Homeschooling What Now? A Therapist’s Perspective

Oklahoman’s are having to quickly adjust their schedules and routines as their students go back to school, but this time via Homeschooling.

boys at kitchen table homeschooling

Homeschooling what now? A Therapist’s Perspective

As most families are struggling to balance what appears to be our new normal life for at least the foreseeable future, a new challenge begins next week when most Oklahoma School-aged children are heading back to school.  Only this time, when they go back to school they will not be returning to the physical classroom, but beginning a new challenge of learning at home.  With this comes a new set of challenges and opportunities for parents, students, and yes especially teachers.

I know most schools have begun contacting parents to ensure the students have the necessary technological resources to actively participate in distance learning/ homeschooling.  Some schools and kids will be able to complete required coursework via online learning, others will have to complete printed material.  This is a huge challenge for all involved.  I would like to remind you as a parent you are not alone in the struggle, teachers and students alike are feeling it too.

Many of you may be asking yourself the following questions in regards to homeschooling:

  • How do I juggle home responsibilities and teaching?

    If you have concerns about how you will juggle your responsibilities, I suggest coming up with a schedule.  I have found that when I become more anxious and am worrying about all the things that need to get done I easily get overwhelmed.  I have also found that having a schedule with tasks and responsibilities written down, allows space in my head to not have to worry about such things.
  • I’m worried I’m not smart enough to help my child with school.  

    If you are worried about your intelligence and ability to help your child with school, you are not alone.  Most people who are beginning something new have doubts about their abilities.  Think about that promotion or your first professional job out of school.  I know I was very nervous and had to consistently fight that little voice inside my head we call self-doubt.
  • What if I screw up as a parent trying to teach my kids.  I’ve never gone to school and worry I don’t know what to do. 

    I understand the feelings of fear associated with messing up as a parent.  At this time those feelings may be increased due to the added responsibilities.  However, I believe we (as parents) will have more support than most teachers starting out.  We will have the internet and Facebook to ask for help and ideas, as well as, most of the teachers will be more than willing to give us advice and guidance in helping our kids.
  • As a parent what can I do to provide the greatest opportunity for success for my student? 

    The greatest thing we as parents can do to provide the best opportunity for our students to be successful is to be present with them.  As parents, we will need to at times have more patience with them, as well as added structure.  The more we can control ourselves and our emotions the easier it will be for our students/ kids.  When I have an upset kid, one of the things I do to help them is a breathing exercise.  I start what I call a broken record routine, and repeat this over and over again until the child starts to calm down.  The routine goes like this:  “I’m going to smell the flowers (I breathe in through my nose), I’m going to blow out the candles (blow out through my mouth), I’m going to continue this until I calm down.”  One of the most interesting things I have experienced from this exercise meant to help calm my kid down is that it helps me not lose my cool as well.  Our kids will need us to be calm, stable, and available to them.
  • I’m stressed already worrying about how to keep my family safe and now I’m having to figure out how to help them with school… 

    If you are stressed already then now is the best time for you to take advantage of some stress-reducing activities.  There are numerous apps for both android and ios that help with breathing exercises, self-meditation, and relaxation exercises.  I have also found that there are times when just taking a break and having a dance party with kids helps reduce my anxiety

Some resources that are available right now to help with learning

The Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA) has also begun to assist with homeschool efforts by changing their daytime programming.  Beginning March 30th, 2020 OETA will be broadcasting educational programming to help in conjunction with what the schools are doing.  Here is a link to the schedule that breaks down the programming based on grade level.  On their website, OETA reports that these changes will last until the end of the school year.  For more information on OETA’s programming changes click here.

 

ABC Mouse is offering free access during the school closures at ABCmouse.com.  You can use the code “AOFLUNICEF” for the Early Learning Academy (which is preschool to 2nd grade) and Reading IQ (for preschool through 6th grade).  The Adventure Academy (for grades 3rd through 8th) uses a different code “SCHOOL7771”.

Takeaways

This pandemic shall pass.  In time we will all get back to whatever we considered a “normal” life.  Each of us has a unique opportunity of the likes most have never seen.  We have the opportunity to take this moment in time, slow down, and actually feed ourselves and our children emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Human connection is vital for us we crave it, desire it, and thrive from it.  What better way to connect with our kids than during this time when we are homeschooling them.

If you find other resources for parents, teachers, or students please post them in the comments below so we can help get the word out on all the resources available.  Helping each other during this time is what makes us as Oklahoman’s so great!!!

At New Vision Counseling we help individuals, couples, and families 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.

Daniel Edwards Licensed Marital and Family Therapist

Written by Daniel K. Edwards, II., MS, LMFT

Daniel K. Edwards, II. is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist that specializes in Helping Couples find their way to the Relationship they want.

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.

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 emdria.org. If you would like to see the extensive research and studies on EMDR to their Resources link at https://www.emdria.org/page/emdrarticles.

Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Christian?

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!

References

American Psychological Association. (n.d.).  What is cognitive behavioral therapy?  Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/cognitive-behavioral

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 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1755738012471029

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.

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.

Finding the Blessing Behind Every Curse

Have you ever been stuck inside on a rainy day feeling sorry for yourself and like the world is out to get you? Of course you have! You work hard during the week and you want nothing more than a beautiful, sunny day to enjoy with your friends and family.

It’s human nature to be bummed out about plans that went awry or for catching a cold when it’s most inconvenient. But if we allow our circumstances to make us happy then we are tying our happiness to something way too inconsistent.

We have to instead tie our happiness to God because He is always consistent. The Bible assures us He never changes! Not yesterday, today, or tomorrow! So practically speaking, how exactly do we do that?

Look for the Blessing Behind Every Curse

Sure it’s raining outside when you’d rather it be sunny. But you know what? That means you get to spend valuable time indoors with your family. It means your lawn will be all the greener. It even gives you a chance to slow down and curl up with a good book you’ve been meaning to read.

Rather than cursing the rain, we can thank God for the blessings He has tucked away for us in every circumstance.

Shift Your mindset from Disappointment to Gratitude

One of the best practices you can do to shift your mindset from disappointment to gratitude is to make a gratitude journal. Each morning when you wake up, challenge yourself to  write down 10 things you are grateful for.

Eventually this mindset will become a habit and you will be able to see the world through gracious eyes.

Distance Yourself from Negative People

Some people are bent on being negative and bummed no matter what. You need to remember you cannot control their mindset, but you can control yours.

Being around negativity will breed more negativity, but by surrounding yourself with joyful, gracious people, you can’t help but let a little positivity rub off on you!

So to help you get to a place of gratitude and joy today, let’s take some time to apply these steps. I promise you won’t regret it! Here are three questions to help you gauge your mindset:

  1. What are you disappointed by today?
  2. What hidden blessings has God tucked away in these disappointments that you could focus on today?
  3. Are there any negative or toxic people in your life that you need to create distance from?



Blessed to Be a Blessing

This month at New Vision, we are talking about all things gratitude!

We love that the holiday season offers a chance to slow down and take a look at the gifts God has blessed us with over the years. God loves His children and it gives Him great joy, just as it would give any father, to bless his kids.

And while we believe that God loves to bless His children, if we stop there and think that His blessings are intended for us and us alone, we actually miss one of the greatest blessings of all!

The Bible is full of examples of how God blesses His people and then commands them to use those blessings to be a blessing to others who do not yet know Him. It’s one of the sweetest forms of evangelism! By sharing the blessings God has provided us and our families, we are pointing others to see that there is a good and loving Father who will love, care for, and provide for those who choose to follow Him.

So rather than simply focusing on the blessings God has given us this holiday season, how can we take inventory and intentionally share these blessings with those who do not know God yet?

Say for example you received a gift card to your favorite restaurant recently. Rather than using it for yourself, maybe there is someone who you feel the Lord is tugging your heart to get to know and show love and grace to. Then share that blessing by taking this person to lunch. This kind gesture could go a long way in building a relationship which God could use to alter this person’s story.

What could be a better blessing than knowing that you could play a part in the salvation story of a friend, neighbor, or coworker? And what a great way to show God gratitude for all that He has blessed you with!

Let’s try an exercise together and commit to taking intentional steps in sharing our blessings this holiday season!

Blessings Exercise:

  1. Take a sheet of paper and fold it down the middle from top to bottom.
  2. Consider what gifts God given you in this season. Write those gifts in the left-column of the paper.
  3. Consider how each of these gifts could bless someone else who does not know the Lord. List these in the right-hand column next to each gift.
  4. Look at the list and see if any specific faces or names come to mind that you could bless. Jot down those names next to each blessing in parentheses.
  5. Now it’s time to take action! Place a star next to a blessing you can share this week. Then write it on your weekly calendar.

For more resources and to stay connected to the New Vision Counseling team, be sure to include your email in the subscription box below!



The Fear of Setting Boundaries

Do you find it difficult to say the word, “no?” I’ve met very few in my life, especially in ministry, who admit the word “no” slips seamlessly off of their lips. There’s something about the word “no” that just feels wrong or selfish. In many cases, it feels like the word “no” communicates weakness. While very few of us think someone is weak when they tell us “no,” (often it’s the opposite) we all have this rooted fear that by saying “no” we will appear not organized enough, not dedicated enough, or not strong enough. How do we fight this fear and start to view boundaries as an act of strength and health for ourselves and our relationships?

Write a List of Your Current Responsibilities

If you sat down to list all of the tasks and people you are currently responsible for, chances are you might be a bit surprised by how many things are currently on your plate. If you’ve been feeling tired or worn thin lately and your list appears long, well guess what! You’ve found the culprit! It’s tempting to pack our days with so many responsibilities that we are spread too thin to do any of them well. Before we can create boundaries and remove items off of our plates, it’s important we take inventory first to become fully aware of the mental and physical loads we are carrying.

Pray and Consider what God has Called you To in This Season of Life

It’s simple math–there is only one you, and only so many hours in the day–so the longer the to-do list, the less energy, attention, and time you can dedicate to each task. The problem is, some responsibilities can afford less attention and time, while others, such as your family or your relationship with God, can’t afford to be neglected.

You may be familiar  with the rubber or glass ball analogy. Consider each responsibility or task in your day as either a rubber or a glass ball. If the rubber ball gets dropped (work, laundry, golfing with your friends, etc) it will rebound and bounce back safely in your hands. The glass ball, however, cannot afford to be dropped (God, family, finances, etc) because it will inevitably shatter.

Looking at the list of responsibilities you just made, consider which responsibilities are rubber balls which can be placed on the back-burner if necessary, and which ones are glass and should be made top priority.

Set Priorities and Cut-Out Any Areas You Can’t Afford to Uphold Right Now

Now that you know which responsibilities you cannot afford to neglect, it’s time to protect those items and take proactive steps to ensure you are able to do those tasks well. This doesn’t mean that you create a list of good things to say yes to and a list of bad things to say no to. Serving in the church is a very good thing! But if saying yes to every single request for your time and service by the church starts to eat away at the foundation of your marriage, then it’s vital that you say, “no.”

Don’t Apologize for Saying No and Holding those Priorities Firmly

Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you need to apologize for taking charge of the tasks God has called you to oversee. So what  if your boss has a hard time understanding why you can’t work late every night when you have a family to go home to. At the end of your life, you won’t have to stand before your boss and give an account of how well you treated your wife, how much time you spent with your kids, or how well you led the family you’ve been entrusted with. You will have to give an account to God, though, so don’t feel the need to be apologetic to the call God placed on your life. Once you realize that saying “no” is an act of obedience to God, it becomes easier to see it as an act of courage and strength, rather than of fear or weakness.

 

Learning to say, “no,” and holding firm to healthy boundaries is not an easy thing to learn. It takes practice, effort, and a whole lot of prayer. As you begin to evaluate your own list of responsibilities, ask God to give you clarity. I promise He will! And feel free to use the following questions as a starting point:

  1. What has God called you to in this season?
  2. What is keeping you from investing fully into those responsibilities?
  3. What do you need to say “no” to this week?

5 Keys to Help Children Face Their Fears

We’ve already discussed in this series how as Christians, we are called to face our fears and take steps towards overcoming them through faith and perseverance. We’ve also shared how this is not an easy command which is why God provides over 365 daily reminders to “Be strong and courageous.” The fact is that facing our fears takes practice, and what better way to equip our children and our families to be bold and courageous warriors of God than to begin training them young. Of course, it takes a great deal of discernment to decide when a child is ready to take the first step towards overcoming a fear, and the method should always be age appropriate. However, no matter what ages your children are, here are five simple steps you can take today to create a culture of courage in your home:

  1. Pray

You may not always be around when fear creeps into your child’s heart–but God will! By teaching your children to pray when they are afraid, you are teaching them that ultimately God is the only one who can protect and shape their hearts into hearts of courage, and that He will always be there for  them, even when you are not.

2) Model

If we avoid facing our own fears, how can we expect our children to willingly face theirs? By acting as though nothing scares us, we are setting the wrong example. Model what it means to face your fears. Be transparent about what you are afraid of with them (age appropriately). Allow them to help you work through a fear of your own and don’t be afraid to let them see you struggle at times. This will reassure them that even their role models struggle with fear from time to time.

3) Look Deeper

Many fears are shallow, but some are much more complicated than face-value. Yes, your son may be afraid of the dark, but maybe the dark represents a deeper fear–fear of the unknown. Maybe your daughter is afraid of sitting in a room alone, but what if deep down she is afraid of being abandoned or left behind? You can’t heal what you can’t see so try to look beneath the surface ask questions identify the root of your child’s fear.

4) Push

As parents, our first instinct may be to protect and nurture our children from what scares them. However, without the ability to face their fears, they will struggle as they grow to be more independent. Hold their hands but fight the instinct to carry them through their fears or they won’t learn to walk through fear themselves. This may be the most difficult step!

5) Give Grace

This process will take time. Sometimes, if the fear is encroaching on your own life (ie. you have a child terrified to sleep in his own room so he still shares your pillow) it is easy to lose heart and patience. In moments of frustration, remember that God how patient God has been towards you as you faced fears of your own, and whenever necessary, pray for more grace towards your child.

 

We hope these five steps will help you nurture your children to be courageous and brave warriors of God! We want to hear from you, what steps have you taken to help your children face their fears? Share your tips in the comments below!

And if you want to receive more tips and messages like this straight to your inbox, submit your email below to be added to our mailing list. We will only send resources we believe will bless you, so take advantage of what New Vision has to offer today!



What the Bible Says About Fear

Did you know that “fear” is one of the most common themes discussed in the Bible? Believe it or not, God has a lot to say about how His people should be careful not to live in fear or give it control over their lives. Is fear a natural part of our human nature? Absolutely. Does that mean we should give it free reign over our lives? Absolutely not.

Did you know that “fear” is one of the most common themes discussed in the Bible? Believe it or not, God has a lot to say about how His people should be careful not to live in fear or give it control over their lives. Is fear a natural part of our human nature? Absolutely. Does that mean we should give it free reign over our lives? Absolutely not.

Of course that’s much easier said than done.

The Bible shares some variation of “fear not” over 365 times! That’s right–a reminder for each and every day of the year. God in His grace knew before we were even designed what would keep us lying awake at night. He knew what circumstances would make our palms sweat and our knees wobbly. When God tells His people to “fear not,” He isn’t condemning them or shaming them for being afraid. God is always kind not to minimize our problems or our fears. The things we fear can be very real and very big to us, but the kicker is this…

God is bigger.

Remember David and Goliath? David didn’t step up to battle because he thought he had any stamina, experience, or height over Goliath–he stepped boldly up to a giant because the God He serves, who loyally protects him, is so much bigger!

Many times when we are afraid of something, it’s because we feel outmatched or out of control. Something we all need to learn is how to be okay with taking the reins out of our hands and placing them into the willing and able hands of God. Take some time to reflect today by asking yourself these simple questions:

  1. What are you afraid of giving to God that is holding you in a life of fear?
  2. How has God been faithful to you when you gave Him your fears in the past?
  3. What Bible verse do you need to memorize for when fear starts to creep in?

If you would like to learn more about our services and see how New Vision can serve you or your family, contact us today. If you have a loved one who is struggling with fear or anxiety, share this message with them so they can feel empowered to regain control in a healthy way.



Is it Nostalgia or Fear of Change?

Ah, the good old days…when life was easier, we were younger, and the world was as it should be.

If you’re like most people, chances are you’ve surrounded yourself with items that bring back memories of a special time in your life. Maybe you’ve stayed in touch with friends and laugh over old photos on social media. Perhaps you kept certain items from those years, even if they are now outdated. You may even find yourself doing things a certain way simply because that’s how you’ve always done them.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling nostalgic of the past. In some seasons, it can even be healthy to look back and remember the ways God blessed you. But sometimes, what we may mistake as nostalgia is actually a deeply-rooted fear of change.

It is only natural to fear the unknown. We are creatures of habit and cling to what’s familiar. But if our eyes are constantly locked on the past and the way things used to be, we miss valuable opportunities to make new memories here in the present. Even worse, though, we take our eyes off of God and the incredible blessings He has in store for our future.

I had a client several years ago who shared the negative impact nostalgia had on her family. When she was in high school, her grandfather unexpectedly passed away. While she and her family grieved over this loss and painfully accepted the new way of life, her father became so fixated on the memories of his childhood with his dad, that for the next five years, her family wondered if any of the new memories they created were valuable to him at all. Her father was so fearful of what it would mean to live in a life without his dad, that he unintentionally forced his children to live without theirs.

In Jeremiah 29:11 God makes a promise. He says, “I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” You can’t afford to miss out on the amazing plans that are about to unfold, even if those plans come after a season of difficult and painful change. Remember, when God calls you to something, He will get you through it as well. So when you find yourself reminiscing, make sure you aren’t grasping for the past, but instead remembering God’s faithfulness so you can face this new season without fear.

Some questions to consider as you enter your weekend:

  1. What memories are holding you so tightly in the past that you’re distracted from the present?
  2. In what ways was God faithful to you in those seasons of blessing?
  3. Do you believe God wants to bless you in this new season He is calling you to as well?