have adjustment problems throughout their life.
An excellent resource for Adult Children of Divorce is "Breaking the Cycle of
Divorce", by John Trent.
"Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close" Psalm 27:10
Church Mediation -
It is not unusual for conflict to arise in today's church
between members and staff or between staff members or between non-churched
within the community and the church. Church mediation seeks to resolve
such disputes without resorting to legal actions. This frequently allows a
resolution that stays out of the media and which leaves the parties still able
to interact on a reasonable level after the settlement.
It is also a less costly method of resolving conflicts. We are trained in
Christian mediation and will gladly work with any denomination which seeks an
equitable solution to ongoing problems. The differences between Christian
Mediation, legal proceedings and other mediation can be found at
Co-Dependency is a process of trying to meet one's own
needs by taking care of others. This is always an unhealthy relationship
between the caretaker and the person being cared for. The caretaker always
ends up hurt and as a victim. It is not unusual for the co-dependent to
become involved in addictive behaviors. Most often co-dependence develops
in the children and spouse of alcoholics or other addicts, or in homes where
there are invalids or people who require special care. It is not unusual
to find extreme co-dependency within the Church and like other co-dependents the
ones in the church eventually become a destructive force for themselves, others
in the church and sometimes the church itself. Most of us have some
co-dependency issues. When helping or caring for anyone or everyone else
except yourself, then you know there is a problem. It is hard for
co-dependents to recognize or help themselves. Most often others recognize
the behavior or the negative consequences of the behavior lead the person to seek
counseling. We have extensive training in this area and are willing to
work with you.
College Major Coaching
- The large majority of students starting
college have no idea of what major they want to pursue or what they want to do
with their life when college is over.
The first step to finding the right major and the right path is to learn about
yourself and what God has put in you as far as strengths and abilities.
You definitely do not want to pursue a career just because it is interesting to
you when your God given talents are in a totally different direction. You
not only won't be happy, you won't be successful. Let us help you
get started on the right track.
Commitment Problems -
Some individuals have problems with commitment.
Sometimes it is as simple as saying they will do something and then not
following through, and sometimes as difficult as making a marriage vow and then
having trouble living by that vow.
The failure of a simple commitment and one of breaking ones marriage vows are
not that far apart. They both involve a stated intention which is later
forsaken. It may be that the person never intended to keep the promise in
the first place, or that they did intend to but were unable to overcome the
pressure from other sources when it came to the choice. It was still a
choice, with consequences. Were the consequences not important enough?
Or perhaps, was the importance of keeping ones word never fully established?
It is important to determine the reason commitments are not kept. Often it
is related to needs that are not being met within the commitment. We can
help determine the needs and reason behind failure to maintain commitments and
perhaps help find ways to resolve needs within the promises.
"Love never gives up, never loses faith, is
always hopeful and endures through every circumstance." 1 Corinthians 13:7
of top reasons couples don't get along and marriages don't last is that neither
partner has learned to communicate. One of the top reasons businesses fail
is because leaders cannot communicate their goals and expectations. One of
the chief reasons students don't do well in school is due to their inability to
communicate through speech or writing and sometimes the inability of the teacher
to get the information across at a level that the student can understand.
Often the reason for conflicts is an inability for people to communicate their
needs, desires, expectations and goals. Communication is part sending and
part receiving. We deal with both. We can improve how you say what
you want to say, and how you hear what the other person is trying to
communicate. You won't believe the results of being an expert
communicator. Let us help you get started.
Brothers, if a Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should
gently and humbly help him back onto the right path, remembering that next time
it might be one of you who is in the wrong. Share each other's troubles
and problems, and so obey our Lord's command. If anyone thinks he is too great
to stoop to this, he is fooling himself. He is really a nobody."
Compulsive/Repetitive Behavior -
behavior is behavior which is driven by some mental or perhaps physiological
process to occur again and again. At least some if not all
compulsive behaviors are learned. If they are learned they can be
unlearned. They are repetitive because the repetition of that behavior fills some "unknown"
need. Sometimes the need can be discovered. Sometimes the behavior
can be changed by substituting one or more other behaviors. This is most
effective when the behavior used as a substitute also meets the "unknown" need.
Some behaviors are repetitive but not compulsive; they are thought driven.
Changing the thoughts that drive them can alter or eliminate the behavior.
Sometimes a chain of events leading up to the behavior can be broken and disrupt
the behavior, allowing other more effective behaviors to occur.
Confidence, Lack it
...Build it - How confident are you in
who you are, what you are doing, where you are going, where you have been, what
God intends for you? Most of us are not that confident when we really look
at ourselves. We tend to get started in a direction and it's easier just
to continue going with the flow of the pressure that got us started. We
may find ourselves miserable, or frustrated, or just unsure, but we keep going.
How would you like to be confident? How would you like to be sure you are
building your house on a strong foundation? Let us help you see what God
intended for you and then proceed on your strengths to glorify His kingdom by
using the gifts He has given you.
"Faith is the confidence that what we hope
for will actually happen; it gives us assurance of things we cannot see."
is no wonder in this stressful, overloaded life we live in that some of us
find our selves in a great confusion. Confusion over who we are, what we
are supposed to be, what our work is supposed to be, what we want to do with our
lives, what is expected of us, how we feel about things and people and how
others feel about us. This mass of confusion can make us unable to
function fully the way God intended for us to function. We need to stop
and try to determine what our purpose is in life and how we can best put the
gifts God has given us to use. Often that process is to overwhelming to do
on our own so that we need help from a counselor or other advisor. We can help straighten out some of that
confusion by providing you with questionnaires and tests which can clarify your
strengths and weakness and thus help orient you in the right direction...the way
God intended you to go. Too many of us are headed in some other direction
than that God intended for us and life will continue to be a struggle until we
are on the right path.
"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and
he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." James
Control Issues/ Needs
- God has sent us into this world with a
innate sense of control which differs between individuals as far as their need
to control and their need to be controlled by others. When the control in
our life is out of balance with our God given needs and expectations about
control then conflict occurs. When this conflict occurs it may produce
significant problems in the marriage, the family, the job, association with
others in clubs, school and church and so forth. We can help you look at
your particular need for control in relation to your job, your home life and
your relationship with others and help you find a balance that will restore your
feeling of well being and thus make life happier and more comfortable for you
and those you live with.
- Finance Issues are one of the primary areas
in both individual and family life that causes problems. It is a principal
cause of divorce. Failure to control finances is a behavioral,
psychological and spiritual problem which involves emotions, needs,
communication and knowledge. We find that in couples counseling we can
often resolve much of the marital discord by helping them to resolve their
ability to control and discuss finances within the marriage. Often
couples begin marriage with very different views of finances, no discussion of
how they will be handled, little or no preparation
in how to control their own finances, ideas and expectations about what they should
have or "need", and no boundaries or communication about who does what and how.
This is a roadmap for disaster in marriage; a key "marriage killer". We can help look at the current set of circumstances, establish boundaries, aide
in communications and expectations and thus help with controlling this important
aspect of life.
your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." Matthew 6:21
"Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you
produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain." Proverbs 3:9-10
Couples Conflicts -
The most typical conflict people encounter occurs that between
marriage partners or closely associated couples (those who are engaged, dating
or occupying the same home or apartment).
There are many reasons for couples to be in conflict but most often the conflict
is over money,
interpersonal relationships, and children. Failure to listen to the other person along
with failure to try to communicate with the partner are the primary reasons that
couple conflicts cannot be resolved quickly and amicably. Learning proper
communication techniques, especially listening skills, can reduce the number of
conflicts, their length and their depth. Often conflict arises for deep
seated beliefs or expectations which each partner has brought into the
relationship from family or previous experiences or relationships in life.
We can analyze the sources, locate the reasons and find ways to reduce the
conflict in most cases. See
"The wisdom from above is first of all
pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield
to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and
is always sincere." James 3:12
Couple Counseling -
Couple counseling is used for many types of problems which
occur between partners of a couple relationship, whether married or not.
Sometimes it is used to strengthen and develop a relationship and sometimes to
reduce or minimize and existing problem or set of problems. Couple
counseling can be enhanced often by individual counseling which allows one
member of the couple to work on their own behavior issues while not in the
presence of the other member. Marital counseling and pre-marital counseling
are two types of couple counseling. Often it is past experience and
expectations that lead to conflicts. Often when these sources are
identified and understood friction can be reduced .
Whether you are a teenager just starting out or a well
experienced adult seeking a new mate after loss of your spouse, dating is a magic
time filled with anxiety, excitement and surprises. We use the term dating
here to refer to the time during which couples are getting to know each other
more fully, whether or not exclusive one on one dating is occurring. One
question which sometimes needs to be resolved is whether or not formal dating is
appropriate or not. There are always
many questions about dating about the dating process extending from "How do I pick the right person to date?" to
"What do I do if my date has different beliefs than I do?". We can help
you find an answer to such questions. We can also help with the self-esteem
problems for those who have a fear of rejection that reduces their ability to
get a date and the many other fears and problems related to selecting and making
biblical and wise decisions related to dating.
Decision Making -
Many people have difficulty when faced with
choosing between important choices in their lives. Often the inability to choose is related to a
fear of loss in that choosing one loses access to the other. Another fear
that effects choice is a fear of failure. If I make a choice I might
select wrong and then fail at whatever I select, thus I decide not to make a
choice, putting off failure. Decision making is an extremely important step
that occurs repeatedly in life. Failure to make decisions can keep a
person from advancing in life, and can also be deadly. God has given us
many commands, the most important of which is to choose Him (Life
over death). Many people fail to make this choice because they are afraid
of losing what the secular world has to offer (a good time followed by death).
Decision making in business and everyday life is essential. We can teach
methods of determining the better choice or at least moving forward by making a
"Show me the right path Oh
Lord; point out the road for me to follow." Psalm 25:4
Depression is one of the most common psychological reasons for a person to visit
a counselor or therapist. It is also one of the primary reasons for a
person to visit their physician. At times all of us feel sad, down or blue
(other terms for depression). As Solomon said there is "a time to weep",
"a time to mourn" (Eccl. 3, 4), but when sadness and being down continues
without cease and without relief, then we are experiencing something beyond what
is normal. It is a much deeper level of emotional turmoil that many people
experience. Depression can affect anyone and when it affects an individual
often it affects all of those around them. It is a serious
condition that if it goes untreated can change the individuals whole life, cause
them to separate themselves from others, cause them to lose their job and lose
their effectiveness in the world, and in a significant percentage to threaten
their very lives. If you are depressed or know of someone who is, it is
extremely important to seek help immediately. A more thorough treatment
of depression can be found at "What to do about depression" (coming soon).
"Hope deferred makes the heart
sick" Proverbs 13:12 "(Jesus) became anguished and distressed. He
told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here
and keep watch with me." Matthew 26:37-38
Despair - Despair
is an extreme reaction to loss. It essentially means that the person has
given up and become totally overwhelmed by the situation that they are in.
It is an extreme form of Depression or Anxiety usually as the result of some
kind of loss.
Generally the person experiences disorientation and disorganization...they don't
know what to do or where to turn. There can often be loss of appetite and
weight, inability to concentrate or to do anything worthwhile, confusion, loss
of memory, and motor skills may be impaired. Physical ailments may
arise and there may be an extreme worry that they may be seriously ill. It
can be a "learned helplessness", but the tendency is for the person just to give
This can often occur as a part of the cycle of recovery from loss, but sometimes if it goes
on and on, and when grief turns to despair often help is needed to get over this part of grief. A good counselor
can help turn despair into hope.
If you are someone else you know has
come to the point where you are to "give up" you need to seek help.
"But Moses told the people,
"Don't be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch, and you will see the
wonderful way the Lord will rescue you today...." Exodus 14:13
Being organized is not a natural state although some of us
are born with more capacity for organization than others. Although you may
not be a person who is born with the natural capacity for organization, much of
it is a learned behavior and a set of methodologies. Motivation is a very
large part of being organized and without it one finds that disorganization
takes over. When disorganization takes over it can be very overwhelming
sometimes bringing a persons ability to act to a stand still. It can
influence promotions and even retention at work. It can lead to great
losses. To avoid those losses it is important for someone without
organizational skills or who finds themselves in a very disorganized pattern of
life to seek training to establish the routines, motivation and skills necessary
to sustain them throughout their life functions. We can help you evaluate
your "disorganization" and begin to get you back on track.
- When two or more people or
organizations are in conflict there are a number of ways the conflict can be
resolved. Conflicts may be simple or extremely complex.
When they are complex it often leads to a situation wherein one party in the
dispute decides to sue the other party. Law suits are one method of
conflict or dispute resolution. Other legal but non-litigated
methods are mediation and arbitration. More and more often we find that
courts are dismissing cases of dispute and/or sending them to arbitration or
mediation. In arbitration, a neutral party listens to arguments and then
decides for the parties the outcome of the dispute. In mediation, the
arguments of the parties are presented, discussed and mutually agreeable
resolutions to the problem are found. The Bible instructs Christians to
not go to the courts to settle their disputes but rather to settle them with the
help of other members of the faith. We provide that service in compliance
with the biblical mandate. We do Christian Mediation for
individuals, groups, business or families. To learn more about it go
Divorce Conflict -
Obviously where there is divorce there is conflict.
It is always conflict that leads to the divorce and divorce continues the
conflict indefinitely. Often there are many conflicts over what will happen in and after the divorce
process which must be resolved just to get the divorce done.
There are many opportunities for conflict and thus for compromise.
Sometimes a mediator or divorce counselor can help those involved in a divorce
to settle minor and even major points of contention so that conflict is reduced
and thus following divorce the couple/family can separate but still be able to
make the necessary interactions and communications. It is important to set
up boundaries and methods to prevent future conflicts. As Ministers of
Christ we believe Christ hates divorce and we would rather help people find
another solution, we realize that sometimes divorce is the result. As
such, we seek to help Christians we must go that way to find a peaceful
resolution to their conflicts before, during and after the divorce. Thus
we provide Divorce Mediation.
Divorce Mediation -
Divorce mediation is a method by which the conflicts and
the problems related to a divorce action can be settled outside of the
expensive, public, legal route. Many couples who have separated have found
that the questions and problems that crop up concerning finances, property
division, child welfare, visitation, and so forth can be resolved amiably
through the mediation process. This can take a lot of the stress out of a
divorce process that is already filled with anxious and stressful problems.
Although we are not in favor of divorce (see Divorce
Conflict) we provide Divorce Mediation services in
order to help Christians who find no other way out to maintain as Godly a
process as they can while undergoing this traumatic experience. For more
information on Christian Mediation including Divorce Mediation see
Eating Disorders -
Eating disorders are many and varied. In most cases eating
disorders can be life threatening. Obesity leads to heart disease, cancer
and other disorders, whereas bulimia and malnutrition may lead to deadly
imbalances in the body threatening its ability to function normally. Usually
eating disorders are not about eating at all, but about something else in a
life...some other need that is going unfulfilled and for which you have learned to
substitute inappropriate eating habits. When you discover the real need
and other ways to fulfill that need or needs you may be able to return to
normal eating. Some problems are much more difficult to handle and require
significant behavioral and/or medical intervention to help the person recover from life
threatening obsessions with food. If you have an eating disorder,
have tried every diet, can't control your eating habits, we may be able to get
you on the right track to health again.
Many education and
learning issues stem from the lack of appropriate learning opportunities, poor
habits, emotional issues, focus issues or hyperactivity issues. The reason
for education or learning problems need to be diagnosed before it can be dealt
with more definitively. Sometimes the issues are physical or
physiological, such as vision or hearing problems. Sometimes they are
related to emotional issues like depression, anxiety and fears. And other
times they are just poor habits. Once the issues are identified we can
refer the client for appropriate treatment if it is physical or physiological or focus on the problem and generally improve the ability of the person to learn
if it is emotional or behavioral.
Emotional Control -
God endowed humans with emotions. He intended for
these emotions to drive and control our behaviors. Sometimes due to
circumstances, physiological problems or even spiritual problems our emotions
can get out of control. Some of us are born much more emotional or able to
react more emotionally than others...some have learned to be this way. It
is when our emotions occur at or in inappropriate situations or to an extent
greater or lesser than they should that they become a problem for us in
interacting with others.
Excessive anger, or anger at inappropriate times is an example as is crying all
the time or excessively. If you or someone you know are having trouble
controlling their emotions let us take a look at the situation and see what we
can do to help.
Entrepreneurs are special people with special abilities to
develop and make businesses run. Being special kinds of people means they
have special needs and special problems. Often they are highly motivated
and success oriented. They also often run into marital and family
problems, or even problems with co-workers. They are often driven people
who are motivated by the stress around them and the potential for success, but they are also prone to burnout
and to personal disaster when things don't go just right. They often find
themselves in lives out of balance. Entrepreneur coaching can provide the
guidance and orientation that these special people need to continue on a
successful track. Temperament analysis helps to focus them on what God
intended them to do and helps maintain an appropriate balance. Often their
spiritual and family lives get left behind and need to be brought back into
balance. We can assist the entrepreneur in getting the correct balance and
burnout prevention through a coaching relationship.
- Like entrepreneurs executives are special
people with special abilities and special needs. Often in directing their
organizations or maintaining their leadership behaviors their family life and
spiritual life gets ignored or pushed to the back. The life gets out of
balance and thus marital and family problems arise as do spiritual problems.
Executive coaching can help the executive to understand their own needs, those
of their family and their workers. It can help reestablish a balance to
their life to reduce the possibility of burnout and workaholism. Both home
life and work life can become more successful by applying executive coaching
Family Conflict -
Every family has conflict. Whenever two or more people get together there
is the potential for conflict because people do not view the world exactly the
same way. God gave us independent thinking and independent ability to make
decisions. When you take independent thinking people and you throw them
together even with the best intentions and relatively similar beliefs, you are
going to find some areas of conflict. For some families conflicts are few
and minimal. For others, conflicts are constant and extreme.
The problem is not whether or not there are conflicts, the problem is how the
conflicts are handled. Every person brings to an interaction a unique
history, beliefs, and expectations.
Families handle problems differently.
None of us come into the world knowing how to resolve
problems effectively. We learn how. Often we learn ineffective
methods. If our families had ineffective methods, we will carry those same
ineffective methods with us when we go into new family relationships. So, reducing family conflict often means learning
new and effective ways of responding to each other, changing expectations or
having broader expectations, learning to be less self-centered and so forth.
This doesn't occur naturally.
Someone has to learn and bring sanity to the situation. That's what we can
help with though coaching or mediation or if necessary, individual or
Family Counseling -
Family counseling involves bringing the members of the
family together to begin to understand how each person fits in the family, views
the family and the position of each member within it, and how conflict can be
resolved without excess stress on the members. Often by the time families
get to family counseling, bad habits of handling conflict are well ingrained in
the family dynamics. The old methods have to be analyzed and broken down
and new methods learned and put into place so that conflict can be resolved in a
godly manner with the least stress on all members. Family counseling is often
used in conjunction with individual counseling when one or more members of the
family have a special need which affects all of the members. If
things at home are chaotic, and what is being done now isn't working, maybe it's
time to bring in the "Lord's Way" to help the family live together in peace.
Family Relations -
Family relations refers to the interaction among the
members of the family, and the effect of each member on each other member and
the group as a whole. This can refer to the immediate family (i.e. mother,
father and kids) or to the broader family when there is frequent interaction
between the extended family, step-family and so forth.
The various behaviors and attitudes of the individuals affects the dynamics of
the whole family. In order to minimize conflict and maximize close relations
it is sometimes important to look at these overall relationships and help the
family members to understand the interactions and roles involved and affects they produce.
Then, boundaries and structure can be set up to help establish better
relationship among the members and promote peace.
Family Mediation -
Family mediation is most often used when there is a major
conflict within the family which cannot be resolved by the members through their
normal interactions due to emotions, personalities or other factors. Sometimes
it is settlement of property ownership, outcomes of wills, disagreements as to
custody, expectations of extended family members, or dealing with invalid or
elderly members of the family. The
goal is to resolve the problem, by finding a mutually acceptable solution that will allow all
interested parties to walk away satisfied, and maintain positive
If your family is undergoing a major internal conflict
which seems to be splitting the family apart, it might be worthwhile to look
into family mediation. We often can help.
person has one or more fears. Some have phobias which are fears of
specific things or situations. God has told us not fear for He is always
with us, but few of us are able to set aside our fears just be telling ourselves
that. Is it a lack of
faith? Is it a human frailty? Most fears originate in situations in
which we were frightened, feeling unsafe or unsure. Often an automatic
physiological response occurred; a response we call fear and which accompanies
things which we really should be afraid of. But, sometimes in these cases,
the response was excessive or inappropriate. That doesn't matter, to us it
seemed real enough. Then in our minds we have expanded a
perhaps useful fearfulness to a more generalized reaction to similar situations.
Though many fears began as a rational physiological reaction, they have become
irrational thought controlled reactions. It is our thinking process that
"causes" or continues the fearful reaction.
Often, new thinking processes can be learned. If the reaction continues to
be accompanied by physiological responses,
relaxation in the presence of the situation can usually be learned. Lessoning
the fear response. Your fears can
Financial Fears -
Recent times have generated in significant increase in worries and fears over
peoples financial status and the future of their finances. In many cases
these fears are well founded concerns. This is worse
for certain people and certain personalities that have an inborn fear of
financial failure or woes. The Bible talks more about finances than about
almost any other subject and gives us great guidelines to how to use our money
in both good times and bad. If you have financial fears or concerns that
are making it difficult for you to know how to use and control your income and
outflow we can help you not only learn what God has to say about your money, but
provide you with methods to at least feel like you have some control over where
your funds are and where they are going. God wants us to be good stewards
of His gifts at all times and especially when times get rough. He has
promised to provide for His own even when times are the hardest. Let us
help you assess your needs and find ways to follow God's leading during these
tough times. Let us help you gain confidence and reduce your fears where
finance is concerned.
"Don't worry about anything; Instead pray
about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has
done. Then you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
Follow Through and
Do you start things and then
find that you rarely complete them? This is a big road block to success.
Many of us have the energy to begin a project and we do so with great enthusiasm
and focus. But, when we have completed most of the work, we run out of
energy and can't get back to the project or follow it through to the all
important conclusion. You can learn to finish the task. You can
learn to find the energy that always seems to run out. God expects us to
run the whole race and He has provided us the methods to be complete in our work
if the work is in His Will.
We can help. Failure because of incompleteness does not have to continue.
Forgetfulness is a problem for all of us occasionally.
For some it is an ongoing and frequent problem that interferes with our ability
to conduct our daily lives in the way we need to in order to be successful or to
simply survive. When forgetfulness is frequent it is important to access
whether it is due to physiological or organic problems or whether it is due to
psychological factors. If it is physiological it can sometimes be treated
by medication or other medical interventions. If it is psychological it is
often due to thinking patterns, obsessions, emotional responses or interrupting thought processes.
When this is the case, learning new thought processes or behavior patterns can
help reduce forgetfulness and enhance overall performance in life's activities.
We can help you analyze the reasons for forgetfulness and in most cases overcome
the patterns of forgetting.
Focus - Focus
is the ability to keep ones mind free of intrusions and tuned in to
important thoughts so that mental or behavioral tasks can be completed fully and
efficiently. Many of us have problems maintaining our mental focus and
thus also have problems staying on tasks with our thoughts or behaviors.
Intrusive thoughts and images pop up while we are trying to concentrate on the
task at hand, shifting our focus off of the actions or thoughts so that we lose
our train of thought. The loss of focus can be due to a number of problems
but most often occur because of unresolved or unfinished business. The
more unfinished business in our life the more problems with focus. The
more problems with focus the more likely there will be additional unfinished
business. Learning to deal with the unfinished business is one of the few
ways to maximize focus.
Let us help you determine why you are losing focus and find the methods which
work best for you in sustaining focus so that you are able to achieve all that
God has intended for you.
Financial Fears -
Some people have personalities that constantly have fears
of financial woes. Most of us have fears about how we will meet our
financial needs from time to time. The first set of people need to learn
to trust while learning to appropriately manage their financial situation.
The rest of us also need to learn to manage our money and our spending using a
spending plan. We can help you evaluate your finances, your obligations
and your spending habits and usually find ways to reduce your financial fears.
the major problems many people encounter is the inability to forgive others who
have in some way hurt them. Christ has instructed us to forgive others and
that we will be forgiven "as we forgive" others. So our life often gets
bogged down when we allow the problems of the past to continue to control our
lives. Forgiveness and letting go, though often not easy, is sometimes the
only way to remove that control others have over us. Forgiving does not
mean admitting that the other person was right, or suggesting in anyway that
they did not harm you. Rather it is allowing God to handle the punishment
and judgment as He should. Let us help you find the areas in your life
where failure to forgive is making you miserable and allowing others to control
you. Identifying these areas and working through them may be the one step
you need to open your life to joy.
Get Organized -
Do you ever find yourself unable to get things done because you just can't seem
to get things organized or lined up in a fashion that will allow you to get
started and follow through to the end. Some of us seem to be born with a
tendency to disorganization while others can't get organized because they get
overwhelmed by all the things going on in their life and around them.
Sometimes it takes an outsider looking in to find the best way to put things in
order or to help us get on a schedule that will help us get everything done that
needs to be done. Let us look at your situation, we may be of help.
When we experience a loss it is inevitable that we
go through an emotional period in which we have to deal with that loss.
Depending on how important or close the loss was for us the greater the grief or
period of recovery may be. Personality and many other factors can effect
the depth and length of the grieving process. Note that grieving is a
process and there is specific set of emotions through which everyone must pass
before they recover. When the grieving process is extended or totally
overwhelming the person who has suffered loss may require help in dealing with
the loss and in getting their life back on track.
Guilt/Shame - Guilt
usually occurs when one has or believes he might have done something wrong.
The act may be known or unknown to others but is significant to the one who did
It may or may not include a fear of being discovered. It is important to
distinguish between guilt which is unnecessary and inappropriate
and that which is necessary and appropriate and to reduce unnecessary and
inappropriate guilt which has begun to take over behavior. It can lead to
avoidance, self-abuse, lowered self-esteem among other undesirable
characteristics. Shame is an emotion which often accompanies false guilt
and controls thinking processes and attitudes. It is important to
eliminate false guilt and shame and learn appropriate behaviors to reduce true
guilt and shame. God gave us these emotions to move us toward appropriate
actions of correcting our wrong doing. Correcting often involves
confession and repentance.
Health Coaching -
Many of us have learned bad habits which directly affect
our health. Some may involve putting things in our bodies that destroy it,
like smoke, drugs or excess food. Other habits involve not doing things
that are good for our bodies like getting sufficient exercise, taking care of
our teeth and eating a proper diet. Health coaching can help organize life
styles to eliminate poor behaviors and increase the occurrence of important
behaviors. The result is a better, healthier, happier lifestyle.
Healthy Sexuality -
God gave man sexuality for two primary purposes,
procreation and unity.
He instructed Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, but he also created them
to be one, in the unity of marriage and in family. The scriptures often
refer to sexuality as a positive and healthy part of life, but it also alludes
to unhealthy practices. To get the most out of God's gift a couple needs
to follow God's plan not the secular plan which man since the beginning of time
tried to create. God has a plan and we can share that plan with you to not
only energize the joy and closeness of your marriage, but also to protect and
solidify your unity.
and Goals - Most of us have passions
in our lives, goals and desires which have followed us in our minds, but which
we have not been able to fully come to appreciate and express. Goals and
passions which are not fully expressed cannot be fully achieved. One of
our goals in coaching is to help each individual explore and lay out the goals
of their life and find ways in which they can accomplish or express those goals.
- God created us not equal but each with
special strengths and behaviors which for each which we can not claim as
strengths (weaknesses). Too often individuals for various reason go
through life seeking out the things which are their weakest abilities.
Rather than attempting to look for and discover the strengths which God has
given and intends for us to use, we get stuck trying to build those things which
God has already laid the foundations in our being and if we identify those
strong foundations and build on them, God will bless them and strengthen them
further. But if we build on the weaknesses, like the house built on
the sand, when the storms come, our attempts never achieve much because they
keep being washed away. Let us help you find your strengths and
talents and put you on the path to a successful, God honored life.
This is what Professional Life Coaching is all about.
Improve Relationships -
Too many of us find ourselves in situations where our
relationships with others are not what we would like them to be. It may be
our relationship with our spouse, our sisters and brothers, our children, our
co-workers or others. Things just don't seem to be as strong or as close
as we would like. There is always a reason for relationship problems and
sometimes we are too close to them to really identify what has gone wrong.
Sometimes it is differences in personality that we don't understand.
Sometimes it's because our responses are ungodly or that we have succumb to a
life that is not conducive to friendship. We can help you assess what's
wrong and may be able to help you improve on those relationships you need so
badly. God intended for us to be social people, but sometimes earthly
things get in the way.
Individual Counseling -
Individual counseling involves direct consultation between
a client and a counselor as opposed to couples or group counseling where two or
more clients work with the counselor at the same time. Individual
counseling is often used when the individual has certain behavioral or emotional
concerns which are better worked on one on one. It is not unusual for
couples counseling to require that the individuals at some point meet
individually with the counselor to work on personal individual problems
affecting the couple or perhaps only affecting the individual. Most of us
have some behaviors which would be effectively handled using individual
Some of us have feelings that we are not as capable, as wise, or as good as
other people we associate with. Most often these feelings are false but
have been ingrained in us during our early childhood as the result of the way we
were responded to by our parents or others we came in contact with. Often
the feelings of inferiority involve negative statements that we say to ourselves
when we compare our looks, abilities, or behavior with others around us.
These negative statements are often reinforced because we have learned to look
for clues in our environment the agree with those thoughts. Low
self-concept is another term which is used to describe inferiority.
Usually by using a careful review of your behavior we can show you that you are
not inferior, and teach you to overcome the negative self-talk that is keeping
you down. God made each of us special, with special gifts and abilities.
Isolation and Withdrawal
- People tend to isolate themselves from others
or withdraw from society for a number of reasons. Usually none of the
reasons are good or helpful. Fear, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor
self-concepts and depression are a few of the reasons people withdraw.
Isolation and withdrawal do not lead to solution of the problem. Often
when one isolates it is due to a learned helplessness. The person does not
know how else to cope with society or the situations that they are forced into.
Discovering the underlying reasons in the case of depression or panic attacks
can be helpful. New coping mechanisms have to be learned along with new thinking
patterns. If you or someone else you know is locking themselves away at
home, separating themselves socially from others, then call us and let us find a
way to help them not only learn to cope and fully function again, but to find
joy and happiness in their lives.
- Learnnig problems can occur for
many, many different reasons. Some of those involve physiological problems
such as vision or hearing problems. Some involve prenatal or post birth
trauma or problems affecting the central nervous system or brain. Many are
simple due to inadequate abilities to focus or concentrate or due to never
having developed adequate skills related to learning and remembering. The
first step is of course determining what factors are contributing most to the
learning problems, only then can specific measures be taken to improve the
learning process. We can help you evaluate or obtain the services
necessary to evaluate where the primary problem lies. If it is in the
learning processes, emotional processes or behavioral processes we can likely
help improve learning skills.
Life Balance -
Most of us find at some time or another our life
gets out of balance. Certain things come to occupy our time or our mental
efforts throwing our ability to focus on and accomplish all that needs to be
done totally out of control. When that happens it is essential that one
discover why this is occurring and find new ways to adjust life's situations, if
possible, to bring things back into a reasonable balance. When things are
out of balance, life is filled with anxiety and stress, which can further lead
to physical and psychological ailments. These physical and psychological
changes add to the stress and anxiety already present throwing things even more
out of balance. One of our most successful functions is to help people
discover how their world is out of balance and how it is affecting everything
else in their lives. Then we can work with the individual or family to
find ways to bring life back into a balance that will free them from some of
life's stresses. This is not to say that all of life's stresses will
disappear or that the stressors will stay away. But, we can teach coping
behavior which will help you recognize when things are beginning to get out of
balance and behaviors and thought processes that will help you avoid or cope
with extremes that can occur.
Life Coaching -
Undoubtably you have heard of life coaching.
This is when a person uses the aide of a coach to help them achieve the desires
that they have been unable to achieve on their own. Life coaching can be
specific such as for weight loss, or physical fitness, but more often covers
much larger areas of life style including weight management, fitness, and
specific changes in behavior, speech, and any of a number of other areas in
which a person seeks to improve themselves. Most people seeking life
coaching are relatively capable of handling life as it is, but are seeking to
maximize some aspect of their life, such as in relationships, or in getting
along with others. The process involves determining where the person is
now in the specific area(s) of interest, what they want to achieve and step by
step processes to make it happen. The primary role of the coach is like
any coach, to provide guidance and feedback, as well as suggestions for changes
that will aide the person in achieving their desirable outcome.
Life Style Changes
- Often clients do not like
their current position in life and wish to find a way to change their style of
life so that there is less stress, more success, better relationships and so
forth. The Life Coach or Life Style coach provides the guidance,
suggestions and feedback that the client needs in order to accomplish this task
which they have been unable to accomplish on their own. Some examples are
dressing for success, total body make overs,
improving sports or language skills or can even include things like redecorating
their apartment or office. The key is finding a coach who has excellent
perceptive skills in the areas that need to be changed, as well as the ability
to continually motivate the client.
Loneliness - Everyone
is alone sometimes. But even when we are alone, many of us are not lonely.
Some of us though can be lonely even when we are in a crowd. Loneliness is
not really about being with people or being by ourselves. Rather it is a
state of mind where our needs for interaction is others is not being fulfilled.
Like food and drink man seems to have an inborn need to interact with other
people. For some of us this need is extremely strong and we find ourselves
becoming depressed, anxious or fearful when we are not interacting with others.
For others of us the need is much less and we can get along find most of the
time without interacting with others, but on occasion the need becomes strong
and is not resolved unless we have the attention of others directed towards us.
Being in a crowd usually does not satisfy this need for most people, it is the
one on one type of interaction that is required to keep us from being lonely.
There are many factors that can lead to and enhance our loneliness but often it
is brought on by stressors in our environment. If you find yourself lonely
a lot, maybe you need to speak to a counselor who can help you not only
understand the loneliness but also develop behaviors and thought processes that
can combat loneliness and turn those situations into joy and happiness.
- Loss is an extremely broad concept which
includes things such as the loss of a loved one to death, the loss of health of
yourself or a close contact, loss of job, ending of a relationship, failure to
attain a goal, a missed expectation, inability to do something that you really
want to do, and so forth. In every case of loss, we experience grief in
it's full cyclical style, but the length and depth of the grief cycle will
depend on many factors related to the loss. Obviously we would expect the
loss of a parent or child to be the most devastating and to produce the deepest
and longest grief cycle. Sometimes overcoming such grief is very
difficult. When grief last too long or leads to excessive depression,
guilt or anxiety, then intervention by a counselor or other mental health
professional may be warranted. Some losses that most of us would not
expect to cause long term effects do in some people. Losses can also
directly or indirectly affect the way we respond to people and things in the
future. They may lead to fears, avoidance, attitudes, negative self-talk,
changes in self-esteem, guilt or any of a number of other emotional or
behavioral changes. A series of losses close together may make any one
loss or any future loss much more significant and impacting than might it
otherwise be. The mental health professional can help you analyze you
recent and lifetime losses and the impacts they could are having or could
potentially have. They can also help you learn appropriate ways of coping
with past losses and preparing to deal with future losses.
Mad at God
- Sometimes when we have major, or even minor
losses in life, or we are wounded in some way by family or friends, or we
experience some extreme tragedy and we don't understand it fully, we will turn
on God with our anger. Often doing so leads us to personal sadness and
guilt which we find hard to cope with. Sometimes it leads to a pulling
away from or turning against God because of our interpretation of the event.
Anger is ok. God made us with the ability to be angry so He understands
when we get angry. However, he directs us to deal with our anger in love
and understanding and to no sin in our anger. The problem is that most of
us don't know how to do what He asks. We've learned ways of coping with
angry from our families and react as they did. Getting mad at God may be
ok as long as we then turn and try to understand and see the situation the way
the God might see it, rather than focusing on it through our blinded eyes.
So, when you are mad at God, it's time to pray and ask Him to show you how to
resolve your anger. Remember that what God does is always out of love.
Is it appropriate to be angry at someone acting out of love toward you. As
humans we often do that, without thinking or because our expectations or
interpretations of the events are very different from God's view. We can
help you better understand and find ways to direct your anger in more
appropriate expression and love and caring.
- The topic of marital relations is vast and thus
this will be only brief treatment. Marriage always lead to differences in
opinion, behavior, understanding, and expectations. Therefore, marriages
are always subject to periods of discord. They are not generally smooth
and easy like we all expect and desire. Marriage is a dance and is a
process of learning to move together in such a way as to not step on each others
toes and to eventually move around the marriage space recovering quickly when we
bump into objects or roadblocks. Learning to dance though always has
it's rough points.
It is important to remember that the members of a couple come into dance school
(the marriage) from different places and experiences, so their dance steps
initially are quite different. If each insists on continuing to do the
steps he or she already knows and not learning to accommodate the others, then
the dance is quite awkward and clumsy. Eventually they can't dance
together and both stop trying. If both allow the other to help them
understand where their steps are coming from and what they look like then the
two may be able to blend their dances into a beautiful action. The
therapist can help each understand the backgrounds they are coming from, their
styles of interaction, the way God intended them to function together as a unit
and the steps to smooth out the dance into something that both can live with.
Men's Midlife Crisis
- Both men and women somewhere around mid-life
begin to yearn for things that they never were able to achieve or acquire.
Men especially are likely to go out and spend money on big toys, cars, boats,
motorcycles, etc. Often this is driven by the belief that these toys will
make them happy. Sometimes their dissatisfaction with who and where they
are is due to the dissatisfaction in marital situations, failures in the past,
work situations, financial problems and spiritual questions. Some of the
changes are due to hormonal changes which affect health and ability to function,
a feeling of loss of their youthfulness, leading to a desire to recapture it.
And, usually now they have the means for acquiring the big toys or they obtain
the means in a manic financial move which puts the family finances in jeopardy.
This period also leads to a re-examination of accomplishment in which the man
discovers that he has not accomplished much if any of what he wished to or that
his accomplishments are not satisfying the psychological needs he has as he
thought they would. For some men this leads to job changes, spending more
time playing, or for some depression, anxiety and fear about the future.
In any, midlife crisis generally resolves itself without much intervention.
Occasionally however it does not and depression and anxiety and other behavioral
actions (alcoholism, drug use, sexual addiction, etc.) become a problem which
gets worse. If these are not resolved then they can often lead to
destructive behaviors such as suicide or worsening destructive addictions.
If you're a man going through any of these, it would be profitable to you to
seek counseling just to make sure that mid-life crisis doesn't turn into
something much worse. Men are reluctant to seek help, but often help can
get them back onto the track of a very successful life.
Motivation is a also a very broad topic. Books are written on most of
these topics, but motivation is part of every book on behavior. Motivation
is the reason for doing things. Sometimes we fail to do things because we
have no "motivation", sometimes we do the wrong thing because our "motivation"
is wrong, and sometimes it is our "motivation" that keeps us going when times
are rough and when a normal person would give up. If you want to do
something, but can't for lack of motivation then your counselor can help you
find out why you don't have motivation, and what you can do to get the
motivation to get back on track. If you are doing things for the wrong
reasons, or can't stop doing things that you don't want to do, then the
counselor needs to help you find out why you are doing these things, and what
motivations can be substituted for the wrong ones so that you can stop the
behavior or change it to a more appropriate one. Many times those seeking
motivation enhancement are well rounded, able, successful people who just need
to learn better focus. In this case the Professional Life Coach may be the
one you need to move your career or personal life along.
- All of us have problems with negative thinking
sometimes. It's as though our conscience wants to keep us safe, or even
from doing things we need to do. It tells us things like, "you can't do
that", "you're not good enough to go for that", "You are too fat (too thin)".
Be on the watch for negative comments by your mind, often they are based on
misbeliefs that you have either acquired or assembled which you believe describe
you and your abilities or other people and their comparative abilities.
So "I'm not like that", "Buba is much more capable than I", "I'll fail if I try
so why try", and so forth. The key is that most often such statements are
in fact false, misbeliefs. They can destroy our confidence, lower our
self-esteem, keep us from action, delay our responses, and make us look for
things that reinforce those beliefs about ourselves. So what can we do
about them. The first thing is to identify the negative self talk we have.
Listen to what you are saying to yourself. You talk to yourself
constantly, how much is positive and how much is negative. Write down the
kinds of negative things you say. Second, stop your self talk when you
speak negatively. Yell "Stop" to yourself. Then third, correct
yourself with a statement that represents the truth. This takes a lot of
practice. Your counselor can help you identify and correct your self talk.
You will be amazed at how much more you can accomplish and the positive results
you can get when you. "Take all thoughts captive".
Past Abuse or Other Hurts
Addiction - One of the toughest
addictions both men and women can encounter is love addiction, pornography
addiction or sexual addiction. This is an addiction which has invaded the
church on an equal basis with the secular world. It has invaded the lives
of pastors, deacons, elders, musicians and every other position within the
church. The results can be devastating to the individual, their family and
when eventually it becomes exposed, to the church and the congregation as a
whole. God intended sex and love to be a great gift and a way for man to
know God more intimately. The distortion of His intention has
produced devastating effects. Thankfully there are ways to treat this
addiction, although they can only be successful if the person being treated is
totally dedicated to becoming cured. The alternative to not seeking a cure
can be not only devastating but deadly for some. The problem is
progressive and often leads to other forms of sexual addiction. If you
find that pornography has invaded your life and has a significant hold on you,
is affecting your marital life or sexual life, is costing you in time, money or
spiritual strength, you need to seek help now. Even if it plays a minor
role in your life now, it will continue to grow until it has a destructive hold
on you. It is better to seek help now that to let it destroy your life.
We are trained in dealing with all types of sexual addiction. Dr. Wayne is
specifically trained as an Advanced level, Sex therapist and holds certificates
in both healthy sexuality and sexual addiction. Contact him today to get
on the road to recovery.
- We specialize in premarital
counseling for both those approaching marriage for the first time and for those
who are re-marrying after a previous divorce or loss of a spouse. In the
former case our goal is to help you form a union that is maximizes the strength
of both partners and is based on a solid foundation of Godly principles.
We go beyond the normal pastoral counseling into areas such as finances, in-law
relations, sexuality in marriage, planning for a family, and meeting the Godly
needs of each other. For those preparing to remarry we look at what
happened in the past that made the previous marriage unsuccessful, your personal
differences and needs and help you establish the Godly foundations and
boundaries that will hopefully divorce proof you new marriage. Let us help you
get off to a great start for a marriage that God and both of you can be proud
Relationship Coaching -
One would think that getting along with others is
a natural thing. However, we find that most people actually have to learn
how to build and keep relationships. Each of us brings to the relationship
situation the methods of interacting we have learned from our parents and others
we encountered in our early life along with our inborn temperament factors
(natural tendencies). Sometimes these tendencies and learned behaviors are
not compatible for making and keeping relationships, especially close
relationships. We can provide coaching in terms of what to say, how to say
it, what your body language tells others and how to change it, how to respond to
other peoples words and actions and teach new ways to maximize your relations
with your loved ones and others. Call us for an evaluation of your
relationship style and what we might do to help.
- Man is a social creature. He
has a need to interact with others, but whenever there is interaction between
humans there are bound to be issues which arise that effect the relationship
between the individuals. Jesus in Luke 17, tells us essentially that there
will always be conflict between people. He points out that it is not the
conflict that is worrisome as long as we know how to resolve the conflict and
apply forgiveness when someone treats us badly. Often people must learn
how to deal with conflict and unresolved differences in life. The Bible
provides the answers, but in our fallen state, we often take offense and react
before we consider the consequences. If you are having issues with others
whether they be your spouse, your family, your friends or just acquaintances, we
can help you assess the situation and learn methods that have been shown to work
in resolution of many relationship issues.
- When we have an important concern it is not
unusual for us to think about a lot often with some repetition of thought.
However, when thoughts become highly repetitive to the extent that they
interfere with normal functioning or the ability to do normal everyday
activities it becomes a concern. If such repetitive thoughts are
interfering with your life or life style you should seek help to determine the
mechanism causing the unwanted intrusions. We can help you determine if
this is normal or abnormal and help you develop appropriate processes for
eliminating or controlling the repetitive thoughts.
Seeing or Hearing
Things - Under certain conditions the brain
will allow a person to see and hear things that are not actually present or will
distort sounds and images to make them appear to be what they are not.
This is a common side effect of certain types of drugs, certain types of brain
conditions or damage, psychoneuroligc conditions which cause the normal
functioning of the brain to be temporarily altered. However it can also be
the side effect of heart or brain conditions of a more serious nature like
stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. These conditions
can sometimes be treated with medication and sometimes they are manifestations
of diet or other physiological processes that can be altered to restore the
natural state of brain function. Initial analysis for such
conditions usually involve medical examinations in conjunction with mental and
neurophysiological testing. If you are experiencing this type of issue it
is important that you seek medical help as soon as possible since it could be a
side effect of major physical ailment which needs to be diagnosed and treated.
Self-Esteem Issues -
Problems with self esteem develop in early developmental
periods and have to do with feelings of worth and capabilities to perform.
Low self esteem often leads to fears of poor performance, fears of failure,
fears of rejection, feelings of worthlessness.
Low self esteem is basically an opposite of self confidence (see below).
In order to increase self esteem one has to be able to successfully accomplish
tasks and change the negative cognitive self talk that perpetuates esteem
Self Confidence -
Self confidence is a positive belief in one self; the
belief that you can accomplish most things given the opportunity, skill and
knowledge. This is a desirable trait which all of us would like to have
and would work to gain. Many do not have self-confidence because their
ability to see them selves in a positive manner has been stripped from them at
some time earlier in life. When one loses self-confidence they often
develop a fear of failure, fear of being exposed as unable, fear of loss, fear
of rejection or some other fear which curbs action and lessons chances of
performance in whatever situation they are in.
In order to build self confidence those fears have to be dealt with along with
correcting negative cognitive self statements.
Self Punishment -
Usually the person who is involved in self
punishment has a low self-esteem or hatred of self or hatred of a pattern of
behavior they have lost control over. They recognize the behavior as
unacceptable or perhaps a sin and develop a method of punishing themselves for
the behavior. Self-punishment can be as simple as highly negative self
talk, calling themselves names, or complex as putting themselves in situations
where they could get hurt or killed. Usually the behavior is somewhere in
between these extreme.
Sexual Addiction -
Sexual addiction is a pattern of behavior and
thinking that is progressive, often beginning very simply but eventually leading
to extreme behaviors that are potentially deadly to the addict. Some of
the forms of sexual addiction include pornography (written or visual),
voyeurism, using prostitutes, multiple and or frequent sex partners,
masturbation, visiting massage parlors, adult theaters or nude dancing, phone
sex, sexual internet chat rooms or any combination of these. The addiction is usually ritualistic; a
specific set of behaviors leads up to the terminal behavior or addiction.
Resolution often involves breaking the ritual and substituting appropriate
behaviors. Sexual addictions are highly complex including both cognitive
and behavioral manifestations. Generally the person with the addiction
uses it in an attempt to resolve an unresolved need of some kind in their life,
but rarely finds a satisfactory solution and thus the progression or escalation
of the addiction to worse and worse patterns of behavior. We are trained
in helping the sexual addict who wants to get rid of the inappropriate behaviors
that are likely wrecking their life, work or marriage.
Speakers on Counseling -
We can speak on or provide workshops within a number of
the areas listed here, especially in the area of different kinds and reasons for
counseling. If you have an interest in having someone come and speak at
one of your meetings or gatherings on any of the topics listed, please give us a
call and we will try to schedule a speaker or set up a workshop that will be
educational and entertaining.
Spiritual Growth -
We are all trying to grow in so many areas of life, one
that often gets the back burner and forgotten is our spiritual growth. How
is your prayer life? How is you scripture reading? What are you
giving to God and to others? Do you feel like you are getting closer or
further from God? How is your personal spiritual growth affect your family
and others? Don't put it last. Keep it first and all the rest will
follow. Maybe we can help you find the way to do just that.
Stay on Track -
Frequently individuals find it hard to stay focused or to
keep their thoughts or behaviors tracked in a specific pattern or issue.
There are numerous reasons for this. See Accomplish More,
Can't Think Straight, Can't Get Anything
Done, Focus. Let us help you set up the process
you need to learn to stay on track.
One of the most difficult challenges in parenting is
becoming a step-parent and trying to raise a family that is not yours to begin
with. This is especially true if you have blended family with both your
own children and those of your new spouse. Do I treat all the children the
same? How do I discipline my spouses children? I want them to like
me but...? They have another mother/father so how do I fit in? I
want to love them, but they won't let me. So, many questions, so
many issues. We can help you look at the numerous issues and how you might
best approach each. Just remember, it takes a long time to build a step
family...step by step.
Stress and the resultant burnout is a very common problem
in people today. Stress comes from many, many sources and effects all
types of people. When multiple stressors are piled onto a person they find
that physically, mentally and spiritually they become over burdened. Often
it comes from us taking on too many activities, or expecting too much of
ourselves. Sometimes it is simply allowing ourselves to be put upon by
everyone around us. As this happens and our burdens increase one often
finds they cannot cope and eventually burn out or get to where they cannot
function. The stressors in life need to be identified and methods for
handling them and for balancing life need to be set up to prevent or to allow
for recovery from burnout. One method for handling this is
Stress Management -
Stress Management is a process by which a person who is
over stressed or burned out can learn to cope with the stressors in their life.
It includes learning new skills to help them deal with existing stresses,
methods for avoiding or appropriately handling the onset of new stressors,
setting boundaries in life to relieve or prevent stress, learning cognitive
skills to overcome thinking patterns that are stressful in and of themselves.
Everyone seeks success of some measure. It is an inborn drive we all have.
However, in some people the striving for success is curtailed by events early in
life or by environmental factors in which they find themselves. Often
success is blocked by fears whether recognized or not, or by the lack of
motivation or direction. Sometimes a person is held back by their own
temperaments or because they are trying to succeed in areas that they not
compatible with. We can help find the blocks to success that are occurring
in your life and help to find and establish the right set of behaviors necessary
to get you on the path to success.
Suicidal Thought -
When life's stress gets too overwhelming sometimes
thoughts turn to a way just to try to escape from it all. Running away is
sometimes contemplated. But people who are really overwhelmed usually
don't even have the energy or ability to run away. Thus, they might
contemplate taking their own life as a way of escaping their troubles. The
typical thought pattern usually includes things like "Everyone would be better
off if I were not around." The thinking is almost always self focused so
that the person is unable to understand the truth about what their suicide would
really do to others around them. There is almost always a better solution;
a way out that will be better for the person and all of their family, friends
and acquaintances. The problem is that they cannot focus sufficiently or
get their mind away from the negative long enough to consider the alternatives.
If you are having such thoughts or know someone else who is, seek help now.
Don't wait. Go to the phone and call someone who can help. Call 911
and let them refer you right now.
Today many counselors are helping people not just in face to face arrangements
but also on the telephone and on the internet. The cost of travel and time
involved have made it more difficult and costly for many to have their
counseling face to face. Instead counselors are more and more meeting with
their counselees one on one one the telephone, in group telephone sessions, in
chat sessions on the computer, or by email. Data suggest that for many
problems this can be a very successful and useful method of counseling.
Two major things are missing using this method of counseling, body language and
voice inflection. These are very important pieces of counseling data which
contribute to the ability of the counselor to determine meaning, emotion and
resistance. The absence of this data may prolong counseling since if takes
longer to analyze what is going on when part of the data is missing. A
good counselor may be able to determine when issues are better handled in a face
to face setting and will suggest changing from telephone or computer sessions to
face to face opportunities. We will be glad to work with you on the phone
if that is your preference. Call us and let us help you determine if that
is the best approach for your situation.
See our page on Telephone Counseling, Chat and Email.
Time Management -
One of the biggest road blocks to success is poor time management.
This is true in the home, at school, and in business. Time management is
not something that we are born with. Good time management has to be
learned. If you were not taught it or not exposed to role models who were
good managers of time, you likely are not good at it or are less efficient than
you might be. Coaching on time management can make a major difference in
accomplishing more, moving ahead, and the way that others view your work habits.
If you need to improve in this area, let us look at your current life management
style and see how it can be improved.
Traumatic Life Events
- Life is filled with all kinds of events.
Some are positive growth experiences, some are everyday occurrences that have
little or no influence on either the present or the future, but some have a
great impact on us at the time and will continue to have an impact on us in the
future. Some events effect our thinking processes or behavior at the
moment they occur, but have little future impact while others may change our
thinking processes, the way we view the world and the way we act for the rest of
our lives. Abuse is a traumatic experience that effects peoples lives.
Death of a loved one can also be a traumatic experience. Things like
moving, getting married, or having a child can be very positive in some peoples
lives and very negative in others. Thus life impact is very much
individually determined. Some events can have can cause physical or
physiological changes in your life and the more such events one experiences the
greater the psychological and physiological impact there may be. Sometimes
we can look at ones life events and begin to understand their thinking and
behavior patterns and thus begin to help them cope better with the events they
have experienced. It is important to review the events of your life to
better understand who you are and why you are like you are.
Trust, Developing -
Trust is an essential part of social growth. If one
fails to develop trust in the early years of their life, they often find it
difficult to develop social relations later in life. This can affect
marital relations, developing and maintaining friendships, and the ability to
work with and understand others. Can a person trust too much? Yes,
one can learn to not trust others or even to trust those who are totally
untrustworthy. If you did not develop trust relations as a child it is not
too late. Many people have learned to overcome their lack of trust and
have developed very close, trusting relationships with others.
UnGodly Thoughts -
Satan is roaming around the earth seeking someone to
devour. Part of his process is to encourage any thought that might be
against God or doubting God and His word. Thus, it is not unusual for even
the most humble of us to occasionally have thoughts which we find to be unGodly.
Thoughts may pop up in our minds that we would never even believe that we could
have. Others of us have constant thoughts that are intrusive and UnGodly.
Can we come to control our thinking? Yes, we can learn to counter
any negative or untruthful thoughts with positive, Godly thoughts and ideas.
We first have to take the negative thoughts captive, then deny them, then
replace them with more appropriate thoughts. Yes, we can help with this.
Some people respond to
controversy or things that have negative impact on them by violent outbursts or
violent behavior. This inability to control temper or violence is
inappropriate in our society and thus needs to be addressed. This can be a
learned behavior or in a small number of cases a physiological response gone out
of control. In either case, it is important that the situation and
behavior be investigated to determine what needs to be done to control the
inappropriate outbursts. Sometimes this will involve measures such as EEG
which can detect brain wave abnormalities. In other cases, it can be
handled with Anger Management and Cognitive Control measures.
Housemom - If you are a "housemom" or
a stay at home worker you have special issues that do not necessarily impact men
or other women in the same way they do you. We are happy to look at the
questions and problems which are specific to your situation and help you learn
to cope. Included in this group are single moms who are well beyond
housemom because of the need to raise a family and be the provider as well.
Spiritual issues in the home and how to relate better to your husband are issues
frequently brought up.
Women's Issues/Menopause - A number of
psychological or behavioral issues arise in conjunction with menopause including
an increase in depression, anxiety and physiological changes that are of concern
to women. There are also a number of psychological and behavioral issues
which women have in relation to child bearing, working at home or in the
work-place, spiritual place of the woman, relationship issues and so forth that
we can deal with not from the point of view of the woman, but from an
educational/working knowledge of the issues.
We can speak on or provide workshops within a number of
the areas listed
here. If you have an interest in having someone come and speak at one of
your meetings or gatherings on any of the topics listed, please give us a call
and we will try to schedule a speaker or set up a workshop that will be
educational and entertaining.