Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Propose


We are coming into the holiday season, which means that lots of people will be getting engaged soon.  If you plan to propose soon or believe your partner may be, I want you to take a second to consider if this is the right fit for you, or even the right time.  In a time period where the divorce rate for first marriages is 50% and rising, you want to make sure you are making the right decision for both of you. As someone who works with a lot of couples in many different stages of relationships (dating, engaged, married, divorcing), I meet a lot of couples who rushed into marriage without understanding the commitment they were making.  My hope...

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Why Your “Good” Kid is at Risk for Teen Depression

teen depression

I work with a lot of teen Depression.  It’s not unusual for a client’s parent to be upset when their teenager is diagnosed with mental health issues.  It’s common for them to say “But my kid is a good kid”.  The problem is, depression and anxiety (and other mental health issues) do not discriminate.  Your teen could be the best kid, and they could still struggle. Today my hope is to obliterate the stigma that good kids don’t struggle with mental health issues.  Because they definitely do.  I want to talk about the pressures put on kids today, and how that also impacts their emotional well-being.  And maybe how we can work together to help prevent mental health issues and...

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What Masks Do You Wear and Why?


“The world is full of precious souls wearing masks to hide the pain”—Alfa Happy Halloween from Journey to Joy Counseling!  This week on the blog, we are going to talk about masks.  Not Halloween masks, but rather the masks we wear EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I love this quote from the poet Alfa because I think there is so much truth in it.  We pretend to be okay on the outside, but on the inside, we hurt, are messy, and oftentimes unhappy.  So what masks do we wear to compensate? Perfectionism Sometimes people who try to be perfect in everything actually feel pretty awful on the inside.  What they want to project to everyone else is “I have it all together”...

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6 Ways We Are Perpetuating the Mental Health Stigma

Mental health

Although we’ve made a TON of progress around the stigma of mental health, we still have a lot more work to do. Today I’m going to talk about some of the most common things I hear from people who are resistant to therapy and treatment.  My hope is that if you have ever said any of these things, that you will reconsider taking care of your mental and emotional health.  It’s imperative that we stop the stigma so that those who need help can get it….without fear of condemnation, shame, or judgment. “I must be crazy to go to therapy” Contrary to popular belief, the people who walk through my door for counseling are not crazy.  In fact, many of...

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The Pursuer-Distancer Pattern of Communication


Most couples struggle with communication at some point in their relationship.  It’s normal for couples to come into session and really have a hard time working through conflict and disagreements.  Sometimes it’s as though they can’t even work through the simplest of disagreements.  Obviously, this is discouraging and scary to couples who want better for their relationship. In fact, there is a pattern called the Pursuer-Distancer that can help explain the dance that happens between couples.  Today I’m going to talk about what this looks like, and how to work together to be healthier in your communication with one another. The Pursuer Let’s meet Karen.  Karen is a pursuer.  She likes to deal with conflict in the moment.  Karen will...

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Porn Addiction versus Sex Addiction Part 2

sex addiction

If you read last week’s blog, you know that today I’m going to discuss sex addiction, and how it is different from porn addiction.  If you missed last week’s blog, click here. Although there is not an official DSM-5 diagnosis for sex addiction, there is plenty of support for a legitimate diagnosis.  This week I’m going to talk to you about what I’ve seen working with sex addiction, as well as what other experts have to say about it. What is Sex Addiction? Last week, I told you that porn addiction is a type of sex addiction—but not all sex addicts are porn addicts.  Let me tell you what sex addiction can look like. Sex addicts can be addicted to...

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Porn Addiction versus Sex Addiction Part 1

porn addiction

In my line of work, I see a lot of people who are addicted to a lot of things—alcohol, drugs, shopping, gambling, food, work, etc.  Interestingly enough, I also see a lot of people who I believe are addicted to pornography and/or sex.  I believe that people can get addicted to both—even though for the time being, there is no official DSM-5 diagnosis for either….yet.  But if you’ve ever lived with someone who has a porn addiction or sex addiction, you probably agree that both are legitimate.. My hope over the next 2 weeks is to explain the difference between porn addiction and sex addiction, and to give you a clear understanding of why both are very real, and devastating...

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What is Transfer Addiction?

transfer addiction

There is a lot of talk in the news today about the opioid crisis and addiction.  Normal, everyday people are finding themselves addicted to pain pills—or worse.  Even if these individuals are lucky enough to get into recovery, there are still a lot of obstacles for them to face.  The possibility of relapse, the pressure to stay sober, and even the possibility of a transfer addiction. If you’re someone not familiar with the world of addiction, or even if you are, there’s still a good chance you may not have heard the term transfer addiction.  My hope today is to educate you on why it’s such a problem, and why getting into recovery is only half the battle for those...

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All about the Enneagram Types

enneagram types

If you are a reader, or interested in psychology at all, you’ve probably heard of the Enneagram.  The Enneagram is comprised of 9 different personality types that explain a person’s worldview.  It also explains what motivates them, their personality characteristics, and how they relate to others.  The 9 Enneagram types are numbered one through nine and are arranged on a chart like a nonagram--a 9-pointed figure. The Enneagram not only discusses the good parts of a person’s personality, but also the “flaws”, fears, and sinful tendencies that each number may struggle with.  It also helps a person identify ways to improve themselves by identifying what they struggle with at their core. The Enneagram is becoming more and more well-known.  It’s...

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What to do When You Experience Grief


A little bit of self-disclosure here: I have experienced a lot of grief in the past few years of my life.  Prior to these losses, I felt like grief and loss was a topic that I fully understood, and could help others process in their own lives.  With the losses in my own life, my empathy and understanding have reached a whole other level I didn’t know possible.  I truly believe that God can use hard and awful things to give us the ability to help others. Two years ago I wrote a blog on grief that you can read here.  While many of the things I talked about are still true, I wanted to expand on a few things...

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