• Rescuing the “Fair Lady” of Dignity in Us All

    By: Dr. Bill Clark
    That’s the movie that “popped up” in a recent counseling session with a woman* who’s separated, living on a shoestring budget with her child, and struggling to feel worthy of the relationships she is in. As she reflected on her life and her marriage of several decades she shamefully shared,
    “I’m relationally bankrupt!”
    I knew her word choice was both powerful and historical; they had declared bankruptcy some time ago. She did not use the concept lightly. I asked if she was using the term, “bankrupt” to describe an event – like “today was the day I entered into bankruptcy,” (which one can recover from) – or the shameful stigma disguised as a condition, like “I don’t currently have, and will continue to lack what it takes to get out of, or recover from a state of bankruptcy.”
    She looked at me with a pained expression. Much of her hurt…

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  • Learning to Grow in a Season of Grief

    Written by Cyndi Wagner

    Barren. Dark. Depressing. Lonely. Isolating. Harsh. Severe.  These words describe the season of winter.  The leaves disappear from the trees, grass and bushes die, the sky is gray, and the ground is frozen and impenetrable. There are days and nights when winter is hard and ugly, when temperatures plummet and the howl of the wind threatens our sanity.

    These words also describe grief.

    Grief slows us down--our compulsion to "do" dissolves, and "being" is all that is possible. Our life as we knew it disappears, dreams are shattered, and our hearts are ripped from us in the blink of an eye.

    For years, I used to resist the “season of winter” in my soul. This meant avoiding pain and sorrow at all costs by numbing my emotions.  I would jump right to springtime in my soul and deny the reality of suffering and pain.
     I would jump right to springtime in…

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  • The FGH’s for Coping with Christmas Anxiety and Depression

    By: Sharon Collignon 

    The Christmas season is upon us!  It’s a time we are meant to be filled with wonder, hope and joy.  But, if I’m being totally honest, I’m feeling a bit melancholy, empty and agitated. If you are being honest, how are you feeling?  Are you filled with the wonder of the season or with the dread of days filled with crowds, busyness and conflict?  

    I hope that you are experiencing joy, but if not, I hope this post will be helpful.  Previously, I released the ABC’s for Coping with Christmas Anxiety and Depression and it resonated with many.  Continuing on through more of the alphabet, I now offer the FGH’s for Coping with Christmas Anxiety and Depression to help you navigate through the season.  My hope is that your heart will be encouraged and that you may know the Prince of Peace this season.
    F is for .. Face…

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  • Reason 5 to Engage: Because it matters how we treat each other

    13 Reasons Why can help set up discussions about how we treat one another
    By: Dr. Bill Clark

    It matters how we treat each other - especially how boys/girls treat girls/boys.

    13 Reasons Why (the book more so than the show) dramatically highlights peer relationships and provides a natural catalyst for kids to discuss their own relationships and tendencies.
    It matters how we treat each other especially how boys/girls treat girls/boys.
    Thoughtful kids might be easily encouraged to consider:

    How do boys treat girls in my school or group?
    How do guys treat guys?
    How do girls treat girls?
    How do girls treat guys?
    How do I treat others?
    What do I do when I see unjust or inappropriate treatment of others?

    Reason 5 to Engage: Hannah’s downward spiral was mostly about a string of “small” relational events that could happen to anyone. This sets up potentially helpful discussions about how we treat each other.
    One of…

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  • 5 Things I Learned About Myself And Attachment

    Lessons from Dr. Thompson's Attachment: Shame and the Embodiment of Beauty workshop.
    By Pam Stroup

    On September 16, I attended an LCI workshop entitled Attachment: Shame and the Embodiment of Beauty, featuring local psychiatrist and author, Dr. Curt Thompson. In his book, Anatomy of the Soul, Dr. Thompson writes of attachment, “in order to fully engage our relationship with God, it is most helpful to be fully aware of the patterns by which we have attached to our primary caregivers. The ways we have connected have important correlations with the structure and function of our brains.”  I wasn’t sure what to expect from the workshop, but he had me spellbound much of the time.  I was intrigued and a bit overwhelmed with the content, inspired by the application of the material to the Bible and the Story of God, and touched by his own vulnerability.  Also, my own emotions were engaged.
    Five things I learned…

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  • Why It’s Possible To Have Healthy Attachment Styles

    Understanding the attachment process can help you have a more peaceful life.
    by Cindy Hunter

    Last week we made our annual sojourn to the beach.  As is typical, we planned our vacation to coincide with our good friends.  That put one of our daughters a block away from her lifelong best friend. Perfect proximity by my way of thinking.

    My long ago Outer Banks trips with my childhood bestie “June Bug” conjured up mystical memories of surf, sand, and the joy of joining another family, albeit for just a week.  The fact that these trips only happened for me between the ages of 10 and 15, forty plus years ago, has done nothing to dim their luminosity in my memory.

    And so it goes, periodically, that I must entice my mountain-loving husband and kids back to the place where life was at its best for me as a child.  For many years, I did…

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  • Reason #4 to Engage: You Can Model How to Judge (Without Being Judgmental)

    13 Reasons Why Can Help You be a Better Role Model
    by: Dr. Bill Clark
    “Artists always get there first!” - Dr. Steve Garber, author of The Fabric of Faithfulness
    The past few weeks we’ve walked through a series called “Reasons to Engage,” focused on the popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. If you’re just joining us, I’d encourage you to read the complete series here.
    The reviews for the Netflix’ show, 13 Reasons Why, range from glowing, to dismissive, to highly critical. Obviously, adults are cautioning kids about the graphic nature of the show and the seriousness of the topics—especially teen suicide—while some parents are prohibiting watching altogether. 
    Understandably, everyone fears a rash of suicide threats or attempts, or an increase in victimizing behaviors after being exposed to the show.  While these warnings about the show seem valid, the prohibitions seem overly cautious and short sighted.

    The series, and the story…

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  • Reason to Engage #3: It Can Be a Conversation Starter with Kids

    13 Reasons Why Can Start Valuable Conversations with Kids
    by Dr. Bill Clark
    The past few weeks we have been walking through a series entitled, Reasons to Engage, focused on the popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. In this series we are looking at what value you can draw from the show, and ultimately addressing the question, "should we engage in the conversation around 13 Reasons Why, teen suicide, and some of the dark topics that is addresses?" 
    The show, 13 Reasons Why, provides a natural but difficult opportunity to enter into the world of kids, especially your own. But we cannot engage until we’ve earned the right to ask questions or invite a discussion by watching the show with an open mind.

    We cannot engage until we’ve earned the right to ask questions or invite a discussion by watching the show with an open mind.

    Obviously, many kids will deny watching, downplay any significant impact from watching it, or resist…

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  • Reason to Engage #2: It Exposes Powerful Questions About Life


    13 Reasons Why Exposes Powerful Questions About Life 
    by Dr. Bill Clark
    The past few weeks we have been walking through a series entitled, Reasons to Engage, focused on the popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. (Read the series). 
    The show captured something (the risk, the drama, the danger, the power) of the current adolescent culture. It’s estimated that millions of kids, ages 10 and up, have watched and resonated in some way. That many kids becomes a number that screams at us— “There is something here!”
    Many kids were compelled to spend 13 hours doing something behind their parents back— lying about it if need be. Kids are identifying with it—young kids, “normal” kids, church kids, innocent kids, aware kids, depressed kids, hurt kids. That fact alone should capture us and make us ask ourselves, “What is it about this story/show that is so compelling?”

    Kids are identifying with the show. That fact alone should capture us.


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  • Reason to Engage #1: Step into the Uncomfortable


    Reason to Engage #1: Adults Should Be Willing to Step into the Uncomfortable
    Why would any adult who cares about, raises, counsels, teaches, or works with kids watch the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why?
    Because you care about young people. Because you know it’s hard to be a kid today (and a parent). Because you know kids need to be seen, known, and not left alone.

    Kids need to be seen, known, and not left alone.

    This show dramatically presents various realities students of all ages experience. It helps kids to see fictional characters dealing with some of the treachery and risks they are familiar with already.  It gives them a voice and a context (“Why is this happening to me?”). It models, for kids who silently struggle, the need to confide in someone. “Healthier” or more caring peers may be inspired to take risks to support and engage struggling friends or classmates. 13 Reasons…

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Laurel, MD

"LCI has helped me better understand the importance of our stories and how God works in amazing ways through those stories–first through my own life and now as I work with others."

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