Although the nature of each counseling request is unique, there is a common theme in people’s lives that is often the impetus to reaching out for help: unprocessed suffering. Our stories contain particular scenes of heartache and loss, confusion and pain, and perhaps an overall sense of disorientation; things are not as they should be. The Bible uses several metaphors to describe our stories of suffering: the wilderness, the desert or the valley…each one producing images that attempt to explain what is often inexplicable. Read more
Many of our clients seek counseling in order to make sense of their unique story and family background. Often, there is a desire to break long-standing patterns of dysfunction in order to not pass hurtful behaviors to the next generation. The unhealthy cycles of abuse and addiction are usually repeated because they are familiar, and will remain in motion until there is an intentional movement to change. Claudia Black, author of the best-selling book, “It Will Never Happen to Me” has identified the unspoken rules of a dysfunctional family. The basic purpose of these rules is to cover up destructive behavior and the shame/blame cycle that exists in the home. By following these rules, each member of the family becomes complicit in keeping painful secrets, thus keeping everyone bound to feelings of shame and helplessness, which reproduces abusive and addictive behavior. Read more
Figure out what’s going on.
If you want to break the destructive cycle of family dysfunction, it starts with the basic step of gathering information about family patterns by asking questions and figuring out what has been going on. It may be difficult to open up doors of communication with family members. This step may be met with resistance or anger because it is breaking the carefully followed rule of “Don’t Talk,” so consider how to have this dialogue and who to talk to. Seek wise counsel and spend time in prayer about how to proceed. Read more