What is Co-Dependency?

Co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive. Co-dependent behavior is learned by watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior. It sets its roots in dysfunctional relationships that do not have personal, emotional, relational or physical boundaries.

Co-dependent people often have an/a:

  • Exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions and reactions of others
  • Unhealthy dependence on relationships creating fear of abandonment or rejection
  • Tendency to do more than their share……..all the time
  • Extreme need for approval and recognition from others
  • Compelling need to control others
  • Chronic anger
  • Difficulty identifying feelings, lack of trust in both self and others
  • Difficulty adjusting to change
  • Lying or dishonesty
  • Problems with intimacy/boundaries
  • Poor communication
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Confuse love and pity and feel the need to help or rescue others.

If you would like more information or discuss your needs confidentially, please feel free to book an appointment.  If however, you would like to learn more information about co-dependency on your own, you may purchase a DVD under our Outreach section under Courageous Living.  Learning new ways of behavior can help you live a more balanced and healthy life thereby, improving your overall attitude and relationships.

What is Self-Harm?

It is important to recognize that self-harm does not discriminate against gender, race, culture, and economic background. Adults, Teens, Children, both Male and Female struggle with this issue in our culture today. It is a behavior that over time becomes habitual, chronic and even repetitive in an effort to cope with an overwhelming and distressing feeling or situation.

An epidemic of self-injury is occurring among pre-teens and adolescents ages 12 to 19. Over 10% of teenagers are thought to have at least experimented with self-injury/harm/mutilation.

Children, teens and young adults engaging in self-harm behaviors, such as cutting, scratching and burning in order to manage strong and intense emotions, can regain a sense of control and find new peace of mind through exploring their motives and adopting new coping skills.  Self-harm behaviors are habit forming, physically destructive, and can lead to suicidal thoughts or behaviors.  The path to recovery is in developing strong, caring relationships, avoiding secrets, seeking counsel, and learning new ways of calming oneself.

Most commonly, self-harming behavior is a coping mechanism to deal with emotional pain, stress, or trauma.

Being observant can often uncover early signs of self-injury:

  • An abnormal number of cuts/burns on the wrists, arms, legs, hips or stomach (this is not an exhaustive description however, marks can be present on any part of the body)
  • Wearing of long sleeves and pants even in warm weather
  • Frequent ‘accidents’ that cause physical injury
  • Evidence that your teenager’s friends are self-harming
  • Finding razors, knives. matches in strange locations
  • Abnormal or excessive amounts of time in their bedroom or bathroom, or alone in general

Please call or book an appointment to discuss your confidential needs.  Or, if you prefer to learn about this prior to making an appointment, there is a DVD called “Why Kids Cut: Exploring the Motive and Goals of Self-Harm” found under our Outreach tab under Courageous Living.

Experiencing a Crisis or Trauma?

Crisis counseling generally takes place over the course of several weeks. Crisis intervention is focused on minimizing the stress of the event, providing emotional support and improving the individual’s coping strategies in the immediate circumstance.

A crisis typically refers not to a traumatic event or experience, but to how an individual responds to the situation.

Events that trigger a crisis can run the gamut of life experience from developmental hurdles to natural disasters or the death of a loved one.

  • Events may include, but are not limited to:
  • Going through puberty and adolescence
  • Adjustment to marriage or divorce
  • Blended family
  • Birth of a child
  • Adjustment in school or work with related peer struggles or bullying

Trauma, on the other hand, is generally categorized as either a single-incident or event or a repeated circumstance or event creating long-term trauma.

One-time traumas include such things as car accidents, hurricanes, plane crashes, rape, robbery, or the death of a loved one that is family, friend, or even a co-worker. These types of traumas can result from natural causes or can be deliberately inflicted by another person.

A long term trauma is the result of a prolonged, horrific experience, such as an individual who is repeatedly abused, or has experienced violence such as combat. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a frequent result of long-term trauma.

Signs of Trauma:

  • Emotional, cognitive, and physical disruptions in normal, routine behavior
  • Anxiety, depression, are fearful, and withdrawn.
  • Recurring panic attacks
  • Experience concentration problems, have problems remembering things, and/or feel distracted much of the time.
  • In extreme cases, people experience flashbacks of the event, nightmares, amnesia, and intense feelings of guilt.
  • Physically, many people have eating and sleeping problems.
  • They are regularly exhausted and often, they develop unexplained chronic pain.

If you, or a loved one, is or has experienced any signs of crisis or trauma, please feel free to book a confidential appointment and we will be happy to speak with you.

What are boundaries, and are they biblical?

Healthy boundaries = Healthy relationships: Having unhealthy or poorly defined boundaries in relationships creates dysfunction and even chaos in families, friendships, and work or school relationships. By establishing clear, personal boundaries, we define ourselves in relation to others. In order to do this, it is necessary to identify and respect our own needs, feelings, opinions, and rights. If defines the personal property line, if you will, on who is allowed in our personal lives and who is not. Healthy boundaries define expectations and show respect for self and others.

Biblically speaking, boundaries are relative to self-control. If left unchecked, our human nature and desires will attempt to control others and (Titus 2:12). Boundaries can be used in both healthy and unhealthy ways. In order to determine which boundaries are proper, ask yourself, “what is your motive in doing what you are doing/”. Proper boundaries aid individuals in taking responsibility for their actions and reactions, thereby establishing proper balance and healthy boundaries.

Boundaries can be physical as they define who can touch us, and who cannot. They also define how physically close other individuals are allowed to approach us, or not.

Boundaries are emotional as they define where our feelings end and another individual’s begin. Do we take responsibility for our own feelings, or do we take on the responsibility of another individual’s feelings and neglect our own? Can we say no when we need to. Can we ask for what we need or do we compulsively attempt to meet the needs of others. The answers to these questions define personal property lines and how we interact with others, and how we allow them to interact with us.

Boundaries can be too rigid and can create unnecessary tension when misunderstood.  Those whose boundaries are too rigid have the tendency to shut others out of their lives.  They can often appear distant, and do not like to talk about their feelings or show any emotion.  They do not like to ask for help and most often do not allow anyone to get too close, physically or emotionally.  Individuals with rigid boundaries rarely let anyone into their personal lives.

Boundaries can be too loose and can have misinterpreted meanings.  Individuals with loose boundaries often put their hands on strangers or let others touch them inappropriately.  They can be sexually promiscuous and often confuse sex and love.  They can be driven by the need for sexual relationships and get too close too fast.  In most circumstances these individuals take on the feelings of others and can become emotionally overwhelmed and burdened.  They often need constant reassurance, expect others to read their minds and think that they can read the minds of others.  Yes means no, and no means yes, which creates further confusion in boundaries.  Often, these individuals lead chaotic lives, full of drama and have trouble with keeping secure and trusting relationships.

Examples of the necessity of boundaries:

Marriage: Marital boundaries keep sex and intimacy within the relationship while respecting one another and the sanctity of the relationship. Violating these boundaries will quickly destroy trust and consequences will begin to evolve in the relationship.

Parenting: Children need limits and boundaries for protection (Proverbs 22:6). Boundaries allow children to develop an identity of their own, separate from their parent or caregivers within the safety of their family. Without developing this identity as a separate being, individuals can vanish, or become enmeshed into other people’s lives fail to establish any differences, identity or boundaries of their own.

Boundaries teach us to regard one another as valuable. God uses boundaries to allow us to recognize differences in people, how to appreciate the differences and how to avoid the differences that have the potential in creating trouble for us. In short, boundaries limit destructive behaviors, and that is why both God and society have laws and consequences for those who choose to ignore boundaries (Romans 13:1-4).





Counseling vs Coaching

We’ve had questions in the past that have suggested that there are more than a few people who are seeking counseling, but aren’t sure on what steps to take. This blog post is designed to help explain the differences between both counseling and coaching in hopes of helping you to identify which service would best fit your needs. Both counseling and coaching are important in bringing transformational life changes to the client however, they are not the same. Let’s look at the differences:

What is Christian Counseling?

  • Counseling usually involves some area of disorder, pathology, or dysfunction that essentially disables the counselee in one or more areas of life.
  • The counselor tends to set the agenda and plan for counseling.
  • Counseling is more focused on solving painful problems from the past.
  • It seeks relief and healing through a process of recovery.
  • Helps build techniques and coping skills to stabilize life.
  • Develops healthy emotions and relationships.

What is Christian Coaching?

  • Coaching forms a partnership that seeks to empower and equip people.
    Individuals are essentially healthy and able to work with the coach to develop a plan for growth.
  • Individuals usually set their own agenda and their own goals.
  • Coaching is more about finding ways to reach your maximum  potential.
  • It motivates change, action, growth and achieving results.
  • Helps strategize ways effective in maximizing life.
  • Builds healthy patterns with accountability in power & success.

If you still aren’t sure what service suits you best, please feel free to contact us.  You can do so by visiting our contact page.