christian therapy

Apologies...

Healthy apologies continue to instill trust in those we wish to have relationship with, it not only heals the hurt we are apologizing for, it creates more trust and resiliency within the relationship. It creates more positive history in the relationship, and deepens authenticity and feelings of safety and acceptance. As a result there is a relaxing within the relationship as acceptance increases, thus leading to a decrease in defensiveness, hiding, fear, and offense. The heart of apologizing is admission of wrong doing and progressing past it. 

While there is not the regular use of "apology" in the Bible, it does say much about healing, having unity of mind, restoration, and admission of sin: which are true forms of "apologizing". 

"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:8-12, ESV)

"Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you." (2 Corinthians 13:11, ESV)

"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:17-21, ESV)

More about forgiveness is noted than apologies. Maybe it's because forgiving is a part of understanding how to apologize. 

Our show on apologizing is on the site and so are many other shows that help us develop a healthy abundant life. 

Let us know your thoughts! Leave comments below. 

Trust: Constructs

The Three Constructs of Trust - Definition

According to Dr. Duane C. Tway, Jr. in his 1993 dissertation, A Construct of Trust: Tway defines trust as, "the state of readiness for unguarded interaction with someone or something"; He developed a model of trust that includes three components. He calls trust a construct because it is constructed of these three components:

"the capacity for trusting, the perception of competence, and the perception of intentions."

Thinking about trust as made up of the interaction and existence of these three components makes trust easier to understand.

1. The capacity for trusting means that your total life experiences have developed your current capacity and willingness to risk trusting others.

2. The perception of competence is made up of your perception of your ability and the ability of others with whom you work to perform competently at whatever is needed in your current situation.

3. The perception of intentions, as defined by Tway, is your perception that the actions, words, direction, mission, or decisions are motivated by mutually-serving rather than self-serving motives.


One of the most valuable things I teach my patients is the issue of trust. I teach them how to trust, who to trust, when to trust, how much to trust, how to keep on trusting, as well as being a trustworthy person.

We all know how it feels when trust is broken, and/ or if we have broken another’s trust, so more than anything I want to my patients to have the opportunity once again to be a trusting person as well as to trust others once more. 

Yet, what happens when we don’t trust, when we won’t take the risk and trust God or another person?

Without trust one cannot truly receive/feel love or authentically give love. Why? Because we'll withhold, second guess, be paranoid, suspicious all as a way to protect oneself, not realizing this only sabotages the effects of healthy trust. When one is not able to healthfully trust, they cannot truly feel hopeful, or confident. They will constantly second guess, and doubt. It will inhibit relationships, a sense of belonging, resulting in the feeling that one is “not truly wanted” or liked. They will struggle with fulfillment, connectedness, and feeling content. When one struggles with trust, life becomes more nondimensional. Therefore, the person lives to avoid pain, always feeling as if they are surviving, resulting in pleasure seeking behavior. This is surviving not thriving.

Hear more on our show this Sunday airing at 12pm MST on FaithTalk 1360 KPXQ in Metro Phoenix or online. 

We are His seeds.

Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. (Luke 17:33 NIV, NLT)

Let's use the life of a seed as an analogy for our own lives. Like a seed, there’s an intent/a purpose in us, too, of an original creation waiting to come out. What we shouldn’t do and cannot do is protect the seed. We should not nurture it into staying exactly as it is, or even ease its growth unnecessarily. Nor should we abandon the seed or starve it. It might be buried deeply, waiting out its natural cycle before it germinates, but it still needs water and nourishment.

Instead, let the seed burst forth with new life and do what it was created to do. The important thing to remember, though, is that the seed must die, or change, before it can live; it must break out of the outward shell that is holding it captive. Compare the metaphors of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly and a tadpole into a frog. 

Shedding: Change, Change, Change. Growth, growth, growth.

Let’s take a closer look at change. Changes come in three types. And each type treats you differently. Here they are:

1. A change you initiate: this may include an intentional job change, a marriage (or possibly divorce), an addition to the family, a move, a pursuit of higher education.

2. A change that’s predictable, but unavoidable: aging (including puberty), a progression through a job or education, new neighbors.

3. A change that’s unforeseen and out of our hands: an illness, a natural disaster, job loss, winning the lottery.

God has a greater good that will result from great loss (Romans 8:28) and change... if we allow for the grief and loss process, even if we don’t know when the greater good may appear. In truth, sometimes we need these things removed, and we need to be sequestered by God to allow the maturing process to take place so that we can grow and develop uninterrupted in understanding the workings of the Holy Spirit. We will then eventually take our places as the spiritually mature people God has intended us to be. Closely tied to this is the death of a good thing, and possibly a thing that shouldn’t have died. Be that as it may, it has died for one reason or another. God can still do an even better thing in our lives. We’ll see this a bit later with Job’s story: he had no clue whether he would even survive his ordeal, let alone that it could be used to bring him more good in his life than he’d ever had before.

Each change we face in our lives can be described as positive or negative, predictable or not, and avoidable or not; but still it’s a death—something dies with every change. What’s every loss has a gain every gain has a loss. The loss of a seed with a birth of a tree.

God has designed it this way. Glory be to God for his perfect design. 

 

Friendship: Job and Suffering.

Job Painting

 

Job 2:11-13 The Message (MSG)

Job's Three Friends

"Three of Job's friends heard of all the trouble that had fallen on him. Each traveled from his own country—Eliphaz from Teman, Bildad from Shuhah, Zophar from Naamath—and went together to Job to keep him company and comfort him.

When they first caught sight of him, they couldn't believe what they saw—they hardly recognized him! They cried out in lament, ripped their robes, and dumped dirt on their heads as a sign of their grief. Then they sat with him on the ground.

Seven days and nights they sat there without saying a word. They could see how rotten he felt, how deeply he was suffering."

Note: they could only do it for 7 days. When humans do not understand they generally become judgmental and controlling. If they don't have answers the start filling in the blanks themselves. They begin problem-solving because they feel helpless and the pain this person is feeling is now affecting them. It is now affecting my serenity my peace and I want it to stop. Many times you will see other’s defense mechanisms come into ply over your pain. I.e. avoidance, control, aggression, manipulation, etc. which we see in Job's wife. The trial in another person's life is not only teaching, molding, and shaping them; but it is also showing me the other side of suffering this is God's side. He hears our cries and stays with us, he works with their own free will but doesn't control us. He doesn't leave us in the midst of our pain, and doesn't steal our pain from us. He allows for the mystery of suffering to do it’s work and doesn’t get mad, judge, or abandon us in the process. Even if we are not doing it well.

There are two sides of healthy development in relationship:

1. Dealing with my process of trial, hardship, suffering and success.

2. Dealing with another’s success, or hardship, suffering, pain.

Which side are you on today? Maybe both. With whom and how are you doing in becoming more Christlike? Are you using defense mechanisms and being codependent, or Christlike?

Job 4:1 we see Job’s friend Eliphaz not being able to hold onto grace. He couldn’t be present with Job’s suffering, because He couldn’t understand it, it wasn’t “his” way. He had to “do” something. So he became a human with human ideas to do something (Like he was in Chapter 2 of Job). His defense mechanism was “intellectualizing. In contrast, we have Job’s friend Bildad the Shuhite in Chapter 8:1 who had to find something to blame: Job’s children must have been sinning. He then lectured Job with a lot of wisdom, that is cognitively sound, and can be used, but was misplaced in Job’s case. Zophar on the other hand, just told Job to repent and then everything would be fine. His tendency was to “minimize” what Job was going through. Just hurry and repent and it will all be ok. Job finally says:

“Can’t you guys just give me a break?”

“I’m dying here!”

Generally, we do not want advice, or lectures, or idea’s. We really want direct/immediate relief from the pain we are in. We can’t fix it, but we can give some relief. You can be a human “pain killer’ for a moment, Sympathy (not pity) goes a long way. Most of us just want someone to care about what we are going through, not judge our process and to real ize we are probably doing the best we can. If we could do better, wouldn’t we?

Let’s be the friend that Job really needed. The ones who enter into his pain, protest and pray with him.

Generosity: Are you generous?

Let's make generosity simple, because it truly is...give what you have. If you have money-give it. If you have time-give it. If you can give approval, spread it around. If you can offer acceptance-offer it. If you can smile, you should. Say Thank you. Have patience. Be generous with your compliments. Its nothing more than giving...

The most powerful forms of generosity are usually practiced in our closest, most intimate relationships. It is here where we love generously, get over transgressions quickly, provide patience, accept someone where they are, pray for them instead of complain about them...we find mercy and compassion for their condition whatever it may be and we do it freely and willingly. While we are doing all things generously in our intimate relationships, we must remember to not use generosity as a tool of control, entitlement or reciprocation. Generosity is a Godly act and is act of love. Love them as God loves: without strings attached. Without expecting anything in return. 

Additionally, for those whom you are most generous and most concerned about in your "generosity circle", trust God is doing good work in them. Trust that God is for more concerned, more aware, and more committed to their behavior than you could ever be-be sure to address the plank in your own eye before addressing the splinter in theirs. Generosity is not about control or behavior modification, it is freely given out of love and service. 

We are discussing generosity in depth these next two weeks on Conversations with Cinthia. The first show in this series is airing this Sunday at 4PM MST on Faith Talk 1360. 

 

Part 2: Love A Man Well (Notes)

We wanted to share one portion from the copious notes and sessions Cinthia has shared on loving a man and the gender differences she sees in her practice. Here are some excerpts from her notes and we hope they will help you process why it is important from a woman to control how you communicate your emotions in your relationship with a man. Please listen to the radio show on Sunday on Faithtalk1360 4PM MST for more, but this might help set the stage for one important aspect of the broadcast. 

Here are the notes: 

Communicating Emotions: One of the things that comes naturally to women is how they express their emotions. When they talk to their girlfriends, women just have feelings, they’re big and perhaps kind of a dramatic, and in a passionate manner. Woman can even be somewhat reactionary. This is how I (Cinthia) am when I am speaking: You can really see things on my face. It comes really naturally to me to be really animated. I use my hands, I get tearful, my voice rises. I use lots of analogies; I’m really, really verbal; I talk really quickly and that doesn’t always go over well with men. I have to do things in order to moderate and adjust this. So I need to speak slower; I use less words; I take some time and am careful about how animated I am, and moderate intensity. There are a lot of feelings and they are often. 

Cinthia account: 

It’s so funny to me when I’m teaching women about men and I say to

them, ‘Do you understand that the scariest thing to a man is a woman’s

feelings?’ They will go to war, they will go to Afghanistan but they

won’t take on their wife having a "bad" feeling. Because they just don’t

know where it’s going to go. They don’t know how to fix it. They don’t

know what’s happening. It starts to then be about them and they are

not a good provider, a good husband, a good lover, a good friend, a

good father or whatever it is. It is very scary. Men come into my office

and they are white-faced because they know they are getting

something. Inevitably, it makes no difference. It cracks me up. A

couple will come into my office, sit down, and I will say, ‘Ok, How are

things?’ The man inevitably, always looks at the woman and says, ‘I

think we’re OK?’ Or he responds, ‘Are we OK?’ The woman will say,

‘Yeah, we are, we had a few little issues.’ then she’ll follow up with, ‘You know what I’m

talking about honey.’ And he’ll always respond, ‘I’m not sure’. This is because

(Thank the Lord) men are really hard-wired to forget. They don’t truly do not

remember. They don’t track information the way women track. Whereas, I can bring

something up from two years ago as a reference point for me as to

why I feel the way I feel today. I can say it to my friends, I can say it to

clients, I can say it to my husband, you know ‘this is why I’m so-and-

so, because when we did this and this at this restaurant...’ He will look

at me and go ‘What are you talking about? What?’

 

What women need to understand about men, when woman do that to a man: express emotions without processing and expect them to remember it all...it goes nuclear. If women do not present their emotions well, men feel totally bombarded. They feel ambushed. They are broad-sided out of left-field and they automatically think they are now in the one-man-down position. They don’t remember and do not have that in their little weaponry like women do. If women are not careful, it’s like a loaded gun. When explaining to men the reason women do this is that it creates an emotional reference point for them. That’s all women are doing. Some women bring it up to be accusatory and keeping score but what really is happening to women emotionally is they are building this emotional grid for themselves, so they can say, "wow, it’s like the same thing, the first time you brought me flowers I’ll never forget how I felt." The guy will be respond, ‘Oh, really, when did I do that?’ They just don’t register the information in the same way. They can feel really, really ambushed when women start bringing stuff up from the past because it is an immediate trigger "Oh no, I thought that was resolved and now I have a big emotional issue I’ve got to deal with. I thought we’d put that to rest but now she’s bringing it up again, re-igniting it again," And what a woman is saying to the man is not necessarily re-hashing it. A woman is trying to give a man a frame of reference as to why that was important to her and why the issue that’s happening today is making it harder for her. Because she remembers what happened to her a year and a half ago when they had that experience.

So, if a woman can give him a little frame of reference and say this is why we are talking about this, "I’m not trying to ambush you" or be honest and say , ‘Yeah, I faked you out. I told you it was resolved and I’ve been carrying it for a year and a half." Yet that is just mean and harmful to your relationship. Men do not do well with this and it is detrimental. Deal with the issue as it rises. Therefore, men start to act very afraid, thinking that they were ok and then finding out that we’re not ok...its a precipice of the unknown. They feel like the rug is pulled out from under them and they can’t trust anymore. So, it’s really important that women address men and are upfront, "Yes, this is resolved." If a woman brings it up in the future, it’s only as an example for why I feel the way I feel. It isn’t because it’s unresolved. If it’s not resolved, a woman really needs to be honest and communicate to the the man that "We probably can’t talk about this anymore but we will have to talk about it again because I’m not ok with "xyz" that occurred." Men are more literal, and compartmentalize, so they can be offended when I refer to the past as a way to explain the present. The past does not explain the present issue at hand. 

We would love to hear feedback and cannot wait for you to hear the show!