Does Counseling=Crazy? NO! 10 Reasons To Sit On The Couch

 Many of us (African Americans) think you have to be “touched” or “crazy” to go to therapy.” While it’s true that some people with mental health issues seek therapy, it’s really a service for anyone. Therapy is a paid service that connects you with a trained professional who provides you with the support you need to live a healthier and happier life.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/mental-health-articles/why-dont-africanamericans-go-to-therapy-604938.html#ixzz13VzcgfXb
 

In 2002, I saw a counselor for 6 months and that 6 months transformed my life. I was finally ready to confront the pain that I had held onto for two years following the rape in 2000. I was so scared about starting counseling and talking to a complete stranger, that I cancelled my first appointment.  The next week, I was  nervous as I drove to the agency but once I got there and met my counsellor, I felt more at ease. My counselor was compassionate, patient, professional but down to earth, knowledgeable, open-minded and understanding. While she was friendly towards me, she kept professional boundaries and she never self disclosed anything about herself. She challenged me when I was afraid, she encouraged me when I didn’t think I could talk about the hurtful memories and she cheered me on when I had victories! Now that I have my Masters in Counseling and understand what attributes counselors should have, I now understand how truly awesome of a counselor she was.
 
I went into counseling prepared to work towards getting better. I read every book and did every homework assignment. I was on time and I shared honestly from the heart during every session. Outside of counseling, I was developing my relationship with God and I had an active prayer life. I combined the natural with the spiritual and I worked hard. At the end of the 6 months, I was no longer afraid of the classmate who raped me. He still went to my school and I had to be brave enough to not allow his presence to run me off campus. My confidence and self-esteem was high because I knew who I was in Christ; I knew how Christ saw me. I knew that I was not a victim, I was/am a strong, bold, completely healed and free woman of God. I learned to change my thinking, to love myself, to forgive, to trust God, to rely on my support system, to walk in love and to let go of anger and hate.
 
I would strongly recommend anyone who is or has gone through something difficult to seek the help of a counselor. Whether your suffering from past or present abuse/trauma, trying to get over a bad relationship/failed marriage, lost your job, having trouble with your kids, finances or just plan old need to talk to someone about how to reach your goals and make decisons in life, I strongly encourage you to seek the help of a counselor. Counseling is a blessing and it works!! I’m living proof!
 
Positivelypresent.com wrote a great article about why people should seek counseling. Here’s 10 reasons to sit on the couch:

1. You have time set aside just to talk about YOU. 
 

2. You create a safe haven where you can be completely honest. 
 

3. You learn new things about yourself every week (very cool!).

4. You find ways to better relate to the people around you. 

5. You figure out why you do the (sometimes stupid) things you do.

6. You explore the past, which leads to a better present.

7. You open your mind to new ideas and ways of thinking.

8. You accept and love yourself for who you are, flaws included.

9. You deal with the hard stuff you normally avoid like the plague.

10. You wake up one morning and realize, “Finally, I’m really living.”
http://www.positivelypresent.com/2009/04/ive-been-in-therapy—-really-been-in-it—-for-about-six-months-now-this-is-my-fourth-therapist-and-the-only-one-ive-actual.html

Forgiveness is the Sweetest Revenge

Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge- Isaac Friedmann

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you- Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future~ Paul Boese

Forgive or relive~ unknown

Forgiveness is the economy of the heart… forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.” Hannah Moore

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong~ Ghandi

We achieve inner health only through forgiveness-the forgiveness of not only others but of ourselves~ Joshua Liebman

Ladies take back your life! Don’t give those that have hurt you the pleasure of keeping you insecure, depressed, angry and afraid. Forgiveness is for you. When you forgive you get free, you get to take your life back, to smile again, to live a happy life  and to have joy and peace of mind. You deserve to be free, to be happy and to enjoy fulfilling relationships with others. You can’t be in a healthy place if you’re not walking in forgiveness. You’ll always have the chains around your hands and feet, the weight of the painful past will always hold you down. Its time to BREAK FREE!!!!!

Forgive those who have hurt you, give the pain over to the Lord. Ask Him to heal your broken heart, to help you see yourself how He sees you. The bible tells us to cast our burdens unto Jesus because He cares for us! The bible also tells us that God heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. He is waiting and willing to restore you to your rightful place in Him. Please make the decision today to seek guidance from a friend, family member, church member, pastor, counselor, social worker or your doctor. Talk to someone and start your healing process. Forgiveness may seem impossible today BUT trust me, as each day goes by, the decision gets easier and easier. It’s harder to live in pain and loneliness of unforgiveness, than it is to forgive and be free. You may never forget and that’s okay, but at least you will have your joy and peace back. True forgiveness says “I will not allow the things you’ve done to me to hold me captive any longer. I forgive you, I wish you well and I’m moving on.” You don’t have to be best friends with that person, talk to them on the phone and hang out. Forgiveness means you will not speak or think ill of them, you will not seek revenge on them, but instead you will pray for them and ask God to heal you both of the past. God is faithful. He will walk with you every step of the way, just trust Him and obey!!

My Recent Forgiveness Test: Thank God I’m Free From My Past

You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well- Lewis B. Smedes

Yesterday I found out that the man who raped me had gotten married and has a child. Honestly when I saw the pictures through a mutual associate who does not know about the rape, I felt all types of emotions and forgiveness was not one of them. For a few seconds I felt anger and hate trying to rise back up. Who was he to be happy? Does she know what he did to me? What type of father will this rapist become? Even though I had been praying for him throughout the years and actively working to shed the layers of negative emotions and unforgiveness, in those first few moments I was walking in the flesh.

Then I had to remind myself, I can’t wish ill on someone and say I’ve forgiven them. I can’t judge him based on what was done ten years ago. I’m certainly not the woman I was ten years ago. I decided that it was better for me to pray, walk in love and forgiveness towards him verses continuing to stare at his picture and wish evil to come his way. In the past, I forgave him so that I could be free of the bondage that held me captive.Yesterday I made that decision again with God’s strength. Forgiveness is a decision and must be done often for the same event sometimes. 

That night I called a friend who had also survived rape in college. She’s a believer also and she was very encouraging and supportive. She helped me to remember that I am human and it’s okay to have initial negative reactions but it’s the decisions I made quickly following the incident that proved that God had done heart surgery on me and I was strong and delivered from the past.

 God has truly done heart surgery on me! Like the lady in this picture, in 2003, I feel like my heart was literally taken out and replaced with a new one. Back in college, following the years after the rape, I was angry, hateful, bitter, fearful, insecure and confused. I couldn’t say the word rape, I literally crossed out the rapist’s name in every book that I read, I wrote depressing and angry poems and made bad choices in my relationships. When I gave my heart to the Lord fully, I asked Him to heal me of all the pain and make me new. I sought the help of my campus minister and she encouraged me to start going to counseling. I joined Word of Faith in Southfield MI, started receiving life changing messages about God’s love, healing, faith and I learned to have an intimate relationship with God. Years later, I know that I am healed and restored and I refuse to let this recent incident take me back. Back to the horrible place that I once was. God has given me a new heart, a new start and I wont allow the past, the young man or the devil to destroy all that I have worked so hard in God to overcome.

To the man who changed my life forever I say the following: I pray God’s mercy, grace, correction, protection, peace, comfort, restoration and salvation for you. I pray you are or do become the man who God has created you to be. I pray you learn what is means to be a godly faithful, nonviolent husband and a godly devoted father. I pray you make better choices and live a holy life in front of your son. I pray you never ever put another person through the things you put me through. I pray you seek God for forgiveness and you learn to forgive yourself. I pray God’s blessing over your family. In Jesus name amen.

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Christian Brothas, Where Are You? Hola If U Hear Me

The majority of churches, Christian events and single bible studies all over the world are packed with women. I firmly believe that there are fine saved men in the world, who love God, are living holy and handling their business, the question is WHERE ARE THEY?http://churchformen.com/allmen.php Lists the following facts about men and church: 

• The typical U.S. Congregation draws an adult crowd that’s 61% female, 39% male. This gender gap shows up in all age categories.

• On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches.
• Midweek activities often draw 70 to 80 percent female participants.

• The majority of church employees are women (except for ordained clergy, who are overwhelmingly male).

• More than 90 percent of American men believe in God, and five out of six call themselves Christians. But only two out of six attend church on a given Sunday. The average man accepts the reality of Jesus Christ, but fails to see any value in going to church.

My husband and met at our church 7 years ago. Our church is very large and therefore it has a large single population. If our group was 30 deep on a particular night, only 10 of the 30 would be males. As a single woman, it was frustrating to always go to Christian parties, concerts, bible studies and always have the girls out number the guys AND have it continue to be the same handful of guys that consistently hung out. My husband was bold enough to develop a friendship with me and pray about pursuing me in God’s timing. When he felt the time was right, he asked me out stating “I want to pursue marriage with you.” We had a courtship, engagement and then marriage. The thing is, many Christian guys drag their feet when it comes to dating and marriage. They don’t ask girls out and many of them appear to be comfortable being single, but that’s another blog for another day.

Now that we’ve been married for over 2 years, the same problem still remains for my single girlfriends who are living for God, successful in their careers and haven’t been chosen yet. Even though more women go to church then men, I know there are Christian men in my city who do not come to Christian events or even seek out friendships from other males or females at their church. Why is this? Where are the men at? Why don’t they get involved at their church or reach out to others for Christian fellowship? My group of male and female friends do all kinds of fun stuff together, bowling, house parties, concerts, movies, dinner, ballroom/hustle parties etc. We have good clean fun and if other men are living for God, they should be desiring and seeking out the same thing. It’s important for believers to fellowship with other believers and do life together. I’m not saying that Christians should cut themselves off from the world and look down on those that don’t believe but as a Christian, my friends are Christians.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (The Message)

Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: “I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,” says God. “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me.” The Word of the Master, God.

To my brothers in the Lord

If you are active at your church please continue to do so and invite other men to attend and get involved too. If you see a new guy at your church, take time to get to know him and make sure he feels welcome so that he will come back. If you are a man who goes to church but leaves right after service, doesn’t get involved, volunteer or fellowship with other believers, ask yourself why and pray about changing. Living this Christian life alone is hard but when you have others around you who love God, are living for Him and growing in Him, your relationship with God will become stronger. Coming to church and getting involved will bless your life and who knows, you may find a wife!!

To my sisters in the Lord

Sisters continue to be patient. God has not forgotten you. Don’t believe the lie that there are no good men out there. Majority of my married friends found their husband at their church. Worldly men can be very aggressive and Christian men, in their attempt to be gentlemen, can sometimes move a little slow. A man who moves slower than usual but is honest and seeking God every step of the way is much better than a man who is only out for one thing. When a new guy comes to church or a Christian event, PLEASE don’t bombard him like a piece of meat. We don’t want to intimate the new male faces and cause them to not come back. Let’s continue to learn how to treat each other like brothers and sisters in Christ. If a friendship develops into a relationship then fine, but don’t force things to happen because you’re tired of waiting. God knows your desires, He knows just want you need and when you need it. Keep trusting in Him.

Single Moms, Dating & Protecting Their Children From Child Abuse

After watching Teen Mom on MTV yesterday, I wanted to publish a post regarding the importance of mother’s selecting appropriate men to be around their children. On Teen Mom, a single mother named Amber kicked her baby’s father out of the house, only to allow an ex con with no job, car or money, whom she met a Wal-Mart a few weeks before, to move into her home with her 2-year-old daughter. She allows the man to baby-sit her child, change her diaper and dress her. The child appears uneasy and uninterested in the boyfriend, though Amber tries to get the child to hug and play with him. After the episode I began to ask myself why some young mother’s continue to make such horrible decisions when it comes to dating and who is around their children.

As a social worker, I see countless cases every year where a young mother left her children alone with a boyfriend and the boyfriend repeatedly physically or sexually abused her children. The children eventually report the abuse to a friend, family member or teacher, CPS is called and the children are removed from their home. As mothers, we must make our children our top priority and protect them no matter what.

I googled this topic and found an awesome article explaining why mother’s often times find themselves making bad choices when it comes to men as well as an awesome campaign and resources to prevent child abuse. Please review the excerpts I posted below and click the links to read the articles in full.

Dr. Melva Green, a clinical psychiatrist, said the issue of child abuse by a mother’s companion is striking because it points to other issues. Green reports that it’s not an issue of good mother or bad mother but an issue of mother’s being out of touch. She also adds that it’s not a race issue but more about socio-economics. In some cases moms leaving the home to provide for a child’s physical needs, can’t afford childcare, and because their busy working to make ends meet they are unable to see the potential dangers. Green explained that there is also an emotional burden on the men which doesn’t justify the abuse but might help explain the increase in violence towards children. Some men left to care for the children become upset, “resentment plays itself out, and the child is the victim.”

New York’s Administration for Children Services noticed the trend and decided to take action of their own. Late this summer they kicked off a campaign entitled, “Be Careful Who Cares For Your Child.” The campaign includes radio ads from celebrities such as Darryl McDaniels from RUN DMC. Posters are being posted on New York City subways and throughout communities all across the city.

For mothers she advices, “Read that child. If a child is not able communicate but you see that when you’re about to leave them alone, they are more clingy than usual, more restless, any thing in excess, then they might not be comfortable being left alone with that person.” Green also cautions against a rush to judgment. She says that because mothers are told to trust their instincts and some don’t, it’s easy to blame mothers for their perceived ineptness. Instead she says it’s important to remember that those mothers may have been victimized at some point in their lives thus affecting a cycle. She believes advocating self-care of mothers in which they evaluate their emotional well-being and stress levels will help them take care of themselves, and in turn their children.

http://www.thegrio.com/news/moms-told-beware-who-is-watching-your-kids.php

When choosing a caregiver, parents should select someone who:

  • Has experience caring for babies and young children
  • Is patient and mature enough to care for a fussy, overexcited or crying baby
  • Understands that young children must always be watched
  • Will never shake, hit, yell at, make fun of, or withhold food from a child as punishment
  • Does not abuse alcohol or drugs, or carry a weapon, and will not surround a child with others who may be drinking, using or selling drugs, or carrying weapons.

There are warning signs of a potentially dangerous caregiver include someone who is:

  • Angry or severely impatient when children have tantrums, cry or misbehave
  • Violent and/or controlling with their partners
  • Physically or verbally abusive with children
  • An abuser of alcohol and drugs, including marijuana
  • Using prescription medications that have bad side effects or make them drowsy, or  
  • Not trust worthy for any reason

Resources

  • The Parent Helpline at 800-342-7472 or visit www.preventchildabuseny.org
  • Safe Horizon Domestic Violence Hotline 800-621-HOPE (800-621-4673), TDD (Hearing Impaired) 866-604-5350
  • To Report child abuse and neglect call 800-342-3720 or 311

http://www.nyc.gov/html/acs/html/child_safety/care_giver_campaign.shtml

The Middle Ground Between The Chastity Belt and Girls Gone Wild

 

In today’s sexualized society, there has to be a middle ground between feeling like you need to wear a chastity belt to remain pure and falling head first into the sexual revolution. I believe the media has fed women so many lies about sexuality and now many of us are paying the hurtful price behind believing those lies. Checkout the definitions of chastity belt and sexual revolution.

Wikipedia defines a chastity belt as  a locking item of clothing designed to prevent sexual intercourse. They may be used to protect the wearer from rape or temptation. Some devices have been designed with additional features to prevent masturbation. Chastity belts have been created for males and females. According to modern myth the chastity belt was used as an anti-temptation device during the Crusades. When the knight left for the Holy Lands on the Crusades, his Lady would wear a chastity belt to preserve her faithfulness to him.

The sexual revolution (sexual liberation”) encompasses the changes in social thought and codes of behaviour related to sexuality throughout the Western world that took place from the 1960s into the 1970s.Sexual liberalisation was the beginning of an acceptance of sex outside of traditional heterosexual, monogamous relationships (primarily marriage).[3] Contraception and the pill, public nudity, the normalisation of homosexuality and alternative forms of sexuality, and the legalization of abortion all followed.

As a married woman, I strongly believe in women being free in marriage to please their husbands and be pleased as well as often as they want to. Sex is good, sex is important, sex is fun and pleasing in God’s sight. The problem is so many women have brought the world’s lies about what sex and what being sexually free really means. In many women’s fight to kill the double standard between men and women, some have chosen to become just as irresponsible, slutty, cold-hearted and promiscuous as the men who’ve hurt them in the past. Everyone should be responsible and safe when it comes to sex. No one should misuse, abuse, lie, cheat and jump in and out of bed with multiple partners.

As a Christian, I believe that sex outside of marriage is a sin. I know first hand how hurtful, lonely, confusing, disappointing, dangerous and depressing casual sex can be. I thank God for His healing and restoring power. When I turned my life over to Christ, I found the hope, joy, peace, comfort, strength, wisdom, self-confidence and love that I was missing and looking for in all the wrong places. Now I have been extremely blessed with a husband who loves God, loves me and faithful and dedicated to only me. My husband was a virgin when we got married and from the day we met until this very second, he continues to show me what true, holy godly love really is. Ladies there is nothing like it in the whole wide world.

Women don’t fight for your right:

1. To have your body used and then forgotten about by men who don’t really love you or themselves.

2. Get pregnant and left all alone to struggle to raise a child or children.

3. Get STD’s and/or AIDs. African American women have the highest AIDs rate than any other population.

4. Be emotionally and mentally drained, hurt, angry and bitter because of the sexual choices you’ve made with the wrong men.

You don’t have to wear a chastity belt and be afraid of men or the thought of sexual pleasure BUT you don’t have to be apart of the girls gone wild movement either. Have respect for yourself, have standards for the men that you date and understand that you are more than a sex object/baby maker. Read 1 Cor 13 and find out what real love is. When you know who you are and what your worth, you won’t waste another day letting someone treat you like trash.

Here’s an interesting article about the lie behind the sexual liberation movement.

http://www.goodmorals.org/kersten.htm

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‘Bumpaholics’ Women Who Are Addicted To Pregnancy

I came across this article from Health Today and I found it very interesting. There are women in the world addicted to pregnancy! It makes since because people are so nice to you when your pregnant; they help you, buy you gifts, tell you how beautiful your growing belly is etc. The article is a collection of professionals research and actual moms explaining what happens to the body when a woman becomes pregnant and what gratification she receives from her 9 months of glowing and growing! Check it out and share your thoughts.

The high of pregnancy
Having babies isn’t addictive in the way that alcohol and narcotics can be. But bumpaholics feel compelled to procreate for many of the same reasons that substance abusers turn to booze or drugs.

“Women who are obsessed with being pregnant are literally filling an emptiness inside of them, just as alcoholics and drug addicts use substances to fill a psychological void,” says Beverly Hills psychiatrist Carole Lieberman, M.D. Every one of us at some point encounters this void, adds New York family therapist Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., author of “Financial Infidelity.” “You want to have a purpose in this world. You want to feel less lonely.”

For some women, babies fill that gap perfectly. Infants are dependent creatures. They can give their mothers a clear identity; they can also become handy social buffers. At a party or on the playground, a woman struggling with feelings of social anxiety or self-consciousness can hide behind the adorable infant in her arms. Any pressure to be cute or charming or funny disappears — your baby has that covered. “Bumpaholics breed to blot out their feelings of insecurity,” Weil says.

Boston psychiatrist and Fox News consultant Keith Ablow, M.D., says some women seem to view having more children as an alternative to addressing their own personal problems. “Bearing another child can sometimes provide a substitute for deciding on a career path, making a marriage work, or even wrestling with questions of self-worth,” Ablow says.

To read more of this article click this link http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/32360929