The Current

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Music and Melancholy

As one who is all too familiar with the realities and exhausting effects of depression, I find myself looking for ways to describe it in a more tangible way to myself and the people in my life. The difficulty is that, unlike other infirmities, you cannot see depression like you can see a flesh wound or a broken leg or even a terminal illness. As Parker Palmer (one who has experienced multiple personal bouts with depression) writes in his book, Let Your Life Speak, “I still find depression difficult to speak about because the experience is so unspeakable.” While there

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Getting to the Root of Depression

In my experience, depression has had two opposing effects: it protected me from feeling deep pain but, at the same time, robbed me of relationships and healing. Thirty-eight years ago today, my life was changed forever. What should have been a time of joy and celebration turned into sadness, despair, and a journey into depression. My two infant twin sons were born too early to survive. All the things that I had learned through my childhood about faith and never doubting God's plan began to fade. How could something that I thought was in God's plan go so terribly wrong?

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5 Ways to Engage Your Partner

Are you familiar with the song “Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson? If you have ever seen the movie Free Willy, it is the epic ballad playing as Willy traverses the wall that has held him captive for his entire life, singing him into the sweet freedom that the ocean holds. If you have never heard this song, I must request that you stop reading, open up your music streaming app of choice, and listen to it instantly. In its most epic moment, this song begs the question, “Will you show to me you’ll be there for me and

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11 Things You Don’t Want In a Therapist

Picking the right therapist for your specific concerns can feel daunting. This list is designed to help you assess your therapy experience and feel more confident in who you choose to move forward this. While counselors are humans and make mistakes all the time, there are some people who practice as therapists who aren't professionally prepared or emotionally ready to be in the role. Here are some helpful indicators for assessing whether or not a therapist is a good a fit for you or not: They felt more like a friend than a professional. While it’s important to have a

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What Questions Will You Ask This Year?

At the beginning of this year, I sat with a client as he marked two years of consistent counseling.   As he remembered the beginning of this journey, he described realizing early on that there was a closed door inside his heart. The key to unlocking the door was a question. What if there are some things in me I need to deal with? And the further he’s opened the door, the more questions and life he’s found. What if…? It’s a common question, isn’t it? It’s the question underneath every New Year’s resolution and behind the most mundane decisions.

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What is Your Next “Yes”?

As the new year unfolds, I find myself asking what is my next “yes”? I first heard it put this way years ago listening to a then 23-year-old woman talk about her 14 children. With a smile and glimmer in her eye, she shared that her family had grown in a series of yeses. It started with a trip to Uganda and then the decision to bypass a promising life in the States by moving there permanently. Katie then shared the stories of her first five adoptions, small moments when she felt God whisper “Will you?”, and she managed a

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Resolution Success in the New Year

Most of us at the beginning of the New Year see it as a time of new beginnings. It really is because we can start from day 1 and have 364 days afterwards to come to a conclusion of some sort for a solution. Of course, we also all know the trap of day 17 or day 221, both arbitrary as can be, when we decide that we can give ourselves a break for having worked so hard, and do the thing we are resolved to move away from. We all know that trap, and the sense of failure and

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Connect With Your Whole Self This Year

A helpful way to understand ourselves is through the metaphor of an iceberg. In my psychology research, I once learned that up to 70% of an iceberg is below the surface. I’ve found the same is true with the human heart. What you see is not always the whole story. When it comes to the human heart, there is much more going on below the surface. Sheaths of ice (or layers of being) encase the human soul. Often, in the therapeutic process, you’re invited to peel back these layers, to feel your feelings, tell the truth, and trust the process.

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What You Need To Cut Loose

I recently found myself in a discussion about the desire to move or explore a new place, recognizing the plethora of all the things that weigh us down, even when those things seem to also bring a sense of safety. In that conversation, the image of an old-fashioned hot air balloon came to me.   The kind we see in The Wizard of Oz that brings Dorothy to the Emerald City; a woven basket tethered tenuously to a fragile orb, laden with bags of sand around its edges for ballast to control the rise and fall of this seemingly lighter

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Are You Taking On Too Many Roles?

Every year when August hits, and the air (supposedly) cools off, my Saturday mornings typically begin with coffee in hand and ESPN Gameday on the TV — I am getting geared up to watch my Auburn Tigers play later on. In the past few years, I’ve noticed a segment on ESPN Gameday called “You Had One Job.” While this is mostly a way for the commentators to shame young 18-22 year old athletes, I’ve found myself joining in on the laughter and accusations of, “Come on! You blew it! You really did only have one job!” However, last week it

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