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Barnabas Center
Barnabas Center

The Power of The Holy Spirit in Christian Counseling by Bill Immel, LPC

A young military couple just left my office.  The couple has young children and there has been marital discord and infidelity for years.  After providing professional counseling for twenty-five years I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be able to reassure such families and couples of incredible results based on what I have seen the Lord do in the lives of families that were facing similar struggles and worse (i.e. infidelity and substance abuse or domestic violence.)

Please know that I told this couple, just as I am telling you, that I take no credit for these amazing results.  Psychology is a “soft science” meaning that the explanations for dramatic human behavioral change are only unprovable theories.  As Christian counselors we are able to tap into the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives and as a result can expect amazing change, growth, and healing.  But like my missionary aunt says “God moves the chess pieces of our lives to bless those who play chess with Him.”

What it takes for one person to surrender something unhealthy, or unhelpful in their lives is different for other people.  In the counseling process we help our clients to figure out what it will take to surrender that thing or things that are keeping them from having peace, joy, and hope in their lives.  Or maybe it’s not about surrender, but to learn new ways of processing the issues so as to see that “(Christ’s) power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9).  And to know that “The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:4-5).

Some of the most common struggles are:  anxiety, depression, loss, loneliness, anger, difficulty forgiving, substance abuse, parenting struggles, and difficulty negotiating.  If you or a loved one is struggling with any of these issues or others we at the Barnabas Center consider it a privilege to come along side you and help you experience the power of the Holy Spirit in the solution.

Bill Immel LPC

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Do You React or Respond? Erin Adams, LPC, MAMFT, NCC

The dictionary defines reaction as behaving with hostility, opposition or contrary course of action. Interestingly, the definition of response is replying or answering in words or action. The differences are subtle but important. How many times have you caught yourself reacting to your spouse, kids or co-workers rather than responding? Have you reacted with words like: “What kind of grades are theses? Why can’t you pull it together?” or “Yeah. Well. Life isn’t fair” or “I’m done”? Instead of responding with comments such as: “You seem to be struggling with your studies. Let’s see if we can figure something out” or “I know the situation isn’t what you would like. Do you want to talk about it?” or “I’m frustrated right now. I’m gonna take a time out”. Choosing to respond rather than react is tough. It requires self-control over our thoughts and our tongues. But the reduction in tears and tension, broken hearts and broken relationships is worth the effort of learning how to build that self-discipline.

Here are a few quick tips to help you respond.

  1. Deep breaths really do help reduce tension. Take time to breathe deeply and collect your thoughts BEFORE speaking.
  2. Take a personal time out. This can give you time to really think about what you want or need and how to deliver that with care and compassion.
  3. Walk a mile in their How might your child, spouse or co-worker be feeling in this circumstance? Examining other perspectives often changes our own.

If you find you are still struggling with angry responses and would like to talk it through, give us a call.

 

Erin

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call 1-800-273-8255

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