Wellness Resources

Outrage and Hope – Side by Side

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  Cheated. That’s how I felt this past week at the memorial service of a close colleague of mine. In life, she was a vibrant force of nature. She led, we followed. She was also unlucky. She had colorectal cancer that had metastasized. Why hadn’t she been screened for it? Well, that’s the tragic part. Screening for colon cancer typically begins at age 50. She was 48.  For me, a handful of funerals and memorial services stand out for a singular reason: they died too young. In some cases, way too young: a 35 year old, a 48 year old, a teen, an infant. Each time I felt cheated. The person...

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Bullying by Proxy

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In my practice as a therapist and as a youth leader, I have many times seen youth being targeted and bullied by parents, teachers and others unknowingly.  Jamie (name changed), a 10-year-old girl, was known to have some issues in school, but was able to get along well with others in her class.  A mother of another child in the class became involved when her own child, the ‘real bully’, told her that Jamie was a “bad kid”.  Based on what her child told her, this mother started organizing friendships away from Jamie.  Therefore, Jamie was excluded from birthday parties, play dates, and...

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Is My Child Suicidal?

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Help Me, Lord! My Child May Be Suicidal “I lift my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”     Psalm 121:1-2 The Lenten season is meant to be a time of contemplation—a time to reflect our relationship with Jesus, our Lord. We study the significant points of Jesus’ life— his baptism, wilderness experience and his own feelings of desolation and desertion by his disciples as he journeys toward the cross and his triumphant resurrection. People of all ages can have feelings of desperation. We may feel abandoned and...

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Forgive and Forget?

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PLEASE DO NOT FORGIVE AND FORGET By The Rev. Alan F. Steinke, LCSW-R A task of the first therapy session is the collaboration of the client and therapist to identify treatment goals. The most frequent goals center around alleviating anxiety, depression, and relational tensions. Infrequently named as a goal is “forgiveness,” although it is often later identified as the desired outcome. That which disturbs the mind is often the need to forgive or be forgiven. Literature brims with reflections about forgiveness. Alexander Pope: “To err is human, to forgive divine.” Oscar Wilde: “Always forgive...

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Putting Away The Blues

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(Matthew 2:11: They went into the house and when they saw the child with his mother, Mary, they knelt down and worshiped him. They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and presented them to him.) Last year a friend taught me a wonderful Christmas lesson over three cups of coffee. I’ll condense it here: “I’m really trying to let Christmas “soak in” this year. Every year’s such a letdown. Just as I’m seeing the Christmas trees put out to the curb, I feel like the “Christmas Spirit” is gone. Everything is back to grind, back to the gray and coping with winter slush and...

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Stress, Routines, and the Holidays

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Minimizing the Time for Argument and Fuss As their world is structured for them, younger children learn to trust that their caregivers are in control and therefore will keep them safe. This sense of safety empowers them to freely explore their world, which is necessary for development and autonomy. During more challenging times of the day, like getting ready in the morning, or during meals, baths and bedtime, it can be particularly helpful to establish a routine so that expected activities leave less room for argument and fuss.  Also, since toddlers and younger children do not yet fully have...

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