Category: Resources

TEN RULES FOR CONFIDENCE

Rule 1: The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later.
The concept of confidence is defined as “an act of trust or reliance” (trusting and relying on one’s abilities and competencies), rather than viewing confidence as “having a feeling of absolute certainty or assurance.” This is a better approach, because if you wait for the feelings of confidence to come before taking any sort of action, then there’s a chance you might end up waiting forever. That’s not very effective. Harris offers four steps to follow in order to become more confident in any action: (1) Practice the skills, (2) Apply them effectively, (3) Assess the results, and (4) Modify as needed.

Rule 2: Genuine confidence is not the absence of fear; it is a transformed relationship with fear.
People believe many myths about fear, such as: fear is a sign of weakness; fear is the enemy; fear holds you back; confidence is the absence of fear. But the truth is that when anyone steps out of their comfort zone, takes a risk, or faces a challenge, they will experience fear. That’s not a sign of weakness; it’s the natural human response. Fear doesn’t have to be viewed as an enemy, or something to hold you back, rather, it can be used as a motivating source of energy to be used for your benefit. It is not true that confident people don’t feel anxious or afraid, but perhaps they have figured out how to handle it and channel it effectively.

Rule 3: Negative thoughts are normal. Don’t fight them; defuse them.
Dealing with negative thoughts can be annoying, but the fact that we have them is actually a good thing! It’s a sign that our brains are working: trying to anticipate what could hurt us or harm us, trying to predict what might go wrong, etc. If your mind has negative or anxious thoughts, congratulations – you have a normal brain. Negative thoughts are not inherently problematic, they only become so if we get all caught up in them, give them all our attention, treat them as the gospel truth, allow them to control us, or get into a fight with them. The goal is defusion: separate from your thoughts and realize that they are simply words.

Rule 4: Self-acceptance trumps self-esteem.
Having high self-esteem means evaluating oneself positively. The trouble is that it gets hard to do this when one is not successful, or when one makes mistakes. On the other hand, self-acceptance means accepting oneself in spite of deficiencies. It involves letting go of all self-judgments. It doesn’t mean that we stop paying attention to the way we behave, and the impact of our actions; it simply means that we let go of blanket self-judgments. When we make a mistake, we reflect on it and assess our actions. Harris puts it well when he poses: “If beating ourselves for every mistake we make was productive, wouldn’t we all be perfect by now?”

Rule 5: Hold your values lightly, but pursue them vigorously.
Values are one’s guiding principles of behavior, according to what is important to them in life. Harris likens values to a compass: they give us direction, guide our journey, and help us stay on track. (Goals are what we want to achieve along the way). Examples of values include: adventure, authenticity, connection, contribution, courage, creativity, flexibility, honesty, humor, intimacy, open-mindedness, respect, self-awareness, spirituality, and trust. One reason to hold your values lightly is the tendency for them to turn into inflexible requirements, such as, “I must be adventurous at all times.” Remember, the goal is to live by guiding values, not rigid rules.

Rule 6: True success is living by your values.
This means using one’s values to set goals, and to sustain movement toward set goals. You don’t have to wait until you achieve a goal in order be successful; you can be successful right now through living by your values. Maybe a goal of yours is to become a doctor because you hold the value of helping others. It will take you several years to actually become a doctor, but you can do many things to help people along the way.

Rule 7: Don’t obsess about the outcome; get passionate about the process.
Process is the way you go about doing something, whereas outcome is the result of what you’ve done. The idea here is not to give up on your goal(s), but to shift the emphasis to engaging fully in the process, and embracing it as an opportunity for learning, rather than obsessing about the outcome.

Rule 8: Don’t fight your fear: allow it, befriend it, and channel it.
Russ Harris Speaks of using “The ABC of Fear-Whispering” for dealing with fear (A=allow, B=befriend, C=channel). Trying to fight against or avoid an emotion oftentimes just makes the unpleasant emotion stronger. So, instead of fighting your experience of fear, try simply allowing it to be. Harris encourages befriending one’s fear: building a positive relationship with it. You don’t necessarily have to like it, but haven’t you ever been friendly to a person whom you don’t necessarily like? It’s kind of like that. Also, fear is worth befriending if it helps you live by your values, achieve your goals, perform at your peak, and live a richer, more meaningful life. Fear is kind of like nervous energy, but it can be less scary if you frame it as feeling “excited” or “pumped” instead. Think to yourself, “How can I make good use of this energy? What can I channel it into?” Use your fear to your benefit. And remember, you can have fear and confidence at the same time. If you recall Rule 2: Genuine confidence is not the absence of fear, it is a transformed relationship with fear.

Rule 9: Failure hurts – but if you’re willing to learn, it’s a wonderful teacher.
In the words of John Dewey (American philosopher): “Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.” Just like fear, failure is a fact of life. It’s also a natural part of learning; we reflect on what didn’t work, and think about what might work better next time. It is productive to acknowledge what went “wrong,” while also appreciating what went well. It provides good feedback from which to learn!

Rule 10: The key to peak performance is total engagement in the task.
Peak performance requires practice, defusing from reasons not to do it, making room for discomfort or fear, and fully engaging in the process. The key to peak performance is having focused attention on the task at hand. This requires mindfulness: defusing from unhelpful thoughts, such as, what you look like, what others are thinking, judging your performance, thinking about past or future events, etc. While you can’t eliminate unhelpful thoughts or feelings, you can make space for them while remaining focused and engaged in what you are doing in the present moment. It is in this state of mindful, focused action that we perform at our best.

Works Cited:The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt by Russ Harris

his Therapist Center can be found at our intake request form and by entering their zip code 66210

Challenges of Change

1. Change is often uncomfortable and requires a willingness to ‘do things differently’ than what we are accustomed to. The old adage is true that states “If we do the same old things the same old way, we can only expect the same old results.” Change requires willingness on the part of the individual. No one else can change you – the power and control of self necessary for change must come from you – no body else is responsible for your change.
2. Change, learning and growth require honest awareness on the part of the person needing / wanting to change. Effective methods and techniques to achieve your goals is a necessary part of your plan of action. Little change will take place without a plan.
3. New beliefs, thoughts and behaviors have outcomes that are not always predictable. Without taking reasonable risk, change will not take place.
4. Removing unhealthy and unproductive behaviors from your life may leave an initial void in your life. Those habits used up considerable time and energy that may now be available for more productive and healthy thoughts, feelings and activities.
5. Changing life-long belief systems, thoughts, feelings and behaviors takes hard work. There is no magic formula for change. It must come from within – only you can make the necessary changes in your life. No one can do it for you. Nor is anyone else responsible to do it.
6. Unhealthy self defeating behaviors often have an initial benefit which makes it difficult to let go. You must be determined to change.
7. Old thinking habits will attempt to exert themselves upon you. You must take control of what you believe, what you think about, how you feel, and what you do. Be determined to change; be persistent. Above all, never ever give up. If (when) you fall, stand back up and keep going! Never ever give up on your self.
8. Be aware of irrational or distorted thinking habits. If you believe you have none, think again. It is those very habits that need to change.
9. Significant people in your life may be resistant to your positive changes for a variety of reasons. Change anyway. It is your life (and probably theirs) that will be positively affected.
10. Be honest with yourself – always. Self deception is your enemy. Many times a person doesn’t want to see what needs to change – so they don’t. Change will not happen unless you are brutally honest with yourself.

This Therapist Center can be found at our intake request form and by entering their zip code 76013

Being your own boss is not so simple!

Hi,
Whether you are just getting started, or have been your own boss for a long time, sometimes you need help, support, clarity, and a plan. So that’s why we have added this new service to help fulfill our mission at Grace Wellness Center.

Actually, the response to our others emails about our new Faith-Based Business Coaching have been great! We feel so BLESSED to serve people through our various and growing list of services, all intened to bring abundant life back to the Body of Christ!

A few days ago we told you about new kind of coaching for career changers who are considering taking the leap into a part-time or full-time business, new entrepreneurs, or established entrepreneurs and business owners.
It might not be for you just yet. But we wanted you to know about it. But if you are intested, we have a special offer to help you get started!

Oh, and if you aren’t in need, but know someone who is for any of the ways that Grace Wellness Center and its staff might be able to help, please forward this email or put them in touch, prayerfully, and we will consider it a Blessing.

So in case you missed it, here it is! The whole email with the offer for help!

Hi,

Did you know that we offer Business and Marketing Coaching for established businesses as well as new entrepreneurs?

We would like to introduce Lance Robert Hough, Business Growth Expert, Master Marketing Coach, and Integrative Life Coach.

Is this for you? Maybe. Or maybe someone you know?

Now, before you decide this is for you, or maybe isn’t for you, we want you to know the following. For over 25 years, Lance has been working with business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and even people stuck in jobs who have ideas about career changes or going into business themselves. Lance has been working with us here at Grace Wellness Centers and as a result, we have some BIG things coming up in the last half of this year(stay tuned, we are working hard on these major projects, and you will see more in the next months!).

What it isn’t!
This isn’t fluffy coaching designed to make you feel good, but not get the RESULTS you want. It isn’t coaching that will leave you unsure and unclear about your goals and vision. It isn’t coaching that will leave you confused about what to do and how to implement changes that will make a real difference in your life.

What it is!
This is coaching based on Faith and is Biblically based. This is coaching based on years of practical experience, running, owning, managing, consulting and coaching. This coaching is based on getting a clear vision, the inspiration you deserve, the motivation that will serve you, the mindset you need, the tools you will use, to get the RESULTS you want. You will get SUPPORT and DIRECTION while having some real accountability.

So this goes beyond just feel-good motivational coaching that only feels good for a short time, and gets deep, gets real, gets practical, and gets RESULTS Long Term.

If you don’t have a business, and aren’t interested in moving forward with anything like a business. That’s okay! This isn’t for you.

But, if you own a business, are thinking of getting into business full-time or on the side, or are considering changing careers and really doing some praying and searching for answers, this is probably for you. Or maybe you know someone close to you who is struggling. This may be for them as well.

Right now, you can schedule a Faith Vision Coaching Strategy Session. It takes about 45 minutes, and will help you get clarity on your direction, and your vision for where you want to take things. You will actually come out of the session with some next steps – things you can do right away to get things unstuck and moving towards making a real difference in your life and the lives of others. And if you are a good fit for coaching, and really ready to make some changes, Lance will tell you how his coaching programs work. Sound fair?

Right now Lance is offering a very limited number of these sessions for FREE to those who qualify. He truly only has time to do 5 of these in the next week or so. But when these are used up, the, normal session fees will apply. So if you are interested, please get scheduled as soon as you can.

This Therapist Center can be found at our intake request form and by entering their zip code 15019

Do We Need Couple Counseling? Lessons from Pepe Le Pew

Does your relationship have much in common with Pepe Le Pew, the amor-focused cartoon character who made his debut in 1945?

It is not just the issues that seem impossible to resolve that cause so much distress in a relationship. Even more commonly it is the day to day inability to communicate effectively that creates debilitating tension between husband and wife. Eventually this leads to a sense of hopelessness. Marriage Counseling is not only a viable option to renew hope in a marriage but sometimes necessary to save a marriage.
A good indication of the need for Couple Counseling is when husband and wife acknowledge to one another that they are having the same conversations about the same issues over and over for a long period of time without anything changing. Weariness sets in, patience is thin, and behaviors destructive to the foundation of their relationship may have begun. Some of these include finger pointing and/or shaming, stonewalling (unwillingness to communicate or cooperate), expressing contempt for your partner, and at times tragically even engaging in other intimate relationships. Often a marriage has been struggling for years. Within the setting of Marriage Counseling couples can indeed work together to implement effective strategies to turn things around.
The sooner you seek Marriage Counseling the better. It takes courage and humility to acknowledge need for help! In Couple Counseling each partner learns to take responsibility for their own part in getting to this point. Patterns of dysfunctional communication can be discovered. Some of these destructive patterns of communication within the marriage were learned in the early years of our primary family, even when we were very young.
Rather than working against each other by finger pointing and accusing, healing begins with the turning toward each other and desiring the best for each other. Remember in your mind the vision of your wedding day. Do you recall the hopes and dreams you had when you when you turned toward one another, looked into each other’s eyes, and promised to love one another in good times and in bad? With commitment and hard work in Couple Counseling those hopes and dreams can be reborn. Healing begins with commitment, empathy, and forgiveness.
As a Nation we have recently been reminded of the potential of God’s gift of marriage as exemplified by the relationship of former President Reagan and his wife Nancy. In the Memorial Service of Nancy Reagan viewed by millions around the world on television, March 11th 2016, inspiring eulogies revealed the depth of the love she and her husband, the late President Ronald Reagan, shared with each other. These stories demonstrated a love and commitment toward each other that anyone would long for.
In your own marriage you can choose, with help through Marriage Counseling, to learn to rekindle your love. Marriage Counseling can be a gift you give to one another of a new beginning.
This Therapist Center can be found at our intake request form and by entering their zip code 01876

Happily Ever After Requires Hard Work

You meet the right person and fall in love, you marry and live happily ever after… Or do you?
Finding Mr. or Ms. Right is a story many of us long to believe – despite the evidence to the contrary. More than one-third of marriages in America are expected to end in divorce within 30 years. Couples are now marrying later in life and finding themselves afraid of being another statistic of divorce.
The problem is that Americans are trying to adhere to an old paradigm of marriage – handed down from their grandparents and great-grandparents – when the norm was “she looked after the kids and home; he went out and plowed the fields.” Our modern society is dramatically different. Women are now meeting men as equals, and that’s where the ambivalence begins. The traditional marriage is no longer the norm. It has been replaced by a “partnership marriage.” Some people are even seeking a conscious, spiritual marriage. But to make these new forms of relationship work, people need a lot more awareness and communication skills than what their parents and grandparents had.
These challenges actually offer us tremendous opportunities, because partnership marriages allow people to start seeing their relationship as a chance for personal growth. Each partner must take more personal responsibility for their happiness and fulfillment – you don’t get to just blame your partner for your misery and unhappiness.
So, what makes for a strong couple and a strong family? Here are some key points to develop and nurture a powerful, loving and passionate relationship:
Get to know one another’s needs. It makes a huge difference when couples make a conscious effort to learn about themselves and each other.
Make the relationship a priority. You need to spend time every day connecting with your partner in a real way – not simply a perfunctory kiss on the cheek as you leave the house. Couples need to stay connected and stay current. Don’t let things build up – deal with challenges on an ongoing basis.
Make time to get away alone as a couple. You need to have one-on-one time with your partner. You can’t expect to have a good connection with your partner if you don’t spend time together. Go out on a date once a week. Aim to spend a total of at least fifteen hours (awake) together during the week. That’s about 10% of your waking hours.
Men should associate with other men on a meaningful level. This doesn’t mean only talking about sports, but yes, that does count. Men need the company of other men to share struggles, challenges, and successes. Men need to develop a powerful support network where they can be real where they can say what’s really going on with their relationships, with their kids, and with their career. Many men today suffer from ‘father hunger’ because their dads were absent, working two jobs, or otherwise emotionally unavailable.
Women also need support from other women, though many have that kind of support already. Under stress we know that women will generally find it easier to talk about such things as relationships and their children, and reach out to others. Women need to support each other as ‘sisters,’ not just mothers and wives, and to be careful not to get into blaming men for their struggles.

This Therapist Center can be found at our intake request form and by entering their zip code 08091

Do Elevators Go to Heaven?

Okay, how many of us have had to create the important, but oh, so intimidating elevator imagespitch for our career or business? If you haven’t you are lucky; it’s a 30 second speech on why your business/product/etc. is something the person would want to know about. I know I have had to do this many times and I strongly dislike the creation and the delivery process!

I am an off the cuff chatter up-er of strangers anywhere…much to my children’s dismay as they tagged along with me in their younger days…”Mom, why do you have to talk to everyone?!“, they would protest. Well, because I like people and secretly I like to surprise strangers by talking to them when they least expect it!

But, recently, at our weekly ChristLife session on Sharing Christ, a dear friend brought up the dreaded concept of the elevator pitch. Only this time it made so much sense!

This week’s session focused on what some of our obstacles and fears are when it comes to sharing our stories about Christ’s presence and love in our lives. When my friend, mentioned the concept of the elevator pitch in relationship to evangelization (ugh, scary and intimidating word!) my dislike of the process vanished. How many times have I been in a situation ripe for sharing the comfort and encouragement of Christ, yet felt totally unprepared?

helpingWhy not create and practice an engaging introduction to roll off my tongue when the moment presents itself? No more stumbling and wondering when a situation arises, I can see it as a weapon against the Devil’s interference play of self-doubt and fear of rejection. All I will have to do is ask the Holy Spirit to push the “start” button on the recording in my brain!

So here is a challenge for you all. Create your mission field “elevator pitch”, your personalized gift to others that could open their hearts to Christ, and share it here. I will be working on mine too!

This Therapist Center can be found at our intake request form and by entering their zip code 21014

Just Show Up

We’ve all seen them in our facebook newsfeed…
Heartbreaking posts from someone who has lost a loved one or diagnosed with cancer or enduring financial hardship, or painful divorce…the list goes on. And as women, we deeply desire to comfort these broken hearts through words.
But can I honestly say, there is one repeated comment I see on facebook…over and over again. I cringe when I see it. And then I cringe again.
“Let me know if you need anything.”
Have I ever told a hurting person this in the past? Unfortunately yes. But I have learned through my own trials a better way to comfort.
Four years ago, I was struggling through a very difficult time in my life both physically and mentally. I had to take a 4 month sabbatical from my counseling job and was unable to care for my 3 small children without constant outside help from family and friends.
For a high functioning, dependable woman who had worked since 11 years old, I can not begin to express how painfully discouraging my inability to quickly “pick myself” up was at this point.
On a Saturday afternoon I watched an unrecognized car pull in my driveway. It was Sherry, our secretary, who lived in the town nearby. When I opened the door she lovingly explained, “Melissa, I was out picking blueberries with my grandchildren and I wanted to bring some to you for your kids. They are already washed.”
They were already washed.
Tears are running down my face as I type– thinking about that white colander of washed berries, ready to set on my table for my children to eat. Because of my health, standing at my kitchen sink washing fruit was a chore…yes a chore. I am sure there many of you that can relate. So those washed blueberries were very meaningful to this mama.
That life touching experience taught me a very significant life lesson….
JUST SHOW UP.
Too many times, we wait for a struggling person to ask for help. They may need someone to help put laundry away or take their children for a few hours so they can rest. Unfortunately, their mental and physical energy may be too low to be able assign us to these needed tasks. Or they may not want to feel like a burden or even know what they need. That’s why we just have to SHOW UP, look around and offer to do what’s needed without being asked.
Are there some people who are very private and possibly offended by help? Yes. And we want to respect their boundaries.
But who could seriously be angry at a plate of brownies or a pot of soup? My bet–they’ll be grateful.
Here are some simple ways to help a struggling person in their day-to-day life.
Take them a meal- it doesn’t have to be fancy!
Drop off some groceries
Walk their dog
Take their kids for a few hours
Cut their grass or weed flower beds
Fold laundry
Clean dishes in their sink
Offer to run errands for them
Drop off a cup of their favorite coffee
Make a fruit and veggie tray for their kids.
I know this post is not necessarily about overcoming a specific hardship. But I hope this post can offer to each of you a purpose in your suffering–to learn how to comfort others. (2 Cor 1:4, Gal. 6:2)

This Therapist Center can be found at our intake request form and by entering their zip code 44319

Strengthening parent-child relationships through play: Filial Therapy

More and more, people are realizing the power of play and humor in promoting positive relationships and mental health. The family that makes time to play together is likely to be stronger and happier! There is a family intervention that is designed to strengthen families through the use of play. It is called filial therapy, and it can be used by families who have few or no real problems but who wish to strengthen their relationships, or it can be used by therapists working with families who are experiencing difficulties. In filial therapy the parents are true partners with the therapist in bringing about positive changes in their family’s life.

In many types of play therapy, the therapist holds play sessions directly with the child and meets with the parents separately to discuss other issues. In filial therapy, under the therapist’s guidance, the parents learn to conduct a special type of play session with their own children. The parents are considered true partners in the entire therapeutic process. There are several advantages to parents being the ones to conduct the play sessions with their own children:

Parents have an intimate relationship with their children and already know their children better than a therapist would.
Parents are very capable of learning to conduct these special play sessions.
Parents are the most important people in their children’s lives. This method of strengthening the family capitalizes on this fact, and children need not develop a whole new relationship with a therapist.
When parents are involved in play therapy as they are in filial therapy, the changes are usually positive and long-lasting.
When involved in filial therapy, parents usually learn how to understand their children better through their play. This understanding can help parents as they make child rearing decisions.
Filial therapy strengthens the parent-child relationship directly, and everyone in the family benefits.

Usually children and parents alike really enjoy their special play sessions together, and using play to help children with their feelings and problems can make the change process easier for everyone.

This approach is more efficient. As parents learn to do this, they can eventually hold these play sessions at home. The therapist teaches and guides the parents, but eventually they hold these play sessions independently, ultimately reducing the number of therapy sessions needed.

This type of family-oriented play therapy is relatively short-term, but it does require some commitment and work on the part of the parents. Most parents report that this effort is well-worth-it in terms of the positive outcomes they’ve experienced.

Filial therapy has been around quite awhile–since the early 60s, in fact, when Drs. Bernard & Louise Guerney developed it–but it has really been growing in popularity among parents and therapists during recent years. The primary reason for this is that it works. There has been a great deal of research and clinical experience with filial therapy done over the past 40 years, and those studies show that it consistently helps reduce children’s problem behaviors, helps parents feel less stressed and more confident, and improves the understanding parents have for their children. (The term “filial therapy” comes from the Latin words meaning “son” or “daughter” and essentially refers to the parent-child relationship.)

This educationally-oriented approach to strengthening parent-child relationships truly empowers families. If you have questions about it, just ask your child/family therapist or contact me.

his Therapist Center can be found at our intake request form and by entering their zip code 01468

Don’t “Fall” Into Bad Habits This Fall

Is it possible that the summer season is nearly behind us already?
Do you remember the days when “traditional summer” lasted right up to Labor Day?
At least here in the Raleigh-Durham area, kids are getting ready for school, buses are showing up on the roads and vacations are in the rear view mirror.
Perhaps it’s true … “August is the new September.”
As families start to get back into old routines or try to figure out new ones, it’s important to acknowledge the stressful situations that can come with them. Often times, couples with existing relationship issues find autumn to be a stressful time. The pace starts to pick up again and time demands for schoolwork, extra-curricular activities and workload can also conspire to bring old problems back to the forefront.
We want you to know that we are well equipped to provide grounded, proven marriage counseling that offers perspective, guidance and resources to help motivated couples get back on track. In many respects, this is the perfect time of year to address couples’ issues … before the days get shorter and the stress-filled holidays begin to stack up.
Our proprietary Connected Marriage Home model has a proven 85% success rate for restoring distressed marriages and we incorporate this information into the customized program we implement for every couple we serve.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with marriage issues and dedicated to working toward a solution, we are here to be of service. We can offer counseling in traditional weekly appointments, or meet more or less often as needs and schedules dictate.
For couples who are eager to make headway at a faster pace, or are traveling a long distance for our sessions, we routinely conduct extended sessions that can run from 2-to-4 hours.
We also offer Couples and Group Intensives — approximately 20 hours of counseling over a condensed 2-to-3 day period — for those occasions where time is of the essence or the issues facing a couple are extremely challenging.
We offer FREE 15-minute phone consultations as an effective starting point. This brief, candid conversation is a good way to reach a collaborative decision about the best way to proceed.

This Therapist Center can be found at our intake request form and by entering their zip code 27609

Grief – American Bible Society Interview With Dr. Jo Clifford

In the span of a few days, Dr. Jo Clifford’s life was changed forever. Her son committed suicide and she was fired from her job two weeks after that. She went into a closet, shut the door and wept. But something unexpected happened: she met God there, in a space stuffed with shoes, shirts, pants and belts. Dr. Clifford felt God’s presence, and she knew He grieved with her. A devout Christian, she believed the Lord would take her awful circumstances and use them for His good. She had no idea how. But something in her heart and soul stirred.

“I had a choice in that closet,” she says. “This was happening to me, and I decided to choose how I wanted to work through it.” Dr. Clifford decided to become a Christian counselor; she earned her PhD and has a private consulting practice, www.joycounsel.com, to help others understand that joy does come in the morning.

In her work as a temperament therapist, Dr. Clifford has seen grief incapacitate and paralyze even the strongest of people. Grief is a response to an event someone doesn’t want or expect. It comes after all sorts of occurrences: losing a loved one, a relationship, a pet, or a job. But there are smaller, lower-grade events people grieve: a child doesn’t grow up to be beautiful, handsome or successful. Or someone gets a promotion, and the “colleague” now becomes the boss. If people don’t work through their grief — and the emotions attached to them — it will leak out eventually, causing pain for themselves and others.

Anger, depression and anxiety may ensue, along with isolation. People may eat too much, too little or turn to other debilitating addictions, Dr. Clifford says. She offers a biblical example of healthy grieving. It’s found in the story of King David, who lost the first son he conceived with Bathsheba. After pleading with God and the child ultimately dying, David washed himself, cleaned his garments, and accepted the death. Then he continued on with his life and worshiped his God.

“In the Jewish tradition, people go back to work and are among the living after an appropriate mourning period of about 30 days,” Dr. Clifford says. “They go forward. Did David ever get over the loss of his son? No, probably not. Sadness is an appropriate emotion after loss, but it’s better to deal with the sadness than the debilitating grief that causes us to be stuck in anger and depression.”

Dr. Clifford has worked with many people who are angry at God — sometimes for years after the event. Many of her clients question why the event occurred in the first place. “People will ask, ‘Why did my baby die?’” says Dr. Clifford. “’Why did I lose my job’? I could ask ‘Why did my son commit suicide’? The answer is nobody knows.”

But what Dr. Clifford does know is that people have to deal with their grief—as painful as it may be—to eventually gain perspective. In the process, they find real hope. That’s what the Bible offers. “God knows the answer to ‘why’”, says Dr. Clifford. “Grief is only for a season.”

“I tell you for certain that you will cry and be sad … but later you will be happy.” John 16, 20 (CEV)

Dr. Clifford is a prime example of that promise made real. Grief – American Bible Society Interview With Dr. Jo Clifford, July 2014
Written by Jo Clifford, July 12th, 2014
Maria Wolf, editor with The American Bible Society, interview Dr. Jo Clifford on the topic of Grief Counseling as follows:

In the span of a few days, Dr. Jo Clifford’s life was changed forever. Her son committed suicide and she was fired from her job two weeks after that. She went into a closet, shut the door and wept. But something unexpected happened: she met God there, in a space stuffed with shoes, shirts, pants and belts. Dr. Clifford felt God’s presence, and she knew He grieved with her. A devout Christian, she believed the Lord would take her awful circumstances and use them for His good. She had no idea how. But something in her heart and soul stirred.

“I had a choice in that closet,” she says. “This was happening to me, and I decided to choose how I wanted to work through it.” Dr. Clifford decided to become a Christian counselor; she earned her PhD and has a private consulting practice, www.joycounsel.com, to help others understand that joy does come in the morning.

In her work as a temperament therapist, Dr. Clifford has seen grief incapacitate and paralyze even the strongest of people. Grief is a response to an event someone doesn’t want or expect. It comes after all sorts of occurrences: losing a loved one, a relationship, a pet, or a job. But there are smaller, lower-grade events people grieve: a child doesn’t grow up to be beautiful, handsome or successful. Or someone gets a promotion, and the “colleague” now becomes the boss. If people don’t work through their grief — and the emotions attached to them — it will leak out eventually, causing pain for themselves and others.

Anger, depression and anxiety may ensue, along with isolation. People may eat too much, too little or turn to other debilitating addictions, Dr. Clifford says. She offers a biblical example of healthy grieving. It’s found in the story of King David, who lost the first son he conceived with Bathsheba. After pleading with God and the child ultimately dying, David washed himself, cleaned his garments, and accepted the death. Then he continued on with his life and worshiped his God.

“In the Jewish tradition, people go back to work and are among the living after an appropriate mourning period of about 30 days,” Dr. Clifford says. “They go forward. Did David ever get over the loss of his son? No, probably not. Sadness is an appropriate emotion after loss, but it’s better to deal with the sadness than the debilitating grief that causes us to be stuck in anger and depression.”

Dr. Clifford has worked with many people who are angry at God — sometimes for years after the event. Many of her clients question why the event occurred in the first place. “People will ask, ‘Why did my baby die?’” says Dr. Clifford. “’Why did I lose my job’? I could ask ‘Why did my son commit suicide’? The answer is nobody knows.”

But what Dr. Clifford does know is that people have to deal with their grief—as painful as it may be—to eventually gain perspective. In the process, they find real hope. That’s what the Bible offers. “God knows the answer to ‘why’”, says Dr. Clifford. “Grief is only for a season.”

“I tell you for certain that you will cry and be sad … but later you will be happy.” John 16, 20 (CEV)

Dr. Clifford is a prime example of that promise made real.

This Counselor can be found by entering the Zip Code 32164 into our Intake Request Form