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Together For Good

What evil intends can be changed toward good. We can be victims or we can be victorious. We can be stuck or we can overcome. We can raise fists or we can have open arms. We can hate or we can love. "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Genesis 50:20 Recently, two Los Angeles Deputies were shot in a failed assassination attempt on their lives. The video of the shooter walking up to their patrol car and shooting them both in the face then running away was cowardly. How the female deputy pulled her partner to safety was heroic. She cared for her partner while her own blood poured onto her shirt. She continued to

Self-Discipline

Well known actor and producer Will Smith also speaks as a motivational speaker. In this short video he talks about the need for self-discipline if you want to be happy. He speaks about how self-discipline, not blaming others, is how you increase your self-esteem. To have self-discipline means to have self-love and this is where self-esteem comes from. He says that self-esteem is not increased by gaining favor with others but in how you gain favor with yourself. Michael Jackson had a song called, "The man in the mirror," and it's the person who is looking back at you in the mirror who you must control. Self-discipline is the foundation for a happy life. Change will only happen when you contr

Horses Don't Lie

September is National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. Every year this month goes by with very little mention by the media and most individuals are not even aware. It's one of those areas in life that is difficult to deal with and so we don't. If you are considering taking your life, or a family member or friend who knows someone who is contemplating suicide, please reach out to someone. Even if it's a stranger at a hotline, they can give you another perspective to your overwhelming feelings, grief, or sadness. National Suicide prevention Hotline 800-273-8255 There are challenges in life. Everyone is overwhelmed with unanswered questions. Someone you know may be thinking about suicid

Cognitive Dissonance

Many people are coming in for therapy to help them overcome the feelings of Anxiety and Depression based on their unbalanced cognitions associated with what is happening across America and the world. They are having conflicting thoughts that resist the challenges of their beliefs, their families, and their livelihoods. Fear of the unknown is even causing an increase in suicides even while the push for medication management for Anxiety and Depression is on the increase. A psychological journal called simplypsychology.org defines Cognitive Dissonance as: "Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This produces a feeling of mental discomfo

Patient Partners

Relationships are complex and can be very difficult at times. Normal issues of the past that used to cause arguments are no longer the heated topics of today. In the past couples would get upset over who left the toothpaste on the sink, didn't put their dishes in the dishwasher, or who left their dirty clothes on the floor instead of the hamper. Today, couples face challenges never before experienced. More and more couples are of mixed races with varied cultural backgrounds. They have biracial children and prior to 2020 they were getting along very well. Enter the race issues of today and suddenly once happy couples are being pushed to make decisions based on the prejudices of others that te

I Remember

I remember 9-11-2001. That is the day Twin Towers were attacked by terrorist hell-bent on destroying our way of life, economy, and our country. For the past 19 years we have remembered the nearly 3,000 lives that were lost when those buildings fell and honored the 498 First Responders who died trying to save them. I looked this morning for where celebrations would take place in remembrance of 9-11 and found very few. The headlines are all about riots, forest fires, and politics. Has everyone forgotten 9-11-2001? I remember 9-11-2001. I was working at a correctional facility in Los Angeles named Twin Towers. I remember seeing the attack on a Television in the hospital wing and the feeling of

Change Now

Addiction sucks. When someone, something, or a place controls and limits your choices, it can feel like a prison. The sad thing is we unknowingly create those prisons for ourselves and only too late realize the cell door is closed and we are trapped inside. How do we create our own living hell? Well sometimes we didn't create it at all. We inherited the hell created by others. As children we learn how to cope by watching our parents. Dad reaches for a beer when he comes home from work "to relax and unwind." Our mom takes a pill to help her sleep at night. Our brother lights up a joint, and our sister crams double-doubles into her mouth. We hate our lives so we use the skills we've learned fr

Distance Learning

No mask-No Service. Keep 6' apart. No gathering or congregating. Social distance. Work from home. Learn from home. Just stinkin' stay home! Ugh! I'm so tired of wearing a mask. No one sees me smile (even when I try to smile with my eyes). I can't hear what's being said to me because of the muffled words behind the cloth. I tried to laugh it off, to wear my mask dangling like an earring on one ear, and even wearing a turtleneck mask ready to pull up over my face in a moment's notice. I'm tired to not being able to get a meal indoors (even when it's 115 degrees outside), and I'm exhausted by the nasty looks when I exercise by walking the streets early in the morning without a mask. Many of us

Hang Loyalty

We have become a society of consumers. Everything comes down to how much you paid for it , who else purchased it, created it, or sold it. We care more about labels, titles, and awards than we care about the people behind those achievements. Image is everything, and has nothing to do with reality. Even "reality" shows are staged, prepped, and chaotic by design. Or else who would want to watch someone eating popcorn on their couch 5 nights a week? Now, that's real! The same is true when it comes to dating. We "shop" for someone who looks good on the rack (I mean APP). Then we pull them down and try them on. If they "fit" we keep them around, wear them ragged, and then when we're done with them

That's Courage

Are you an addict? Do you know someone who is? Are you related to that addict, friends with them, or in love with them? Are you giving them money, emotional support, a place to crash when they fall off the wagon? Are you enabling their behavior by giving them a soft place to land? Then you are part of the problem, not the solution. The enabling codependent When you are focused on the negative behaviors of another, you are not looking at what you are doing to contribute to their behaviors. You think you are giving them love. You think you are helping. When they don't respond the way you want, you think you are a victim. When you blame them, hurt them, even cause them harm, you are doing exact

Labor of Love

There is honor in working with your hands, your mind, and in being dedicated to service. There is nothing as enjoyable in life as developing a gift or talent and offering to teach others so they may develop their own gifts. Teachers give of themselves to our children and mentors share their knowledge to those who would seek wisdom. There are many versus in the Bible that talk about labor and how it is good for your finances, for your emotional well being, and Ephesians 4:28 talks about laboring in order to give to others because you cannot give what you don't first possess; "Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that th

Undefeated

Growing up in a home dominated by sports, I learned that in order to be successful I must become competitive. Later in life, I realized that in order to successful in business, I also must be competitive. As a therapist, competition exists in the form of not competing against others, but competing against oneself. This often requires you to do more work because your own unrealistic expectations may leave you feeling defeated. I love the term, "Undefeated." It implies that others have not taken away from you the position of first place. You are "ahead of the pack" and "top dog in your field." You are considered the BEST and the most accomplished. You are the one others desire to "take down a

Seasons of Change

This photo is of a Vinyard following a winter dusting of snow. Have you ever looked at how vineyards are cared for? There is a lot we can learn from this plant, and it's often the source of wisdom in stories from the Bible. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 talks about all the seasons of change, to build up and to tear down, to plant and to sew, to live and to die. and Exodus 23:11 talks about letting things "rest" (go fallow) in order to be renewed for a better crop the following year: "But the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard."

Connected Perspectives

Changed perspectives can alter how we see our future, our relationships, and ourselves. It can cause us to stay stuck in victim-mentality, or can cause us to grow into our better selves. I remember being a teen-ager and hearing my mother scream for help. She ran through the house calling for me to come next door where our neighbor had fallen in her shower and couldn't get out. Our neighbor was a woman in her 60's undergoing chemotherapy for terminal breast cancer. I ran next door and into the bathroom where I saw a naked woman, breasts gone, hair gone, white and shriveled, and I stopped in my tracks as disbelief and shock swept over me. Her scream, "Don't look at me!" brought me back to the

Team Sports

When I was in High School, team sports were encouraged as a means of building character through competitiveness. We were taught to be leaders in our field, and it built strength of body as well as mental strength and determination. I had the honor of playing on the 1977 Powder Puff all girl football game. This was a long held tradition at my school and for one game a year it took place between the Senior Class and the Junior class. I played as a receiver and in our Senior year, I caught the winning pass and ran for a touchdown. The photo that captured my outreached grasp of the ball as I floated above the field is one of my favorite snapshots in my year book. A friend of mine sent me this ph

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