Do You Need Hope and Healing During a Pandemic

Hi everyone. Shawn Maguire here from New Vision Counseling and Consulting. As you can see I’m not at work right now because we’re on a global
pandemic. Covid-19 has taken over the world in so many ways, but it doesn’t have to take over your world and run your show. Today I’m gonna share with you how because you know if you’re like me you’ve been majorly impacted by this. As a matter of fact right before I got on this video some of my friends one of my friends in particular just lost somebody really close to him. I don’t know what that looks like for you I don’t know if you still have a job I don’t know if you’re struggling to make ends meet because your job is either ended or about to end maybe you’re the person that is trying to figure out what you’re gonna do for a living situation because you can’t pay your mortgage anymore maybe your immune compromised or somebody you love has a health issue that they get the corona it could be devastating or deadly wherever you’re at I want you to know that God was not caught off-guard by this and there’s hope and there’s help for you today I’m going to go over some ways that we can reignite our hope that was in us because you know if you’re like me you’ve been going down a life’s path and doing your very best and the corona came and just knocked you
off and so today I want to encourage you that you can get back on but there’s some really specific things that you can do to start this process one of them is realized you’re anchored into something you know they call the people that give the news anchors news anchors why because whatever they’re saying they’re anchoring in your soul so that means we better be really sure that what they’re saying is what our soul needs to hear now that doesn’t mean we don’t live informed and we’re not aware of what’s going on in the news and how to be wise and follow the CDC’s recommendations but it does mean that the majority of your consumption should not be anchored in the bad news of the media but it should be focused in the good news of the gospel that’s right remember they call another name for the gospel the Bible is the good news why is that well because hope is an anchor to our soul that in times of trouble that we as Christians still have this hope that transcends all circumstances and that God’s peace can guard our hearts and our minds like Philippians 4:8 says and so that’s where we need to put our focus and attention is making sure that we’re not anchored in following every latest breaking news story but anchoring God and staying informed but then not being transformed by the news but by the good news of Jesus Christ in the middle of the storm so I want you to think about what did you consider or what came to mind first when you first woke up this morning that’s an indication of what you’re filling your heart your mind and what’s dominating your life right now I know for me the first week and a half it was so heavy like I felt like every five to 10 minutes I had to pray and ask God for grace and to break the soul tie of fear off of my life fear of my daughter because she’s got asthma fear of what’s gonna happen to her fear of the team that I serve with and then I feel a little responsible for a lot of ways are they gonna be able to survive provide for their families in this upcoming crisis what about the health of our nation what about the health of our president and people that are serving in office and so instead of just living in that fear I chose to pray and and to be aware of what’s happening but not be transformed by it but then I started to spend more time with God in the word meditating on scriptures so that his words were the ones that were on my mind his words were what I thought about when I went to bed and what started to canvass my day and what I thought about when I woke up in the morning the next thing I want you to consider doing it’s really powerful is I want you to consider what happened to your habits are you still getting up early are you going to bed too late because you’re watching the news are you on social media way more than you’ve ever been and what kind of social media how are you eating what about your exercise remember that thing called exercise I just would encourage you that your habits and routines can be the ladder that God uses to help you climb back up and to restore a sense
I’ve normally seen your life again a sense of normalcy in your life again now the other thing I want to encourage you to do is remember that you are not a victim but in Christ you are a weapon that’s right you’ve been weaponized to be a role model because Christ followers the darker the environment the brighter our light from within shines and here’s the great news that our riches don’t come from this world he says God says he
supplies all of our needs according to his riches and glory so that means that no matter what happens in our economy or in our world that our needs are always met by our Heavenly Father according to the riches of his glory not our circumstances thank God for that and that means that we can go out as weapons to destroy and push back darkness that we are role models that can shine so bright like a city on a hill like a beacon of a lighthouse when people are up and down in the storms of life our hope is an anchor that keeps our ships our lives secure in him you know
anchors hold a ship steady and you know it just goes all over the place some ships have two anchors one of the the one in the front one in the back depending how big it is and I know that if you don’t have an anchor and it’s windy it’s blowing and the waves are going everywhere because I love fishing so much I’ve experienced this with and without anchors and you’ll just be blown everywhere and you can’t control where you end up so anchor yourself in this this time in God anchor your heart in his presence and his goodness and His faithfulness in his love and you will emanate his love his assurance and that faith will be tangible it can be given and serving others and as a role model you’re not just thinking about geez my family have enough toilet paper does my family have enough groceries does my family have enough resources and money to provide but what about the people around you ask God to give you wisdom and resources to provide for them as well and so I would encourage you to take this opportunity to tune back into a God who’s desperately in love with you and is seeking your attention and he wants to broadcast his love to a world that’s desperate to hear it they just might not know it yet so guys be encouraged that our hope is not in the circumstances it’s not even in our economy it’s not in our 401ks it’s not on how much food we have in our house with the shelter we live in or the jobs or security of career it’s in him because I know that this has really dislodged so much of my hope that was in me controlling my circumstances I’d love to know as much about a situation as I
possibly can so that I can make sure that I have enough knowledge to be successful in it and to serve the people I love and myself and my family but I don’t have that and and really neither do you right now what we have is the God who is faithful and wants to grab you by your hand and he wants to say look no matter how bleak it looks it will be okay with me you know that song is well with my soul that guy wrote that after he lost his entire family when they were crossing the sea to come see him he lost his entire family and he wrote that song and is well with my soul in the midst of a storm so guys I would encourage you to press into the Lord and reach out to others and if you say Shawn that’s great but I need more help great news
I new vision counseling and consulting we are here for you this is our go time so many people are saying Shawn do you have time to do this you have more time and really I don’t because I’ve been so busy speaking to the situation and the crisis were in and serving that patience and the people that are in our lives and we want to serve you so let us know if we can help you go to new vision counseling that live and we can do counseling we can do life coaching outside of our state we can do counseling inside and we just want to be a resource for you and this time and equip you to go transform the world instead of letting the world transform you hey god bless I look forward to hearing from you really soon.

Dealing With The Crisis Over COVID-19

The outbreak of the COVID-19 may be a very stressful period for people. Not only we are dealing with a pandemic as no one knows for sure how it will continue to spread and for how long.

While governments throughout the entire world have been taking measures to prevent people from getting infected, both the number of people infected and the number of deaths continue to climb.

Everyone reacts in a different way to stressful situations.The crisis over COVID-19 is no different.

You may notice:

  • Difficulty concentrating or sleeping
  • Changes in eating and sleep patterns
  • Increased worry and fear about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Increased use of alcohol and tobacco
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.

How To Support Yourself

We are all responsible for our own behaviors. And even during this crisis where we are told to stay at home and avoid social interactions, it is wise to keep your mind occupied even if you’re not working. So, you should consider:

  • Taking care of your body: From meditation to exercise, eat balanced and healthy meals, and get plenty of sleep.
  • Taking a break from the news: While it is important to keep yourself up to date with the recent developments of this pandemic, you don’t need to follow all the stories by the minute.
  • Connect with others: While it is advisable to not leave home, you still have a phone and you still have the internet. So you have the time to talk with people you trust about what you are feeling and about your concerns.
  • Take time off: Just think of activities that you like and that you can do at home. This will help you stop thinking about the pandemic.

How To Support Your Children

While you may think that your children don’t understand what is happening, they absorb it all. And sooner or later, they may start developing some attitudes to all the stress they are living as well. Some of these reactions may include:

  • Excessive sadness or worry
  • Excessive irritation or crying in younger children
  • Irritability in teenagers
  • Unhealthy sleeping and eating patterns
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  • Difficulty with concentration and attention
  • Unexpected body pain or headaches.

Even before you notice these situations, you should talk to your children so they can better understand what is happening. You obviously need to pay attention to their ages and tell them what they need to know accordingly. Make sure that you reassure your child or teen that they are safe and that it is ok for them to feel upset or sad.

One of the things that you should consider doing is to keep up with the daily routines as much as you can. In addition, limiting the news is also a good idea.

Bottom Line

While we are right in the middle of a crisis over COVID-19, we are always here for you. We have taken all the precautions to ensure that we are here to support you. In case you just want to talk to someone or ask a question about your children, we have your back. Together we will make it. Schedule an appointment today with one of our counselors.

Are you Considering Couples Counseling

Are you Considering Couples Counseling?

Are you considering couple’s counseling but questioning whether it is can truly make a difference? Research supports that couple’s counseling is indeed effective, and at New Vision, we see a very high rate of success with our couples. We contribute this success to the fact that our counseling methods and theory are based on the inerrant Word of God. We combine the best of what psychology has proven to be effective with the truth of God’s word to create the most optimal treatment for our clients. Some of the most common questions asked by those considering couple’s therapy include:
  • How long will it take? This is a question people frequently ask by those considering marriage counseling. Oftentimes, we see couples make very quick progress in their relationship. It is not uncommon for couples to see dramatic changes in their relationship in as little as four to eight sessions. In marriages with more difficult and long-standing issues, it will, of course, take longer. The rate at which a couple’s progress depends largely on their commitment to the process. 
  • What if my partner is unwilling to come? It is not uncommon for one person in the relationship to begin therapy on their own. Since marriage is a system, when one person in the marriage begins to make positive changes in their own life, it has a positive effect on the entire system/marriage. We frequently have spouses join in the process once when they begin to see the positive effects in their partner.
  • What if my spouse has already filed for a divorce? Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for couples to wait until the relationship looks doomed for failure before they reach out for help, but no couple is beyond help. While we may not be able to save every marriage, it is never too late to begin the work on yourself.  And again, one partner can often make a significant difference in the marriage.

What about divorce or severe distrust?

Furthermore, couple’s counseling is extremely important even for those who go through a divorce. Research shows that divorcing couples who can communicate well with one another, provide their children with less stress and trauma during the divorce process.

  • What if I have lost feelings for my spouse?
    In a word, feelings are fickle. We cannot rely on our feelings to make life-changing decisions. As we help couples get to the root of their relationship issues, learn how to meet one another’s needs, communicate respectfully, and become friends again, positive emotions toward their spouse naturally resume.  If you have ever felt love for your partner,
    you can feel it again.
  • What if our relationship has suffered severe disloyalty and heartbreak?
    There is no marriage that is beyond hope. We have seen marriages overcome the most painful situations including pornography, addiction, adultery, and severe trust violation. At
    New Vision, we believe that God is a Master at restoring broken hearts and broken lives. We are committed to providing our clients with the best opportunity possible to see their marriage completely restored and made even better than before.

One last reason to consider counseling at New Vision is that we have a very high standard for the therapist’s we hire. Our therapists are experts in their field, trained in methods that are proven in efficacy, as well as seasoned believers who practice a godly lifestyle. We adhere to the Biblical premise of hiring those who are not a novice (I Timothy 3:6) but have a history of relying on the wisdom and knowledge of God in their own lives and in their counseling practice.

Counselor Gina
Written by:  Gina Helms

Gina is a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate who  works with her clients to get to the root of their issues so they see real results and see the maximum change in their life. If you want to get started on your own personal journey to health, peace, and complete transformation, call me today for your free 15-minute consultation.


As COVID-19 spreads, it seems as though feelings of sadness, dread, and hopelessness are also spreading. A pandemic spreading is sad. Cancellations are sad. Getting laid off is sad. Fearing the economic downturn is sad. It is healthy to feel these feelings, and mourn the life you thought you would have during this time. No one could have prepared for this. All the feelings you are feeling are normal. You are not alone in these feelings. Remember that while we are social distancing, we don’t have to be socially isolating. Make time to reach out to loved ones. If you want to try something new, now is a great time to do that. If it feels better to rest, do that. It’s okay if your life looks different right now. From others, and from how your life normally looks.

I have some great news for you. There is hope to feel better, even in this time. Sometimes it can feel like it takes everything you have just to reach out for help. If that’s you, make the call. It will be worth it. You may feel like “this isn’t the time to start counseling with a pandemic on the loose?” But really starting now could be the very thing that helps you get through this. At New Vision Counseling, we seek to understand what you’re going through and our counselors really can help.

Whether you come into the office or counsel through telehealth we are here for you. Through Telehealth, we are able to effectively help through an online experience. Telehealth is as easy to use as facetime or calling a friend. You don’t have to have anything special, just yourself and a computer or phone (or ipad or tablet…). No need to download anything or research anything. It is a simple process that we will walk you through. If you are feeling hopeless or sad, why wait? You likely have more time and more fear and sadness then normal. Since issues are coming to the surface now is the time to deal with them and move on with your life?

This pandemic may have everyone around you living in fear, but fear DOESN’T have to have a seat at your table! At New Vision Counseling & Consulting, we are here to help you. Call or email us today at (405) 921-7776 or go to New Vision Counseling and Consulting to set up your first appointment. You may feel alone, but with counseling you don’t have to be! We look forward to walking with you through this challenging season!

What is EMDR and how does it work?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a type of therapy that helps people heal from trauma and disturbing events or life experiences using eye movements, taps, or sounds. The research over the past 20-30 years shows that it can be a very effective form of treatment for a range of issues, especially people dealing with current and past traumas and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Anxiety, depression, and other issues can also be treated with EMDR.

What many people like about the process is that it does not involve medications and is different from traditional talk therapy. Instead of mainly talking about all your problems or traumas and trying to make some sense of them, with EMDR you bring up the traumas and distressing events and allow your brain to reprocess them in whatever ways it needs to in order to heal. As a client, you are completely conscious and aware as you just allow your brain to do the healing, while the therapist guides the process.

That sounds good, but also a little strange. What’s really going on here…are you hypnotizing me?

No hypnosis here, and as I mentioned above, you will remain conscious and aware during the entire process. What many experts believe is happening in EMDR is that we are using a process the brain already uses at night during dream sleep and REM sleep to help us work through and process what happened during the day and in the past. What we notice in dream sleep and REM sleep, is that our eyes move back and forth while the brain is processing. You may have seen someone else’s eyes doing this while sleeping and wondered what was going on. This is the process that EMDR is imitating.

Okay, so how does this really work?

Have you ever had a moment where you thought something like, “I feel like a little kid again,” or “I feel like I am in high school”? Where did that come from? Most likely, something in the present connected you to that past (unless you really are a kid or in high school). You may even begin to act like you did as a child or a high school student and feel the things you felt at that time. Before you know it, you are remembering some of the events that occurred at that time. If the memories are negative or traumatic, you may start to have some of the same negative beliefs now that you had about yourself back then, like “I am so stupid,” or “I can’t get anything right,” or “I have no control”. You may also experience physical symptoms like you did back then. EMDR works by targeting the memories from the past causing these present reactions and feelings, and then helping resolve them in a more beneficial and healing way for you.

You may also like to think about it this way: When a distressing event or a trauma occurs, it gets stored in the brain just like you capture a moment when you take a picture. However, in addition to the picture, the sounds, thoughts, feelings (emotional and physical) all get recorded. That information, like a picture, can get locked or frozen in time. Now, whenever something that even remotely reminds you, consciously or unconsciously, of that event, you re-experience that event in the present to some degree. If the brain does not process the information and make it a part of your past, it will continue reacting to it as if it is still occurring today. This can happen in subtle ways such as negative thoughts, fatigue, irritability, depression or anxiety, or not-so-subtle ways, like flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, extreme reactions to others, debilitating fear or anxiety.

EMDR helps to “unfreeze” the memories in the past so the brain can reprocess through them in the present. This occurs in a safe environment with support and guidance from a therapist. The brain can then allow the memory to be an event in the past, just like other events in the past, but with less emotional intensity whenever it comes up. Subsequently, when those distressing memories are resolved and reprocessed, other things associated to that memory, like other memories, negative beliefs, fears, panic, and sometimes even physical symptoms, can also heal and change.

As a Christian, how does EMDR fit into my faith?

This is a very important question! At New Vision Counseling and Consulting we bring together biblical principles with cutting-edge counseling techniques so you can get the best treatment for you as a Christian.  EMDR seems to work because it taps into our God-given system and brain to heal. God created us in amazing and beautiful ways and we get to utilize those. In addition, all throughout Scripture God’s people use past stories and events to transform how they live in the present. How they related to those stories determined how they lived in the present. Reminding yourself and understanding who you are in Christ and who created you leads you to live a completely different life, with new thoughts, feelings, and beliefs!

Have you ever noticed that when you change your perspective or story about what is happening to you, you change? For instance, someone really hurt you by something they said and it really gets you down (if not downright angry). You stress about it, struggle with it, but then one day you come to a new understanding, either about yourself, the other person, or about God. With this new understanding comes new feelings, and with these new feelings you have new thoughts, and with these new thoughts you take new actions. From these changes you heal and get past the hurt and you transform. This is the very process that EMDR can help stimulate and encourage.

I believe EMDR helps you find new perspectives, and when you have a faith that is all about changing the way you view the world and people (i.e. love your enemies, love one another, forgive one another), you are able to experience dramatic breakthroughs through this process. EMDR may be able to help you change the way you see or relate to things so that you can live in greater freedom today! As the scripture in Galatians 5:1 exclaims, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”

What if I am not a Christian, can I come to New Vision for EMDR?

Yes! We will honor and value you wherever you are at in regards to faith, and we will respect that. We will gladly provide EMDR and help you through what you are needing. We want you to experience the healing from your past traumas and difficulties. It is a blessing to be able to use this tool with so many people to help resolve trauma and other difficulties

What do I need to do in order to get started?

Give us a Call and get an appointment! When we meet at our first appointment we will determine if EMDR is right for you, because, first and foremost, we want to make sure that we provide the best treatment for you. EMDR, like any other therapy, is not a cure-all for everything and everyone, but it has shown thrown many studies over many years that it is effective. At the first session we will make a plan together and determine where to start your healing. Also, EMDR requires no homework! You do the therapy during the session (generally 45-50 minutes) and then continue it at the next session.

We look forward to helping you on your healing journey!
EMDR Therapist Ben Thompson
Written by:
Ben Thompson, LMFT

Ben Thompson is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist who specializes in helping individuals and couples breakthrough their pasts so they can live more powerfully in the present and future.

He is trained in EMDR.

For more information about EMDR, go to If you would like to see the extensive research and studies on EMDR to their Resources link at

Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Christian?


If you are doing a little digging and you want to know what approaches and therapies are out there, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (or CBT) most certainly will come up. At New Vision Counseling in Edmond and Oklahoma City locations, you will find the counselors and therapists often utilizing a form or fashion of CBT.  CBT is an approach to counseling with statistics to back its value and impact. But should a Christian consider this approach? In this article I will explain some of the limitations this approach has for the Christian client. I will also highlight the ways CBT does fit in a Biblical framework. Consider these various aspects and make the best choice for yourself.

When viewing CBT through the eyes of a Christian, it has some limitations. One of the limitations of CBT is that it does not address spiritual aspects, as it primarily focuses on the “thoughts, feelings and emotions” of an individual. It may call various aspects of spirituality as wrong thinking and part of unhealthy internal self-talk. Because CBT does not pick up on spiritual aspects of the thought process, CBT then can exclude the core beliefs of the Christian faith. A core belief is a person’s building block in the way they see life around them. Traditional CBT may not affirm the unique beliefs a Christian holds and therefore could be detrimental to the client. 

A second limitation of CBT is the perspective that says a person is responsible for their thoughts. Traditional CBT does not include the Christian truth that involves John 10:10 describing the “enemy of our souls” by saying the “thief comes to steal, kill and destroy”. In my experience, both personally and professionally, the “enemy” implants negative thoughts and feelings that affect self-talk and self-perception. It is crucial for a person to understand that the origin of these thoughts is not from themselves to spare unneeded shame or condemnation, and ultimately this makes it easier for the person to distinguish right thinking.

Although there are some limitations to CBT in the Christian faith, there are some elements that agree in scripture.

  • Take every thought captive.
  • In 2 Cor 10:5, Paul teaches us that we are to take every thought captive and make it submissive to Christ. The word “captive” is very strong language and refers to a military submission in its meaning. There is a charge to very strongly submit our thoughts unto the only true Word, that is, Jesus. In challenging our self-talk, we get to speak truth against lies. We get to question what thoughts are truthful, and what thoughts are lies about who we are, how we see the world around us, and how we think about situations. 

  • Renew your mind daily.
  • In Romans 12:2 we learn that we are “transformed by renewing our minds”. CBT describes how you can have a new perspective on the way you think, feel and behave by changing how you see situations. This can be done at any point in time, even reflecting upon past experiences. It is a quick tool to use by asking “Do I really believe this or not?” Renewing the mind is a major attribute of CBT.
  • Meditate on these things…
  • Phil 4:8 teaches that we are to think on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy”. This fits along with CBT as it pushes people to think positively and with a gratitude perspective. CBT says the more you think on positive things, the more it will change your “thoughts, feelings and emotions” for the better, and this component is seen in Phil 4:8.
  • WWJD
  • What Would Jesus Do? Jesus’ approach had elements of CBT when he said, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough worry of its own,”(Matt 6:34). This indicates the importance of living in the present, being aware of the moment you’re in and not of the future or past. This confronts anxiety (being weighed down by the future) and depression (being weighed down by the past).

So if you are in the OKC Metro area, and you are looking to utilize CBT Christian approaches, don’t hesitate to contact New Vision Counseling. These therapists will find ways to apply therapies and counseling techniques that are best suited for you—whether CBT or other approaches.

Caleb McKean

Written by: 
Caleb McKean, LPC

Caleb focuses on the gospel of Jesus with the strength of the Holy Spirit to help you identify your purpose through scripture, and find tools that will guide you even when you are done with Counseling.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Man stressed out

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Is a solution-focused, goal-oriented form of talk therapy that combines cognitive and behavioral principles and methods to treat a wide range of issues including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorders, to name a few (APA, n.d.).  CBT assumes that psychological distress is, in part, due to faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking.  As unhelpful thoughts can make it difficult for a person to function confidently in different situations, CBT focuses on developing healthy strategies to address maladaptive thought patterns and behaviors to break the cycle of dysfunctional habitual behaviors.  The benefits of CBT include helping reduce stress, manage grief, cope with complicated relationships, and face many other common life challenges (Fenn & Bryne, 2013).

According to Corey (2009), CBT assumes that we are not disturbed by the events in our lives but that our emotions stem mainly from our beliefs, evaluations, interpretation, and reaction to life situations.  Emotional reactions are associated with basic beliefs and therefore cognitively created. This approach is based on a structured psychoeducational model that aims to change how a person thinks (cognitive) and what they do (behavior).  CBT, therefore, uses both cognitive and behavioral techniques.  Through the therapeutic process, you learn skills to help identify and dispute irrational beliefs that have been developed.  With an emphasis on the present, CBT focuses on ‘here and now’ problems and difficulties instead of spending inordinate time on past events.  This approach addresses current issues in addition to future problems.

Getting the most out of CBT

CBT is not effective for everyone.  Here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of your sessions:

  • Think of therapy as a partnership. 
  • CBT is a collaborative therapy, requiring the individual and counselor to work together to set mutually agreed goals.  Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-limited.  Therapy is most effective when you are an active participant and share in decision-making and goal setting.  Give some thought to what you want to discuss during sessions.
  • Do not be afraid to open up. 
  • It is normal to experience difficulty opening up about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.  As success with therapy depends on your willingness to disclose, discuss any reservations about opening up with your therapist.
  • Follow your treatment plan. 
  • You may feel tempted to skip sessions if you are experiencing a significant increase or even decrease in mood; however, doing so may disrupt your progress. Make a commitment to attend sessions as scheduled. 
  • Don’t expect instant results.
  • Working through emotional issues can be painful and challenging, especially if something taught you that feelings were unsafe.  You may feel worse until you learn to accept and tolerate your feelings. You may need several sessions before you begin to see progress.
  • Do your homework!
  • Homework assignments are used to reinforce the learning of CBT concepts.  An emphasis on the role of homework assignments that draws from a variety of cognitive and behavioral strategies to bring about change places responsibility on you, the client, to assume an active role in applying what you are learning in your daily life.  As therapy is seen as an educational process, you are encouraged to read self-help books as well as practicing healthy coping skills outside of regular therapy sessions. Making change is challenging but doing work outside of the session is an essential step in learning how to adjust your own thinking, problematic emotions and behavior.
  • “I don’t feel any different.”
  • If you don’t feel that you’re benefiting from CBT after several sessions, talk to your therapist. You and your therapist can explore other treatment approaches.

Length of therapy

CBT is generally considered short-term therapy typically ranging from about five to 20 sessions (Fenn & Bryne, 2013). You and your therapist will discuss how many sessions may be right for you.  Factors that determine the length of therapy include type of disorder or situation, severity of symptoms (frequency, intensity, and duration), and how quickly you make progress.

Is Christian counseling in Edmond or Oklahoma City your next step to breaking free of fears and finding peace? If so, give us a call or schedule your free consultation.  Let us work with you on your path to healing and restoration.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Written by: Donnulette Dulaney, MS LPC

Donnulette Dulaney, is a Licensed Professional Counselor that uses a collaborative, client-centered approach that focuses on what you as a “one of a kind” person needs, and works towards achieving your goals and creating a life that you are excited to live!


American Psychological Association. (n.d.).  What is cognitive behavioral therapy?  Retrieved from

Corey, G. (2009, 2005).  Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy. (8th ed.).  Belmont, CA.

Fenn, K, and Bryne, M. (2013).  The key principles of cognitive behavioural therapy.   Retrieved from

Help, I don’t want a Divorce: Try these 5 Tips!!!

Will Marriage Counseling help?

Where has the time gone?  You quietly tell yourself “I guess nothing lasts forever”. 

You used to be so in love with each other. Enjoying each other’s company and time spent with the family, but now the spark, romance is gone. 

Sure you both still say the words “I love you,” but there is something a bit hollow in them.  

A stay at home mom and your husband working all the time leaves you both feeling empty and alone

Household responsibilities and work seem to get in the way of taking time enjoying each other or the kids.  There is no time for going to the park, walks throughout the neighborhood, or any meaningful interaction as a family.  

By the time the chaos of the evening finally winds down, it’s as though one of you or both are completely exhausted and checked out.  What’s worse is that this is the only opportunity you have with one another before the lights go out and you rinse and repeat.

You’ve tried being nice, sending cute texts, focusing more on the other person, providing non-sexual touch, and it feels as though it goes unnoticed.

Your sex life has been emotionally reduced down to a one-night stand.

You’re struggling in every aspect of life trying to hold on to a love that once blossomed.

Not to mention worrying about the kids!!

You want your Marriage Back

Oh, how you want to pour your love out and be loved in return.  You desire romance and friendship, not just to be a single parent raising your kids alone.

Maybe you’ve tried Marriage Counseling before and it was not successful.  

If that is you, I am so sorry about your experience.  All too often, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I hear this very sentiment from couples in their first counseling session.

In my experience marriage counseling, only works when both partners are willing to be open and honest with one another.  Couples have to actively participate in changing the rut they find themselves stuck in.

Here are 5 tips that I have personally seen, help couples like you in marriage counseling.

  • Remember

    Remember how you felt when you first met, how you fell in love with one another, and why you chose to get married in the first place.  It’s time to remember the vows you made to one another at the altar.


    Try and remember the good times you had.  Right now it may be hard to see those good times, through the mess you’re in now, but try.


    You have the ability to change who you are right now and be who you once were.  Madly in love, so full of life and joy, do you remember?

  • Engage 

    Use this opportunity to begin pouring into your loved one.  The key in this is to not do this with the expectation of anything in return.  The goal here is to see once again the person you once were so in love with. And for them to feel love without strings attached.


    Take time to focus on your friendship.  There once was a time before you were lovers you were friends.  You most likely spent countless hours talking to one another about nothing and everything.


    Engage your spouse with your time.  You may not even realize how much time you are spending working or even thinking about work when you could be focusing on them.

  • Rekindle

    Rekindle the fire.  When you build a fire you have to start with the kindling (the small pieces of twigs and dry stuff found on the ground).  These little pieces ignite quickly and burn fast. Their purpose is to burn long enough to ignite the bigger pieces of wood. 


    This same principle should be applied to your smoldering relationship.  Begin by doing little things that mean so much to your partner with the hope that they will last long enough to light the bigger deeper parts of the heart.

  • Resist

    At all costs, resist.  Resist the urge to argue, fight, belittle, begin a tit-for-tat cycle.  These actions are some of the quickest ways to negate any positive momentum you’ve made.  Not only does it hurt your spouse, but it hurts you. It allows bitterness and resentment to creep into your relationship.


    Resist pointing fingers and the blame-game.  Relationships are not always 50/50, sometimes they are 80/20, 99/01, 60/40.  There are times when you have more to give and others where you need to receive.

  • Request

    Request help from professionals that specialize in helping couples change their relationship.  If you have a medical condition, you’re going to seek out a specialist for your issue, not a generalist.  Would you like more information on counselors that specialize in Marriage Counseling OKC?


    If you’re seeing a counselor and do not feel it’s helping, request a referral to another counselor.  Requesting a referral does not mean that the counselor is bad, there are a number of reasons why counseling may not be working.

We provide Marriage Counseling in OKC and Edmond

Just because your marriage is struggling now, doesn’t mean it has to remain this way.  At New Vision Counseling we help struggling couples like you create a life worth celebrating.  We have 2 locations conveniently located in Oklahoma City and Edmond!!  Give us a Call or schedule your free consultation.  Let us work with you on your path to healing and restoration.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Written by:  Daniel Edwards, II., MS, LMFT.  Daniel is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist that specializes in couples counseling focusing on building trust, respect, kindness, and affection in their relationships.

Is Therapy Right for ME?

Can Therapy Really Help ME?

Yes! The great news is that research consistently confirms that the majority of people who receive therapy are better off than those who did not receive therapy. We can say with confidence that therapy is helpful for most people!

However, despite these results many people never take the step (and it is a courageous one, for sure) to get help. At New Vision Counseling in Edmond and Oklahoma City, we want you to know that help is available and we want to join you on your journey. We also understand you might have some reservations, so we are going to address those in this blog.

I understand therapy helps others, but I’m still not sure that therapy can help with my problem

Have you ever had the experience where you thought you were the only one who had a problem or a struggle, only to find out it is a very common problem? The writer of Ecclesiastes writes, “there is nothing new under the sun,” and this is true in therapy. Therapists spend their days listening to and encountering the problems people have, and even though your problem is unique to you in some ways, there is a very good chance your therapist has encountered a similar problem before. Some therapists may even specialize in your problem—anxiety, depression, marriage problems, anger, grief, relationships, OCD, etc.

We see every individual as unique and tailor treatment to what you need. Our goal is to help you with your problem and your goals, not fit you into a box!

I’m nervous about coming in, is that normal?

Yes, it is totally normal to feel nervous! You are taking a major step toward change and transformation when you come to counseling, and it can seem scary and daunting. Coming to an appointment to face something you are ready to change means admitting you need some help, and few people like to admit that! However, clients will often express to me that even though the step in the therapy office was hard, they feel a little regret for not taking the step sooner.

It is also normal to feel excitement and hope about finally getting some help with something that has you stuck! Whether it is excitement or nervousness, or something else, the most important thing is you’ve taken courageous action to heal and change.

Only crazy people go to therapy, right?

Many clients tell me that before coming to therapy, they always saw therapy as somewhere only really messed up or “crazy” people go. Nothing could be further from the truth! Therapy is not just for people struggling intensely with mental health issues and difficult situations, therapy is for anyone wanting to change and heal. In truth, the people that come to therapy are the ones ready to change and stop feeling so “crazy”  on the inside or in a relationship. Maybe this puts it better: “Crazy” people don’t go to therapy, but people tired of feeling crazy do.

I’ve seen pastors, lawyers, executives, oil field workers, students, mothers, fathers, kids, families, and couples of many different cultures. At the end of the day, those needing and looking for help are the people in therapy.

If I want to start therapy, what do I need to do now?

Give us a Call at New Vision Counseling in Edmond and Oklahoma City! Or schedule a free consultation. We will take your call and discuss with you how we can help and how soon we can get you an appointment. No question is too big or too small! We have an awesome team of therapists ready to work with you on your path to healing and restoration. We look forward to hearing from you!

EMDR Therapist Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson, LMFT

Where do you go when looking for Counseling services? Chances are, you google something like Counselor in OKC. That is a good place to start, google reviews lets you read comments about people’s experiences with the therapist and what different offices in your area have to offer.

If you are in the process of looking for a counselor, let me first say congratulations!! Yes, congratulations for beginning the steps of self-care.  Gyms and weight loss programs are full in January and February, with New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps more important is our mental health. A few years ago, it was reported that by 2020, anxiety disorders would be the 2nd leading diagnosis for mental health.  Counselors can also help couples struggling in marriage, trauma, pre-marital, family issues, a wide range of emotional issues that can keep you from living your best life.  To help you navigate how to find a counselor that fits your needs we are going to share questions you can ask to help you connect with the right person. 

A few short years ago, when people needed to look for a service, they turned to the yellow pages!  Do you even know what a phone book is? Baby boomers may have an old one laying around but that is not the place to look for your counselor.  Ads in phone books are not regulated or verified!  

Where do you go when looking for a service?  Chances are, you google something like Counselor in OKC.  That is a good place to start, google reviews lets you read comments about people’s experiences with therapist and what different offices in your area have to offer.  New Vision has great reviews because we have awesome therapists!! I would not hesitate to give any of our therapists a referral. This leads us to our first question, if you have a friend that is a therapist, ask if he or she could refer you to a therapist.  They will be able to give you names of therapist they know and trust.  

You can ask another professional, someone, you work with, someone you trust and that has a good network of other professionals.  You can ask friends and family if they will be supportive and not intrusive. You shouldn’t feel like you need to explain the reason you need a counselor.  Counselor’s have a wide range of skills and there could be a hundred different reasons you are seeking a counselor; you don’t owe anyone an explanation. 

You can also ask your human resources personnel at work if they offer an EAP, an Employee Assistance Program, some businesses offer EAP’s as part of your benefits plan and will pay for a specified number of counseling sessions.   Your insurance company may also be able to give you referrals to counselors in OKC who are paneled with them. Therapist who are paneled with insurance companies, have been vetted and credentials checked and re-checked. 

Use the internet, sites like Psychology Today, are used by professionals to help you find what you are looking for in a therapist.  You can search for Counselors in your area, the therapist professional qualifications, their specialties, insurance they take, and a biography are listed. If you want a Christian counselor, you can look at sites like Christian Counselor’s Network, or American Association of Christian Counselors, again credentials and education are screened before they will list them as a referral.

Gather a list of two or three counselors that pique your interest.  A great therapist will build a relationship with you, give you skills and walk beside you to be the best version of you. If you are struggling with unprocessed emotions, they will be able to help you walk through how to deal with uncomfortable, painful, negative emotions.  If you do not make a connection with the first one try the next one on your list until you find the one that puts you at ease and can draw out the emotions you have been stuffing and avoiding. The process is sometimes painful but can make a world of difference when you know you are no longer fighting the battle alone.

Once you have your top 2 or 3 counselors, you can call and ask specific questions to see if they feel like a good fit and if you connect with them.  New Vision offers a free 10-minute phone consultation, this would be a good time to use that opportunity. You want to be able to trust, build a rapport, and feel at ease while navigating through issues that can be debilitating in your daily activities and keeping you from living your best life and feeling like you are reaching your full potential.  

Let 2020 be the start of you taking charge of your mental health, of you taking care of your overall wellbeing, not only getting in physical shape but working on your mental health as well.  A new decade a new you, taking care of mind, body, and soul!


Partner with New Vision Counseling because we use Biblical Principles combined with cutting edge Counseling Techniques to help you Discover what better looks like for you and then Equip you with the tools to Create it.

3 Tips to Not Make In-Laws, Outlaws

Marriage brings about many changes and challenges. One such challenge is building a loving and cooperative relationship with your in-laws.  Here are three tips to keep the peace and steer clear of relationship pitfalls with In-Laws.

Establish clear boundaries right away.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6 (NIV).

Your home is intended to be one of the pleasant places to establish and develop a family.  The home is the space that should feel pleasant, safe, and beautiful.  When couples marry, they must determine what their pleasant place looks and feels like. Although healthy relationships with family can be the most challenging to establish and form, healthy boundaries must be established to prevent any disruption to this sanctuary.   Couples should discuss boundaries for in-laws before marriage and then communicate these boundaries with the in-laws to minimize conflict.  Consider this scripture, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24-25 (NIV).  As a married couple you and your spouse will establish values and traditions for your growing family apart from those of your parents and family including childrearing practices.  Your in-laws may not agree but you must both present a united front to your families.

Build a Healthy Relationship with Your In-Laws

Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.”  Ephesians 6:2-3

This scripture extends to your in-laws as well. Treat in-laws like you would any other member of your family as they are your family.  Love your in-laws and tell them you do. Build a healthy relationship with your in-laws but do not expect to be close right away. Give your relationship the time it needs to grow. Discover ways to connect through shared hobbies or interests as it demonstrates that you are making an effort to know and understand them.  Listen to their stories even if you have heard them several times.  They can provide a wealth of knowledge and wisdom about life in general or about your partner, which may help you learn more about them. Also, it might make them feel good be listened to as well.   

Keep quarrels to yourself

“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.  And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”  II Timothy 2:23-24 (NIV)

Do not complain about your spouse to your parents or in-laws.  Hearing complaints will likely cause them to become defensive. In-laws will always take the side of their child, sibling, or family member. Discussing problems or issues in the marriage may make the situation worse.  Work out your issues privately with your spouse. Do not attempt to get your spouse’s family involved or make them choose sides. 

In a Conflict Between Your Spouse and Your Family, Support Your Spouse.

Your loyalty is to your spouse. It is your duty to support your husband or wife and manage your family in a way that consistently conveys this fact. Again, you must both present a united front to your families, making it clear from the beginning that your spouse comes first. Marital problems typically occur quickly in couples where an allegiance has not been established. A failure to support your partner may lead to bitter disputes and one partner feeling isolated.  You and your spouse must agree on how to handle issues as in-laws are an inherent part of your life. A mutual understanding will help nurture healthy relationships with your in-laws.   

Be as patient with in-laws as they learn to let go. Don’t complain to others or speak unfavorably of your in-laws. Do not compare your in-laws to your parents or family. Be willing to compromise. Your family may have different values that you feel need defending when you’re with your in-laws but do not take the bait!   Offense is one of the most common causes of relationship pitfalls with in-laws. Let go of the need to prove anything. Again, give your relationship with your in-laws time to grow.  

Faith Based Marriage Counselor

You wish to be counseled by somebody who knows what they’re doing, and thus don’t risk your marriage by utilizing someone who isn’t legitimate. You probably wish your marriage wasn’t so challenging. Not every marriage is ideal, even just a Christian one. It can be tough at times, so here are a few tips for finding the right Faith Based Marriage Counselor. Every marriage may benefit from marriage counseling. Your marriage has become the most important relationship in your life. Your marriage is serious business, so take some time and effort to have a look at the background of the counselor you would like to hire.

In the event the Faith Based Marriage Counselor managed to minister to your friend, then he or she might be worth your prayerful consideration. He or she will then explain that pointing fingers and yelling is not allowed. A marriage counselor can enable a couple through difficult occasions and they are able to also assist a couple have a happier marriage. If he or she is really good at their job, they’ll give you the tools you need to address the problems on your own. The term Christian Marriage Counselor may be used for several individuals.

In order to give effective levels of care, Faith Based Marriage Counselors want to keep on the very edge of their area. On the flip side, you won’t ever grow to be that type of counselor without the years of training, and experience that it is going to take to secure you there. The counselor has to be supportive and sympathetic, but in addition forceful and assertive to aid patients overcome self-imposed obstacles. Our faith based counselors are here to assist. If you want to turn into a certified counselor, you will also will need to engage in a master’s degree in counseling. If you anticipate employed as a certified counselor in a certain state, make sure you fully grasp the requirements fully.

Each Faith Based Marriage Counselor typically will specialize in specific locations, but a lot of them may also provide a wide array of services. Much like many specialized and sensitive professions, counselors should make a license before they are legally permitted to practice. Not all counselors are made equal, and simply because you’re likely to a counselor doesn’t guarantee you’ll achieve the results you desire. Our faith-based counselors practice the exact same psychological theories and techniques in their treatment plans as all skilled counselors. Christian counselors may discuss behavior in conditions of sins like pride, greed, or lust. They can also choose to begin a private practice. The 1 thing you ought to be effective Christian counselor is to get a passion for counseling.

Because Faith Based Marriage Counseling is a rather wide field, you have to specialize during your graduate work. Marriage counseling is helpful to anybody who’s married. It is only there when you’ve decided you can’t go on in a relationship like you are and don’t know what the best course of action is. In case you go to marriage counseling, you are going to be PREPARED to get the most out of it. Christian marriage counseling occurs through many of unique outlets. Whether you’re searching for Christian marriage counseling or conventional therapy, it’s important to bear in mind that therapists provide a range of approaches.

There are several sorts of counselors, working with people for a range of explanations. In order to be certified, they also need to show that they are active in their religious community on a local level and have served at least three years in the ministry. Last, locate a counselor who’s available to you. To begin with, locate a counselor who’s competent. Search for a capable and skilled biblical counselor who can assist you.

The very first step to becoming a counselor is to get a bachelor’s degree. Pastoral counselors frequently have private practices by which they see patients, but they’re not confined to seeing patients in the expert setting of a workplace. On the flip side, if you discover a prudent counselor who uses God’s Word that will help you grow in your Christian walk, in your marriage and in your family members, Scripture says you’re going to be blessed!

Though your Faith Based Marriage Counselor might be able to provide you additional spiritual insight from personal expertise, beliefs, and wisdom, there’s absolutely no guarantee your counselor is going to have the formal training to best address your faith-based troubles. For instance, you can discover counselors which use new age practices that embrace spirituality and relation to the universe. If you are especially seeking to be ordained as a pastoral counselor, a minumum of one counselor is going to be on the committee. Because of their training in therapy and counseling tactics, a pastoral counselor can help patients in the very same ways a certified therapist can.

Selecting a counselor is a huge thing. Christian counselors have many choices in regards to jobs. In many instances, Christian marriage counselors are extremely active in their community church community.

Contact a Faith Based Marriage Counselor in Oklahoma City Today.

Marriage Counselors in Oklahoma City OK

Counseling by an experienced counselor, psychiatrist may also give miraculous outcomes. To begin with, Christian counseling is a type of worldview persuasion. Christian based marriage counseling is vastly different than many different types, even though most of them share the identical aim.

A third sort of counselor can be equally as dangerous as the initial two. Counselors should have extensive understanding of the Scriptures and the thorough philosophies found inside them. Pastoral counselors offer spiritual along with psychological resources to increase communication among couples. A Christian counselor should cover the issue that’s at the crux of humanity’s dilemma. As you might be the only licensed counselor providing services by your company, you may benefit by hiring additional staff to assist you. There are several Christian counselors around the planet that could aid a person in unraveling the sorrows and problems that he’s undergoing through the use of different counseling ways. Christian counseling for weight loss may be an ideal gateway to freedom from long-lasting weight difficulties.

Do not permit toxic relationships to alter the way that you deal with life. You desire the type of relationship you truly deserve and you ought to keep this in mind in any way times. Most of us are emotional about their relationship with other individuals. If you’re just starting out in a relationship, just know it will take some time. To begin with, your relationship to your wife has become the most important relationship in the house, therefore it should be nurtured in a distinctive way, aside from the noise and pressure of kids. As a physical relationship isn’t allowed before the wedding, babies ought to be born after the wedding has occurred. Many great relationships are constructed from a good foundation of friendship.

If you’re focused solely on avoiding divorce, you may be tempted to take actions that merely make it possible for you to survive, when you need to be searching for techniques to thrive. If you would like to find out how to prevent divorce, you want to understand that it all starts with a willingness to take real action. If you wish to understand how to prevent divorce, you will need to look for the smart counsel of somebody who knows their way around troubled marriages.

Adopt an intelligent strategy to direct your actions and you’re going to be far better positioned to do what it requires to save your marriage. You don’t need to muddle through a lousy marriage indefinitely. You wish to have a fantastic marriage. Without love, you’re not going to have a truly joyful marriage. Christian marriage counseling just may become your marriage last resort once it comes to divorce-proofing your marriage. Lutheran marriage has many facets which might not be found in different marriages. It comes with strict guidelines for what is and is not acceptable in the eyes of the church.

Christian marriage counseling services are offered in individual or by phone. Furthermore consider what other items which you require for your counseling business like an appointment book or scheduling program. Before you start accepting clients, you will need to find out what rates you’re going to charge for services. Clients, like families, couples, and individuals, have the choice to get in-person or internet therapy.

By having a personal coach it’s possible to find the emotional and spiritual support you should get past the overwhelming impulse to overeat and stay inactive. Wise people seek the assistance of marriage counselors when misunderstanding, frustration or several other miseries strike their loved ones. It’s important to see that trouble in a marriage doesn’t need to end in divorce. Otherwise, the long known problems in medical care administration and attention for Veterans in the us would have already been addressed over the previous 16 decades. Today, it’s very difficult to distinguish the difference between the world and the church.

There are not any Christian vows. In addition, it isn’t only schools. Based on your aims, you ought not necessarily rule out an on-line school simply because it’s not accredited by a regional or national body. One of the absolute most important lessons to be learned in marriage is the best way to steer clear of criticisms. Counseling sessions vary from a few meetings to relatively long discussions.

Support groups for mental illnesses will allow you to understand that you’re not alone. Parents provide more care and protection for children when they’re learning how to grow stronger. Children are occasionally placed in a house that’s not right for them. At some point, they will face the complicated task of trying to understand a loss. Try to remember that you’re NOT the person that you have been made out to be. Sometimes a person who’s in a custody dispute may be asked to have an evaluation should they have a history of drug usage. Numerous totally free marriage counseling programs are available on the internet also.

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Simple Tips And Advice For Conquering Depression

Now you have what you need. You would like to feel better mentally and live a happier life. There is no time like the present. You may wonder how to begin. Don’t worry, this article may help you. Keep reading for some tips for treating depression that you can start using today.

Banish your blue moods by cutting sugar out of your diet, including the natural sugars contained in honey, fruits and molasses. Sugars are simple carbohydrates that enter our bloodstream a lot faster than carbohydrates like whole grains. These fast-burning sugars produce a quick jolt of energy, but the crash following after causes fatigue and tends to exacerbate the symptoms of depression.

Get some sun every singe day. It has been proven through studies that a correlation exists between lack of exposure to sunlight and increased depression.

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Sadness and clinical depression are different, but quite the same. One important step is to stay away from depression triggers. When you realize certain things that cause you to feel depressed, make sure you avoid them.

Grow your circle of friends so that you’re not continually pushing all your feelings on just your best friend. You run the risk of that person becoming burnt out listening to you.

Listening to some relaxing music can really help, and playing music is even better. The same holds true for all of the arts, being involved in them, even if you aren’t that good, can be a great way to deal with hard times.

Support your loved ones who suffer from depression. Depressed loved ones need comfort during difficult times. There are resources, both in books and online, that can help you to help your loved one.

If you are ever prescribed antidepressants, take the medication and do so as directed. Never take either less or more medication than you are prescribed, and never stop the medication suddenly without talking to your doctor first, as it may be dangerous. You must be slowly weaned off antidepressants.

If you have depression, it may be helpful to join an online support group. Being anonymous in an online group can help you be more honest and open to others that you may not be able to do with those that you know. You will find many groups online concerning depression.

Don’t neglect food just because you don’t feel like eating. A lot of the time when people are depressed they tend not to eat, usually because their sadness overtakes them. Make sure to eat enough food to keep you healthy, even if you are not hungry.

One effective way to soothe depression is to try to be positive, no matter what happens. If you keep a positive attitude toward your situation, you will be able to work actively and find solutions.

Control your stress. Stress makes depression worse and makes it stick around longer. Examine what is happening in your life, and then determine what it is that is causing you stress. When you have identified your stressors, you will be better able to address them and minimize them, or even conquer them.

Dress well each and every day. If you’re wearing old, dirty clothes it’s easy to be depressed. Looking sad makes you feel said. Try dressing nicely each day. Just take a shower and do your hair. This can help you feel good about the way you look.

If you feel down and in a rut, venture outside for a refreshing change of pace. Don’t give in to your negative mindset because it can lead to a viscous cycle of even more depression. You’ll realize there’s a beautiful world out there if you actually step out in it and experience it.

Beware of phenylalnine, a common amino acid that is not good for depressed people. It contains an allergenic compound. Depressive people are usually allergic to items, and phenol can boost reactions right away. It is important to keep this product out of your daily diet.

Unemployment is a frequent cause of depression. It can be hard to get used to the lack of income after you have been released from your job. Not being able to pay bills adds to that feeling of depression, despite it being temporary.

Consider scheduling an appointment to see a psychological counselor. Therapy and medication is a great combination to treat depression. Research has documented the simultaneous effectiveness of the pair is far greater than either medication or therapy individually. Meditation helps you manage immediate mood downswings. Therapy helps you determine what is causing your depression.

To treat depression, it is a good idea to eat well-balanced meals regularly. Eating a breakfast full of protein and whole grains will speed up your metabolism and keep you feeling fuller longer. One important item to include on your menu is cold water fish. Research has linked Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna, and other cold-water fish to an easing of depression.

Sometimes, it just takes a bite of chocolate to beat depression back. Studies show that eating chocolate releases endorphins into the body, and these are mood-altering chemicals. This may help you to feel better.

Sometimes our actual life is the reason for depression. If your employment or partner in life is the cause, you certainly need to remove yourself from that situation. Don’t be afraid of the consequences if this is the cause. You simply cannot worry about the feelings of others when the situation is causing your life and well-being to spiral out of control. It actually can be that easy. People have to respect your decision.

You likely now feel empowered to tackle your depression. The above tips are meant to help you battle depression and feel better. Remember that help exists should you ever need it.


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Simple Strategies for Bringing Your Personal Goals to Life

Remember when you woke up on New Year’s Day and immediately sprang into action on all those realistic goals you set forth the week before?  Yeah, neither do I!  I recall waking up on New Year’s Day, sipping coffee in my pajamas, scrolling through Netflix, munching on something from Hickory Farms and half-heartedly proclaiming, “I’ll start tomorrow.  Tomorrow is the first REAL day of 2019.”   I had good intentions, but zero direction on that first day of this fresh new season.  Thomas Edison once said, “A vision without execution is hallucination.”  I suppose that means I was borderline psychotic for the first several hours of this year, but lucky for me I quickly found my way into remission!

During my first Sunday church service of the year, our beloved Pastor Craig Groeschel reminded us that “our life is the sum total of all the small decisions that we make.”  This made me realize that most of us approach our resolutions and personal goals in all the WRONG ways!  We’ve been told much of our life to focus on the BIG picture.  “Keep your eye on the goal!”  “Focus on the prize!”  However, with our eyes exclusively on the reward, we overlook the individual steps it takes to get there, and then we wonder why we never made it.  In his book “Atomic Habits,” James Clear says, “You do not rise to the level of your goals.  You fall to the level of your systems.”  So in order to simplify our strategies for bringing our personal goals to life, we must first take a look at our systems.  Let’s identify what we tend to do wrong when approaching our personal goals, then let’s visualize the improved version of ourselves and choose one small new system for getting there.


I believe the problem we often make when approaching our goals is that we focus on BIG, BROAD and BEST.  For example, “I’m going to rise to the top this year!”  Too big – Too broad!  Or perhaps we say, “I’m going to get my life together.”   Your LIFE entails no less than 100,000 different things, so how and where exactly does one begin?  Too broad!  You might even say, “I’m ready to be the BEST version of myself!”  Unfortunately, BETTER must come before BEST, so if you only focus on the best, you might miss all the small, meaningful victories along the way and then give up prematurely.

Voltaire said, “The best is the enemy of the good.”  Smart guy, that Voltaire!  If we set our personal goals around big, broad or best, we don’t know where to begin, we miss small (but important) achievements and we give up too soon!


So if we aren’t supposed to start BIG, BROAD or BEST – then what are we supposed to do?  You guessed it!  We should start small, specific and satisfying.  The Bible says, in Job Chapter 8, “Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous your future will be”.   Small beginnings are the key to realistic outcomes!  Specific beginnings are the arrows on the map.  If I am going to save more money, I need an exact amount per week (or month) to get started.  If I am going to lose weight, I need an exact macro count, calorie count or fitness plan to execute each day.  If I am going to pray more often, I need to identify the exact number of minutes I’m striving for.  Finally, why must it be satisfying?  Because let’s face it, we live in a generation of immediate gratification.  If I need information, Google answers the call in less than one second.  If I want something but don’t have the cash for it, Capitol One Venture Rewards Card!  Amazon delivers things to your doorstep faster than you can press “buy now,” and Uber shows up quicker than I can walk to my driveway and engage the ignition of my own car.  We must choose small steps that are satisfying because if we don’t get some type of gratification fairly quickly, we are more likely to give up.  If I choose “pray 3 minutes each morning after I wake up” as my faith-seeking goal, then it will only take 3 minutes before I feel the satisfaction of completing that goal (and likely, God will reward me with answers!)  Satisfying steps keep us moving!


Identify a specific area of your life that needs work.  If you aren’t sure where to begin, I recommend praying about it and asking God to direct you to the area that needs your attention right now.  He says in Psalms 32:8, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you.”  So ask Him!  And listen for answers!  Another strategy is consulting what ThriveTime Business Coach, Clay Clark calls the “F6 Goals”:  Family, Faith, Fitness, Finances, Friendships and Fun!  These are the primary 6 areas of our life that contribute to whole-hearted living.  Look over these and decide which area you might want to tackle first.  Next, visualize what we EMDR therapists call a “future template.”  Get comfortable in a quiet place, close your eyes, and run a movie in your mind of you operating exactly as you would if your chosen focus area was “on point.”  For example, if I choose faith as the area I’d like to work on:  When I’m running my future template of ‘me living with strong faith,’ I might see myself waking up each morning and reading a few scriptures, spending a few minutes in prayer, attending church on Sunday, and possibly engaging in a small group or Bible study.   After I finish my mind-movie, I should then ask myself: “What is one thing that I saw myself doing in that visualization that I am NOT doing now?”  Choose one that is small, specific and will be satisfying shortly after you do it, commit to that one thing, and begin doing it every single day.  Gretchen Rubin said, “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”  So start your small action, and then restart the next day, and restart again the next day.  THAT will be a small, specific, satisfying thing that leads you to your big, broad, best-self goal.  Before you know it, it will simply be something you DO, and it will be time to identify the next thing to START! You will be proud of each new healthy habit you create, and each will be a building block in the tower of your personal success.  Your tenacity and repetition will pay off.  If you get bored or discouraged on your small-stepping journey, remember these words from Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap harvest if we do not give up.”

Shawn Maguire has been trained in EMDR, NLP, and CBT (to name a few) and uses these techniques with an emphasis on Christian Counseling.

3 Ways to Create a Vision Statement for Relationships with Your Kids

My shoulders had tension that no amount of yoga or deep breathing would cure, the grip on my steering wheel would undoubtedly break any stress ball, and a puddle was quickly forming beneath my sweating palms.  The GPS on my phone repeated, “re-routing” over and over through the speakers of my car.

Yes, I was lost.  Hopelessly, lost.

You see, I’d just moved to a big city.  It was dark.  I was in the middle of traffic on a bridge in an area of the city that did not look safe to stop and ask for directions.  The only hope I had for the drive was that I would eventually be able to get off the bridge and park long enough to look at a map—well, cry and then look at a map.

Have you ever been that lost?

If not, I have news for you: without a vision for your kids, you will eventually end up just as lost.  On my ridiculous drive, I didn’t have a destination or a vision.  I was just aimlessly driving around the city to learn it better.  The GPS on my phone had no way of helping me because it didn’t know where I was going.  Creating a vision statement for relationships with your kids is as important as identifying a destination for your drive.  You can’t expect to get anywhere if you don’t know where you want to go.

So how do you do that exactly?

First, make the vision statement kid-friendly. 

When downloading a map app for my phone, I always choose the English version. Why? Because I only speak English. While there’s a chance that I could look at pictures and decipher where to go in an Arabic version of a map, any specific instructions would be entirely lost because I do not speak that language.

Yet, we expect kids to understand our grown-up jargon—and we punish them when they don’t.

When creating a vision statement for your family regarding relationships, it is essential that it uses kid-friendly language.  For example, your kid-friendly vision statement might be, “God made humans to treat each other like we would want to be treated.” This statement makes sense and is easy to apply.  For younger kids your statement might be, “God made us to be nice.”

A good way to determine whether your vision statement is kid-friendly is whether it can be chanted.  Kids love to be silly and chant with their family.  You can’t chant, “Relationships are an entity God designed to display His glory to the world.” That statement may be a good place you and your spouse to begin brainstorming, but it can’t be the final version for your kids. 

In addition to chanting your kid-friendly vision statement, making a hand motion can be a fun way to help kids really learn the vision you’re casting for your family.  If your vision statement is “God made us to be nice,” you could use two cupped hands moving upward for the hand motion.

Having trouble thinking of a statement, chant, or hand motion? No problem, have your kids help you! The more they are involved, the more likely they are to engage. 

Second, don’t be afraid to initiate hard conversations. 

The birds and the bees is without-a-doubt the conversation I hear parents worry about the most.  Afterall, who wants to talk about sex with their child?

Like the dreaded sex talk, most hard conversations with children involve relationships.  Whether it is explaining why the family dog can’t come back after that tear-filled vet appointment or why a kid on the playground didn’t invite them to a birthday party, each of these conversations is made difficult by the feelings surrounding relationships.  Your child was designed to be in relationship with others and they are going to seek relationship with others, regardless of the instruction they receive from you. 

The best way to help your children have a godly vision for relationships is to initiate the conversation first, before the kids on the playground or the Internet taints their view of relationships.

Kids on the playground might say, “my older brother told me sex is for grown-ups and is a lot of fun.” While both of those statements are true, you might prefer your children know about sex from God’s perspective before knowing that sex is fun.  Let’s explore how having a vision statement for relationships can make equipping your kids with that information easier.

I’ve seen some families come up with a specific vision statement for sex.  For example, “God made sex for grown-ups in marriage.” For younger kids, this can be helpful because it helps answer those questions like, “Where do babies come from?” Instead of responding with a deer-in-the-headlights look, a parent could respond by explaining that God designed babies to come from two married people having sex.  For older kids, parents can use this statement to talk about how sex is purposeful but it is also pleasurable.  Initiating the conversation about sex being pleasurable can help preteens and teenagers feel safer to talk to their parents about sex rather than trying to find out the pleasures of sex on their own.

Other families might be inclined to incorporate the sex vision statement into their original vision statement for relationships.  For example, “God made humans to treat each other like we would want to be treated” can be a good basis for sex also.  This vision statement helps begin conversations about respecting our bodies and other people’s bodies.  Regarding sex, this could include, “God designed sex for marriage.  With sex, we treat each other like we would want to be treated by not having sex with someone until marriage.” This can also be a good opportunity to have conversations to prevent childhood sexual abuse and talk about respecting each other’s bodies.

Finally, live out relationships the way you want your kids to relate to others.

Has your child ever said or done something completely inappropriate that you know they learned from you? You are not alone.  Anyone with kids has experienced the gut-wrenching moment of their child imitating language or behavior not intended to pass on. 

As you chant your vision statement, make sure that you do what the chant says.  The vision statement, “God made us to be nice” means that your kids need to see you being nice to people.  This statement should challenge you as much as it challenges your kids.  Whether it is in heavy traffic, a long line at the grocery store, or to your spouse after a long day, let your children see what you want them to learn.

New Vision Counseling offers a unique Christian approach with proven therapy techniques. Call (405) 921-7776 today.

3 Ways to Be Present: Tis the Season to be Present, Part 2

In the first part of this blog we discussed being present in all the chaos of life. If we wait until everything is calm and peaceful before we can become present, we will either wait a long time (maybe forever) or rarely be present in our lives.

Most importantly, when we are present, we are able to experience the presence of God in powerful ways. We slow down enough to realize God is with us and wants us to look to him.

Imagine having God right by your side to guide you through life, but never taking the time to listen to him or ask him for anything. Crazy, right? But we are all guilty of this because instead of being consumed by God in the present, we are consumed with everything else.

How do we practice being present so we can experience a closer connection with God?

By Ben Thompson


“Be still, and know that I am God…”
          Psalm 46:10a

In the first part of this blog we discussed being present in all the chaos of life. If we wait until everything is calm and peaceful before we can become present, we will either wait a longtime (maybe forever) or rarely be present in our lives.

Most importantly, when we are present, we are able to experience the presence of God in powerful ways. We slow down enough to realize God is with us and wants us to look to him.

Imagine having God right by your side to guide you through life, but never taking the time to listen to him or ask him for anything. Crazy, right? But we are all guilty of this because instead of being consumed by God in the present, we are consumed with everything else.

How do we practice being present so we can experience a closer connection with God?

Here are three simple things you can start doing today:

  1. Breathe! Breathing is the quickest and easiest way to reorient our bodies and minds to the present moment. I recommend taking slightly deeper breaths than normal and simply focus on the in and out of your breath. As you are more connected to your breathing and to the moment, you can then feel the presence of God more fully.
  2. Be quiet and listen. This is especially important in times you are having a heated conversation with someone or find yourself mentally obsessing over something. Simply tell yourself to slow down and pay attention to what is going on around you and inside you. Your body, for example, may be trying to tell you, “Hey there, I’m getting pretty hot and frustrated here. I need a break!” Then, you can take the little break that your heart, body, and probably everyone around you knows you need to take. As you quiet down, this will allow you to listen better to God in whatever ways he is speaking to you.
  3. Surrender. Don’t confuse this with giving up or giving in to your feelings. Surrender means accepting that your thoughts and feelings are currently too hard to let go of and you must give them over to God before they take you over (see Psalm 55:22). The next time you find yourself frustrated and getting angry tell yourself, “Surrender to this. You are upset and feeling out of control. God I am giving you control,” and allow yourself to experience God taking care of you and your emotions.

Being present takes practice. At New Vision we are here to help you become more present in your life and more connected to God. If we can help in any way, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We have great therapists who want you to experience a more present and connected life with God, yourself, and others.

Tis the Season to be Present, Part 1

“Be present” is something we’re hearing more and more these days, which is great advice, but who has the time? Sure, I’ll be present when the kids are quiet, it’s peaceful, and the last present is bought. If you are like me, that leaves little time to be present unless you are willing to get up at 2:30 in the morning.

Fortunately, God did not wait for everything to be calm before he sent his son, Jesus, to be present with us on earth. God did not wait for conditions to be perfect. As you read in the Bible, Jesus presence on earth started in the midst of scandal, serious danger, Roman rule, and potential death from King Herod that we read about in Matthew 2.

By Ben Thompson

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Matthew 1:23

“Be present”is something we’re hearing more and more these days, which is great advice, but who has the time? Sure, I’ll be present when the kids are quiet, it’s peaceful,and the last present is bought. If you are like me, that leaves little time to be present unless you are willing to get up at 2:30 in the morning.

Fortunately, God did not wait for everything to be calm before he sent his son, Jesus, to be present with us on earth. God did not wait for conditions to be perfect. As you read in the Bible, Jesus presence on earth started in the midst of scandal,serious danger, Roman rule, and potential death from King Herod that we read about in Matthew 2.

God showed us that peace was not a prerequisite to being present.

How peaceful and present are you feeling this holiday season? We find ourselves worried about getting the right presents, frustrated with our overspending, and getting angry with our loved ones. We are more concerned with buying presents than we are about being present. Ironically, we are in a season of year focused on the presence of God on earth, and it is one of the hardest times to be present.

Being present means being in this moment, peaceful or not.

It means taking a breath right now and calming down. It means stopping in the middle of a fight with your spouse or your kids, taking a breath, and asking yourself, “What’s most important to me right now?” When you slow down and pay attention to your body, mind, and soul, you are present.Then, you can make better decisions for yourself and those around you.

There is no better time than to be present than right now. Jesus presence on earth brought peace to a chaotic world. Likewise, our presence can bring peace on earth,peace to our families, and peace to ourselves in spite of all that is going on around us.

 In the next part of this blog series, I’ll teach you more ways you can become present in your everyday life.