So, I admit I need help. Now what?

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pic-dear-self-i-need-help

If you’ve never been to a counselor, you could easily have a hard time even trying to comprehend how a complete stranger is going to be able to help you in the first place.  But you finally admit you aren’t happy. You’ve been doing life on your own for quite a while and you now aren’t happy with the results.  It’s time to call in the pros.  It’s no different than remodeling your house.  A lot of times you can only go so far in the project and you hit a wall, beyond your expertise level and/or a point where it’s not going as planned.  You can continue to struggle or add some “patches” with hopes to be able to continue to get by, or you can cover over the issue and hope it doesn’t resurface later.  A better option is to bite the bullet and call in a professional and get life taken care of, once and for all.

Once you recognize you are “stuck” in a negative place and/or mindset, and decide you want to make a step towards getting “unstuck”, the next step is choosing help.  I’m not elaborating about that here, but a great place to go to find a professional is www.PsychologyToday.comEMDR Therapy is a wonderful option as type to pursue.  It tends to get to the heart of the issue quite quickly.  If you are a verbal or physical abuse victim, I strongly recommend you find someone that has the initials EMDR after their name, or offers that modality as a specialty.

Let’s jump ahead to having chosen someone and scheduled your first appointment.  At your first session you will experience an “Intake” where you will fill out paperwork and answer a lot of questions.  You can approach this as either going in to a friend’s house for a social visit, or like going to the Emergency Room of a hospital with a gaping wound.   I have learned it’s best to expedite the whole process and picture it as if I am “rushing” in to the ER and need help NOW.

It is totally expected that at your first sessions,you just aren’t sure what to share.  Not only that, but you aren’t sure how much to share either,  but then we unfortunately end up holding back.  Some of us have a fear of possibly shocking our new counselor with what we think, or have done, and at this first, and subsequent sessions want to “sell them” on what a great person we are.  So sessions can easily end up becoming a “get to know each other” format and not going in to the depth of any issues.  When we do this, we are either stalling and/or trying to surmise if they are “safe” enough with whom we can share our private self. 

Keep in mind that scenario is the typical “dance” of how relationships work with our friends.  We only share so much at a time to see if they are in agreement with us or if they can relate to what we are saying.  If not, we they just stop sharing that compartment of our lives with them.  Keep it in perspective that this counselor is someone you are paying, to offer a professional service.  They are a professional and have heard it all.  Holding back is not the best choice.  You will not shock them.  Although you will share possibly more with them than any ONE person in your entire life, they still are not acting in the capacity as your friend. 

So let’s change the mindset here and approach your therapy sessions as you truly are:  you have a major issue big enough for you consider sharing it with a stranger and give them your hard earned money.  Don’t forget this.  However, as you walk in to their office, at this exact moment you may not be in severe “pain” anymore.  You may be feeling “ok”.  This is where you need to remember back to the torment and tortured feelings that caused you to phone or email to make this very appointment.  Bring that emotion to this meeting as if you walked in to an Emergency Room.  In that setting you would end up exposing any area of pain without being asked or probed to do so.  You would share all you know about how it happened, and any details about how the wound makes you feel and what your fears are if it is not fixed.  And then you would step back and let the doctor lead.  Then the best case scenario is that you would follow what they say needs done to get the wound fixed.   In this same way, share the innermost wounds in your heart and mind with your counselor.  Don’t hold back.  This is not the time.

I believe if you can stay in the mindset that you are in an emergency situation and not trying to “sell yourself” to someone to get them to like you, you can keep your sessions moving quickly and get to your goals much faster.  They can’t push you in your sessions, they can only gently nudge, and the rest is up to our own self.  One must truly set the pace for their own growth.  I’m simply suggesting that you be aware of this and do your best to “let it all hang out” in your sessions.   Save your money and use your time wisely by deciding to be a person of full disclosure before you walk in to each session.  You will be glad you did.    

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My NEWEST Anthem Song: “Listen to me. Am I loud enough?”

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     Stumbled upon this song today. It showed up in my iTunes “hot list” of recommendations for me. With only the bare minimum knowledge of Latin, I did however recognize the word “voce” in the one song title to be the English word “voice”. Well that’s just enough of a nudge these days to peak my curiosity. So out of the four songs recommended for me, this song “Viva Voce” by The Rocketboys got my choice for a click through. One more click, entered my password, and ninety-nine cents later, I own it.

     WOW is my rating out of ten for this song.  It also gets my unsolicited vote to be THE anthem of 2015 for the Domestic Violence community.  It deeply touches on some lyrics really close to my heart also – speaking thanks to “my team”, as I have nicknamed them; those who continue lifting me up these last two plus years as I crawl out of my own silence, finding my voice …

“To all the people I know that listen
LISTEN TO ME, hallelujah!
To all the PEOPLE I know that PRAYED for me
For my safety, hallelujah!

CAN you HEAR me NOW?
I’m SINGING OUT as LOUD as I know how
But AM I LOUD enough?
I got MY VOICE and you got YOURS
so let’s make a little NOISE
ALL TOGETHER NOW!”

The Rocketboys – “Viva Voce” (Lyrics Video)

Response to Dr. Phil Shows by Jeff Crippen, Pastor and Author

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Dr Phil Shows 9/22 & 9/23/2014
Kirby hit Renee with paddle when she wouldn’t say yessir.

Show #1, Kirby:  http://youtu.be/O30enhHPtmU

I think the fundamental thing people must understand about Kirby is that Kirby has a profound sense of entitlement to power and control over others, particularly over his wife and children. In addition, we must understand that Kirby is not delusional at all. This is not a man who is delusional about being Jesus Christ and therefore he acts like Jesus Christ. No. Kirby believes that he is entitled to power and control, and his chosen means of obtaining it is to claim that he is simply acting consistent with God. And what Kirby does is provoke and precipitate scenarios which will put him on stage where he can play the role of God. He provokes his wife, demanding she call him “sir” and when she will not, he simply (for her own good, just as Christ would) must punish her. He doesn’t want to. It hurts him. But he does it for her own good. He provokes his children and then punishes them “as God would.” And in all this, Kirby knows exactly what he is doing. Like God, Kirby is never wrong. Even when he expresses remorse for something, in reality Kirby does not believe he was wrong.

And this all leads to a critical error that Dr. Phil and the pastor in the audience made. The pastor said that it grieves him that a “Christian” man would twist Scripture like Kirby does, and the pastor said that he will “pray for Kirby to see the light.” But Kirby is not a Christian. The pastor should have said so and never called him a Christian man. Further, why not pray that the Lord would judge Kirby and do whatever is necessary to keep Kirby from tormenting or hurting Renee and the children further?  Dr. Phil’s error at the close of the second show was that he announced that Kirby is delusional, and that he (Dr. Phil) is going to get some hand-picked counselors, starting with a Christian counselor, to help Kirby. So the show really ended with the focus on helping Kirby!!  In fact, Kirby does not need help. Renee and the children do. Kirby is not going to changed, ever. Kirby has already shown this by being kicked out of an anger management class. Dr. Phil made this error because he did not have any experts in abuse there on the show.  This is not to say Dr. Phil did no good.  He really got in Kirby’s face and exposed Kirby’s lies and deceptions, and for that we thank him.

Show #2  Renee:   http://youtu.be/m5FtvcSpuFE       Renee handled herself very well and tried to reach out to other abuse victims who might be watching. She responded very well to a hard question from Dr. Phil regarding why she kept filming Kirby doing the “belly reddening” on her 14 year old son instead of intervening. Her answer was that in truth she knew that filming it was the best way she could help her son. The evidence gathered would be shown to the police. Dr. Phil agreed with her.

Were there red flags that Renee should have seen before she married Kirby?, Dr. Phil asked. Of course there were. There always are. But who among us can say that we spotted them all and were never duped by them? It took me, for example, some 20 years to realize what was happening to me as a pastor through the tactics of abusers in the churches I have pastored.

Many, many thanks to Renee for her courage in telling her story to such a large audience.
Jeff Crippen, Pastor
Christ Reformation Church
Tillamook, Oregon

A Cry for Justice   cryingoutforjustice.com
Help for victims of abuse