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Showing posts from 2015

Breaking Bad..Habits

By: Nate Webster, IMH
The term “Dry Drunk” was coined by AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) decades ago.  It is used to distinguish someone who is truly sober from someone who might be sober physically, but who is still a “drunk” mentally and emotionally. The term encapsulates the idea that even though someone’s dysfunctional behavior isn’t acting up, his or her heart remains unchanged and that ultimately it’s only a matter of time until he or she acts out again. Even though this term is applied mostly to addiction, the concept is applicable to most bad habits as well. How many of us have bad habits or dependencies we’re trying to stop, but we still just really want to do them?
Stopping a bad habit can feel like trying to stop a desire for breathing. You hold your breath, hoping that while you’re suffocating your body will suddenly stop needing oxygen, but eventually you just grow tired and frustrated and stop holding your breath! In my work as a counselor I have noticed that there are three pat…

Social Anxiety on the Rise: Are you affected?

By: Nate Webster, IMH
There’s a growing trend of social anxiety that is leaving many of us feeling lonely and disconnected. Brought on by things like social media, online dating and television, people find themselves more afraid of each other than ever before but also wanting relationships more than ever before. In other words, we’re afraid of relationships but are also dying of loneliness. Whether we realize it or not, we’ve all felt the ripples of social anxiety. If you’re a millennial you might be living with it. If you’re of an older generation, you might have been a victim of it.
Below is a list of a few common behaviors of modern social anxiety to help you gauge where you may be. A quick preface though - the below behaviors are not always caused by social anxiety, but are good indicators that you may be struggling with social anxiety.
Indicators of Social Anxiety:
·People in general feel like a burden and a problem to avoid. ·Talking to a stranger for any reason leaves you feeling g…

Group Crisis Intervention Training

Did you know only those trained and certified in crisis response are allowed to work on the scene of a disaster? If a School Shooting, Suicide, Bombing, Hurricane, Tornado, Fire, Flood, Car Fatality, Co-worker Suicide, Terrorist Attack or Airline Crash happened in your community, only those with the right credentials can work at the scene. 

Are you equipped to help a group of people in your organization?  If you were at the scene of a community shooting or community disaster would you know what to do with a group of people who were devastated by the crisis? 

Would you have the right credential?

ICISF Group Crisis Certification 

October 22-23, 2015 (must attend 9am-5pm both days to achieve certification) 
Orlando Group Crisis Certification is only $119 (advance registration by Oct. 9th)

This 2-day certification course is required for all ICISF/Critical Incident team members in Law Enforcement, Fire Services, EMT, EAP, School Guidance or Hospital Chaplaincy work to give them the necessary tra…

7 Ways a Boss Can Be Abusive

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
Usually, abusive behavior is discussed in the context of a marriage and parent/child relationships. But in reality, it can exist anywhere, even in a work environment. Many larger corporations address obvious abuse such as hitting or screaming though the human resource department. Yet few acknowledge the more subtle methods of abuse some bosses employ. Here are the seven ways a boss can be abusive.

Physical. Their posture is an aggressive stance or intimidating stare. They might even stand over the employee while talking to intensive feelings of domination. Some limit the ability to leave office by physically blocking doorway.  Shoving or pushing occurs behind closed doors with no witnesses. Even the room temperature can be increased to uncomfortable levels to further agitate the employee.
Mental. A rage occurs out of nowhere in private causing the employee to fear being alone with the boss. Some use gaslighting technique to abuse by lying about the past to mak…

Secret Relationship Destruction - Understanding the Devastating Effect of Addiction on Marriage

By: Dwight Bain, LMHC
The #AshleyMadisonHack, #JoshDuggar, #JaredSubway and #BillCosby scandals have stunned America the last few days. How could leaders who were so trusted and so well-liked have such dark shocking secrets? Why would someone who had it all- marriage, family, kids, money, career, fame, health- risk it all for fifteen minutes of physical pleasure? If they wanted another marriage partner they could have just legally divorced and gone on to date other people- right? Wouldn’t there have been an easier way to experience an intimate connection that wouldn’t have created so much scandal and shame for themselves and their families? Reputation ruin comes after secret addicts are discovered by a marriage partner- or in the case of these respected leaders- outed by the media. It’s a major new story when these dark secrets are leaked to the press. But that isn’t new. Did you know there was actually an ancient story about a public outing of someone with a secret lifestyle of adulter…

Consider This Before and After Checking the Hacked Ashley Madison List

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
The release of names and emails hacked from the on-line cheater’s website Ashley Madison stirs up questions of fidelity even in the best of relationships. This is especially true in light of some high profile confessions. The website’s promise of anonymity has been comprised and what was done in secret is now being revealed. But before checking a partner’s email address on the hacked list, consider these things.
1.Everyone is capable of making a mistake but not everyone does. No one is perfect. Having expectations of flawless living will only lead to disappointment. Committed healthy relationships demonstrate a willingness to admit errors, change behaviors, accept adjusted boundaries, and forgive. This is something both partners need to do. 2.“This above all: to thine own self be true.” (Polonius gives excellent advice to his son in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.) Before checking any list, take a moment to self-evaluate. Ask: “Have I ever thought of cheating on my part…

Do You Work With a Psychopath?

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
There really isn’t any job a psychopath wouldn’t do so long as it benefits them in some way. Psychopaths can be business owners, surgeons, lawyers, data entry clerks, waste managers, salesmen, politicians, waiters, and even therapists. They don’t have to be serial killers or mob bosses to be a psychopath. The term psychopath is over used in our culture and has come to mean something that it doesn’t. Episodes of Criminal Minds highlight the extreme violent behaviors of the disorder. However, many psychopaths do not commit heinous crimes. Some are involved only in white collar crimes while others don’t do any obvious criminal behavior. What is a psychopath? The term is encompassed under the definition of Anti-Social Personality Disorder along with sociopath. However, psychopath and sociopath are not interchangeable terms. Think of them as two separate parts of a whole personality disorder. A psychopath has the ability to create an entire persona in direct contr…

The Whirlwind of Social Media

The Lie of Facebook By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
I don’t know about you, but if I see one more “cute” cat video on Facebook, I’m going to scream. How is it that my friends have time to find and then post silly videos? Are their lives so ‘purrfect’ (pun intended) that they have the luxury to do this? Or… is it a façade? Facebook allows a person to literally paint and alter their image without any consequences for false identity or misrepresentation. Think of it as a giant modern art canvas where realistic images are absent and abstract images are present. There is plenty of room for interpretation. My frustration over the videos is more about my interpretation of their time in comparison to mine, rather than an accurate reflection of my friend’s life.
Don’t waste energy on interpretative art. Instead, let it be what it is.

Facebook: America’s Addiction By: Cara Griffin-Locker
If you are like most people you probably have a Facebook account. You posts pictures, follow friends and family …

The Addicted Narcissist

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
One of the hardest types of people to deal with is a narcissist in the middle their addiction. They are completely exhausting. The combined selfishness of narcissism and addictive behavior is overpowering, relentless, callous, and frequently abusive. This destructive blend of arrogant thinking in that they are always right and that they do not have a problem leads to devastating consequences. There are many parts to the addicted narcissist and their road to recovery. The point of this article is to recognize the injurious behavior so more reasonable expectations can be established during the process and for the family.
Origins. In both addicts and narcissists, shame is the common denominator. Stage two of Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Development which occurs between 18 months and three years old has shame as the negative outcome. Not all narcissists or addicts have trauma during these years, but it can be a good place to begin. Because there is a strong concurr…

I've Got a Secret; Sex isn't What the Media Says It Is

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC
How many of you have bought into it; that is, what the media represents sex to be? You know, they portray sex to be a wildly exciting and fun activity that you can do with anyone and that the more you do it the more exciting and fun it is. And, after that opening sentence, if you now expect that I am about to lecture you about the evils of sex, then I’ve got you right where I want you! Because remember – I’ve got a secret. And that secret is not that sex is evil or that everyone who is enjoying it needs to Stop Right Now! Sex isn’t bad or sinful. The problem isn’t that the media and the culture have made sex so prominent. The problem is that the media and the culture don’t know what sex isabout and so they misrepresent its essence. And when you don’t understand the essence of a thing, like say using a fire hydrant to take a shower, then you undermine its value and you lose out on the blessing. You see, what I am saying is not that the culture loves sex too muc…

Five Healing Steps to Take After Your Pastor Falls

By Christine Hammond, LMHC
The news is out. Your Pastor did something completely out of character. Perhaps they had a physical or emotional affair, stole money or misappropriated funds, secretly abused a family member, or hid an addiction. Whatever it was, it has devastated the church, shocked the community and perhaps destroyed their family.
Understandably, you will experience conflicting emotions and racing thoughts as you process what has happened. This is a normal response as you begin to grieve over the loss of your Pastor. Here are some of the possible reactions that might occur.
“My Pastor couldn’t have done that.” Usually the first initial response is to disbelieve that your Pastor could have done anything like this. After all, who wants to believe that any Pastor is capable of such a thing? Nothing makes sense. The person you know and trust doesn’t match with the accusations. So, you refuse to acknowledge the evidence. This is why denial is a powerful defense mechanism because …

How to Spot an Immature Person

By: Matt W. Sandford, LMHC
“Grow up!” people will say, usually when you are doing something that annoys them. But I wonder how skilled you are at actually identifying immaturity? I wonder this because of the frequency in which I encounter folks who have gotten into a relationship with someone and they can’t understand why the other person does what they do, or why they have the conflicts they do, or why the relationship is so on and off, or why they can’t seem to work some things out. And so I started to wonder if some ‘immaturity-spotting skills’ would be worthwhile. Let me offer a general concept and then flesh it out. Keep in mind, there are many ways to view maturity and this is just one perspective. Generally, we can find immaturity living on the edges of the continuum of some characteristic, meaning either too little or too much of something. Maturity is often developed through learning a balanced perspective.  This is not a comprehensive list, but rather intended to get you thin…