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Showing posts from 2013


While practicing for my Marriage and Family Therapy Exam awhile back, (I can use some prayer when I take that test; it's on November 2).As I was studying, I arrived at a term that I often deal with when I’m interacting with families, called collusion. According to the Family Solutions Institute, Collusion is,

A family system defense mechanism in which members cooperate by unconsciously sharing thought and feelings. The defense is used to protect members from threatening outside forces. For example, both spouses and children may collude to perceive an alcoholic member who induces friends and family to drink with him, as simply a light hearted partygoer.”
In my profession, I often visit families who’ve been called out by the system. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) may have entered their homes based on a report that a child was abused, neglected, or may be living in an unstable environment. Based on the reported risk and degree, DCF will often send a social worker to …

Listening in the Church

~some concerns, just three years late.
I love John Piper. When I was a struggling and unhappy Christian a few years ago, his book "Desiring God" helped me realize that it's o.k. to be happy. If anything, true joy was essential for my walk with Christ; and as a closet legalist at the time, those words brought sunshine to me in those dark days.
But, there was one incident a few years ago that has bothered me: It was Piper's dealings with Rob Bell.
A few years ago, I heard a report by John Piper on Rob Bell's little book, "Love Wins." Piper tweeted his opinions about the book to his readers, "Farewell, Rob Bell." It got quite a firestorm. Bell's friends, such as Doug Pagitt, thought Piper's quote was meant to cause further division within the church, while many of Piper's friends, such as contributors within the TGC and T4G, praised Piper's succinctness and willingness to stand up to a potential false teacher. At my seminary, Piper&#…

Listening to Children

Listening to your spouse can be difficult. Listening to your children? Who'd have thought that was just as important? Yet, though children are not "miniature adults" they are in need of empathy and understanding like the rest of us.


#1. Lower your defensiveness. Sometimes when a child is frustrated or upset, we have the tendency to personalize it. However, most of the time, it has nothing to do with you but something that may have bothered them elsewhere. If you can't listen objectively to your child because you've had a hard day, that's o.k. Take some time and come back to the issue. Your little one will appreciate it.

#2. Use feeling words and keep it simple. Kids don't like to be lectured to. This is good news since adults are usually more worn out after the lecture than the child is. A simple and effective way to respond is, "You feel ______. That must be _____." Good feeling words are: upset, discouraged, embarrassed, happy, encouraged…