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Welcome!

My blog is Currently on Hold as I am Working on my new book: The Intentional Marriage: 10 Biblical and Scientific Practices for a Happy & Successful Marriage. Feel free to send me comments on what you would like to see added and on what you felt you were missing with other marriage books. My Goal is to have this Published by the end of 2023.

Preface

Perhaps you have picked this book up because you want to ensure the rest of your days with your partner are successful or perhaps your marriage has strain and you want to find out how to build that connection again. You may even be a church leader or counselor and desire to have tools you can use to help those seeking counsel. There are many marriage books that have good advice and tickle the ears but leave couples worse off than when they began reading the book or stuck in the same place of knowing what to do but not knowing how to do it. Many couples I have counseled have told me they know what makes them feel loved and know what makes their partner feel loved. And believe me, I have had far to many couples come to counseling after recieving instruction to add love and respect to their relationship. Yet, they still feel disconnected and many of them find themselves getting in increased arguments. The goal I had with this book is to provide something that would be more helpful than the best sellers out there and help you to put in practice the things that will help you create a happy successful marriage.

This book is a guide to take you on a 40 day journey that will not only explain why things go wrong in romantic relationships but take you on a journey of discovery to help you to create a lasting relationship or restore the love bond you once had. A 40 day journey is significant in a Biblical sense as its recurrence (over 140 times) is associated with times of trials or testing’s and then transformations or promises that led to redemption. For instance, in the old testament we have 40 days and 40 nights of raining. Noah's family endured the flood and its rains and were able to restart their lives. We then have the Israelites who wandered the desert for 40 years due to their doubt in Gods promise of victory. In the new testament, the number 40 still keeps the meaning it has in the old testament. For instance, Jesus was tempted for 40 days and 40 nights and their were 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. I challenge you to commit to implementing the exercises in this book for the next 40 days and experience the transformation. For ease of use, I have broken the book up into 40 small chapters.

Sir Frances Bacon famously stated that knowledge is power (Azamfirei 2016). In the case of marriage books, there is a lot of voodoo science that makes a good read, provides excitement but does not provide power to change. Good science, however, is empowering and an essential element to setting a good foundation for practicing what works. One thing I love is that good science doesn’t contradict Gods word but is supported by it through instruction in righteousness. This book starts with setting a firm foundation in each chapter and then in the latter half of the chapter discusses how you can implement the knowledge and then has exercises to help you grow your love bond. This will first start with a chapter on the science of love, and then a chapter on how to begin getting out of the cycle that keeps you disconnected. If you put it into practice, soon you will be communicating with a breath of fresh air, the way God intended.


My Research on Empathy Based Strain Among Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist Working With Couples Experiencing Infidelity

The purpose of the study was to explore how social workers who practice EFT with couples in counseling for infidelity experience, conceptualize and cope with emotional strain in their professional practice. In the study, I shared quite a few quotes from participants as they spoke frankly and often shared some imagery that I just couldn't summarize without losing some of what they shared (findings start on pg 67).

Among the findings are that:

1. EFT is amazing! The model and framework provide protection against the development of Empathy-based strain (EBS) (see pg. 22 for a figure of EBS).

2. Even so, empathy-based strain is something experienced by EFT practitioners. EBS in EFT work is often experienced as exhaustion and fatigue. The impact of EBS for clinicians can lead to things including difficulty in empathic engagement with clients and other things such as not having the capacity for emotional engagement with family.

3. There is a need for preparation and awareness of strain in EFT practice to prevent and be proactive in managing EBS.

4. Healthy management and coping with the strain experienced comes through trust in the model and reliance on the framework, use of some coping outside the model such as having a self-compassion mindfulness practice, and coping and dealing with self of therapist issues through the use of "EFT" supervision/peer groups. Additionally, there are certain things in EFT practice that increase one's risk of developing EBS such as a heavy client load, too many couples with trauma back to back, and experiencing a couple that stays in stage one for a good period of time.


Empathy-Based Strain among EFT Social Workers Working with Couples Experiencing Infidelity.pdf


The Different Types of Christian Counselors (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly).

When it comes to the world of Christian Counselors, it can be a bit confusing. In a broad sense, Christian counselors can be divided into those that are licensed and those that are non-licensed. However, that gets further broken down.


Under Construction and Delayed due to focus on writing my new book.



Post for February 2022

ADHD and Emotional Reactivity

As you begin reading this short post, listen to this music and see if it increases your focus.

ADD is a lovely thing when it can be managed for your benefit. In fact, the hyperfocus I got from my ADD allowed me to write my entire doctoral dissertation (237 pages) in a couple weeks (the gathering of data took much longer). However, as I write this, my ADD has distracted me from my medical notes on last week's sessions (LOL). Based on the work of Dr. Amen, there are 7 presentations of ADD. Sometimes you can treat ADD naturally with supplements, psychotherapy, and behavior changes. Other times, you may need the help of medication.

Emotional reactivity is something that can be a symptom of ADD or ADHD (ADD in this post is used synonymously with ADHD) and lead to a misdiagnosis. In fact, ADD is often misdiagnosed as Bipolar Two disorder or an anxiety disorder. When you add emotional reactivity with another common symptom of ADD, Impulsiveness, this can lead to suicidal or self-harm behavior that is hard to stop and comes on sudden. This is not to say that you cannot have a comorbid diagnosis such as anxiety or depression. Anxiety and depression are cousins that can team up with ADD, making it complicated to get under control and diagnose. Don't worry, there is hope with therapy and medication management.

Psychotherapy can aid in treating some symptoms of all seven presentations of ADD. Suppose you have a predominantly anxious ADD or Overfocused ADD. In that case, we likely will utilize some neurofeedback using the Muse 2 in my office. Additionally, I will encourage you to eat a healthy diet and exercise (see individual resource section for tips on eating healthy & exercise plans) . I do not prescribe supplements or medication, but I do provide psychoeducation and can work with you and your prescriber on medication management. For instance, certain supplements such as L-theanine and magnesium can reduce anxiety and inattentiveness. This can further be treated in my office using neurofeedback, where you can better learn how to calm your mind and body.

Medication

As with most psychiatric medications, they work differently for different people, and it can be a process of messing around with dosage and type of medication to find something that works great for you. Thus, knowing some common causes and medication treatments can empower you to work with your prescriber in getting something that will help. Additionally, getting a proper diagnosis is key to the proper treatment of ADD. Far too often, I have worked with patients who have been wrongly diagnosed by a medical provider and are then treated based on that wrong diagnosis. As noted above, ADD can mimic symptoms from other diagnosis, and someone who spends only a few minutes with you may have an incomplete picture of where symptoms are stemming from.

Getting a Good Diagnosis with Brain Scans

In my office, we will often use the Muse 2 for getting some feedback on your brain activity and how you can better manage certain symptoms. Since we get feedback and readout of your brain, it can show ADD activity. However, it in no way compares to the high-quality brain scans that large medical establishments have. There are several ways to get a very accurate diagnosis of ADD. I am becoming a fan of Amen Clinic's diagnosis and medication management approach for ADD. In fact, it is through brain scans that Dr. Amen identified Seven different ADD presentations, each of which can be addressed by a unique treatment. Additionally, he likes to try natural approaches first, and when they are not effective, he will then prescribe medication such as stimulants and antidepressants. The benefit of that is that natural approaches have far less side effects. Thus, if natural works, you can reduce risk of side effects. Here is a link to Amen's approach to read more. https://www.amenclinics.com/conditions/adhd-add/




Coming Eventually. Feel free to give me suggestions on topics you wouldn't mind seeing here.

Jer 29:11

Why I don't Recommend the book 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Common sex issues in the Marriage Bed and how to Address them

The Best Basics for Addressing Anxiety

The Best Basics for Addressing Depression

Causes of Anxiety

Causes of Depression

Dealing with Church Conflict

Learning how to set Boundaries (A different take than Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend)

Questions to ask your husband

Questions to ask your wife

Scripture versus that discuss anxiety and depression

A brief discussion on Bible hero's who dealt with emotional struggles, depression, anxiety and suicide.

Nouthetic Counseling versus Christian Counseling versus Counseling from a Christian versus, Christian Counseling combined with Secular Psychology.

Take a moment to take your focus off your struggles and just focus on Jesus and his word. Take some deep breaths and ground yourself on a solid rock. Listen to this short music video and consider the Majesty of God. Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth! "