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Restoring God's Image The Narrow Gate to Healing and Transformation presents God's plan for healing and restoration as a set of simple, clear, concise instructions based on scripture. Through thousands of hours of therapy, research, and personal experience, John Del Grosso has experienced great success in helping Christians find release from emotional pain and sinful behaviors.

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John Del Grosso MFT

Archive for April, 2011

The Way We Learn to Love

Love is more than an emotion. Love is an action. With divorce rates over 30 to 40 percent at present, it
is clear that many persons misunderstand the way in which we as persons learn to love. Jesus stated that we are to love our enemies. It is easy for someone to love those that love us. But what do we do when we are faced with persons who choose at times to not love us. When persons in our lives downright break their promises to us.

First we need to understand something about our minds. Our minds hold emotions and memories in the hippocampus and the amygdala. When we are older , unresolved material, that which is connected to pain and suffering gets triggered by current events. These current events are interpreted through our old beliefs and feelings. So as Jesus stated. First we must see our planks before we can clearly understand the other persons specks.

Those, it seems, who are the closest to us, such as husbands, wives, family members, children, trigger these old feelings more than a mere acquaintance would. That is the way it is with our old unresolved issues. This is true usually because our old unresolved issues are often time created as children, and most of our old wounds are received at the hands of family and close friends. Of course there are many exceptions. However, even with the child who is molested by a neighbor, the way the parent responded or did not respond usually caused the greatest pain and wound.

When we feel pain from these unresolved wounds our minds experience them in much the same way and depth as when we originally experienced them as children. With this said, Jesus gave us a very clear pattern of how to deal with our pain. First we are to remove and have our planks (experiences, perceptions) removed before we can see clearly as to the motivations of anothers’ heart. We are not to judge others simply because our perceptions are always determined by our past experiences.

Love believes all things. You see, we are commanded to always give mercy, even as we are granted mercy. Forgive as we are forgiven. So how do we treat a spouse, or friend, or person who has hurt us? First we choose to forgive. Second we ask god to show us what the real source of our pain is. We must go beyond blaming the present situation. We must look for the root cuaue of the pain. The unresolved wound that our now current situation is triggering and connecting itself to.

This is the way of the cross. My book “Restoring Gods Image” will sow you how to accomplish this in your life. It is time to stop leaving our marriages and fighting to allow God to teach us how to love unconditionally. This can be accomplished.

It could get worse before it gets better?

I thought today I would talk about the process of therapy. For many people the idea of sitting and telling someone your problems is apprehensible.  What will that  person think of me? Do I really need someone to tell my problems to? Do I really have any problems at all.  How can someone who does not know me know how to fix my problems, and after all, this is the way I have been all of my life. How can I or why should I change?

What happen to friends that you could count on to hear you out and give you good advice? Somehow, it seems like those days are over. In many churches , pastors do very little counseling and have stepped aside for professional counselors. I for example see between 30 and 3 people a week. That’s over 1500 hours a year of talking and praying for persons with varied problems. Just because of sheer numbers it makes sense to find someone who has lots of experience.

There are some things that everyone should know about therapy. One is that things could get worse before they get better. Why is this? Because material in your mind that has been hidden and suppressed for years is being brought to the emotional surface as the brain is being stimulated to process. Often this is painful information that we have been unwilling, or unknowingly repressing since youth. And after all , no one likes pain.

But sometimes, pain is a good thing. Pain tells us that something is wrong and in the right hands therapy can help identify what that wrong painful thing is.

But be ready, there are no quick fixes. And be ready, there is no gain if  there is no pain. So it could take at least a year to work out all of your debilitating stuff. And many times more than this.

First a therapist develops a rapport with his client. This means that as a client you will be entering into a relationship that demands honesty. Of course this may not happen immediately.  But if you are unwilling to take the plunge, forget it. Withholding will eventually keep you from getting the help that you need.

Second, you will discover emotions that you may not be willing to own. Overwhelming at times. But remember, nothing in your past had killed you before. They will not now.

Next it may be important to have a good support system in place. Friends, family, therapist, etc. the stronger your support system the better.

And remember. Good therapy will uncover underlying motions, beliefs and motivations that will be disturbing at first, but with time will give way to truth that will bring  freedom.

So go for it. If you have never had counseling, every person can and will benefit. I hope to hear from you soon.