An addiction is anything that you cannot seem to control despite the fact that there are negative consequences for yourself and/or others. Sometimes addictions start out small, but as stress and difficult situations enter your life, the addiction takes over and you find yourself feeling out of control. Addictions come in the form of pornography, social networking (like FaceBook and Pinterest), food, alcohol, gambling, drug use, and more. If it's causing problems in your life for you or those close to you and you can't seem to pull away from it, it's likely an addiction. Conquering an addiction on your own is difficult at best. Let us help you to get off of the merry-go-round that never seems to stop. Others have done it and you can too. You just need a little help. The first step is to acknowledge you need help. The next step is to allow someone who knows the ropes to come alongside you and walk you through it. You can do this. We can do it better together. For sexual-type addiction information, go to the individual page for Mikewho offers counseling in this area.
For substance-type addiction information, go to the individual page for Kerri-Anne, Kelly, or Katharine who each offer counseling in this area.
You don’t understand why you get so angry at so many things. You want help and want to change. You hate that you cannot seem to control your anger and that you have hurt and disappointed those who matter the most to you. You have damaged their respect for you and your respect for yourself.
That’s not the end of your story. It does not have to be that way. You have already taken the first step to regaining that respect and trust… you are here. Now it's time to take the next step. Contact us today and let us show you how good it can be when you gain control of your anger. We can help you to understand where your anger is coming from and we will teach you how to take control of it.
Go to the individual pages for Meaghan, Mike, or Susan who each offer counseling in this area.
Anxiety and Stress: Anxiety and stress can cause your physical, emotional, and relational health to crumble. We all experience some level of anxiety and stress in our lives, and some stress can even be beneficial. But when stress is out of balance and beyond our current ability to control, it can and does cause great harm.
Symptoms of uncontrolled anxiety and stress in your life include, but are not limited to, constant arguing, marital dissatisfaction, depression, weight gain, weight loss, distancing yourself from others, outbursts of anger, and more.
Let us help you to get your life back in balance. When you don’t even know where to start, start by getting professional help. That’s why we are here. Go to the individual pages for Kerri-Anne, Caralyne,Kelly, Bryan, Meaghan,Katharine, Susan, and Tami who each offer counseling in this area. — Neurofeedback: We have an entire page devoted to neurofeedback here. Neurofeedback can help to reduce overall anxiety and stress greatly and is most effective when coupled with counseling to achieve behavior modifications. Neurofeedback is a great alternative to anti-anxiety medications.
Culturally speaking, we find so much of who we are in our jobs. One of the first questions usually asked in a group setting is, “What do you do?” The answer to that question often incites fear and anxiety because you don’t know where you want to end up with regard to your career. Just thinking about these kinds of life challenges may make you want to change the subject since it just seems too big to handle.
It does not have to be so. Career exploration is not something to be feared. It can be an amazing journey of self discovery and personal growth as you learn the steps you need to take to get you from where you are to where you want to be. We would love to take that journey with you. Go to the individual pages for Caralyne, Katharine, or Susan who each offer counseling in this area.
There is no doubt that raising children, including teens, can be one of life’s greatest challenges. And you only get one opportunity to do it well.
Starting today, stop beating yourself up over the things you have NOT done well and take control of what you CAN DO well.
Sometimes it’s an issue that needs to be addressed with your child and sometimes it’s an issue that needs to be addressed with you, the parent. We can lead you to the issue and equip you with practical tools and solutions that you can use to feel better about your kids, your relationship with them, and yourself. The solution might be simpler than you think, but it’s often impossible to figure out when you’re in the middle of it! Generally speaking, our staff is best equipped to work directly with children age 10 and over, but there are many variables here so we suggest you call us.
Christianity is a worldview that changes everything for us. It is the way to make sense of who we are and why we are here. Having a counselor who understands and embraces that worldview as well can make all of the difference in the world! That is who we are. That is what we do.
God did not leave us alone or without some clear instructions and insights about this life. We would consider it an honor to help you with your challenges and to do so in a way that honors God. We would love to help you discover who you were created to be.
Also, if you prefer to get some of the best counsel available, but would prefer not to mix religion with your counseling, we're still the right place for you.
No one but you knows the challenges that living with a chronic illness brings. Illness is both an emotionally and physically draining experience. Most of us know what it feels like to experience a common head cold, a short-term illness. When this happens we typically lack motivation, become irritable, isolate ourselves, and lose interest in the things we enjoy. But unlike the symptoms of a head cold, these feelings and behaviors can often be long-lasting with chronic illness. Your illness can do lasting harm by threatening your sense of well-being, competence, feelings of productivity, and level of functioning.
Your response to your illness may come in many forms: Physical Responses may include: • Manifestation of Stress • Pain Cognitive Responses may include: • Shock • Denial • Changes in Body Image and Self-Esteem • Constriction of Interests Behavioral Responses may include: • Guilt and Shame • Anger • Fear and Anxiety • Grief, Sadness, Depression • Isolation and Detachment
Living with a chronic illness can have adverse effects on family members as well. Spouses may assume additional roles to meet the needs of the family. You and your spouse may be experiencing a lack of intimacy and emotional connection as a result of the focus shifting toward your illness. Children may experience fears and insecurities when faced with the uncertainty of your illness.
Imagining feelings of joy and contentment despite your illness is difficult, but we are here to tell you that it is absolutely possible. Hope is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. We can help you and your family find hope again and teach you what you need to know to optimize your positive life experiences.
Codependency in essence is excessive dependence on someone else mentally and emotionally. Often times an individual that struggles with codependency feels responsible for another person’s emotions and well being, making codependent relationship very unhealthy and often one-sided. This is the type of dysfunctional relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. Among the core characteristics of codependency, the most common theme is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and identity.
How can you tell if your relationship is unhealthy? Please answer YES or NO to the following:
• You feel as if your life revolves around your partner. • You cancel plans to accommodate your partner’s whims. • No matter how hard you try, nothing you do ever seems good enough. • You do things to keep the peace and make sure people are happy with you. • You don’t talk about your feelings. • You smile and try to appear cheery, even when you’re feeling mad or sad. • You are told to be strong, be happy, be perfect—but you don’t even know who you are. • You are always the caregiver in your family or with your partner. • If you're not happy with your relationship, you keep it to yourself so you don’t upset anyone. • You feel trapped in the relationship, but can't think about that or else you feel bad about yourself. • Your mood depends on your partner’s mood and behavior. • You sometimes feel under-valued or disrespected in your relationship. • You feel uneasy a lot in your relationships. • You spend a lot of your time trying to achieve your partner’s wishes and preferences. • When are are anxious, your child is too. • Both you and your child struggle with low self esteem. • You feel like everything listed above is a "normal" part of everyone's lives and that everyone works this way.
If most of your answers are "yes," you most likely have some level of codependency in your life. This is common in relationships, but also leaves the relationship lacking important skills it needs to survive and thrive. Don't despair, our counselors are trained in working with this so you and everyone in your life can live more happily and peacefully.
To find a well screened counselor, contact the Focus on the Family Counseling Referral Network by calling: (800) 232-6459
Or click here to be taken to the Focus on the Family Counseling referral Network website where you can find a counselor by typing in your zip code: https://ccn.thedirectorywidget.com --- Additionally, we hope the following seasoned advice will assist you in selecting a highly qualified counselor.
An excerpt from William J. Doherty, PhD, Family Social Science Department, University of Minnesota. CMFCE Conference, July 3, 1999. Retrieved from: http://www.smartmarriages.com/hazardous.html on 5-28-13.
"I think of long-term marriage like I think about living in Minnesota, in Lake Wobegon, perhaps. You move into marriage in the springtime of hope, but eventually arrive at the Minnesota winter with its cold and darkness. Many of us are tempted to give up and move south at this point. We go to a therapist for help. Some therapists don’t know how to help us cope with winter, and we get frostbite in their care. Other therapists tell us that we are being personally victimized by winter, that we deserve better, that winter will never end, and that if we are true to ourselves we will leave our marriage and head south. The problem of course is that our next marriage will enter its own winter at some point. Do we just keep moving on, or do we make our stand now--with this person, in this season? That’s the moral, existential question. A good therapist, a brave therapist, will help us to cling together as a couple, warming each other against the cold of winter, and to seek out whatever sunlight is still available while we wrestle with our pain and disillusionment. A good therapist, a brave therapist will be the last one in the room to give up on our marriage, not the first one, knowing that the next springtime in Minnesota is all the more glorious for the winter that we endured together."
Depression happens when you lose hope and feel alone. It can feel like utter hopelessness. Freedom from depression is about rediscovering that hope and knowing that you are not alone. If it were simple to do, you would have done it already. Let one of our highly trained and skilled counselors help you on that journey; to rediscover that hope, to open the windows and allow the sunlight to flood in once again, to regain that balance in your life that you've been missing.
Ask yourself these simple yes or no questions while keeping track of your answers.
1. Do I do things slowly? 2. Does my future seem hopeless? 3. Is it hard for me to concentrate on reading? 4. Is pleasure and joy gone out of my life? 5. Do I have difficulty making decisions? 6. Have I lost interest in aspects of life that used to be important to me? 7. Do I feel sad, blue, and unhappy? 8. Am I easily agitated and keep moving around? 9. Do I feel fatigued? 10. Does it takes great effort for me to do simple things? 11. Do I feel that I am a guilty person who deserves to be punished? 12. Do I feel like a failure? 13. Do I feel lifeless -- more dead than alive? 14. Has my sleep been disturbed -- too little, too much, or broken sleep? 15. Do I spend time thinking about HOW I might kill myself? 16. Do I feel trapped or caught? 17. Do I feel depressed even when good things happen to me? 18. Have I have lost, or gained weight without trying to diet?
If you answered yes to 8 or more of these questions, please talk to one of our counselors by taking advantage of our FREE 20 minute phone consultation. Call us to get connected to one of our counselors.
There are many levels of conflict between life partners. These conflicts can be as simple as a disagreement with a resolution (healthy). For some, there is a constant feeling that you are walking on eggshells (unhealthy). Lastly, there can be genuine fear that you will be threatened and/or hurt physically (very unhealthy). The danger signs (red flags):
there is someone in your life who is being controlling of what you do, say, and think
you find yourself being isolated from family and friends due to dislike or jealousy
you are being tracked, followed, checked up on, or stalked
your arguments escalate into yelling, rage, blocking your movements, punching walls, slamming doors, hitting, slapping, punching, choking or use of implied threats with any weapon
you feel very afraid
If any of these describe you, you likely need some help navigating through these difficulties. Please find a professional who is experienced in helping individuals with conflict, abuse and domestic violence and who can help you and/or your children be safe. If you are currently being abused or are in danger please delete this website from your browsing history after viewing it for your own safety!
It is estimated that over 8 million Americans have some kind of eating disorder usually characterized by eating too much food or not enough. This often results in harm to your physical, emotional, and mental health. Eating disorders can be fueled by an irrational self image, peer pressure, self esteem, and other root causes. Digging down to those causes is the key to helping you overcome that which is causing so much harm to you and those around you.
We have a counselor on our team that would love to take this journey with you. A counselor who understands and who knows how to help you through this. Please call today and allow us to help you find health, wholeness, and peace once again. Go to the individual page forSusan who offers counseling in this area.
Family Therapy: Your family feels likes its falling apart, like it’s broken. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. With some sound insight and guidance from one of our trained professional counselors, you will begin to understand what has happened and why. With understanding, you can begin to discover practical solutions to your family’s challenges.
This is the beginning of your family’s restoration.
Go to the individual pages forKelly, Derek, Bryan, Meaghan,Tami, or Mike who all offer counseling in this area. — Divorce Recovery: Although divorce takes its toll on adults, children are especially vulnerable because they simply aren't mature enough to make sense of their family breakup. To them it usually feels as if that one solid rock in their lives, their family, is suddenly gone. This leaves them defenseless as they wrestle with this loss of security in their world. Without proper help and guidance, many children will develop unhealthy coping mechanisms that can lead to a lifetime of various dependancies and dysfunctions.
Additionally, with their family shattered, they will likely struggle with who to be loyal to. Before the breakup, their loyally was to their family. With the family no longer intact, they aren't equipped to divide their loyalties.
Lastly, divorced couples must learn to effectively co-parent for the sake of their children. As tough as it can be to find this balance, our counselors are trained to help you do precisely that.
Go to the individual pages for Meaghan or Bryan, who each offer counseling in this area. — Co-parenting: Lastly, for the benefit of the their children, parents often need help with co-parenting after a family break up. Finding new ways to effectively parent after a divorce can be challenging since there are so many other issues demanding your attention.
Grief & Loss: You have lost someone or something and you don’t know what to do, how to react, or how to feel anything except hopelessness. We understand and want you to know that even though you FEEL hopeless, there is hope.
We have been successful in helping others just like you to rediscover that hope and turn things around. It feels like you can't do this, but you can… you just can't do it alone. We are here to take that journey with you.
Since you are here, you have taken the first step already. Take the next step by contacting us. You will start experiencing hope again soon!
Go to the individual pages for Kerri-Anne, Caralyne, Kelly, Meaghan,Susan, or Katharine who all offer counseling in this area. — Trauma: A traumatic experience is usually extremely subjective. What may hardly affect one person can easily leave another reeling as their normal ability to cope with this kind of hyper-stress is pushed beyond its normal limits.
Even long after physical trauma (like a severe injury of loss of a limb) has healed, there are more than outward scars that remain. The mental and emotional scars of trauma rarely heal on their own in the way that physical scars do. Don't allow trauma to define your existence.
You may be the victim of sexual assault, have been involved in a car accident, or witnessed something very traumatic. You know that something changed in that moment, but you don't know what to do about it. With professional help you can and will overcome.
Marriage & Couples: Marriage is the most amazing, intimate, and vulnerable relationship you could ever hope to experience. It can also be the most confounding. It doesn’t help that Hollywood continually portrays marriage in such an unrealistic fashion. All of this can create much confusion in a marriage.
Well, there is good news. We have made a name for ourselves in the areas of marriage counseling and couples counseling. We know how to get you from where you are to where you want to be. And unlike many counselors who have been divorced several times, all of our marriage counselors are on their first (and only) marriage. Which means sound advice and experience that benefits you!
Go to the individual pages for Derek, Bryan, Meaghan,Tami, Mike, or Susan who all offer counseling in this area. — Affair Recovery: The sense of betrayal and loss that results from infidelity in a marriage can seem insurmountable. If your spouse has cheated on you, there is no doubt that you are in crisis. For most couples, the problems get even worse as they attempt to make life-changing decisions in the middle of that crisis. The help of a specially trained and highly gifted counselor can save you from making these costly (but all too common) mistakes.
Furthermore, there are many things that contribute to infidelity in a marriage. While it's easy to blame it all on the partner who cheated, wouldn't the "innocent" partner want to know if they contributed to the affair as well? You may never know if you don't get help. You could even repeat the same mistakes in another relationship.
Recovering from an affair is not easy, but couples who have succeeded are glad they did. Working through their issues makes them better, stronger, and more complete than they have ever been. Lastly, this makes even more sense if you have children, who are often the silent sufferers following an affair.
(The first counseling session for Affair Recovery should be a 2 hour Extended Appointment.)
The simplest way to understand neurofeedback is to think of it as exercise or physical training for the brain. While that explanation is overly simplistic, you get the general idea. Neurofeedback can and does accelerate the positive effects of counseling by establishing new brain patterns which helps you to achieve your counseling goals much quicker. We have helped many to reduce anxiety, sleep better, eliminate headaches, curb depression, focus better, and more!
We have an entire page devoted to neurofeedback and the symptoms it can treat here. There are also several helpful videos at the bottom of the page.
Go to the individual page for Brad who offers services in this area.
Did you know that 1 in 8 women suffer from postpartum depression?
Are you abnormally sad or depressed? Are you having a difficult time bonding with your baby? Are you struggling to eat right or get enough sleep? Do you feel as though you are going crazy? Do feel like you should not be a mother?
While many women experience some mild to moderate mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 15 to 20% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety. Even though the most common term for this kind of hormonal imbalance is postpartum depression, women suffer from many varieties of perinatal anxiety or mood disorder.
Please know that by working with the right person and getting the right care you can prevent a worsening of these symptoms and can fully recover. There is no reason for you to continue to suffer. Go to the individual pages for Kerri-Anne or Susan who each offer counseling in this area.
Marriage can be an amazing journey. Most couples start out by dating, falling in love, and then getting engaged. All of this can be very magical, it may even seem perfect. The problems come when reality hits and "the honeymoon is over."
We all have unrealistic expectations at times. How can you know if you have unrealistic expectations of your future spouse? How will both of you react to daily stresses that can push even the most compatible of couples over the edge? How can you keep from developing bad relationship habits that can eventually ruin your marriage?
The answer: prevention. And some of the best prevention you can give yourselves is expertly grounded premarital counseling. Good premarital counseling will equip you both with tools that will benefit you for years to come and lay a solid and healthy foundation for you to build your life-long commitment on. Families won't hesitate to spend 10, 20, or even 30 thousand dollars on a wedding, yet they often balk at spending a few hundred dollars on their marriage in the form of premarital counseling.
A young engaged couple once asked us, "Do you really think we should get premarital counseling?" We responded by asking, "Why wouldn't you get premarital counseling? You have everything to gain and nothing to lose."
Almost everything we know about ourselves and our relationships and how they "should" work comes from our upbringing. The only problem is that our childhood families were not perfect, nor should we expect them to be. They did not have all the right answers, nor should we expect that they would.
Most things in life require some maintenance from time to time to keep from falling apart. We are no different. The problem is that most of us think we have all of the answers already… that is not likely. When you need help with plumbing, you call a professional plumber. When you need help with people, you call a professional counselor. Stop repeating the hurtful patterns of the past and contact us.
Go to the "Our Counseling Team" link at the top of this screen to access the drop-down menu with the individual pages for any of our counselors who offer counseling in this area.
Returning home following deployment can be exciting, but it can also be challenging for many soldiers and veterans. One of the most common challenges of readjustment to civilian life following deployment is working through the emotional trauma of events experienced during combat. As a result, some soldiers return with symptoms of combat trauma or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, approximately 20-30% of veterans in recent wars and 30% of veterans from the Vietnam War experienced combat trauma resulting in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. They further report that less than 50% of those effected seek treatment (May, 2014.)
The severity of PTSD depends on several factors and varies based on the individual; however, PTSD is treatable. Not all symptoms are experienced by everyone. You may only be experiencing a few of these symptoms, but if left untreated they can become more challenging as time goes on.
Symptoms related to thinking may include: • Lack of concentration • Confusion • Re-experiencing events or flashbacks • Dreams and nightmares • Problems concentrating • Heightened alertness or hyper-vigilance • Loss of trust Emotional symptoms may include: • Anxiety and nervousness • Depression • Numbness • Agitation and intense anger • Guilt and shame • Feeling overwhelmed Behavioral symptoms may include: • Withdrawing and avoiding others • Angry outbursts • Crying • Changes in diet • Increased dependency on drugs or alcohol Physical symptoms may include: • Problems falling asleep or staying asleep • Worsening health problems • Pounding heart and sweating • Digestion problems • Trembling hands • Headaches • Vision changes
If you are experiencing one (1) or more of these symptoms, we encourage you to call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our counselors specialized in treating trauma. We would be honored to assist you and your family in taking the steps needed for a successful transition following your deployment. You are finally home and have earned the peace you so courageously fought to ensure for us all. We are here for you.
Thank you and your family for your service to our country.
Resources: The National Center for PTSD - http://www.ptsd.va.gov/ U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs - http://www.va.gov/
Self–Esteem When you are around others, do you feel like w that they are better then you? Do you feel insecure and hesitant to express yourself and your needs? Do you feel like your opinion is of little value because of who you are? Unfortunately, if you answered yes to any of these questions you may be struggling with low self-esteem. We develop low self-esteem from negative messages we have heard about “who we are.” Over time those message start to stick and we believe they are true. We start to feel we do not matter. We start to believe that we don’t have value.
Your opinion and perspective does matter. Let us help you rebuild your self esteem by deconstructing those negative messages. Then replacing them with truth about the beautiful person that God has created you to be.
Body Image Do you struggle with how you look? Do you focus lots of attention on particular parts of your body? Do you feel like your body defines who you are as a person? If you feel like everyone is focused on you and how you look? If so, you probably struggle with body image. You may even hinder yourself from participating in activities because of how you think you look to others. You may feel like your negative body image is controlling your life!
We are happy that you are seeking help to move away from this difficult place in your life. Our bodies are temples to be cared for and loved. Let us help you through your body image struggles. Let us help you find peace and acceptance of your body.
Cutting yourself seems like the perfect way to regain control of your feelings, or to just feel anything at all. It grounds you in the physical world, but distracts you from everything else in the emotional world that you'd prefer to get away from. But it's only a band-aid on the problem, and after you do it, you wish you hadn't. Conquering the need to self-harm (right now and for the future) can be done and people do it every day.
Self-harm has become an increasingly common means of coping with intense emotional pain. If you struggle in this area it is probably because you are a highly compassionate person who feels very deeply, but doesn’t yet know how to handle those powerful feelings in a more appropriate and constructive way. Those who harm themselves are known to be highly empathetic to the degree that they become overwhelmed with what they feel inside. The act of self-harm is adopted as a means of surviving (or coping with) the powerful feelings that are stuck inside and feel too immense to handle.
You are a very caring individual. I understand and can help you in your recovery from this destructive way of coping. To do so, we will focus on several ways to interrupt the cycle of self-harm including: feeling emotionally overwhelmed, experiencing panic, and encountering shame. Alternative, healthy coping strategies are learned and an appreciation for of your own depth of compassion is developed, as are the skills to handle that compassion.
There is hope. There is healing. There is help. We are here for you.
Sexual Challenges / Pornography: For anyone who has struggled with sexual issues or and/or pornography, you know better than anyone how it commands your attention. It's one of those behaviors that, even though you would like to have control over it, you know that it ultimately has control over you. Even though there are negative consequences for you and/or others because of this, you can't seem to slow it down. It feels like a runaway train, and it is.
An addiction is anything that you cannot seem to control despite the fact that there are negative consequences for yourself and/or others. Sometimes addictions start out small, but as stress and difficult situations enter your life, the addiction takes over and you find yourself feeling out of control.
There is hope, healing, and help available. You need only take the first step by calling. I have walked this road with others to their benefit and I would love to walk it with you as well.
Go to the individual page for Mike who offers counseling in this area.
We also are happy to offer some free pornography resources on the Covenant Eyes partner site HERE. These free ebooks are very helpful and you won't find a more trustworthy source for help battling pornography.
— Sexual Intimacy Challenges: Sexual intimacy (or physical intimacy) should bond a couple and bring them together on a deeper level of trust, understanding, and security. Unfortunately for many couples, sexual intimacy becomes somewhat of a battleground where clashes and misunderstandings can easily degrade the trust, understanding and security that couples once shared. It does not have to stay this way nor should it.
The first step is acknowledging that things are going in the wrong direction for you and your spouse and that you are not okay watching things slip away. The next step is for you to ask for help from someone who you can trust to understand and help you get things back on track.
Go to the individual pages for Tami or Mike who each offer counseling in this area.