Speak the Truth in Love

Have you ever been deprived of oxygen?  If so, how fiercely did you struggle for air and how relieved did you feel when air returned to your lungs?  I (David) am a scuba diver and have always wanted that activity to be something the two of us shared; however, my (Donna’s) response has been consistently, […]

Veterans and Their Families

The families of veterans suffer too from acute stressors during three phases of the deployment. There is the Pre-Deployment Phase after the service member has received orders and they know they will be deployed in six months for a year overseas. During this pre-deployment phase, the family struggles with the knowledge that the service member will be […]

Mental Health Needs

All humans share some basic, fundamental needs that must be fulfilled in order to be mentally healthy individuals. Those needs are love and connection, exploration and imagination, purpose, and identity. Let’s begin with identity. If we asked you who you are, how would you answer? You could describe your physical characteristics – are you a male or female? […]

Leading Your Children to God

Leading your children to God involves much more than simply talking to them about God, taking them to church, or reading the Bible to them. Leading them to God involves at least two important additional aspects: Demonstrating your own belief and your own relationship with God in a way that they can overtly witness it; And […]

Humility

Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, Bearing with one another in love Our culture is based in large part on the presence of hierarchies, and the importance of position. Value and worth are often seen as equivalent to how much money you make, what kind of job you do, how old you are, what […]

What is Grief

Grief is the emotional experience resulting from loss. When you first experience a loss, you may feel an initial state of shock, where you struggle with processing the emotions you are feeling and with integrating those emotions and thoughts into your here-and-now experience. You may have difficulty accepting the loss as real and might continue […]

Redeeming Our Story

Stories give form and meaning to our lives and even create the way we understand ourselves. We make sense of our lives, the world, and ourselves through stories. Developing a coherent life story is necessary for making sense of trauma. Our story needs to flow through a beginning, a middle, and an end as a […]

Survival Responses

Survival responses fall into four general categories: Feeling responsible for the traumatic event: This results from a feeling of having lost all sense of personal power and serves to help the trauma survivor feel a sense of power over the event. Frequently they feel guilt and shame associated with the event. They spend much of their […]

Consequences of Trauma

Loss of Agency One of the most damaging consequences of trauma is a belief in a loss of agency, meaning the individual no longer believes they have authority over their own life.  During the traumatic experience, something or someone external to their ability to choose overpowers them, leaving them feeling vulnerable, out of control, and powerless. […]

Superimposition of Trauma

The way a trauma memory is stored and where it is stored in the brain is different from regular memories. Trauma memory has no orientation in time and place. When a stimulus triggers the trauma memory, the individual’s experience of the original trauma superimposes over their current circumstances. Intrusive images and sensations make it seem […]