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Posts Categorized: The Counselor Is In

Focus on What You Can Do – Not What You Can’t

We had just moved into our unfinished new home. A vertebra in my lower back had begun to deteriorate sending my left leg into painful spasms. With all the work left to do, it was very depressing and frustrating to be limited in what I could do. As I sat with an ice bag on…

Freedom – The Ability to Make Choices

“What alone remains is the ‘last of human freedoms – the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.’” Victor Frankl Now that the holidays are over, the grey skies of reality replace the warm afterglow of Christmas. The fun experienced on New Year’s Eve is part of the past as we…

What if. . . .

We are ending a holiday season.  As we end this year and move into the next, we  have the opportunity to reflect and make some new choices about how we direct our lives.  Here are some of my reflections. What if. . . We discovered that Christmas was more than the holiday parties, calculated gifts…

What Christmas Means To Me

I love the Christmas season: the smell of burning candles and pine boughs, Christmas cards that continue to connect me with old friends and music that fills all the tattered and worn places of the heart and spirit. I love the afterglow when family and friends have returned home after a special day of celebration. It…

Grieving Losses at Christmas Time

Part of the grieving process is not only letting go of the life that was, but involves creating a new reality. Throughout our lifetime we experience losses that require new adjustments. For most of our losses, the momentary twinges of sadness give way to exciting new possibilities. But when we have experienced the death of…

Traditions – Make Your Own

All of us have family traditions that we value and treasure. When I was growing up the magic of Christmas was candlight church services, traditional German meals and opening presents on Christmas Eve. When my children were growing up, Christmas was the wonderful feeling I had as I watched my children’s faces light up as they opened…

Stressful Family Get-Togethers

Its Christmas and you are expected to spend it with extended family, some of whom you really don’t like. You remember Christmases past where quarrelling and disagreements escalated or words unspoken left a pall of tension in the room. Perhaps unresolved family history hangs like murky smog enveloping everyone. You are dreading the time spent…

Financial Stress of Christmas

When money is tight, the holiday season can seem bleak and depressive. While budgets may have been stretched in the past, this year it is hovering on zero. The temptation to use credit cards already maxed out is great. It has been reported that every year people overspend at Christmas resulting in taking half of…

Unwanted Change Produces Enormous Stress

Change Produces Stress We resist change because we are comfortable in well established habits – whether good or bad. We know what to expect. Yet, without change, life would be dull and boring. However, we want to be in control of what is changed. But often, we are not in control of making those decisions. A…

Ghosts of Holidays Past

The holidays can bring out a mixture of emotions. You are putting up holiday decorations and instead of feeling happy, you feel sad and depressed. Holidays can be stressful – not only because of all the extra demands on our time, but because sometimes they represent a painful past; a loss of someone we shared…