How to Have Faith When You’re Afraid

Today I was reading my daily devotional from “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” It talked about Jesus as your lifeline and referenced Matthew 14:31. This is a familiar passage for many Christians. Jesus tells the disciples to go ahead of Him in the boat, and then he walks on the water towards the boat. Peter sees Jesus and asks Jesus to tell him to come out. Peter steps out of the boat and begins to walk on the water.

 

As soon as Peter steps out, he looks around and is distracted by the waves from the storm, becomes afraid and starts to sink. He asks Jesus to save him; Jesus immediately takes his hand and pulls Peter out of the boat and into the water.

 

This reminds me so much of my life sometimes. I see where Jesus is leading me, either in a job decision, or my family or some area of life. I start to follow Him and come towards Him, but become distracted and afraid by the problems, doubt, worry or stresses of life.

 

I love that in this passage how as soon as Peter asks for Jesus’ help, Jesus reaches out and pulls Peter out of the water. It was an immediate response by Jesus, and it strengthens me and gives me hope and courage to know that if I do find myself in an area where I must have faith, that I don’t have to be afraid because Jesus is there and pulls me out of the water, calm the storm, and restore the my faith.

How to Talk to Children About Tragedies in the News: Wisdom from the Late Mr. Rogers

The recent tragedy in Boston may leave parents wondering how to address devestating news with young children. While I want so much to shield my own child from these horrible disasters in the news, it is realistic that he may hear about it from some other sources. I think Mr. Rogers addresses these issues the best.

Fred Rogers Talks about Tragedies in the News

Mr. Rogers: Look for the Helpers

Huffington Post: Article Highlighting Wisdom from Mr. Rogers

 

Confusion vs. Trust and Faith

What’s chronic, repetitive, or inflamed in your inner or outer life?

This burning question is personal. There are many things I could say about it. The past year or so of my life have brought out a lot of hurt, joy, tears, laughter, many mixed emotions. Most recently I took on some opportunities in my life that reminded my of the things that I left, and inflamed a lot of mixed emotions, distrust and confusion. Confusion about what God’s will is for my life right  now, how to decide if an opporunity is one that Is from God, or just a distraction from what His will actually is in my life. And me,being stubborn would rather take an opportunity and then stress about how to get out of it rather than saving myself the heartache and stress and trusting the path that I believe God has put me on. The repetitive is the constant battle to trust the process, and my practical mind, the need for certainty and to provide for my family financially vs. patience, trust and hearing the whispers of the Holy Spirit in my heart leading me, allowing God to unfold his will for my life openly without reservations. The balance between the “busy syndrome” that often accompanies the profession of counseling, the need to pour out compassion everywhere, and the need for self care and rejuvenation. It is a constant battle and conflict for me, and left unchecked can lead me to stubborn slips of faith. It reminds me of Peter, when he sees Jesus walking on the water towards the boat, he takes one step out, and begins walking towards His Savior, and then loses his focus off Jesus and focuses on the storm, then fear sets in and he falls into the stormy waters. There are several things that I love about this picture. One: Peter has the faith to get out of the boat, and two, Jesus is right there pulling Peter out of the water to bring him back to safety and into the boat. It reminds me that I don’t have to fear, that I can take the steps of faith that are presented to me, and that when I fail Jesus is there to rescue me and bring me back to safety, and showing me that I can Trust Him and His will and place in my life.

Matthew 14:22-34

 

Please Explain “Anxiety” To Me by Laurie Zelinger, PHD and Jorden Zelinger

 I am always looking for ways to explain anxiety to children in a way that they will understand. I use a lot of stories in play therapy because I love the simple way that children’s books present difficult issues. That is why I am glad to have read Please Explain “Anxiety” to Me by  Laurie Zelinger, PhD, MS, RPT-S &; Jordan Zelinger, Illustrated by: Elisa Sabella. It begins by using dinasaurs to explain the “fight or flight” response and then relates what they needed to survive with the human fight or flight response. It uses easy to understand terms to help the reader to identify signs of anxiety and understand why people experience anxiety. I have read this story to adult and children who are dealing with post traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders. The pictures are colorful and help explain the story visually. I like how it uses a simple illustration and clear explanations of anxiety and how it affects a person. The illustrations are colorful and add to the content of the book. I definitely recommend this book to therapists and parents who need to communicate what anxiety is using concise language.

To Purchase Please Explain “Anxiety” To Me, visit your favorite bookseller:

Barnes and Noble:Available in paperback and Nook format
Amazon: Available in paperback, hardcover and kindle
Loving Healing Press

You can visit Laurie’s website and see the other books she has written and learn more about her services and background as a play therapist. I look forward to seeing future children’s books from this author.

Favorite Therapeutic Activities for Children, Adolescents and Families: Practitioners Share their Most Effective Interventions

 

lowenstein_2006I am always looking for free or low cost resources, as I am a therapist on a budget (and I am sure there are many of you out there like me!). With so much info on the web it’s hard to narrow down what’s good, what’s not, and how I can find the resources I need for my clients without spending a fortune. That’s why I am soooo glad that I was sent this free copy of Favorite Therapeutic Activities for Children, Adolescents and Families: Practitioners Share their Most Effective Interventions, Edited By Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW, CPT-S.

This ebook is a compilation of over 100 pages of techniques submitted by multiple therapists. It is divided in to different sections: 1. Engagement and Assessment Interventions, 2. Treatment Interventions, and 3. Termination Interventions. Each intervention lists goals of the intervention, materials, advanced preparation, and detailed instructions. As I read through some of the descriptions, I found them easy to follow and detailed enough that I felt that I could easily follow the intervention. The list of contributors includes 35 different therapists, many of which are authors/presenters themselves. The best part is, that the interventions come from various treatment models, including family, sandtray, and more directive, and also integrative models. I love this, as I pull from various theories myself, and therapists from different backgrounds will all be able to glean from this book due to the wide range of ideas. I recommend this book to any child/adolescent/family therapist looking for creative ideas for their clients, as it is FREE!!! and FULL of creative interventions. What do you have to lose? I will be using this resource for a long time, and can’t wait to try some of the ideas with my clients.

 

Liana Lowenstein is a presenter and also author of multiple books including:

1. Paper Dolls & Paper Airplanes: Therapeutic Exercises for Sexually Traumatized Children (with Crisci & Lay)

2. Creative Interventions for Troubled Children & Youth

3. Creative Interventions for Children of Divorce.

4. Creative Interventions for Bereaved Children.

5. NEWEST PUBLICATION: Creative Family Therapy Techniques: Play, Art, and Expressive Activities to Engage Children in Family Sessions

 

She has edited: Volumes One and Two of Assessment and Treatment Activities for Children, Adolescents, and Families: Practitioners Share Their Most Effective Techniques, and will be launching Volume Three this year.

 

To sign up for the free ebook, visit Liana Lowenstein’s website and sign up for her free monthly newsletter. You can also view her upcoming workshops.

I’m a Parent Interest in Your Book, Sam Feels Better Now

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my book, Sam Feels Better Now: An Interactive Story for Children. Mostly, who will it help? Who should use this book? Do I have to be a therapist to use it? While my original intention was for this book to be used with therapists mainly, parents may also find it useful tool to use with various fears children may face, from being afraid of the dark, to being scared of bees. A good example can be found on It’s All About Play: Sam Feels Better Now Book Review. Here Sam Feels Better Now was used to help a child who was afraid of being alone. Read the review and see how this parent was able to help her child with this book.