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A Very Sad Commemoration
Written by Allison Ricciardi, L.M.H.C.   


This year we have marked a dark and tragic commemoration….over 40 years of legalized, unrestricted abortion on demand thanks to the infamous Roe V. Wade decision of 1973.

No other event has more profoundly affected American society - ushering in a culture of death and destruction.  Increased rates of suicide, addictions and child abuse crashed to the shores of our world in the wake of this monumental Supreme Court decision with no relief in sight.

After 24 years as a psychotherapist, certain patterns emerge with regularity when it comes to this abortion issue.  Putting aside all politics and philosophical discussion, the sad reality is that human beings are deeply affected by abortion - no matter where they stand on the issue.


Read more: A Very Sad Commemoration  [A Very Sad Commemoration]



This Hope of Ours....
Written by Barry Levy, LCSW, CCDC, LMFT   


dove-flying-sun-lightAs we begin this New Year, we stand looking forward at a fresh onset to the coming year, while looking backwards at what we’ve experienced in the year behind us. As we do this, we need to hold on to hope, which is both a theological virtue and a psychological reality. A virtue builds up and steadies a person according to their nature in a way that orients them toward what God created them for: to “become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).

According to faith, our hope is based on God’s promise, the future happiness to which He has called us: to be with Him forever.

On what basis can we believe that our desires will be fulfilled? Our hope is based on God’s renewing, recreating love. God not only created us: He is in the process of creating us right now, or we would no longer remain in existence. God creates us out of love. His desire is toward us, bringing us continually into existence and bringing us toward what he desires for us. God blesses us in accordance with His love and also what we hope for from Him, trusting Him to fulfill His promises.

This hope of ours draws God’s promised future here into the present, to affect our lives today. This trustworthy hope allows us to face the difficulties of our present lives because we know that these difficulties are leading us to a worthwhile goal; that our lives will not end in empty futility. A French theologian of the 8th century said, “Christ is held by the hand of hope. We hold him and are held. But it is a greater good that we are held by Christ than that we hold him. For we can hold him only so long as we are held by him.”


Read more: This Hope of Ours....  [This Hope of Ours....]
9 Gifts for Anxiety Relief
Written by Bernice Simmons, MS, LPC   


bernice-simmons1When it comes to anxiety there are many methods that are used to help reduce symptoms and deter an anxiety attack. Some common therapeutic strategies are: cognitive behavior therapy techniques, Linden techniques, distractions and diversions. All of which are tools to change your thoughts and behaviors which affect your feelings. Specifically in the case of anxiety these tools distract you from fearful thoughts. It does not matter if the fear is real or perceived, because the body responds the same. It takes your whole self; mind, body, and soul to truly redirect and pull out of an anxious spiral.

Our body and soul are closely linked. After a while of using the same coping technique or method of distraction we might find that the effectiveness lessens. In addition, we want our coping tools to tend to our body and our soul.


Here are some effective techniques to deal with anxiety that incorporates your Catholic faith and may provide new tools for your anti-anxiety tool box:


Read more: 9 Gifts for Anxiety Relief  [9 Gifts for Anxiety Relief]
Codependency - A Word From The Wise
Written by Lawrence J. Nichta, Jr., PhD   


old-oil-lamp wikimedia-commonsNot infrequently in the initial stages of therapy, individuals comment that they are overly codependent. However one defines codependency (there are countless books and articles on the subject) with the main experiences as the following: difficulty establishing and maintaining appropriate boundaries, difficulty saying "No", acting 'nice' when a tougher love is called for, and feeling overly responsible for the feelings or behavior of others.

Sadly, many Christians fall into the trap of justifying such behaviors as being examples of the call to 'love one's neighbor'. A variety of Gospel passages, each emphasizing the Christian call to service, is used to legitimize such behaviors. However, their use more often represents a distortion of the Gospel message.

One of the Gospel parables to which I frequently refer in helping individuals realize their rights is Matthew 25:1-13, the parable of the 10 Virgins. In that parable the behavior of the five Wise Virgins is highlighted as exemplary. And what is the behavior they displayed? It is the antithesis of codependent behavior. When asked to share some of their lamp oil with the Foolish Virgins, the Wise Virgins in effect responded: "No. We are keeping what we have for ourselves. We are not sharing what we have with you."


Read more: Codependency - A Word From The Wise  [Codependency - A Word From The Wise]

ct angel"Remain in me as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on it own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me and I in him, will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing."  - John 15:4-5