Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Are you stressed out about your future?

If we could see beyond today as God can see, If all the clouds should roll away, The shadows flee; O’er present griefs we would not fret, Each sorrow we would soon forget, For many joys are waiting yet For you and me. If we could know beyond today As God doth know, Why dearest treasures pass away, And tears must flow; And why the darkness leads to light, Why dreary days will soon grow bright, Some day life’s wrong will be made right, Faith tells us so. If we could see, if we could know We often say, But God in love a veil doth throw Across our way. We cannot see what lies before, And so we cling to Him the more, He leads us till this life is o’er, Trust and obey. —Norman J. Clayton Go to this link, about biological depression, Bi-polar depression,etc. It is a good educational video. It is three minutes and thirty eight seconds.
http://depression.emedtv.com/depression-video/depression-introduction.html

Seven Reasons why we should be content

A Biblical argument for being content which is intended especially for the persecuted church in the world but it is profitable for all. --Steve Bloem

These comments are based on Philippians 4:10-12. This is taken from the book Spiritual Depression, Its Causes and Cures by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones.

1. Conditions are always changing; therefore I must obviously not be dependent upon conditions.

2. What matters supremely and vitally is my soul and relationship to God--

3. God is concerned about me as my Father, and nothing happens to me apart from God.
Even the very hairs of my head are all numbered. I must never forget that.

4. Gods will and God’s ways are a great mystery, but I know that whatever He permits is of necessity for my good.

5. Every situation in life is the unfolding of some manifestation of God’s love and goodness.Therefore my business is to look for this peculiar manifestation of God’s goodness and kindness and to be prepared for surprises and blessings because His ways are not my ways, neither His thoughts my thoughts. What for example is the great lesson that Paul learned in the matter of the thorn in the flesh. It is that: When I am weak then I am strong. Paul was taught through physical weakness this manifestation of God’s grace.

6. I must regard circumstances and conditions, not in and of themselves but as a part of God’s dealing with me in the work of perfecting my soul and bringing me to final perfection.

7. Whatever my conditions may be at the present moment they are only temporary, they are only passing, and they can never rob me of the joy and glory that ultimately await me with Christ.

Steve Brown's review of Broken Minds

Broken Minds: Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're "Losing It" (Paperback) - Steve & Robyn Bloem Wow! What a great book a book that we’ve needed for such a long time. With clarity, Biblical faithfulness and grace, Steve and Robyn Bloem lead us from their personal experience to hope for the rest of us who have experienced, or loved those who have experienced, the pain of a "broken mind." This is a book that should be mandatory reading for every leader in the church. It is one of the most (perhaps "the most") helpful books I’ve ever read on mental illness." "I really do think this is a great book and will be making in mandatory reading for my practical theology classes." http://heartfeltcounselingministries.com/bookpurchase.aspx

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mental Illness and the Health Wealth and Prosperity Gospel

Does God promise his children that they will never be sick of heart, depressed or weak of mind?
No, the present day, health, wealth and prosperity version of the gospel teaches this. But the Bible teaches otherwise; for instance, Job 9:27,28; “If I say,I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face and wear a smile. I am afraid of all my sufferings." Again the word of God in Job 6:1-4, states, “Then Job answered and said, “Oh, that my grief was fully weighed and my calamity lay with it in the balances! For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea, therefore my words have been hasty. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, my spirit drinks in their poison, the terrors of God are arrayed against me (NKJV).”
David states in Psalm 55:4-5,“My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me (NKJV).” Please also note Psalm 116:3, “the pangs of death encompassed me, and the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me. I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord.”
How about you blogger? Do you have a prayer request or would you like to share how others have told you depression is a flaw, something to be confessed as sin before God?
Steve and Robyn Bloem
Please go to the following link that will provide you with key reviews of our book Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan---

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"I Hate Happy People," part 2.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the evening of September 11 was beautiful. The weather, which could be very inclement at times, was warm, dry and calm. Lindsay told us that she wanted to go to church to pray. She said she thought that the Lord would use this catastrophe in our nation as an opportunity for her with her friends at work. She wanted them to know her as a Christian who would trust the Lord in these difficult times. Her new husband had to work that night; since they shared a car, she would pick him up when his shift was over at eight o’clock p.m. Our youngest son, Tyler, rode with her to church. It was so good to see her interact with her brothers. We had been estranged for about 14 months.

Lindsay had gotten into trouble in her junior year of high school. She had actually gone to summer camp and confided in her counselor about some issues in which she was involved that did not honor the Lord. The following Sunday night, her youth pastor called us into his office and told us, “I don’t think people in the church should know things about your daughter that you don’t know.” He proceeded to tell us the things that Lindsay had been doing. I remember telling him that we knew something was wrong, but it was like we were swinging a bat in the dark. Her attitude was very rebellious and not only was she spending an excessive amount of time with her friends but also being cagy about her activities. We were quite saddened that Lindsay had gotten into trouble and we were worried about her. When she came home, we told her about our conversation with the youth pastor and confronted her with the facts. She denied everything the pastor told us. Steve told her, “Look, Lindsay, this is just like my job. I deal with clients lying to me all day long about their drug use. We find out what they’re doing with a urine drop. Obviously, I am not going to do that, but I know you’re lying.” After awhile, she finally admitted her wrong. We had a moment of prayer with her, affirmed our love for her and we all went to bed.

Her senior year was upon us in no time. We laid down certain parameters we expected her to follow and set up some guidelines for her after school job, etc. Things seemed to be better for quite a while. Toward the end of her senior year, we started having some very familiar scenarios with her. She became evasive; she smelled like smoke again and her whereabouts were always a little vague. Her anger was getting out of control and her behavior was upsetting everyone in the family. Night after night we had contention. The phone would ring after eleven or eleven thirty and if I answered, the person hung up. The caller ID was always marked “unavailable” and the calls persisted. More than once, Lindsay picked up her back pack and threatened to leave with her friends for an unknown length of time to some unknown destination. As a mother, she was scaring me to death. I knew the dangers that lurked out there in the world for a couple of high school girls trying to prove their independence.
A fleshly person is not a fun person.


It doesn’t matter if the person we are dealing with is a son, daughter or best friend, when one is “in the flesh”as the Bible calls it, it can be an ugly mess. Lindsay reverted to some real nastiness when she was on the run. I have a friend who calls her daughter’s rebellion, “her time with the donkeys,” a reference to the bad behavior of Pinocchio and his cohorts. Lindsay had some donkey friends that were a real source of grief to us.

As her senior year was drawing to a close and she seemed to be repeating some of the old patterns, we had to have one of those talks with her. We were saddened again at her return to the old ways of the previous year. We gave her the ultimatum: either forsake the sin or else. She stood in stubborn opposition to us. The phone kept ringing, her support system egging her on to the wrong things over and over again. One day, she announced that she had made her decision and she would not graduate if it meant she had to give up her boyfriend and her other “friends.”

They supported her decision, of course, what was it to them? They had nothing to lose. It reminds me of a game show where the contestant looks for advice from members of the audience. He stands with thousands of dollars in the balance while the mob screams for them to risk it all in some maneuver of the game. What do they have to lose; and yet the contestant listens to them and many times takes a ridiculous risk. That was Lindsay; she stood listening to people who had already graduated or were about to and let them decide for her; the risk taker listening to the mob.
After that decision was made, the tenor of our Christian home ratcheted downward. Lindsay felt and stated emphatically that she had nothing to lose, there was no longer any reason to obey the family rules and she felt “that was that.” She began staying out all night; we didn’t know where she was going or who she was with. But we believed strongly in what we required of her and we were trusting in the Lord for His guidance.

Robyn Bloem, Author, Co-Founder, Heartfelt Ministries.
The portion above is part of an unpublished title which we are submitting to
publishers. If you interested as a publisher please let us know. (We do not wish to self publish it), thanks.


Our other book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing It When you Feel Like You're Losing It,Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications can be found on our web site and many others which will yield to a google search, bloem,broken minds

Friday, March 11, 2011

I Hate Happy People

Copyright 2011

Sitting at the high school basketball game with my husband, Steve, and our eleven year old son, Tyler, I glanced furtively around the gym. The bleachers were filled to capacity in our mostly parent area, and to both sides and above us, sat the students. We were slightly out of style compared to them; even the coolest of us looking more like our own generation than we hoped. The kids were mostly excited to be together on a Thursday night supporting their team and the parents stood, talked, laughed and bounced an age-old bounce to age-old tunes being blasted by the high school band. I sat there quietly, with my broken heart and suffocated spirit. I had one thought, “I hate happy people!”
How could happiness even exist tonight? Was I observing true reality? Could others have joy, happiness and contentment so close to the surface of their hearts, changing their faces from interest to pleasure to hilarious laughter at some dimwitted comment from a mere acquaintance? How could someone even conjure up a laugh? How could a person find anything close to amusing come out of another person’s mouth? I was deeply struck by the giddiness of others and also deeply troubled. Yep, I hated happy people!
Roughly three months before this high school game observation, our nineteen year old daughter was killed. She was returning from a special prayer vigil called on Tuesday afternoon on September 11, 2001. Our pastor wanted us to come and pray for our nation, the President and the many families who had lost loved ones the day of those horrific terrorist attacks. Our only daughter, Lindsay, was a young married mother-to-be. She was eight months pregnant with our first grandchild. About nine o’clock that morning, she started calling us from work.
“What’s happening, Mom? Is this the end of the world?” That may sound silly at this point in our nation’s history, but at the time, as a fearful young woman, she needed reassurances. I told her that these types of things had been happening in other places in the world for years and years but it was unusual for any enemy to penetrate our borders and successfully commit such crimes against America.

Lindsay’s work day ended at three o’clock p.m. and she was running up our front steps minutes later. Still anxious and worried, she hugged me and then standing upright looked right into my eyes and said again, “What is happening, Mom?” I shrugged and said something like, “I don’t know, honey, but remember God is in charge of all of this today.”
This is to be continued because of length.
Robyn Bloem
This is from our unpublished book about Grief.
Here is a link to our book which is already published--

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Training with Marsha Linehan

DBT
Marsha Linehan.
I had the privilege of studying under Marsha Linehan in Seattle, Washington at the University of Washington. She is a brilliant behaviorist and also an unashamed Buddhist. And I am an unashamed evangelical Christian. Our world and life views clash, especially when it comes to absolute truth. Linehan holds that truth is always changing. It consists of a thesis, an antithesis and then a synthesis. Philosophically, Linehan and I differ as far as the Bible being absolute truth; but I have been able to understand certain dialectics that exist in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder such as:

 Emotional Vulnerability v. Self-evaluation
 Active Passivity v. Apparent Competence
 Unrelenting Crisis v. Inhibited Grieving
Linehan, Dr.Marsha; Cognitve Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, (New York, London: Guilford Press, 1993) p. 67 figure 3:1.
Her skills training manual is outstanding.When I teach mindfulness to my borderline clients who are Christians, I concentrate on the reflective wisdom books, especially the Psalms.
The God of the Bible is a Loving, Holy God who makes Himself known to those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior (John 1:11, 12).
In the Old Testament He is known as El-Shaddai, Jehovah and One who is a Strong Refuge for those who know Him and seek His help. In the New Testament He is the Father of Mercies and the God of all Comfort (2 Corinthians 1) who comforts His children in all their troubles, afflictions and in their darkest hours.I believe that the God of the Bible, as made known through His Son, Jesus, by the Holy Spirit is far superior to any religion; having said that when I do DBT therapy and teach skills training I constantly use the DBT approach

What about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?
Steve is a certified DBT therapist; actually, he was personally instructed in DBT by Dr. Marsha Linehan. He and a coworker were the first in the area to set up and run a DBT group. It was very successful for a number of years.Steve also has done personal therapy with scores of those who suffer Borderline Personality Disorder. He subsitutes some of the Budist principles which are inherent in DBT with Christian priniciples of biblical meditation and contemplation.
At this point, Steve is considering opening a DBT group in which would be on line using Google Earth.He also has success in doing DBT phone therapy.
Please call me at 616.427.0775 or email me at camimovement@yahoo,com


Borderline Personality Disorder
The main tenet of the bio-social theory is that the core disorder in Borderline Personality Disorder is emotion dysregulation. Emotional dysregulation is viewed as a joint outcome of biological disposition, environmental context, and the transaction between the two during development.
The theory asserts that borderline individuals have difficulties in regulating several, if not all, emotions. The systemic dysregulation is produced by emotional vulnerability and by maladaptive and inadequate emotion modulation strategies. (Linehan, Marsha, Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. (1993) New York, London, Guilford Press}, p.2
What about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?
Steve is a certified DBT therapist; actually, he was personally instructed in DBT by Dr. Marsha Linehan. He and a coworker were the first in the area to setup and run a DBT group. It was very successful for a number of years.Steve also has done personal therapy with scores of those with Borderline PersonalityDisorder. He substitutes some of the Buddhist principles which are inherent
in DBT with Christian principles of biblical meditation and contemplation.At this point, Steve is considering opening a DBT Group in Palm Beach County, FL. He also has success in doing DBT phone therapy.
Pretreatment targets orientation to treatment and agreement on goals.
First stage targets
1. Decreasing suicidal behaviors
2. Decreasing therapy-interfering behaviors
3. Decreasing quality-of-life-interfering behaviors
4. Increasing behaviors skills
A. Core mindfulness skills
B. Interpersonal effectiveness skills
C. Emotion regulation skills
D. Distress tolerance skills
E. Self management skills
Second stage targets
5. decreasing post-traumatic symptoms
Third stage targets
6. Increasing respect for self

Table 5.2 Linehan Behaviors that Interfere with Quality of Life

1. Substance abuse (examples “alcohol drinking; abuse of illicit or prescription drugs).

2. High risk or unprotected sexual behavior (examples: unsafe sex practices; abusing others sexually; excessively promiscuous sex; sex with inappropriate persons).

3. Extreme financial difficulties (example: overwhelming unpaid bills, difficulties in budgeting; excessive spending or gambling; inability to manage public assistance agencies).

4. Criminal behaviors that if not changed may lead to jail (examples: shoplifting; setting fires).

5. Serious dysfunctional interpersonal behaviors (examples: choosing or staying with physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abusive partners; excessive contact with abuse relatives; ending relationships prematurely; making other people feel so uncomfortable that few friends are possible; incapacitating shyness or fear of social disapproval).

6. Employment or school related dysfunctional behaviors (examples: quitting jobs or school prematurely; inability to look for or find a job; fear of going to school or school related work; inappropriate career choices; getting fired or failing in school excessively.

7. Illness-related dysfunctional behaviors (examples: inability to get proper medical care; not taking necessary medications; overtaking medication; fear of physicians; refusal to treat illness.

8. Housing related dysfunctional behaviors (examples; living in shelters, in cars, or in overcrowded housing; living with abusive or incompatible people; not finding stable housing engaging in behaviors that cause evictions or rejections from housing possibilities)

9. Mental Health-related dysfunctional behaviors (examples: going into psychiatric hospitals; shopping; not finding ancillary treatments.)

10. Mental-disorder-related dysfunctional behaviors (examples: behavior patterns that meet criteria for other severe or debilitating Axis I or Axis II behaviors in the DSM IV manual.
If you are interested in DBT counseling from a certified DBT therapist please go to the link below

My Training with Marsha Linehan

My Training with Marsha Linehan

I had the privilege of studying under Marsha Linehan in Seattle, Washington at the University of Washington. She is a brilliant behaviorist and also an unashamed Buddhist. And I am an unashamed evangelical Christian. Our world and life views clash, especially when it comes to absolute truth. Linehan holds that truth is always changing. It consists of a thesis, an antithesis and then a synthesis. Philosophically, Linehan and I differ as far as the Bible being absolute truth; but I have been able to understand certain dialectics that exist in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder such as:
 Emotional Vulnerability v. Self-evaluation
 Active Passivity v. Apparent Competence
 Unrelenting Crisis v. Inhibited Grieving
Linehan, Dr.Marsha; Cognitve Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, (New York, London: Guilford Press, 1993) p. 67 figure 3:1.

Her skills training manual is outstanding.When I teach mindfulness to my borderline clients who are Christians, I concentrate on the reflective wisdom books, especially the Psalms.

The God of the Bible is a Loving, Holy God who makes Himself known to those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior (John 1:11, 12).
In the Old Testament He is known as El-Shaddai, Jehovah and One who is a Strong Refuge for those who know Him and seek His help. In the New Testament He is the Father of Mercies and the God of all Comfort (2 Corinthians 1); who comforts His children in all their troubles, afflictions and in their darkest hours.
I believe that the God of the Bible, as made known through His Son, Jesus, by the Holy Spirit is far superior to any religion; having said that when I do DBT therapy and teach skills training I constantly use the DBT approach.


Borderline Personality Disorder

The main tenet of the biosocial theory is that the core disorder in Borderline Personality Disorder is emotion dysregulation. Emotional dysregulation is viewed as a joint outcome of biological disposition, environmental context, and the transaction between the two during development.
The theory asserts that borderline individuals have difficulties in regulating several, if not all, emotions. The systemic dysregulation is produced by emotional vulnerability and by maladaptive and inadequate emotion modulation strategies. { Linehan, Marsha, Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. (1993) New York, London, Guilford Press}, p.2

What about Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?

Steve is a certified DBT therapist. Actually, he was personally instructed in DBT
by Dr. Marsha Linehan. He and a coworker were the first in the area to set
up and run a DBT group. It was very successful for a number of years.
Steve also has done personal therapy with scores of those with Borderline Personality
Disorder. He subsitutes some of the Budist principles which are inherent
in DBT with Christian priniciples of biblical meditation and contemplation.
At this point, Steve is considering opening a DBT group in Grand Rapids< MI.
He also has success in doing DBT phone therapy.
If you would like to learn more about Steve and how link up with DBT,
please call, 616.447.9064
You can also email him at camimovement@yahoo.com


Pretreatment targets orientation to treatment and agreement on goals.

First stage targets

1. Decreasing suicidal behaviors
2. Decreasing therapy-interfering behaviors
3. Decreasing quality-of-life-interfering behaviors

4. Increasing behaviors skills

A. Core mindfulness skills
B. Interpersonal effectiveness skills
C. Emotion regulation skills
D. Distress tolerance skills
E. Self management skills

Second stage targets

5. decreasing post-traumatic

Third stage targets

6. Increasing respect for self

Table 5.2 Linehan Behaviors that Interfere with Quality of Life
1. Substance abuse (examples “alcohol drinking; abuse of illicit or prescription drugs)

2. High risk or unprotected sexual behavior (examples: unsafe sex practices; abusing others sexually; excessively promiscuous sex; sex with inappropriate persons).

3. Extreme financial difficulties (example: overwhelming unpaid bills, difficulties in budgeting; excessive spending or gambling; inability to manage public assistance agencies).

4. Criminal behaviors that if not changed may lead to jail (examples: shoplifting; setting fires)

5. Serious dysfunctional interpersonal behaviors (examples: choosing or staying with physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abusive partners; excessive contact with abuse relatives; ending relationships prematurely; making other people feel so uncomfortable that few friends are possible; incapacitating shyness or fear of social disapproval).

6. Employment or school related dysfunctional behaviors (examples: quitting jobs or school prematurely; inability to look for or find a job; fear of going to school or school related work; inappropriate career choices; getting fired or failing in school excessively.

7. Illness-related dysfunctional behaviors (examples: inability to get proper medical care; not taking necessary medications; overtaking medication; fear of physicians; refusal to treat illness.

8. Housing related dysfunctional behaviors (examples; living in shelters, in cars, or in overcrowded housing; living with abusive or incompatible people; not finding stable housing engaging in behaviors that cause evictions or rejections from housing possibilities)

9. Mental Health-related dysfunctional behaviors (examples: going into psychiatric hospitals; shopping; not finding ancillary treatments.)

10. Mental-disorder-related dysfunctional behaviors (examples: behavior patterns that meet criteria for other severe or debilitating Axis I or Axis II behaviors in the DSM IV manual.
If you are interested in DBT counseling from a certified DBT therapist please go to the link below