Free Interviewing Workshop – Sat. April 8th, 10:00-11:45 am, Octavia Fields Library, Humble, TX
Practical Spiritual Warfare Effectiveness
I have been involved in one form or another with spiritual warfare training and practical healing methodology for believers, for roughly 30 years. Not exactly sure why, but the Lord seems to repeatedly have me on the front lines helping folks understand in a very practical way, what He means in Luke 4:18 by “…set the captive free…” Besides the Word, there has been for many years alot of great teaching out there about healing, spiritual warfare, deliverance and restoration regarding the spiritual realm. Some well regarded teachers and authors are Mark Bubeck, Charles Kraft, Dr. C. Peter Wagner, Frank Hammond, Dr. Rebecca Brown, MD, John Bevere, Frank Peretti, John Eckhardt, Kenneth Hagin, Sr., Derek Prince, Kathryn Kuhlman, John G. Lake, R.A Torrey, Maxwell Whyte, Watchman Nee, Smith Wigglesworth and many others. Even with alot of out of balance stuff out there over the years, there are still healthy, well-balanced ministries who have done a tremendous job helping folks in a safe, healthy way with notable conservative integrity. A couple of these are Elijah House ministries (John & Paula Sandford) and Cleansing Stream (Jack Hayford). They both emphasize that deeper healing genuinely starts by dealing with the roots, often with a respectful and tender focus on forgiveness of self and others.
So, I only want to focus on a small portion of how to be aware of the potential “entrance gates” that most of us at one time or another might have a tendency to fall prey to. Now being a Professional Life Coach I am always most interested in what can give folks answers to overcoming things in life. Some obstacles that we all deal with are simply laziness, selfishness and/or simple unawareness. But others are more strategic in design…of course I mean by the enemy of our soul. There are “principalities and powers” mentioned in the New Testament, who’s sole job is to carry out assignments by the their master, mainly to kill, steal and destroy as much as they can. Now of course a true believer (in Christ Jesus) can not be “possessed” but he/she can certainly “have a demon” as the Greek accurately is interpreted. So one might ask, “well, so how exactly do we gain an attachment to one of these fellows?” Good question.
There are six “entrance gates” for spiritual (legal) attachments that the enemy can gain ground with, in/on us. They are as follows:
- Activity in the occult (i.e. seances, ouija boards, necronomicon, palm reading, astro-projection, hypnosis, participation in a coven, satanism, etc.)
- Sins of the fathers past down to the 3rd and 4th generation (also called bloodline curses)
- Soul Ties (intimate connections with another person who has toxic stuff in their life can be crossed over)
- Abuse and/or trauma (anything that caused one to suffer emotional damage, at any age)
- Repeated sins that grow into a “stronghold” (or as some call it…addictions), and eventually give ground to welcoming an attachment of a “strongman” as the Bible calls him
- Someone actually pronouncing a curse on someone who has wrongly been exposed to an unsafe environment
Now several of these would probably do well to have much further explanation. You can Google “spiritual warfare” or “deliverance ministry” to get a list of different ministries or books to learn more detail on any of the preceding list. Also, if you have a well-balanced, Bible-taught, conservative, evangelical pastor, he/she can probably give you several pointers as well. But suffice it to say, each of us would do well to tend to our healing spiritually and emotionally (past and present), and no longer neglect such a high calling. That is to genuinely go for our cleansing, healing, recovery, restoration, and refuse to settle for less no longer, as we choose to “enter His rest”. If any of these topics are of serious interest to you, and you would like to truly be set free in Jesus, to be all He has called you to be, please feel free to give us a call anytime (832) 995-5593. We would be glad to help answer your toughest questions about how to live out your overcoming sonship (as Revelations calls it) in a practical sense.
Grief is a reaction to any form of loss. Bereavement refers specifically to the process of recovering from the death of a loved one. Both encompass a range of feelings from deep sadness to anger, and the process of adapting to a significant loss can vary dramatically from one person to another, depending on his or her background, beliefs, relationship to what was lost, and other factors.
No one way of grieving is better than any other. Some people are more emotional and dive into their feelings; others are stoic and may seek distraction from dwelling on an unchangeable fact of living. While many difficult and complicated emotions are associated with the grieving process, experiences of joy, contentment, and humor are not absent during this difficult time. Self-recovery, physical exercise, and strong social support can all contribute to alleviating some of the most challenging aspects of grief.
One of the many challenges associated with grieving the loss of a loved one, whether to death or the dissolution of a relationship, is adjusting to the new reality of living in the absence of the loved one. This often requires developing a new routine, envisioning a new future, and even adopting a new sense of identity. Grief work is rarely a joyous thing, but allowing one’s self to process through the pain in a healthy amount of time is good. It becomes not so good when a person gets stuck in the process. This complicated grief can bring on a whole host of other stressors itself.
Signs of Difficulty
Symptoms of complicated grief are nearly identical to those of acute or reactive grief, and again, the length of time it takes for a person to grieve is highly variable and dependent on context. But when symptoms are interminable without improvement, lasting for at least one year or more and interfering with one’s ability to return to routine activities, complicated grief may be implicated. Prolonged symptoms may include:
- Intense sadness
- Preoccupation with the deceased or with the circumstances surrounding the death
- Longing or yearning
- Feelings of emptiness or meaninglessness
- Difficulty engaging in happy memories
- Avoidance of reminders of the deceased
- Lack of desire in pursuing personal interests or plans
- Bitterness or anger
The Grief Cycle
Psychologists and researchers have outlined various models or phases of grief. In 1969, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross identified five linear stages of grief that most people are now familiar with:
Kubler-Ross originally developed this model to illustrate the process of grief associated with death, but she eventually adapted the model to account for any type of grief. She noted that everyone experiences at least two of the five stages of grief, and she acknowledged that some people may revisit certain stages over many years or throughout life.
Psychologist J. W. Worden also created a stage-based model for coping with the death of a loved one. He called his model the Four Tasks of Mourning:
- Accept the reality of the loss
- Work through the pain of grief
- Adjust to life without the deceased
- Maintain a connection to the deceased while moving on with life
If you or someone you love is experiencing grief or bereavement and feel the need to get some help getting through the process, give us a call (832) 995-5593. After working for almost three decades with folks who have experienced an amazing amount of loss, there is definitely help to make it through to the other side in a healthy way.
Treatment of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Today, there are good treatments available for PTSD. When you have PTSD, dealing with the past can be hard. Instead of telling others how you feel, you may keep your feelings bottled up. But talking with a therapist or experienced, professional life coach can help you get better. This article is taken directly from the US Department of Veteran Affairs with the hopes that maybe it could help in some way. My wife works with a precious lady who just this last week lost her husband to suicide. He was a firefighter (first-responder) of several years, who simply had enough of the long-term pain of all that he had been exposed to, and feeling there was no other way out.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of coaching/counseling. Research shows it is the most effective type of treatment for PTSD. The VA typically provides two forms of cognitive behavioral therapy to Veterans with PTSD: Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy.
There is a similar kind of therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) that is used for PTSD. Also, medications have been shown to be effective. A type of drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also used for depression, is effective for PTSD.
Types of cognitive behavioral therapy
What is cognitive therapy?
In cognitive therapy, your therapist helps you understand and change how you think about your trauma and its aftermath. Your goal is to understand how certain thoughts about your trauma cause you stress and make your symptoms worse.
You will learn to identify thoughts about the world and yourself that are making you feel afraid or upset. With the help of your therapist, you will learn to replace these thoughts with more accurate and less distressing thoughts. You will also learn ways to cope with feelings such as anger, guilt, and fear.
After a traumatic event, you might blame yourself for things you couldn’t have changed. For example, a soldier may feel guilty about decisions he or she had to make during war. Cognitive therapy, a type of CBT, helps you understand that the traumatic event you lived through was not your fault.
What is exposure therapy?
In exposure therapy your goal is to have less fear about your memories. It is based on the idea that people learn to fear thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind them of a past traumatic event.
By talking about your trauma repeatedly with a therapist, you’ll learn to get control of your thoughts and feelings about the trauma. You’ll learn that you do not have to be afraid of your memories. This may be hard at first. It might seem strange to think about stressful things on purpose. But over time, you’ll feel less overwhelmed.
With the help of your therapist, you can change how you react to the stressful memories. Talking in a place where you feel secure makes this easier.
You may focus on memories that are less upsetting before talking about worse ones. This is called “desensitization,” and it allows you to deal with bad memories a little bit at a time. Your therapist also may ask you to remember a lot of bad memories at once. This is called “flooding,” and it helps you learn not to feel overwhelmed.
You also may practice different ways to relax when you’re having a stressful memory. Breathing exercises are sometimes used for this.
What is EMDR?
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is another type of therapy for PTSD. Like other kinds of counseling, it can help change how you react to memories of your trauma.
While thinking of or talking about your memories, you’ll focus on other stimuli like eye movements, hand taps, and sounds. For example, your therapist will move his or her hand, and you’ll follow this movement with your eyes.
Experts are still learning how EMDR works, and there is disagreement about whether eye movements are a necessary part of the treatment.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant medicine. These can help you feel less sad and worried. They appear to be helpful, and for some people they are very effective. SSRIs include citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (such as Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft).
Chemicals in your brain affect the way you feel. For example, when you have depression you may not have enough of a chemical called serotonin. SSRIs raise the level of serotonin in your brain.
There are other medications that have been used with some success. Talk to your doctor about which medications are right for you.
Other types of treatment
Some other kinds of counseling may be helpful in your recovery. However, more evidence is needed to support these types of treatment for PTSD.
Many people want to talk about their trauma with others who have had similar experiences.
In group therapy, you talk with a group of people who also have been through a trauma and who have PTSD. Sharing your story with others may help you feel more comfortable talking about your trauma. This can help you cope with your symptoms, memories, and other parts of your life.
Group therapy helps you build relationships with others who understand what you’ve been through. You learn to deal with emotions such as shame, guilt, anger, rage, and fear. Sharing with the group also can help you build self-confidence and trust. You’ll learn to focus on your present life, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the past.
Brief psychodynamic psychotherapy
In this type of therapy, you learn ways of dealing with emotional conflicts caused by your trauma. This therapy helps you understand how your past affects the way you feel now.
Your therapist can help you:
- Identify what triggers your stressful memories and other symptoms
- Find ways to cope with intense feelings about the past
- Become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, so you can change your reactions to them
- Raise your self-esteem
PTSD can affect your whole family. Your kids or your partner may not understand why you get angry sometimes, or why you’re under so much stress. They may feel scared, guilty, or even angry about your condition.
Family therapy is a type of counseling that involves your whole family. A therapist helps you and your family to communicate, maintain good relationships, and cope with tough emotions. Your family can learn more about PTSD and how it is treated.
In family therapy, each person can express his or her fears and concerns. It’s important to be honest about your feelings and to listen to others. You can talk about your PTSD symptoms and what triggers them. You also can discuss the important parts of your treatment and recovery. By doing this, your family will be better prepared to help you.
You may consider having individual therapy for your PTSD symptoms and family therapy to help you with your relationships.
How long does treatment last?
CBT treatment for PTSD often lasts for three to six months. Other types of treatment for PTSD can last longer. If you have other mental health problems as well as PTSD, treatment may last for one to two years or longer.
What if someone has PTSD and another disorder? Is the treatment different?
It is very common to have PTSD at that same time as another mental health problem. Depression, alcohol or drug abuse problems, panic disorder, and anxiety disorders often occur along with PTSD. In many cases, the PTSD treatments described above will also help with the other disorders. The best treatment results occur when both PTSD and the other problems are treated together rather than one after the other.
What will we work on in therapy?
When you begin therapy, you and your therapist should decide together what goals you hope to reach in therapy. Not every person with PTSD will have the same treatment goals. For instance, you might focus on:
- Reducing your PTSD symptoms
- Learning the best way to live with your symptoms
- Learning how to cope with other problems associated with PTSD, like feeling less guilt or sadness, improving relationships at work, or communicating with friends and family
Your therapist should help you decide which of these goals seems most important to you, and he or she should discuss with you which goals might take a long time to achieve.
What can I expect from my life coach or therapist?
Your therapist should help you decide which of these goals seems most important to you, and he or she should discuss with you which goals might take a long time to achieve.
The two of you should agree at the beginning that this plan makes sense for you. You should also agree on what you will do if it does not seem to be working. If you have any questions about the treatment, your therapist should be able to answer them.
You should feel comfortable with your therapist and feel you are working as a team to tackle your problems. It can be difficult to talk about painful situations in your life, or about traumatic experiences that you’ve had. Feelings that emerge during therapy can be scary and challenging. Talking with your therapist about the process of therapy, and about your hopes and fears in regards to therapy, will help make therapy successful.
If you do not like your therapist or feel that the therapist is not helping you, it might be helpful to talk with another professional. In most cases, you should tell your therapist that you are seeking a second opinion.
Bottom-line…there truly is hope. With a variety of treatment options, types of qualified professionals, and a number of things you can strategically and tactically do to help, please don’t let the rising suicide rate affect your home. If you want help please contact me at 832-995-5593, check out the VA online at http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/treatment/cope/index.asp, or if you live close to Houston, TX, the PTSD Foundation and Camp Hope can be found at 832-912-4429 (PTSD Veteran Line – 1-877-717-7873).
If you want to find out exactly how you come across to others, or want others to discover how they come across as well, take a free couple of personality/temperament assessments. I promise it won’t hurt 😉 You might even stumble across something that could totally turn your relationships (at work or at home) totally around. The beauty of taking two of them is that you can compare and contrast the results, verifying for much greater effectiveness in your personal application!
If you follow these links, please be sure to be just as honest as possible about who you are in the here and now, not what you hope to be in the future, or wish you were. It really makes all the difference in the world with the results you’ll get.
Helpful Interpretation and Application
If you find them interesting and would like to go over them with a trained professional (Professional Assessment Administrator), give me a call…832-995-5593. For years, I have used these (Keirsey and MBTI) with individuals, couples, families, and organizations of all sizes, to radically alter how folks get along, as well as truly understand each other. Conflict reduction, increased honesty, harmony and effectiveness in just about everything a person puts their hands to…especially trust and communication. Enjoy getting to know yourself 😉