Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Don't Worry (About Nothing)

2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1

The Bible has had this down for thousands of years but Harvard University is just discovering it. A positive attitude is good for the heart, mind and body. Harvard we established as a Christ centered University. They wanted to train Christian Ministers and Missionaries to spread the good news. Their handbooks were filled with scriptures and admonitions to live well, but then they forgot their roots and lost their mind.

The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
Psalm 19:7-9

There is a great article from the Associated Press in today's Cincinnati Enquirer about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. The Bible calls it "Faith, hope and love..." The article calls it "optimism". We have written about it for decades. Alice Petersen, Dorothy Geverdt and called it Rational Christian Thinking and we trained thousands of Pastors and Christian leaders to apply it personally and then train others to also apply it.

My new, improved and less expensive book is called Power Christian Thinking and it is available on my web page.

The power of Pessimistic Thinking is great but we can change from Pessimism to The Power of the Holy Spirit. Why give the power of your emotional life to Mr. Pessimist?

You will thank me profusely for writing this book and giving you a better and longer life.

Gary Sweeten

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Good News and Bad News

It has been over a week since I last posted my ideas. I have been finishing up a rewrite of one of my first books, Breaking Free From the Past. It was developed as my notes to a Video training I did at College Hill Presbyterian in 1983. It combines insights from theology, counseling outcome research, prayers and the application of the Bible to renew the mind. I am worn out but the fruit of the hard work will likely liberate thousands of people ar0ound the world.

It will shortly join several other E Books on our new Bookstore at the redone web for Sweeten Life
Right now you can get a pdf. E Book from the store pretty cheaply. I have rewritten RCT as Power Christian Thinking with some great new insights.

Now the bad news. Research from the United Kingdom, England for those from Ina, says that almost 90% of all the people who seek counseling there fail to get better. This is a horrible and amazing statistic. Some years ago we at Life Way Counseling did a follow up on Client satisfaction and found 94% were very satisfied with what they got from our Counselors.

What is the difference? Probably many things but the report from the UK says that Counseling there is a rigid, centrally controlled bureaucratically run mess that demands all Counseling be the same regardless of the needs of the Client. Every Counselor must be trained and must use the same protocols to be certified and hired by the National Health Ministry.

Here is the USA and especially at Life Way, which always includes the client's faith in treatment, we tailor the treatment to fit the person and his or her needs, beliefs and interests. However, the ability to tailor Counseling to the client will only last as long as the Federal Government stays out of the picture. The Federal Government runs all health care in the UK and that is why it is a total failure.

In the USA, a lot of Counseling for depression, anxiety, alcoholism and drug addiction comes from Christians. If the Federal Government takes over will they allow us to continue to help people?

More on this later.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter, Resurrection and Human Growth

It occurred to me this week that non-believers who roundly criticize Christians may be doing so because they desperately need us to be moral, ethical and generous. There are so few models of love, morality and ethics in the world that people are in despair for themselves and the world.

Somehow, someway, modern unbelievers are straining to believe in God but, in their view, the people who claim to how and follow God are failing at such a high rate that they lose hope. I realize that most of their criticisms are picking on a few bad apples but truthfully, I also get very discouraged when a well known Christian is caught in sin. The Roman Catholic Priests who sexually assaulted young men were a small minority, but it is the bad apples that get the publicity.

Easter, however, gives me hope and a hopeful message. Jesus was dead but God raised Him up.we were dead in our sin but God raised us up with Jesus. But here is the problem: we still carry around a dead part in our flesh. That dead part needs a daily resurrection. This is a message that is difficult to grasp. I knew I was born again by grace through faith. However, I somehow thought it was all up to me and my works after that.

I knew only God's grace and power could give me new life, but after becoming a child of God I assumed I was on my own. It was my power, my strength, my will, my wisdom and my trying that brought spiritual maturity. (If asked about it I may have said, correctly, that I needed the Holy Spirit to grow, but nobody asked me and I assumed it was up to me.)

How about you? Do you know you need resurrection power each and every day? Do you feel tremendous guilt and shame when you are imperfect? Do you turn to your own will and your own strength or to God for the ability to overcome the inner dead man?

Come Holy Spirit and heal my troubled soul. Come with your resurrection power and give life to my mortal body. Allow me to live in union with Christ.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Making More People Mentally Ill

Here is another example of folks like me who are protesting against over medicating people and the over diagnosing folks as being mentally ill when they are simply dealing with a stressful world.

PHILADELPHIA (3/6/12) – On Saturday, May 5, 2012, as thousands of psychiatrists congregate in Philadelphia for the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting, individuals with psychiatric labels and other supporters will converge in a global campaign to oppose the APA’s proposed new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), scheduled for publication in May 2013. Occupy the APA will include distinguished speakers from 10 a.m. to noon at Friends Center (1515 Cherry Street, Philadelphia). A march at 1 p.m. from Friends Center will lead to the Pennsylvania Convention Center (12th and Arch Streets), where the group will protest beginning at 1:30 while the APA meets inside.

“This peaceful protest exposes the fact that the DSM-5 pushes the mental health industry to medicalize problems that aren’t medical, inevitably leading to over-prescription of psychiatric drugs -including for people experiencing natural human emotions, such as grief and shyness,” said David Oaks, founder and director of MindFreedom International (MFI), which has worked for 26 years as an independent voice of survivors of psychiatric human rights violations. “We call for better ways to help individuals in extreme emotional distress.”

Other speakers criticizing the revised manual, considered the psychiatric industry’s bible, include Brent Robbins, Ph.D., Secretary of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, which has gathered more than 8,000 signatures from mental health professionals calling for “developing an alternative approach” to the DSM.

Jim Gottstein, Esq., founder and president of the Alaska-based Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights), will cross the country to speak. “The public mental health system is creating a huge class of chronic mental patients through forcing them to take ineffective yet extremely harmful drugs. As the APA gets ready to do even more harm with its proposed expansion of what constitutes mental illness, I want to be there in person to participate in the protest.”

Occupy the APA will begin at 10 a.m. at Friends Center (1515 Cherry Street, Philadelphia), where the speakers will also include:
• Dr. Paula Caplan, a psychologist, playwright and activist from California;
• Dr. Al Galves, director of the International Society for Ethical Psychology & Psychiatry (ISEPP);
• Joseph Rogers, chief advocacy officer of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP); and
• Dr. Stefan P. Kruszewski, a whistleblower who was fired by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare after he reported the abuse and deaths of Pennsylvania children as a result of systemic physical
and psychiatric malfeasance. His subsequent federal lawsuit was successfully settled in 2007.

“We will promote humane alternatives to the traditional mental health system, such as peer support, which evidence proves is effective in helping individuals recover from severe emotional distress,” Oaks said. “Our protest is about choice, and everyone is welcome.

On another note, attached is a review of On Becoming a Better Therapist (watch a free series of webinars about On Becoming) that appeared in Psychotherapy.

Barry L. Duncan, Psy.D., Director

Heart and Soul of Change Project...Privileging Clients and Making You a Better Therapist