Words of Wisdom

 

 

Take A Moment: PLEASE

Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Moms are made to nurture. Often in the red zone of busy, moms really don’t care about stress reduction. Even in the most insane day, lots can be done to lower stress and it’s good to lower it for those you nurture and their nurturer; you. Repeat to an overflowing, even obnoxious to you degree, truth about you: *You are loved by God *God’s thoughts toward you are good and not evil *You are precious to God *Cast all of your cares upon Him. He cares for you.... Breathe, really breathe.

Keeping Secrets

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

We all like knowing we are well thought of. A good reputation is built over time and maintained by continuing the same work that got us there. Revealing another person’s secret to a third party (without permission) is a sure way to undermine the very foundation you have worked hard to have. Learn to keep another’s confidence and in so doing, build a good reputation.

Something Different

Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., CAPSW

We all have habits and patterns, including how we interact with others. We even get into patterns of acting and reacting to one another, especially with those close to us. The closer someone is, the more patterns of interaction there are. Simply put, when the patterns are unhealthy, we need to change how we respond in order for the patterns to change. “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

Choose to Live and Love

Carrissa Pannuzzo, M.A., LMFT-T, LPC-T

Overload. Embarrassment. Betrayal. Rejection. Loss. Inadequacy. These, among many others, work to keep us disconnected. Hidden. Alone. For as painful as these things are it makes sense that we often desire to hide, to remain disconnected from our world, ourselves, and the others in our lives. But, there are also beauty, laughter, joy, kindness, courage, and the many other things that bring us life and freedom. The reality is, life on this earth hurts. But, there are different kinds of pain. There's the pain of being stuck and hidden away and there's the pain of growth and risk. I don't know about you, but I'm choosing love and life and joy as my act of defiance against all that's evil and cold in our world. I hope you'll join me!

You'll Not Know It, But I'll Get You Back

Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Masking angry feelings, a loved one can act them out in deliberate, but hidden ways. The child who is angry at his mother but fears expressing himself directly may pretend not to hear her when she calls him for dinner or may choose to complete his chores in an intentionally incorrect way that he knows will infuriate her. In these ways, the child gets his mother to act out the feelings that he had been holding inside. Adults can, in similar but perhaps more “grown-up” ways, get revenge.

Building Confidence

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Encourage your child to think about what their thoughts are on any given topic. Take time to validate what is true without demeaning them for what may not be true. Elementary children are literal, black-and-white thinkers so validating them helps them know when they are on the right track. Gentle redirection creates an atmosphere where they trust the attitude or behavior you are describing. Gentle feedback creates the confidence you wish for them to have.

Restlessness!

Carrissa Pannuzzo, M.A., LMFT-T, LPC-T

That mental, emotional, and physical sensation of not being settled. Maybe life is up in the air or it's been stagnant for too long. The best remedy is to take time to reconnect with oneself. Get some space to reflect and ponder what's important to you and whether your days are spent supporting your passions and values. If they're not, make a change today. Even the perspective difference will give a settled feeling and begin the journey toward peace.

I'll Get You Back

Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC

“Man’s anger does not produce what God wants.” (James 1:20) Have you ever sat back and watched someone “go off the rails” with anger? If it is aimed at you and you know you don’t deserve it (not that “deserves it” is tenable) you may watch in disbelief. After the shock wears off, you have at least two choices: Get even, or get before God. Ask God to help you do the latter. The fruit of waiting in Him is worth it on every level.

Look Beyond

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

There is tremendous value in looking beyond what people say and do to the possible condition of their heart. Despite my life’s work of providing counseling, like anyone, this is a tough shift both in our thinking and acting. One fact that IS real is when successfully looking beyond the words to the heart, compassion rises to the surface making it easier to let go of offenses.

Something So Simple...Yet Challenging

Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., LCSW

An essential ingredient for a healthy marriage is being willing to work at it and to refuse to allow bitterness to take root.

Anger: Good or Bad?

Carrissa Pannuzzo, M.A., LMFT-T, LPC-T

Anger itself is not good or bad. It often gets a bad rap but anger is a psycho-biochemical response that gives us information to help us respond appropriately in specific situations. The problem with anger results from our interpretation and motivation, both things that happen after the initial emotion. Anger gives us the message: find out why you're angry, take care of yourself, and then change something. Change your relationship, expectations, location, or something else. Don't be afraid of your anger. Use it for your and your relationships health and benefit.

Cherish Those You Love

Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC

A few smiling moments with your loved ones can change your day. A string of them can change your life. (Edited from J. Gottman)

Rude

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Answering before listening is both stupid and rude. It reveals our focus on our self, our own argument and need to win. A person of understanding waits, listens, provides feedback focused on the theme of what has been shared, then moves on with their thoughts.

Words

Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., LCSW

The closer we are to someone the more our words can hurt or heal. Let your words be like a healing balm in your loved ones’ lives today.

Finding Peace

Carrissa Pannuzzo, M.A., LMFT-T, LPC-T

Find your peace. We live in a frantic world. It's easy to get caught up in the crazy that's around us. But, in order to have a satisfying and peaceful life we need to stop. Often. A few times a day take a break and notice the world around you. Notice your breaths. Notice your environment. And, remind yourself to be present. You'll feel a lot more at ease afterward and thank yourself for it.

Money Troubles?

Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Are you in a relationship where you argue about money? Though some studies show it’s a huge relational problem, arguments concerning money aren’t really about money. Money in relationship settings is symbolic of safety and power. It is important for loved ones to explore what money means to each of them in light of their personal history. How much something costs is not the problem. How safe and how influential (give and take) people are with each other is a good measure of successful money management. Money trust is a measure. It goes hand in hand with relational trust. If you have a relationship where you have worked this through, you know what I mean.

Forever Student

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Who out there loves to be “wrong?” I don’t! Yet, allowing the possibility of being wrong in thought and behavior, insists on challenging us with our limitations and a need to be comfortable as a forever student.

How Are You Treated

Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., LCSW

The way others treat you is not a reflection of who you are – it is a reflection of who they are.

Freedom From Frustration

Carrissa Pannuzzo, M.A., LMFT-T, LPC-T

Somedays it’s difficult not to be frustrated with the world and the people around us. “Why won’t they think and act right?? I’ve put on my big boy/girl pants! Why can’t they?!” It’s okay to feel this way for a bit, but not for long because pride and entitlement develop. The reality is, everyone is wired differently and their way of doing things or the season of life they’re in may cause us to judge them more harshly than we ought. Let’s focus on ourselves and the things in our control and find peace!

But I'm The Nice One!

Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC

People hide anger from themselves. They do this because they’ve learned to believe that only nice, hard-working, focused (unknowingly usually stubborn) people are “good.” Being unaware of being angry does not mean that one is not angry. It is the anger unaware which can do most the most damage. It damages you and your relationships with other people. Since anger does get expressed, but in inappropriate ways, it’s like water in a blocked drain dripping and seeping into areas that eventually weaken, collapse, and may even rot support systems.

The "Right" Way

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

We all have truth that exists in our perspectives. Insisting on our perspective as the correct view short-circuits the life of any relationship; personal or professional. The truth in each person’s perspective is real and to be respected. Searching for the truth in another’s eyes teaches us new information, enriching our understanding. Our wisdom in relating only increases.

Communication 101

Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., LCSW

When I was in graduate school one of my professors asked the class, “Can you ever not communicate with a loved one?” There was silence among us, followed by numerous philosophical answers. Finally, he answered his own question and explained, “You cannot not communicate with a loved one.” For a minute or two, we all sat puzzled. Seeing the expression on our faces, he expounded, “Even if you don’t say a word, you are still communicating.” So true. Not only do we communicate through words, voice inflection, volume, posture, and body language, but even our silence sends a message. The challenge is our communication is not an exact science. Sometimes the simplest phrase can be misunderstood. How many times have feelings been hurt, arguments started, tension between family members begun because of a misunderstanding and assumption?

Being Human

Carrissa Pannuzzo, M.A., LMFT-T, LPC-T

You're allowed to be human. You're value does not come from what you do, but from who you are. You have worth simply because you exist. Enjoy being a human "being" today.

Patience in Progress

Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC

"Progress in relationships, business, family; comes in steps, not lightening strikes." Harry Bosch

Overwhelmed

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Who doesn’t feel overwhelmed these days? So many options, issues, relationships, and tasks demand our attention every day. Here is a simple reminder that just may maintain a bit of sanity. It’s simple but rarely used: Pause, Process options, then Proceed.

Thanks A Lot

Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., LCSW

Our physical bodies are greatly impacted by our emotions. According to research, positive emotions such as gratitude, compassion, and love not only feel good but are also good for our physical body. Our bodily systems work better and are more efficient. So give thanks a lot - it is good for you!

Shame and Guilt

Carrissa Pannuzzo, M.A., LMFT-T, LPC-T

Shame and guilt are different. Guilt says, "I did something wrong" and causes us to turn to the other person and desire to make it right. Shame says, "I am made wrong" and it causes us to turn away from others. We are made for relationship. We need people and people need us. We all have shame and relationship is the antidote. Don't let your shame keep you from connecting with loved ones.

Conflict Happens

Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Conflict is normal and natural because differences in "wiring" are normal and natural. The absence of conflict is not the goal of a relationship. Getting through differences to the other side without contempt is the marker of a healthy relationship. The goal is to learn to love one another.

Courageous

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Courage is a thought, emotion, statement or behavior that propels you forward. Ingesting it brings you to a place of alertness and mental clarity. Whether or not you succeed is not the point. The point is to keep moving forward.

Oh, How Humbling

Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., LCSW

Recently, I was wrestling with a software program used for bookkeeping. Struggling for more than an hour, I relented and called tech support. The technician’s name was Kay. I was barely able to keep my impatience and irritation out of my voice as I explained the problem to her. After an hour of working together, the issue was resolved. Before we hung up, Kay thanked me for my patience in working with her and then she said, “You will be more prosperous this year and every year to come. You and your family will enjoy health, happiness and peace throughout the year.” The help and blessing from Kay will not be forgotten soon. It was humbling and thought provoking. Kay went out of her way to bless me even though I did not deserve it. I had begun the conversation clearly irritated and very prideful. I was full of myself and frustrated that I was having difficulty. In short, I could not do what I wanted when I wanted.

The Power of Words

Carrissa Pannuzzo, M.A., LMFT-T, LPC-T

If you're like me, sometimes it can be easy to forget the power of words. Different words are powerful to different people. Everyone has a speaking style and some of the more blunt types can forget to soften, and feeling types can forget to be more direct. Three questions recently noted can help us all communicate more clearly and carefully. These are: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Join me in considering the motives behind our words.

Be Strong

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

We are designed to know truth when we hear it. Truth brings clarity of thought and provides strength by giving us a principle or thought to seize onto. Grab it and make it yours. This practice will carry you through.

Miss But Don't Miss

Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC

A thing about remembering loved ones gone, is that the missing of them is powerful. We need to honor that. In the missing of those gone, we must also be sharply open to NOT miss those who are here.

Letting Go

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Many reading this will believe that letting go means the other person wins or they condone the behavior as ok. This is hardly the case. Letting go is acknowledging things to be what they are. Letting go is embracing your powerlessness to influence another. Letting go is no longer demanding things be your way. What letting go is NOT is a lack of boundaries or self-respect and self-protection in the face of harmful behaviors.

Positive Aspects of Hope

Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., LCSW

In the past decade, there have been numerous studies on hope, and science has simply affirmed what God's word has already encouraged us to do. Researchers have discovered that when a person has hope there is a positive physiological effect on circulation, respiration, and motor function. Furthermore, having hope can positively alter the neurochemistry in the brain. According to Romans 12:12, we are to "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (NIV)

Managing Emotions

Carrissa Pannuzzo, M.A., LMFT-T, LPC-T

Emotions can be difficult to manage. Sometimes they crash over us like gigantic waves, other times they aren't there when they should be. Emotions are valuable messages. If we can learn to listen to them and allow ourselves to feel them, surprisingly enough, they become very useful tools.

Is This Just My Imagination?

Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC

REMEMBER, we don’t “make” another person do the things they do. If you are being blamed for another’s behavior, it’s a sign of immaturity at least and serious abuse at most.

Greener Grass

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

It is easy to view the lives of others as seeming so much better than our own. However, comparing rarely is helpful. Comparing is easy to do but definitely not beneficial. In reality, all people have concerns and issues that weigh on them. Some are out in the open more than others. Let’s stay home for a change and enjoy what we have.

Happy New Year!

Carrissa Pannuzzo, M.A., LMFT-T, LPC-T

With the New Year comes the desire to change. However, it's not uncommon to be a bit jaded because we know that these changes often don't stick. But, God is bringing us from glory to glory. So, this year, be encouraged to trust the process. We're not there yet – BUT, we are not where we were. Happy New Year!

He is Our Hope

Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., LCSW

Throughout the Bible, we are encouraged to place our faith and trust in The Lord because He is our hope. According to Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, the definition for hope is "To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future." Like every good father, it is The Lord's desire to bless us, He has something beneficial for you in your future.

Give IT Up!

Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Is there something you'd really rather hang on to even if it's not the best for you? What is it? My friend does not want to give up rage. The delusion is it protects. Unless we give up the destructive, we have no way of realizing the productive.

ASK!

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

A = Accepting we are not all knowing or all powerful sounds like a no-brainer. However, our pride often inhibits our ability to accept the reality of our need. Accept your limitations. S = Searching out requires giving voice to your need or question. So many roadblocks may seem present due to feelings of shame, not understanding the depth of our need, or just because prior to this we have been able to figure things out. Keep searching! There is no shame in searching for the answers you long for. K = Kinship is a blessing that increases when we accept and insist on the search. It is the squeaky door that gets oiled. Accepting and searching bring us to the knowledge of our place in the family of humanity. We are all in this together so let’s keep asking until the answers come!

Holding On To Hope

Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., LCSW

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." ~Romans 12:12 NIV When I was in graduate school, my favorite professor was Dr. Bob Castagnola. Although he taught different techniques to use when working with clients, Dr. Bob would often tell his students that sometimes the only thing you can do for someone is to hope for them, until they can hope for themselves. Additionally, he encouraged us to find the hope that situations and relationships would improve and change for the better. Dr. Bob, would also caution us that one of the most hurtful things we can do is tell someone else that there is no hope and to take their hope away. May you be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer, and may hope bring you comfort and peace.

Yes or No?

Carrissa Pannuzzo, M.A., LMFT-T, LPC-T

When to say no and when to say yes? What a question! A simple way to figure this out is, will it cause you pain or inconvenience? Is it a one-time thing or a repeated pattern? If the other person got to live the consequences, would it help them grow? These are all things to think about. If you have the opportunity to give grace to cover an uncommon thing, it's an easy time to feel confident in saying yes. If you're helping someone continue a pattern of sin and irresponsibility, that's a good time to say no.

A Thank-Ful Thanksgiving

Laura Demetrician, M.S., LMFT

With our country's political climate turbulent, many will find themselves around tables with people of different opinions and ideas. There are many ways to cope. Your positive and thankful attitude can help set the tone for your time together. If the conversation starts to go down a difficult path, try gently guiding the conversation to topics of common interest. Another idea is to take breaks and breathe. They may wonder why you have visited the bathroom 10 times, but remember to love others, be patient and respectful, and to have a very thank-full Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving from the Center for Family Healing & Practical Family Living!

Influence

Lynda Savage, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Those who influence us sometimes assign us things. A significant part of assigned influence is that we may choose what part, if any, of an assignment to take on from our influencers. Influence; assigned and assumed. We naturally influence others. Let’s remember, influence is who we are - not what we do.

Openhanded

Brenda Spina, M.S., LMFT, LPC

Needy people exist and will continue to exist. Generous people are those who are openhanded: people who loosen themselves to feel compassion and give of what they have. Some of you may only have a smile or a prayer. Others may loose belongings, time, or monies to help. Either way living openhanded means allowing ourselves to be open to need and give from the good stored up within.

Self Actualization?

Christine Vander Wielen, M.S.W., LCSW

Research psychologist, Abraham Maslow, theorized that we have a need for self actualization. Self actualization focuses on what an individual does or accomplishes. This is in contrast to God's word. God's focus is on who we are in Christ versus what we do or accomplish. After all, we are human beings not human doings.

The Standard

Carrissa Pannuzzo, M.A., LMFT-T, LPC-T

There are so many voices around us that call us to unrealistic standards, condemn us, and make us feel less than. But the reality is there's only one standard that we need to live up to. And, we do that, strangely enough by recognizing there is nothing we can do. Only Jesus can. Allow him to be perfection for you and live in grace instead.

The Holidays

The winter holidays can be a time of tradition, community, and meaning. But it can also be a time of loneliness and unexpected grief. In anticipation of the holidays, consider what you need emotionally and relationally. Set boundaries around your time and energy. Invite people into your life. Consider giving back trough a local church or charity.

Wisdom