016 Personal Growth: Dr. Gregory Jantz Discusses Depression and the Whole Person

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SHOW NOTES

Hope: Dr Gregory Jantz on the “whole person”

Dr. Gregory Jantz is a best-selling author and eating disorder specialist.  With over 30 years experience in this field, he’s the Founder of The Center: A Place of HOPE in Washington.

His most recent book ‘Healing the Scars of Childhood Abuse’, explores the need for some adults to seek the ‘whys’ from their childhoods.  He provides hope and useful tools for a happy, balanced life.  

Dr Jantz has been featured across multiple national media outlets including CNN, FOX, ABC, and CBS, as he spreads his belief in the power of hope.

Piecing together the puzzle pieces

Dr Jantz’s ‘Whole Person’ philosophy believes that every angle of a person needs to be explored, from their diet to their thoughts and everything else in between.  By working as team with other practitioners and specialists we can learn so much more about the person and they got to who they are today.  According to Jantz, there’s no one person who decides how a patient should be treated.

When he can, he likes to include the patient’s family or close ones as part of the recovery program.  “When a person comes back home, they’ve got to make that successful transition back home”.  Having family engaging with dialogues is instrumental for a healthy return home.

Finding the ‘Aha’-moment

Dr Jantz first worked in the special needs section of a women’s prison, “the roughest and toughest group of women”. That’s when he set his mission to help people heal and live a happy life.  One of the biggest ‘aha-moments’ for Dr Jantz’s patients are when they learn to forgive themselves, or the person that affected them.

This works for relationships too, “when an individual heals, it has a great effective on the healing of relationship”.  If you can love, accept and forgive, you can grown in a healthy relationship.  Dr Jantz has seen how letting go the need to be right, and be humble, makes a happy relationship.

He believes that through trusting God to give us wisdom, we have the power to move forward.  He quotes from Jeremiah, that God’s plans are to “give you hope and a future”.

Looking to the future

A study from his center revealed that it takes a person on average seven years to finally seek support.  Dr Jentz is a firm-believer that you have a choice to move on or stay in your current state of mind.  The biggest regret his patient’s have are “I wish I sought help sooner”.

Dr Jantz has noticed some changes in the mental health industry over time.  Namely, the development of brain science, and how it can help study depression and anxiety.

There’s also been a big leap in people exploring their faith and spirituality through counseling.  Dr Jantz uncovers that ultimately we can use multiple techniques for recovery – it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.

By 2020, WHO predicts that depression will be the biggest disease on the planet, superseding cancer.  But the future is bright for Dr Jantz. He’s excited when he sees the people he’s worked with recover.  Having experienced depression himself, he knows it’s fully possible.

You have the choice to live differently and develop healthy relationships.  Through Jantz’s career to date, he’s seen some changes in mental health.  It’s certainly a tough world to be living in today, but if we all focus on having healthy minds, the world is a much happier, safe and stable place.

If you are struggling with depression or anxiety, check out our episodes on “101 Ways to Cope with Anxiety and Depression.

Dr. Gregory Jantz
Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of “A Place of Hope

 

Some books by Dr. Jantz:

Ten Tips for Parenting the Smartphone Generation

Six Steps to Reduce Stress

Five Keys to Dealing with Depression

Seven Answers for Anxiety

Five Keys to Raising Boys

 

 

Resources:

www.DrGregoryJantz.com

www.aPlaceofHope.com

Depressed? There is hope! Learn from Relationship Helper's interview with Dr. Gregory Jantz as he discusses treating the WHOLE person with HOPE!
Depressed? There is hope! Learn from Relationship Helper’s interview with Dr. Gregory Jantz as he discusses treating the WHOLE person with HOPE!

015 Personal Growth: Why Don’t Sexual Harassment Victims Speak About It?

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SHOW NOTES

Sexual harassment allegations have become the news du jour. Rather than letting this subject disappear into tomorrow’s newest emerging topic, Vincent and Laura address the long-term implications of the media’s coverage of sexual harassment.

One issue that has become abundantly clear is that sexual harassment victims are being misunderstood and often invalidated. Today’s episode is aimed at those who do not understand why victims do not come forward, or come forward years later.

Laura shares her reticence of discussing the topic, due to her own experience with sexual harassment. She expresses her concerns over the use of labels such as “victim” or “ignorant”. Sexual harassment is a delicate topic and subject to judgment.

The hosts have determined nine reasons that keep people from reporting sexual harassment, but there are likely many more. (These are NOT listed in any particular order.)

Why Don’t They Report?

1.) They don’t know they’ve been harassed.

For generations past, the phrase “sexual harassment” was not part of the vernacular. The words were not used, and the actions rarely talked about or explained. Many parents did not warn their children about it or make themselves available to discuss it.

2.) They have a sexual abuse history.

Related to the reasoning behind the first, sexual abuse history has an inter-and multi-generational reach. Family secrets are kept under the rug and perpetuated by a “family culture” of secrecy, poor communication, and lack of openness. (Listen to our interview with Paul Mosher Wallace about sexual abuse.)

3.) They don’t want to minimize others’ experiences.

4.) They have minimized their own experiences.

Some rationalize their silence because they were not raped. Laura explains that rather than making a comparison between rape and harassment, the two should be viewed like “apples and oranges”, both rape and harassment are wrong and bad.

Denial is a powerful coping mechanism. It perpetuates the myth that something wrong did not happen and it keeps the victim from having to feel the anger and shame associated with what happened to them.

5.) Fear of re-traumatization.

Sexual harassment is threatening and can be scary. Laura encourages those who have never experienced sexual harassment to think back to a time where they have experienced extreme fear in a situation.

Ask yourself, “Do I want to go through that again?” Sexual harassment victims do not want to have to relive the experience.

6.) They have low self-esteem.

The culture of secrecy promotes passivity, poor communication and lack of self-respect. When others, such as family members or members of authority have minimized your experience, it discourages you from being transparent and confident.

7.) Others have downplayed their experience when they did try to tell.

Many victims of sexual abuse have tried to tell. The problem is that when they did, either the listener did not understand or choose to understand. Or the victim was not able to communicate what had happened clearly.

Bear in mind that sometimes the listener is a victim as well, and may be caught up in the culture of secrecy. Other times the listener does not choose to believe the victim. They do not want to hear any more about what happened and attempts to shut down the conversation.

8.) The threat of job loss.

Sexual harassment can be a power play. Figures of authority or superiors at work can use their position to abuse power to take advantage of their subordinates.

Imagine a single mother trying to keep food on the table. She depends on her paycheck to keep her children fed, but she is sexually harassed.

9.) Reputation.

Those who have been sexually harassed often feel shame and embarrassment. Many times these people do not want to be identified with what happened to them.

WHY DON'T SEXUAL HARASSMENT VICTIMS SPEAK OUT? Learn how to avoid victim-blaming & the reasons why victims do not report. Therapists Vincent & Laura Ketchie provide insights into the topic and hope to encourage victims and educate those who may be blaming the victims. #MeToo
WHY DON’T SEXUAL HARASSMENT VICTIMS SPEAK OUT? Learn how to avoid victim-blaming & the reasons why victims do not report. Therapists Vincent & Laura Ketchie provide insights into the topic and hope to encourage victims and educate those who may be blaming the victims. #MeToo

011 Personal Growth: Anxiety Attack or Panic Attack?

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SHOW NOTES

Laura opens today’s episode with a sketch depicting what a panic attack feels like.  She describes this example as the birth of a panic cycle.

Panic attacks can be debilitating.  They can come out of nowhere or they can be provoked by a trigger.  Whatever the case, the fear of having another attack creates a vicious cycle of fear of more panic attacks to come.

When Laura sees a client for their first session, she assesses for panic attacks.  She’s learned that she cannot ask if someone has panic attacks because most people do not know the difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks.

So what is the difference?  AND, how can you help a loved one who is having them?

What Brings Someone to Counseling for Anxiety?

Usually something more than someone’s self-awareness about their anxiety brings them to a counselor.  Sometimes people are bothered enough on an individual level with their anxiety to come to counseling, but more often than not, they go because of how their anxiety is hampering their relationships.  Maybe their anxiety makes them controlling over a spouse, or their work relationships suffer because they are unable to function well at work.

Anxiety Can Harm Relationships

Oftentimes it is other people who encourage the person with anxiety to get help because their relationship is suffering.  Sometimes couples suffer because the anxiety sufferer is so ruled by fear that they limit the activities they will participate in with their spouse.

For instance, you may have a spouse that has a strong fear of driving and because of this the couple is unable to travel or make important trips.  This limiting behavior could be particularly debilitating if that spouse refuses to drive to important appointments or struggles to drive to get to work.

Another problem could be the controlling behavior of a loved one.  We sometimes laugh at the label “control freak”, but in all actuality it’s not funny.

When you’re on the receiving end of a controlling person, you can feel pretty miserable.  The person doing the controlling is miserable, too.  So, this controlling person is generally motivated by fear.

That means whatever limits they place are determined by their fears.  Being motivated by fear does not grow a relationship and can make a relationship become stagnant and unproductive.

People struggling with anxiety are often mind-readers.  This puts couples in particular trouble because the anxiety sufferer will come up with assumptions about their spouse because in their minds they are being self-protective.

This often backfires because their assumptions are false.  Then the loved one calls them on their false assumptions and the anxiety sufferer becomes defensive.  They become defensive because they are afraid to change a behavior that they believe protects them.

ER Visits for Panic Attacks Are Not Uncommon

Laura finds that people come to her for counseling after a single or multiple visits to the ER.  Many times the person fears they are having a heart attack or think they are dying.

They go to the hospital only to find out they are physically sound. A doctor then recommends that the person seek therapy or anti-depressants.  Or both.

So What is the Difference Between Panic Attacks and Anxiety Attacks

They share many similar characteristics.  Both share increased heart rate.  A panic attack may be even more elevated.  Both have increased respirations, a panic sufferer even more so.  Both can be sweaty.  Both can have a fixation on something, or have a rumination about something.

The main difference is that when someone is suffering from a panic attack, they feel that they are about to die.  Both anxiety and panic attacks are very physical events, however, panic attacks will shut someone down to the point of being incapacitated.

You cannot work while having a full-on panic attack.  You may be able to collect yourself during an anxiety attack, but a panic attack is abject dysfunction.

How To Help a Loved One Who Is Having an Anxiety or Panic Attack

It’s very important to not get sucked into that person’s experience.  If you do, it’s like someone is drowning and someone intends to jump in and save them but gets pulled under the waves with them.

Try to get an idea of what you’re dealing with.  Is it a panic attack or anxiety attack?  Someone suffering from a panic attack often feels as though they are dying.  Don’t dismiss this feeling—it’s very real to them.

Be aware that panic attacks work in cycles.  Panic disorder can get progressively worse without treatment because of the panic cycle.

What is a Panic Cycle?

A panic cycle is having a fear that leads to a panic attack.  The person feels as though they are dying, and have a panic attack.  The attack resolves itself after several minutes.

Later, the person is afraid of having another panic attack.  The fear of having another panic attack perpetuates the cycle.  The cycle is almost more like a spiral because they can get worse.

Fight or Flight

Someone has an anxiety or panic attack because they are reacting to a perceived threat.  The body responds to a perceived threat by releasing hormones, such as adrenaline, to prepare the body to protect itself from danger.

When there is a legitimate threat, this system, also known as fight or flight, works great.  However, sometimes our minds have difficulty determining when a threat is legitimate.  In these cases, the body is going into fight or flight mode as a result of anxious thinking.  The heart rate quickens and respirations increase.  The pupils dilate creating a headache if the anxiety persists.

If a person has been diagnosed with panic attacks, gently, but firmly remind them that they are experiencing a panic attack.  If not, you can feed into the intensity of the emotional environment.  At this point, you can help “ground” them.

Grounding Exercises

A particular coping skill set called “grounding techniques.”  Grounding basically means becoming refocused on your surroundings.  When someone becomes particularly anxious, they are so focused on fears, usually about the future–using “what ifs”– that they lose sight of being in the moment.

If a loved one is suffering from a panic attack, help them reconnect with their breath.  You can’t get anywhere with someone whose brain is having to deal with hyperventilation.  Slowing and deepening the breath helps to create a consistent and steady supply of the appropriate level of oxygen to the brain.

Another way to ground the panic sufferer is to help them notice their safety.  If they are having a panic attack on a sofa.  Ask them about the sofa.  Ask them where they are.  What does the sofa feel like?  What are the lights like in the room?  You may offer them a pillow or a stuffed animal and ask them what that feels like.

Get Them “In The Moment”

Anxiety and panic are rooted in trying to control the future out of fear.  Because of this, the sufferer is rarely in the moment.

Learning to ground oneself helps that person to be more present and functional. They become more in tune with their senses and present surroundings.

Four Square Breathing

If your loved one already knows how to do it, remind them of the breathing technique, if not, you can walk them through the process.

  1. They need to breathe in through their nose for a count of four.
  2. Pause for a count of four.
  3. Exhale through the mouth for a count of four (as if blowing out a birthday candle).
  4. Pause for a count of four. (Then repeat.)

There are four steps done in four counts, hence “Four Square Breathing.”  Do this for a while.

Coping Skills Tool Box

A coping skills tool box is a useful way to deal with anxiety or panic.  Collect your favorite scents, such as scented candles or essential oils.  Create a special playlist of your favorite calming music.

Comfy blankets or t-shirts are a nice thing to keep in your box.  All of these can be at your fingertips when needed to quell an attack.

Don’t Get Sucked In!

Someone can get caught in the attack by feeding the fears of the sufferer.  If you start acting anxious or out of control, it will make the environment more high energy.

It’s important to lower the emotional intensity in the environment.  You can be there for someone who is having an attack by learning grounding skills.  Another issue that you may have to face is that of reassurance-seeking behaviors of the anxiety sufferer.

Reassurance-Seeking Behaviors

An anxiety or panic sufferer often seeks reassurance from loved ones.  This often falls into Obsessive Compulsive Disordered behavior.

Laura gives the example of a person who has a fear of germs.  They could be with a loved one in a restaurant and see a patron across the room sneeze.  Then they could ask their loved one if that will make them sick.

You could play the game of logic with them, but you will lose.  The obsessive/compulsion is like a rollercoaster you won’t be able to get off of.

By engaging them in the discussion, they will come up with more reasons they are going to get sick.  That’s the progressive nature of it.

The best way to handle it is to answer their question once, and then after that respond to more questions with something to the effect of “Asked and answered.”  Meaning you are not going to continue trying to play the brain games of trying to make them feel better.

The truth is, they will only feel better momentarily if you answer them.  They will feel best when they develop confidence over their fear, and the only way to do that is not to enable the compulsion.

Conclusion

Today’s topic is larger than we can cover in a podcast episode, but we hope that you have gained some helpful knowledge about recognizing panic and anxiety, and how to help a loved one cope.  If you are experiencing strain in your family or marriage or you are struggling with your own fears, we highly advise seeking out professional help.

A licensed counselor or therapist can come alongside you and help you. They will determine healthy ways to improve your relationships and healthy ways to cope with your fears.

Anxiety is often the result of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Panic attacks are often the result of these or Panic Disorder.  A qualified therapist can identify these disorders and help you cope.

If your loved one is suffering from anxiety and/or panic, it’s important to not be dismissive of how they feel.  You may have to learn how to do the “Asked and answered” response mentioned earlier, but you do not have to do it in an aggressive way.

And you do not have to lord their anxieties over them by saying that “they” are the problem in the relationship.  This is only baiting the sufferer for a fight.

For additional reading try the following articles:

Do You Know the Difference Between an Anxiety Attack and a Panic Attack?” By Laura Ketchie

I’m Worried I Have Anxiety.” By Vincent Ketchie

Tired of all of the worry? Having anxiety and/or panic attacks? Not sure of the difference? Learn the difference and how you and your loved ones can cope with anxiety and panic attacks from Relationship Helpers, licensed professional counselors Vincent and Laura Ketchie.
Tired of all of the worry? Having anxiety and/or panic attacks? Not sure of the difference? Learn the difference and how you and your loved ones can cope with anxiety and panic attacks from Relationship Helpers, licensed professional counselors Vincent and Laura Ketchie.

010 Personal Growth: Nicole Greer Encourages You To Pursue Your Calling

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SHOW NOTES

Nicole Greer is a speaker, trainer, facilitator, and business coach.  She believes everyone has untapped potential and wants everyone to bring their “genius to the world.”  People reach out to her to help find their mission and calling.

People are often told what they “ought to be” when they are growing up.  Nicole had this experience until about ten years ago when she discovered coaching.  Her business, Vibrant Coaching, allows her to teach people how to “bring their skills to the party.”

Through Vibrant Coaching, she helps people “shine” by encouraging them to fulfill their purpose and calling.  Work isn’t work to her, it’s joy.  She wants to encourage people to find this joy through their purpose.

Many love to be “the helper” or the person to work for someone else—they find security in it.  Others are hardwired to take risks—Nicole helps people find how they are wired.  Nicole finds that we are all comprised of a personality, habits, and a belief system.

Outside of these is the learning zone.  The learning zone is where our personalities, habits and beliefs are tested.  These parts of us are tested when we step outside of our comfort zones.  You become more capable, the more you step outside of your comfort zone.

The SHINE Methodology

S (Self-Assessment)

What’s your personality, what are the lessons you’ve learned, what excites you?

  • Post World War II, the culture became centered on going to college and getting married. Nicole posits that this approach no longer fits our world.
  • Many Baby Boomers are not satisfied with life—the idea of enjoying your job is foreign.
  • Employers that are hiring want people who are passionate.
  • When you are passionate about something, you really don’t have to “sell yourself” to a prospective client, your passion shines forth.
  • People are attracted to us and our work when we do what we are passionate about.

H (Habit Work)

What are you habits? How do you decide to spend your time?

I (Integrity)

  • Everyone thinks they are people of integrity, but until you claim the life you want to live, and your decisions are made according to the life you want, you fall short of living with integrity
  • If I say I want to be thin and I eat a doughnut or I say I love my husband but talk bad about him, these actions place me outside of integrity

N (Next Right Steps)

  • Goal Setting. You need to make achievable, realistic goals in the right direction.

E (Energy)

  • Self Care–Learning to take care of intellectual, spiritual, financial, social, emotional, physical energies will help you better care for your family.
  • If one of these six energies aren’t being paid attention, someone will feel exhausted and/or overwhelmed.
  • If you pour yourself out, you’ve got to get re-filled.
  • You have to be intentional about taking care of yourself, you can’t just “hope” that it will happen.
  • It’s healthy for relationships to take time away from your loved ones to re-charge.
  • Your family will enjoy being around you more once you’ve re-charged.

The Most Important Relationship Skill

Nicole feels being an active listener is the top relationship skill to possess.  If you can help people feel safe to speak, it helps them have better relationships.  This goes for marriages and for executives in the business world.

Leaders should not just give orders, but listen to those working for them.  You need to understand a person’s thinking by listening.  You will better understand their heart and core values this way.

Groups

People need to learn how to be a part of a group. They need to learn how to innovate and communicate together by aligning and honoring their missions.

Nicole uses “the vibrant elements” described by Lori Beth Jones in her book “The Four Elements of Success” to guide clients to become more productive with their pursuits, as well as to operate with more integrity.  Elements such as Earth, Water, Wind, and Fire are descriptors used to describe personalities.  

For example, Earth is slower, steady, and someone with Wind wants to do things quickly.  Fire is heat, passion.  People can clash when one is Earth and the other is Fire.  Self-assessment helps to better respect each other’s differences, as well as help for each to get along better.

Nicole provides an example of two sisters who have a business together.  One is a “Earth/Fire”, the other is a “Wind/Fire.”  Normally this would create conflicts, but if the sisters are intentional about how they approach the other using their knowledge of their differences, they can be more productive.

The “Wind” sister can be prepared for lots of questions and need for information from her “Earth” sister.  She can teach herself to slow down to accommodate her sister’s need to take it more slowly.

Metaphor of a Seed & the Four Elements of Success Personality Types

If you take a seed and plant it into the earth, you must water it, the sun must heat it up and the wind must pollinate the plant for new plants to grow.

Earth—solid foundation, a place to rest, stable, firmly planted
Water—great nurturer, supportive, accommodating, go with the flow
Sun–helps to grow things, they drive growth, heat things up, brings energy.
The Wind—carries the growth farther, someone who can make things grow and go beyond just that one thing (pollinates)

Speed Round:

Biggest stumbling block with God: Me

What is the best advice you’ve ever received:  Ann Starrette, a retreat leader and the Director of Spiritual Formation at Davidson United Methodist Church described Nicole’s biggest issue as jumping to conclusions based on assumptions, wasting energy on things that may not even be true or worth the attention.  She suggested that Nicole ask more questions of others to prevent wasting so much time and energy based on assumptions.

Who do you admire the most other than a biblical figure?  Ann Starrette, the director of Spiritual Formation at Davidson United Methodist Church.  Nicole attended a retreat that Ann led.  You can learn more about Ann’s work with spiritual formation and retreats at www.thelydiagroup.com.  Her mission is to provide a space to grow.

What is your favorite book (besides the Bible)?  Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  A book on gratitude.

What is your most effective relationship habit?  Cooking.  It creates a good atmosphere.  It brings people around and creates conversation.

Parting Wisdom: Sit down, do some self-assessment, get the book “Simple Abundance”.  Look at your habits, consider your character, ask yourself if you are living a life of integrity, and write some goals.

Nicole Greer - Vibrant Coaching
As the principal coach and CEO of Vibrant Coaching, Nicole Greer, PPCC helps individuals, corporations, government entities and non-profits become the people they were created to be through defining and fulfilling a mission, to work better in teams, and exemplify excellent leadership.

Resources:

Nicole Greer: www.vibrantcoaching.com 704-502-4953
Nicole@thevibrantcoach.com

Ann Starrette: Director of Spiritual Formation at Davidson UMC and creator of the Lydia Group. www.thelydiagroup.com

What's your calling? Learn from Relationship Helper's interview with Vibrant Coach Nicole Greer how to SHINE through your work as you pursue your purpose.
What’s your calling? Learn from Relationship Helper’s interview with Vibrant Coach Nicole Greer how to SHINE through your work as you pursue your purpose.

006 Embracing Love: Steve Benson Talks About the Emotional Walls in People’s Lives That Keeps Them From Loving

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SHOW NOTES

Author and Christian therapist, Steve Benson joins us today to discuss his book “Embracing Love: Living on the Other Side of Disconnected Relationships.”  Steve has a Masters of Divinity and Masters of Counseling.  He has been working with couples and families in private practice since leaving the mission field in the early 2000s.

The Wall Keeps Us From Loving People Genuinely

Steve’s work focuses on spiritual formation and how people relate to one another.  He finds maturity develops through marriage and that marriage develops an individual’s ability to love someone other than himself.

In his book, Steve examines the concept of the wall that keeps people from loving one another as God intended. This wall forms as a type of coping mechanism or as self-protection.

Steve references Genesis 3 & 4, to show how fear and pride can impact the way people relate to one another via defensiveness and bitterness.  The result is not loving people genuinely.

Until these walls are identified, they continue to struggle in their relationships.  The fall of man has created this dysfunction.

Steve gives the example of Adam and Eve and how Adam blame-shifted.  He gives Cain and Abel as an example of bitterness to show how early man struggled with these walls with resulting dysfunctional behaviors.

The Walls Keep Us Self-Centered

Steve’s work with addiction inspired him to look into people’s walls.  Anger, rage and fear kept these people from having strong relationships.

These walls kept them from being vulnerable and loving other people.  Steve quotes Tim Keller with “Life is not about what you can get, but what you can give” to emphasize how important it is that we love genuinely.  Walls keep us self-centered.

The Wall of “The Teacher”

Living behind your wall means can mean feeling isolated, hurt, lonely and/or confused.  Living behind the wall influences the roles you play and the way you communicate.

Steve gives the example of “The Teacher”, someone who tells others what to do, playing the part of the expert.  This person gains their importance through knowing everything.  This person is controlling and fearful.

The Wall of “The Swinger”

Steve also describes “The Swinger”, someone who swings from one relationship to another (romantic or otherwise.)  This could be someone who dates someone shortly, gets a lot of deep emotions from her, and then moves to the next relationship.

A swinger relates to people by using people, allowing them to be vulnerable, and then drops them to move to the next relationship.  This person is superficial in relationships.

The Wall of “The Clinger” and “The Pretender”

“The Clinger” is someone who uses people to be their emotional sounding boards.  When someone lets them know they can’t handle their behavior, they move to another relationship.

“The Pretender” is the person who is a fair-weather friend, when things are good, they are great, but when things get tough, they drop the relationship.  They hide behind an image.

The Wall of “The Rescuer”

“The Rescuer” is someone who is not really loving others, they are loving self.  They hide behind their actions. They are behaving like what Steve describes “the fourth person of the Trinity.”

The rescuer gets their worth from how they can help others.  They feel worthless when others do not follow their advice.  This person needs to focus more on their identity in Christ, rather than feeling self-worth from helping others.

How To Live Beyond Our Walls

People live beyond their walls by understanding their stories.  God is a God of stories and redemption.  Psalm 139 can encourage us to be self-aware, which can apply to how you operate in relationships.

Asking yourself “What are my patterns, what am I doing, how am I doing it? What are my weaknesses?” is key.

Steve describes how that until he got married, he was only self-centered, but saw the effect of his sinfulness and how it impacted his wife.  He gives an example of how his wife confronted him on his hearing issue, after being mortally embarrassed by his behavior in Wal-Mart.

Her confrontation forced him to realize that an issue that he just chalked up to a justifiable deficiency was a wall that he was hiding behind.  He was being prideful and not taking responsibility for his actions.

We Need To Monitor And Examine Ourselves

We need to learn how to monitor ourselves.  Be aware of how our patterns of behaviors affect others.  

Steve gives the example of a pastor with ADHD who was inconsistent in his projects, then blamed others or his ADHD for not doing his job.  People left his church.  People could not trust what he said.  He was not growing in God.

He became burned out and isolated.  His blame-shifting and micro-managing had isolated him from relationships.

Through therapy, he became aware of how his behavior impacted others and of his blame-shifting.  He developed skills for how to love others, to be consistent.  This required him to confess and ask forgiveness.  He became a learner and in about six months, turned his life around.

To tear down walls, look to the fruit of the spirit.  You have to have repentance first.

Questions to ask yourself:

What motivates me?

What are my truths?

Part of contentment in life is accepting God’s love, knowing you do not need others acceptance, only God’s.

Accepting Zephaniah [3:17], into your life: “He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

*Note that all client stories have been altered to protect their identities.

Steve Benson - Relationship Expert
Steve Benson is a Christian counselor and the author of “Embracing Love: Living on the Other Side of Disconnected Relationships”

Resources:

www.groundedingrace.net

Embracing Love: Living On The Other Side Of Disconnected Relationships
Christian Therapist Steve Benson’s book “Embracing Love: Living On The Other Side Of Disconnected Relationships

Purchase Steve’s book below:

Feel like there is a wall between you and your loved one? Learn how to identify the walls in your life and how to fix them from Steve Benson in Relationship Helpers free podcast and show notes, "Embracing Love."
Feel like there is a wall between you and your loved one? Learn how to identify the walls in your life and how to fix them from Steve Benson in Relationship Helpers free podcast and show notes, “Embracing Love.”