Blog Section

What this blog is about and how it can be helpful to the reader.

Look Past Sin

Quick! What is one of the most difficult Bible verses to follow in your marriage? For many the answer to that question is found in the middle of the “love” chapter, also known as I Corinthians Chapter 13. Here is the section to which I refer: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (v. 5-7 NIV). All of these descriptions are difficult for men. Patience is everybody’s problem. Anger seems an emotion all too familiar to husbands. But for me the clincher is “keeps no record of wrongs”. That is a deal-breaker right there. What if my wife does something really bad? What if she has long track record of repeatedly doing things that offend me?

In my book, Perfect Circle, I have encouraged husbands to see themselves as prophets, priests, and kings in the spiritual sense, in their marriage. A key feature of a good king is his ability to look past a sin or transgression. Kings can do this. They can commute sentences and cancel debt. They can even choose to treat those unworthy as worthy members of his kingdom. This is a model of grace. This is exactly what God the High King of Heaven does for us. He looks past our sin every minute of the day. We don’t even belong in His presence, but because of His Son Jesus, he treats us like friends.

Look past your wife’s transgressions and treat her as a friend.

Donald S. McCulloch, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist


Teenagers are not “mini-Adults”

Contrary to what your pre-teen or teenager might tell you, they are not ready to fully take over the reins in life. Even the most mature “young adult” simply does not have the wisdom that comes from time and experience. I frequently meet with frustrated parents who tell me their child is acting like a “mini-adult” or rebelling against their authority. And I am glad that they make the time to discuss their concerns and ask for information in order to become an even better parent! Today’s secular popular culture sends a lot of mixed messages to youth and young adults about what is appropriate behavior. The Internet, social media, and smart phones also play a big role in their daily lives which can be daunting for parents who did not have these entertainment and communication options.

Parents often share with me that they believe their child is “old enough” to fully understand what they are doing as they go about their day or enjoy this impressive technology. Plus, s/he’s always been a smart kid! Although pre-teens and teens may know “what” they are doing, the areas of their maturing brains that handle “how,” “why,” and rational decision-making are simply not as quickly accessible as an adult’s before their early 20’s. Teens may not agree, but they are also more prone to following their emotions. This does not mean they should not be held responsible for their actions, but it does imply that they may not fully grasp the true ramifications of concerning actions like bullying, using offensive language, posting/sending inappropriate photographs and videos, “sexting,” experimenting with drugs, and making other poor decisions.

Pre-teens and teenagers are smart and have promising futures, but they are not miniature adults. Although they do deserve increasing independence over time, like everything in life it needs to be exercised within clearly communicated boundaries prior to their reaching actual adulthood. Sometimes effective communication between parents and their pre-teen or teenager can be difficult because parents are the authority figures who set these boundaries. Counseling may solve this dilemma as a counselor can be an accepting, helpful person to talk to in a safe environment.

Struggling with your child’s decisions, setting healthy boundaries, or looking for someone your pre-teen or teenager can comfortably talk to? Call me today for more information and an appointment!

Amanda Magrisso, M.S.
Registered Mental Health Intern


Counseling Children through Play

Plato said it well: “You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation.” For young children (even many adolescents and teens), the cognitive capacity to verbally process thoughts, feelings, and needs is lacking.

Play therapy is a developmentally appropriate and effective way for children to process feelings, needs, experiences, and hurts. Children can “play out” a problem — similarly to the way an adult would “talk out” a problem in therapy. Play provides children a safe psychological distance from their problems that allows them room to process and grow. With the help of a trained counselor, the child and family are able to identify the root cause of their troubles, and then a healing process can begin.

Play Therapy can benefit a wide variety of children with struggles such as:
□ behavioral concerns and conduct disorders
□ anxiety
□ depression
□ grief and loss
□ anger management
□ Autism spectrum disorders
□ low self-esteem
□ trauma, crisis, and abuse
□ social skills
□ divorce and family transitions
□ bullying
□ school and academic problems

Play therapy can help children:
□ strengthen relationships with caregivers and family members
□ develop communication skills
□ improve social skills
□ learn to express and regulate emotions in a healthy manner
□ respect self and others
□ develop conflict management
□ encourage self-esteem and feelings of self-worth
□ master developmental stages
□ become more responsible for their behaviors.

Contact Laura Van Camp, LMFT at the counseling center for more information.


Help for a “Difficult Child”

Parents want the best for their child. But when concerns arise, many parents find that it can be difficult to pinpoint the best way to help. Often children are expected to relate in an adult-like way. We tend to want them to “talk it out” to get to the bottom of our concern.

Most children communicate more to us through their behaviors than through their words. When difficult experiences, thoughts, and feelings are left unprocessed, they are streamlined into problematic behaviors, inattentiveness, extreme emotions, or other social difficulties. This can leave even the most well-intentioned parents feeling at the end of their rope, uncertain about how to connect and understand their child.

Developmentally, it’s normal for kids to find it difficult to verbally express what is going on inside them. But there is hope for children and families who are struggling to find answers and healing. Through their most challenging behaviors, children are begging us to connect, and take a look at the world through their eyes. The first step is to meet your child where he is. Take a moment to enter your child’s world and consider: what is your child’s behavior telling you today?

Contact Laura Van Camp, LMFT at the counseling center for more information.


Healing Support the Natural Way

Approximately 1 out of 3 Americans uses complementary health therapies to support the healing process for a variety of health issues. These approaches include vitamins, dietary supplements, herbal products, deep breathing exercises, yoga, relaxation techniques, and massage. There is evidence that some of these approaches support healthy brain function.