An Epidemic of Social Isolation and Loneliness
Isolation and loneliness are harmful to your health. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, reports that 20% of Americans feel socially isolated and lonely and that the resulting health damage is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day (HRSA, 2019). This research was done before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and one can surmise that the percentage of socially isolated and lonely people will increase over the remainder of 2020.
How do you get off the phone when the other person speaks without a pause and you have work that needs to get done? Have you ever heard yourself saying “yes” and are already kicking yourself for saying it?
What are wise boundaries? Some version of this is the most common question I receive as a CCEF instructor. Students take counseling courses because they love people and want to care for them even better. Most of them, however, are already neck-deep in ministry; during a course they deepen some of those relationships and add a few more.Read More
Malik noticed that his wife, Jade, was being strangely antagonistic to their children, and he wondered why her hands were always red and dry. After discussing the issue with his doctor, Malik thought about how often Jade was now washing her hands. She was treated for obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression, as well as self‐esteem and identity issues.
It wasn’t typical for Angela’s husband to act irritable, angry and critical with their children, so Angela pushed him to see a doctor. After her husband finally agreed to go, he admitted to having an opioid pain pill addiction.Read More
You may be more familiar with the phrase “biblical counseling” than “soul care.” Soul care, as I refer to it, includes both preventative biblical care and more formal biblical counsel. When I think about the simplest definition of biblical counseling, I often define it as “speaking the truth in love with growing compassion and skill.” The philosophy of biblical soul care emphasizes that every believer can be a wise counselor. In fact, I would argue that we all counsel ourselves daily. We also counsel others in our circle of influence. The question is not if we counsel; it is how we counsel. Is our self-talk biblical? Is our advice to our friends biblical (Prov. 27:9)?Read More
We all carry relational wounds. So we go through life with a skewed definition of love. Our actions are often a far cry from true love. The truth is, we may be trying to “love” the other in an attempt to satisfy our “need” for the other.
When we act out of enmeshment and codependency, we may think we are experiencing love, but it’s a shallow substitute for the love God longs for us to experience and enjoy. True love, on the other hand, moves us from a place of saying, “I want to do something for you because it meets my needs” to “I want to do something for you because I love you.”Read More
My first thought is: please don’t quit. Every teacher I have spoken with has felt unprecedented burdens during this pandemic season. New, glitchy technology. Students whose attention wavers. No dynamic, live student participation. More work, which doesn’t seem to have much fruitful effect.
And instrumental music teachers experience all this more intensely. You tend to have more hands-on involvement in your classroom, and that has been gutted. Everything you try will fall short of your expectations.
Here are a few thoughts about God’s words to you.Read More
Have you ever wondered, “Do fathers matter? What differences do I make in my home as a dad?” Let’s begin with the simple answer — the importance of a father is tremendous! You make countless differences in your home and family. However, how much impact you decide to make as a dad is entirely up to you!
When was the last time you genuinely or playfully smiled at your children? When was the last time you gave your kids affirmation, correction, and reassurance? If you haven’t recently, do it now and see what happens. What did you notice? Did your child light up or smile back? Did your child respond and shift behaviors?Read More
In over thirty years of counseling, I have come to believe that godly friends are invaluable in providing wise care. That’s why I often ask counselees to invite a friend into the process. More importantly, the Bible is clear that one of the sweetest things about friendship is the counsel of someone who knows us and cares for us well (Prov. 27:9). But perhaps you feel intimidated or inadequate to help counsel your friends. Most of us have no professional training, no degrees in soul care. Maybe you aren’t even feeling all that put together and wonder what business you have giving anyone counsel?Read More
You may have clients who complain about their spouse’s excessive use of technology and social media and how it interferes negatively with their marital relationship. We know that married couples enter counseling for a variety of reasons, and yes, poor communication, which leads to an escalation of conflict, is indeed among the top reasons. You may have helped couples deal with more complicated situations, such as affairs, pornography, or some other types of addictions. Interestingly, many couples have faced high levels of conflict and low levels of marital satisfaction due to the negative impact of their technology and social media use.Read More
“I’m bored.” These are loaded words.
“Only boring people get bored.”
I think my wife and I tried that motto at one point with our children when they were young, but it was an ineffective and, yes, a boring response to their boredom. So we began to consider the phenomenon more carefully. I even took a look at the definitive academic work on boredom, Boredom: The Literary History of a State of Mind, by Patricia Spacks (1995), which wasn’t boring.Read More