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Love for the Lonely

By Angie Molkentin This article first appeared in the April 2024 WELS Women’s Ministry Newsletter. Have you been called to encourage someone who is lonely? Opportunities […]

What is an IOP?

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are a vital step towards healing for individuals with acute symptoms. If you, a loved one, or a patient/client is struggling to […]

How to support a loved one struggling with depression

by Sarah Reik, LPC, CFS Member Assistance Program Manager When someone we care about is battling depression, it can be difficult to know how to help. […]

Measurement is making us better

In the last two decades, and certainly since the pandemic, more people are paying attention to mental health and willing to try counseling. In that time, […]

Getting better together in group therapy

Group therapy can be an intimidating thought. Sometimes, we are just better together.   For the person who struggles with anxiety, it might take every ounce of […]

Children and challenging behavior: When your child sabotages Christmas

By Jane Mose, MA, CFS Family Peer Specialist Some parents actually dread the Christmas season because their child’s behavior is so challenging that it drains all […]

Children and challenging behavior: Ten strategies to prevent and address holiday challenges

By Jane Mose, MA, CFS Family Peer Specialist Imagine this scenario: It’s Christmas Eve. You’re looking forward to getting the whole family dressed up to go […]

Boundary-setting with family members

By Julie Straseske, LPC This life offers amazing moments of pure joy. Your eyes well up with tears as your mother excitedly opens the gift you […]

War Stories: How you can help children cope with war in the news

By Sheryl Cowling, LCSW, BC-TMH, BCPCC, BCETS The tragedy and trauma of war is raging in several parts of the world right now. With headline news […]

Recognize and stop bullying

By Allison Franck, Licensed Master’s Social Worker, Christian Family Solutions In the past, the topic of bullying was met with, “kids will be kids” or “everyone […]

Get the FACTS about Suicide Prevention

By Kara Witthuhn, School-Based Counselor, Christian Family Solutions It’s a difficult topic to discuss. Yet it’s essential for all of us to remain alert to the […]

For such a time as this…

This article about Mike Helwig, Therapist-IT at Christian Family Solutions, was orginally written for the Spring/Summer edition of our Healing & Helping publication. “For such a […]

This is what family is all about

This article about Feasha Terry, Program Therapist at Christian Family Solutions, was orginally written for the Spring/Summer edition of our Healing & Helping publication. “This is […]

It was then that I carried you…

This article about Kristi Windsperger, Clinical Supervising Therapist at Christian Family Solutions, was orginally written for the Spring/Summer edition of our Healing & Helping publication. “It […]

Even if you did die tonight, I want you to know where you will go

This article about Allison Franck, Licensed Masters Social Worker at Christian Family Solutions, was orginally written for the Spring/Summer edition of our Healing & Helping publication. […]

Maybe this is for you…

This article about Lisa McInnes, Clinical Therapist at Christian Family Solutions, was orginally written for the Spring/Summer edition of our Healing & Helping publication. Maybe this […]

What if outpatient counseling isn’t working?

You like your counselor and have a good rapport. The weekly sessions are helpful, and yet you just can’t get a handle on your anxiety and […]

Please don’t ask me to go to group therapy!

  We get it. Group therapy can be an intimidating thought. If you are a person who struggles with anxiety, it might take all the courage […]

Am I doing OK? Mental health for teens starts with simple routines and habits

By Kara Witthuhn, School-Based Counselor, Christian Family Solutions Counseling Care & Services When it comes to mental health and wellness, it can be easy for busy […]

“I’m so stressed out! How can I manage it?” Helping teens work through stress

By Kara Witthuhn School-Based Counselor “I’m so stressed out! How can I manage it?” When we talk about stress, we often refer to it as negative. […]

What if I can’t? 5 steps for teens to feel their most confident under pressure

By Mary Gonring, MEd, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor, Christian Family Solutions It is the night before an important test. Or the moment before stepping on stage […]

How do I know if a relationship is healthy or unhealthy?

By Kara Witthuhn School-Based Counselor How do I know if a relationship is healthy or unhealthy? Great question, because how you navigate romantic relationships early in […]

Ten strategies to reduce arguing with your child

By Jane Mose, MA, CFS Family Peer Specialist Earlier in this series, we looked at reasons children might argue with their parents frequently—particularly children who have […]

Parenting an argumentative child

By Jane Mose, MA, CFS Family Peer Specialist Imagine this scenario: Your son has a project to do for an upcoming science fair. Yesterday he asked […]

Peer Specialists: For When Parents Feel Isolated

By Jane Mose, MA, CFS Family Peer Specialist “I can do this!” That’s what I told myself when I was expecting my first child. My husband […]

Peer Specialists: A unique source of support for parents

By Jane Mose, MA, CFS Family Peer Specialist Children are an extraordinary blessing. Children who have extraordinary needs bring extra blessings along with extra challenges in […]

Postpartum reflections of a struggling, surviving, and saved mother

By Julie Straseske, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor and Educational Presenter This article first appeared on the WELS|ELS Christian Therapist Network website and is shared here with […]

The relationship between anxiety, fear, and worry

By Karen Fischer, M.S., Ed., LPC, BC-TMH, Director of Professional Development and Education, Christian Family Solutions Counseling Care & Services The word “anxiety” is used often […]

Exercise Your Mental Health in the New Year

By Andrea Semmann, MBA, CTC   Many of us will make some sort of New Year’s resolution for 2023. Some of the top resolutions in 2022 […]

Helping Children with Anxiety

We hear the word “anxiety” a lot these days. Anxiety is a normal and healthy God-given response to dangerous situations. It is protective and keeps us […]

Teens, Treatment, and Telehealth: Accessible Mental Health Solutions

By CHRISTINE UNRUH, MS, LPC (MN), LPC (WI)  Day Treatment Program Manager “The mental health of our youth is a significant public health challenge that needs […]

Grace through Grief: Miscarriage and Stillbirth Grief (Pregnancy and Infant Loss)

This is part four in a four-part series on the topic of grief. It is our hope that through this series, God’s people can better understand […]

Grace through Grief: Grieving as a Grandparent

This is part three in a four-part series on the topic of grief. It is our hope that through this series, God’s people can better understand […]

Grace through Grief: Surviving the Death of a Spouse

This is part two in a four-part series on the topic of grief. It is our hope that through this series, God’s people can better understand […]

Feeling Anxious?

By Drew Dryness If you answered “Yes!” to that question, you are not alone. In fact, you are part of the majority. Rates of anxiety and […]

How to know when your teen needs help

By Katelyn Bolte, LPCC Since the pandemic, distance learning, isolation, economic instability, fear, and increased deaths, have led to unprecedented levels of depression, anxiety, and trauma […]

Does video counseling actually work?

By Drew Dyrssen It’s 2022 and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our daily lives. Many continue to face restrictions, transitions, and health conditions, which have […]

Grace through Grief: The Types and Stages of Grief

This is part one in a four-part series on the topic of grief. It is our hope that through this series, God’s people can better understand […]

Gratitude Through Tough Times

By: Sarah Brinkley, LPC Licensed Professional Counselor With the ongoing news of COVID-19 outbreaks, many continue to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and sad. Plans continue to change, […]

Home for the Holidays: Practical Advice for Connecting with Your Children

By Katelyn Bolte, LPCC Child and Adolescent Services Program Manager 2021 – A year of more uncertainty and protocols. For some of us, the Christmas season […]

All is calm, all is bright: Managing your mental health at Christmastime

By Jessica Smith, LMFT, BC-TMH Christmas lights are shining in the streets, holiday music is on the radio, and there are joyous celebration ads on television.  […]

Compassion in action: Binding wounds, soothing hearts, providing psychological first aid

Amidst holiday cheer, we see tragedy, hardship, and heartache present. Many of us have experienced this in the privacy of our own homes and in the […]

Emotional Distress Following a Traumatic Event

Diana Migacz, Licensed Professional Counselor In light of recent tragedy, it is common to hear that “counselors will be on site” to offer resources for those […]

Do You Know Someone Like “Emma”?

THERE IS HOPE By Katelyn Bolte, LPCC  Child and Adolescent Services Program Manager for ARMOR Day Treatment At 13 years old, my client, Emma, was skipping […]

Essential Steps for Providing Successful Learning Environments

This article first appeared in the Wisconsin School Counselors Association (WSCA) newsletter, June 2021 edition. By Dr. Ashley Schoof, Clinical Director, STRONG Child & Adolescent Day Treatment […]

Serving Families in Crisis: Understanding What Is Needed in Light of the ‘One Thing Needed’

This article first appeared in Issues on Lutheran Education, a resource provided by the Office of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education for Martin Luther College, New Ulm MN. By […]

More than “get a grip”: How to work through performance anxiety

“It’s ok to not be ok.” I saw this headline while looking through various articles related to Simone Biles’ withdrawal from participation in the Tokyo Olympic […]

Speak in Love: Communication for a Healthy Marriage

Effective communication is essential to having a healthy relationship. Being able to express your feelings and identify your needs with clarity is important for a happy […]

My Experience: The Impact of COVID-19 for College Students

College students face many stressors from day to day. I should know. I am one. From classes to social life to money, college is by no […]

A checklist for parents: What to ask when seeking a provider

In a recent blog post, we shared information to help parents know when they should seek help for their struggling teen. If you’ve decided that it’s […]

How Educators Can Help Children Build Resilience

By Dr. Ashley Schoof This article first appeared in Issues on Lutheran Education, a resource provided by the Office of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education for […]

Strategies for managing distance learning

By Emily Carlberg Over the past few weeks, we have heard from many of you how stressful managing school with your child has been. We wanted […]

When Will We Stop Being Afraid?

By Ed Frey “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears […]

5 Principles of Psychological First Aid

By Sheryl Cowling What comes to mind when you think of First Aid? A bandage, splint, or CPR? These are all good examples of strategies that […]

Practical Tips for Balancing Negative News with Gratitude

By Sarah Brinkley As we face our current global health crisis, it is clear to see how the media feeds fear during times like this. As […]

5 Reminders in Dealing with Disappointment and Loss

By Julie Robles “It’s not fair!” This statement always makes me think of a certain Calvin & Hobbes cartoon. Calvin asks his parents why he can’t […]

5 Ways to Combat Loneliness and Addiction

By Madeline Kelly This time of national crisis can be confusing, scary, and quite lonely. We are being advised to practice social distancing, avoid being in […]

Practice Your PRIDE Skills: Ideas for Parents to Connect

By Marianne Beyersdorf Have mandated breaks from work, community sports, and other commitments left you with more free time than usual? Parents often report they are […]

Dealing With Disappointment

By Laura Reinke Amidst coronavirus health concerns and an ever-changing society, many families are facing cancellations of special events: graduations, confirmations, weddings, funerals, vacations, birthday celebrations, […]

Appreciate the Pause

By Sarah Brinkley When DVR first came out in the late 1990’s, my favorite feature was the PAUSE function. I loved that I could pause my […]

Calm Amidst the Coronavirus Chaos

By Jodie Martens If you have been anywhere near a TV, radio, or smartphone lately you have most likely heard of COVID-19 or Coronavirus. It is […]

Life Worth Living

By Drew Dyrssen I’m going to ask you to do something—something that I do with every single client that walks through my door. Don’t worry; it’s […]

Up in smoke: the teen tobacco epidemic

By Travis Mord Tobacco use by teenagers has become an increasing concern in recent years. Innovations in the tobacco industry have evolved to target teens for […]

Understanding & Treating Childhood Trauma

By Zacharias Laughlin It is likely that each one of us will experience traumatic events at some point in our lives, though we may never attribute […]

How therapy this summer can set your child up for success this coming school year

By Katelyn Bolte, LPCC As the temperatures slowly rise in the Midwest and the school year draws to an end, children and parents alike are anticipating […]

The Fortnite Struggle

By Dr. Joshua Mears One of the most common concerns that I hear in the counseling office when meeting with teens and their parents is the […]

Practicing Patience

By Kent Robinson Where did January go? With February here, many of us have already abandoned our New Year’s resolutions by now. Ever wonder why? How […]

How to REALLY Listen to Your Children

By Laura Reinke Parenting is tough. And no matter how many books you read, or parenting workshops you attend, you’re going to make mistakes. We are […]

Managing Christmas Expectations

By Kent Robinson It’s Christmas time! It’s a time to gather with family and friends to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ! It’s a […]

I’d Like to Try Counseling, but…

Have you ever felt like you could benefit from going to counseling but are afraid to take that first step? Are you worried about what people […]

Family Peace at the Holidays

By Sheryl Cowling I bet you’ve seen it before. It is the iconic painting by Norman Rockwell known as I’ll Be Home for Christmas (also known […]

What’s Your Digital Resolution?

By Laura Reinke With New Year’s around the corner, most of the country is resolving to lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking, quit drinking, or finally […]

Spiritual, Emotional, and Physical Preparation for a Healthy Christmas Season

By Stacie Nagorski The holidays: Many of us look forward to this time of year with hearts of excitement as we anticipate time spent with loved […]

Dementia Basics—Part 2

By Ken Schmidt This time we will focus on more tips for caring for and communicating with persons with dementia, and tips for caring for yourself […]

Caring for the Caregiver

by Alexis Adams, MS, LPC This blog is adapted with permission from an article written by Alexis Adams for the WELS Nurses Association.   From finishing […]

School Survival Guide for Students

By Julie Educate Now that Labor Day has come and gone, most students are back to school or will start soon. Let’s talk about some school […]

Dementia Basics—Part 1

By Ken Schmidt Introduction to dementia Dementia is a word that is filled with a lot of different meanings for a lot of different people. To […]

Overcoming Defensiveness in Our Relationships

By Katelyn Ottum “I thought you said you were going to have dinner made by the time I got home tonight.” “I didn’t have time because […]

Strategies for a Successful School Year

By Julie Educate, MS, LPC The 4th of July flew by in a blink of an eye! Now, school supplies are hitting the shelves in all […]

Setting Healthy Boundaries

By Heather Wegner I remember the first time I heard the word boundaries in relation to psychology and relationships. The word sounded cold. It sounded like […]

Why Do We Suffer?

By Julie Straseske “If God brings you to it, he’ll bring you through it.” “God never gives us more than we can handle.”   Many of […]

Help! My Kids Are Home for the Summer!

Heather Wegner It’s that time of year. For the kids, it couldn’t be more exciting! School’s out! Summer is here! No worries! No stress! Just fun! […]

The Effects of Trauma on the Child’s Brain

Heather Wegner Let’s spend a few minutes talking about the effects of trauma on the brains of children. Many of us know that our experiences shape […]

Not Feeling So Romantic?

Heather Wegner Valentine’s Day. The most romantic day of the year. Unless you’re like many married couples who dread the holiday filled with hearts, roses, and […]

The Quest for Peace: Prayer, Scripture Meditation, and Gratitude

Heather Wegner Peace can be elusive. It may feel at times that peace is an unreachable destination that exists outside the realm of reality. We lead […]

Feeling SAD?

Heather Wegner Winter. For some, winter is a time of ice fishing, skiing, snowboarding, and drinking hot chocolate by the fire. Some enjoy ice skating, playing […]

A True Hall of Fame

As the Super Bowl approaches, it seems that the eye on certain sports increases, like football. Sports stars are listed and those in various Halls of […]

Words of Wisdom from the Maid of Honor

By Katelyn Ottum Relationships can be tricky. They can be frustrating and even downright exhausting at times. There are techniques that will work for one couple that […]

Downsizing Tips for Seniors and Their Families

The idea of downsizing can be overwhelming for seniors facing the move to a senior living community or an assisted living facility. A lifetime of memories […]

The Not-So-Perfect Storm

Andrea Semmann Twenty-six years ago, my husband and I embarked on a journey not all that uncommon for many people. We got married. Three years later, […]

Transition Tips for a Successful Summer

Whitney Donovan Long, lazy days. No schedule, no commitments. Endless free time. Is this how you envision summer? I would imagine such a carefree picture is […]

Rest and Sleep: A Mandate from God

Kristina Davis, LCSW “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then […]

Farewell to Our Dear Friends

Anita Smith In April 2015, a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook the country of Nepal, killing over 8,000 and injuring over 21,000. Hundreds of thousands lost their […]

A Full Day

Anita Smith In April 2015, a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook the country of Nepal, killing over 8,000 and injuring over 21,000. Hundreds of thousands lost their […]

It Is Good to Be Here!

Anita Smith In April 2015, a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook the country of Nepal, killing over 8,000 and injuring over 21,000. Hundreds of thousands lost their […]

The Longest Day or Two…

Anita Smith In April 2015, a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook the country of Nepal, killing over 8,000 and injuring over 21,000. Hundreds of thousands lost their […]

Healthy Friendships Among Seniors

Healthy friendships are important at every stage in life, but particularly as we age!   Seniors who continue to maintain close friendships: Have longer, more stable […]

Getting Through the Winter: Seasonal Affective Disorder–Part 2

Megan Demianiuk, LMFT As we discussed in last month’s blog, it’s easy to let the “winter blues” get the best of you and make you feel cranky, […]

Ready, Set, Wait…

Anita Smith In April 2015, a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook the country of Nepal, killing over 8,000 and injuring over 21,000. Hundreds of thousands lost their […]

Getting Our Children (and Ourselves) Through Winter Boredom–Part 1

Megan Demianiuk, LMFT Feeling cooped up? Do the winter chills, sniffles, sneezes, and scratchy throats have you feeling down and maybe a little irritable? Well, if you’re […]

Why I’m Not Setting New Year’s Resolutions

Jessica Landini It’s that time of year again, folks—the ringing in of the New Year! For many people, the New Year marks a time for a […]

Seniors and Post-Holiday Blues: Why It Happens and What to Do

Now that the holidays are over and the hustle and bustle is done, what now?  Sometimes all the excitement of the holidays masks the feelings of […]

Where Is My Christmas Joy?

Jeremy Long The holiday season can be filled with so many mixed emotions. It can be very festive, joyous, and even exhilarating at times. For some […]

What Am I Really Craving?

Jessica Landini When we think about “being in relationship” with someone or something, we often think about 1) What we are contributing to the relationship and […]

Creating Contentment

Sheryl Crowling 1 Timothy 6:6-8: Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But […]

Where is God in Our World Today?

James Mattek “It’s a scary world out there.” I’ve heard comments like this repeatedly since the Paris terrorist attacks and the other recent terrorist attacks worldwide. […]

Delight in the Midst of Overwhelm

Jessica Landini Lately, this verse has been ever-present in my mind: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” […]

Not Your Ordinary Vocabulary Lesson

Jessica Landini Does this sound familiar? “I only exercised twice this week.” “I cleaned only half of the apartment.” “I didn’t do the other section of […]

Let Us Put on the Lens of Gratitude!

Jessica Landini As the school year has shifted into full swing and the hustle and bustle in our lives only increases, it is easy to lose […]

Maintaining Your Family’s Balance

Whitney Donovan Parents, does this conversation sound familiar? “Remember, you’re picking Johnny up from baseball practice while I take Suzy to her art class. Don’t be […]

Summertime Blues?

Jeremy Long Summer is here! School is over, and the kids are home. Let that last part sink in: the kids are home. Children are a tremendous blessing […]

PTSD: Helping Veterans & Their Families

The 2014 movie American Sniper told the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle—and brought post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) into the national spotlight. Soldier’s heart. Shell shock. Combat fatigue. Beginning […]

Child Sexual Abuse: Help & Healing for Adult Survivors

John D. Schuetze Lorraine* had suffered in silence for decades. Finally she found the courage to tell someone. She confided to her counselor that when she […]

Spring Cleaning

Jodie Martens Spring: The word brings many things to mind for most of us. As far off as it has seemed during this long, frigid, polar […]

‘Tis the Season…for Video Games

Brandon Hayes ’Tis the season…for the release of the latest and greatest video games for Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo. There is little doubt that video games […]

Tips to Cope with Homesickness

Anita Smith, LPCC As a college student, it is normal to be homesick! The adjustment and transition to college is both exciting and anxiety provoking. Homesickness […]

Parenting Your College Student

Anita Smith You have been a good parent. Sure, you have made some mistakes, but you did your best, and now your son or daughter is […]

Back-to-School Tips for Parents

Sheryl Cowling If you’re like many parents, you are amazed at how quickly summer has flown by, and you are in the midst of preparing your […]

Who Has Time for Family?

Ever wonder what happens to all of the time we should spend with our families? We are so busy trying to get here or there to […]

Coping Strategies for Adults and Kids Following a Tragic Event

By Sheryl Cowling When confronted by an unexpected crisis that involves tragic violence, individuals will respond in their own unique ways given their personality and prior […]

Living with Infertility

Joshua T. Mears For many Christian couples, the opportunity to begin or grow a family through the blessing of childbirth is at the forefront of their […]

Counselor Connection Blog: Stress (part 2)

Megan Demianiuk, MS, LMFT Welcome back! In the last blog entry about stress, we began discussing the impact of stress in our lives. We looked at […]

PTSD and Veterans

Brandon Hayes “All gave some; some gave all.” This phrase has been used to describe the sacrifice given by the men and women of the armed forces. […]

Parenting: Making the Morning Routine Fun!

Anita Smith Parents, have you noticed how easy it is to get your child up on the first day of school? Your child is so ready to […]

Counselor Connection Blog: Stress (Part 1)

Megan Demianiuk, MS, LMFT Stress. It’s a familiar word to each of us. In today’s fast-paced world of never-ending responsibilities, meetings, deadlines, practices, games, school work, […]

Counselor Connection Blog: Model Parenting

Becoming a parent is a joyous occasion. To gaze at your child for the first time is a miraculous event, and the memory stays with you […]