Thursday, April 30, 2015

Beyond Failure

For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again. Proverbs 24:16

We make mistakes in our daily lives. When we pursue our aspirations, we often make mistakes and we often fail. We have set backs after set backs and we have disappointments.

 We fail at relationships. We fail at being a parent at times. If we try and we put our necks out in the world to take a chance at something, we could fail multiple times.

Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor company.  However, his early businesses failed and left him completely broke five times before he launched the assembly line for the Ford.

Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken tried and was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted his recipe for chicken.

We get out hearts broke in relationships and we are reluctant to love again. However, we can grow and learn from our relationship mistakes and move forward a little wiser just like we can move forward from other mistakes.

Don’t stop pursuing the desires of your heart because of rejections. Use any rejection as an opportunity to learn, grow, and perhaps to try even harder with your newly enhanced wisdom and vision. 

The next try could be the one that gets you to where you want to be in life! 

Many broken relationships CAN mend! Forgive and get professional help.

The love of your life...... 
or the new friend that you have prayed for..........
or the job that you have been trying so hard to get..........
could all be just around the corner! 

Don't give up. Don't quit trying.


Implement an effort, allow time, and repeat!

Turn adversity into opportunity! 

Success consists of going from failure to failure
without loss of enthusiasm.
- Winston Churchill

Success is a state of mind.
If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.
- Dr. Joyce Brothers

In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail.
- Anonymous

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.  James 1:12

By Diane Gammon M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counselor
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Group Counseling and Support Groups- the Benefits

Group counseling / support groups have many benefits. The main benefit from groups is that when you go to a group, you are with others who are going through something similar to what you are experiencing.

It can be very helpful and comforting to know that others can understand and empathize with you.

Groups also give the opportunity for individuals to learn from other people’s perspectives and to see how others are coping with a similar problem.  

Group is also the treatment of choice for certain issues such as grief and trauma situations. It is also less costly for everyone involved as well.

I personally love group sessions. I enjoy leading them and I enjoyed attending one when I was grieving the loss of my infant daughter. 

I believe that they are extremely helpful because you can attend one and just sit and listen to others and get something out of the session without ever even talking if you don’t want to. 

If you are hesitant in sharing, other group members are usually very encouraging and nurturing to invite you to share while also respecting you if you do not want to share.
If you have thought about attending a group, I want to encourage you to try one. Call local mental health providers and agencies or look in the newspapers in the calendar sections for groups listed.

Here is a small list of some types of groups: 

Bereavement/Grief, Medical, Weight Loss, Mental Health/ Mental Illness, Domestic Violence, Family Support, Life Transitions, and Addictions. 

By Diane Gammon M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counselor

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Eat an Alkaline Based Diet for Optimal Health

A normal blood pH level is between 7.35 and 7.45. 

Most of the foods that we eat release either an alkaline base (bicarbonate) or an acidic base into our blood when it is digested, metabolized or absorbed. Thus, we are either feeding disease or preventing disease.

Research indicates that an acid-producing diet results in being prone to illness and disease.

When our bodies fight to normalize the pH level in our blood, the essential minerals that our bodies need decrease.

Eating fresh vegetables, salads, nuts and oils is the best way increase the alkaline in your body.

Thus, we get the greatest health benefits from eating raw fruit and vegetables. It is also helpful to drink plenty of distilled water daily.

Most people eat 80% acidic foods and 20% alkaline foods in their diet and it needs to be the other way around for optimal health.

Here are some great alkaline foods:
Green beans


Seeds, Nuts and Grains:

Fats and Oils:
Coconut oil

You can purchase strips to test your pH level. A good way to test is with your saliva. It is important to view the results immediately.
By Diane Gammon M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counselor
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Monday, April 27, 2015

Faith and Spirituality - Perseverance in Our Life’s Journey

Faith is valued as an individually characterized insight that offers meaning to our life circumstances established on beliefs, authentic living and interrelating (Dyess, 2011). 

Having a strong faith can help to alleviate stress. It can also enhance resilience and prevent burnout from doing all of the things that we have to do in our lives (Brockhouse, Msetfi, Cohen, & Joseph, 2011). 

Spirituality can be a protective aspect in the prevention of becoming too burdened with our responsibilities. It can be helpful to individuals to be able to make meaning out of one’s life with spirituality as well. This can especially be helpful in stressful situations in our livesSpirituality can help to maintain a successful personal life and also in having an overall healthy life and well-being. A specific example to engage with the Lord and to become more spiritual with your walk with God is to go to him in prayer (Brockhouse, et al., 2011).

Praying and having spirituality helps us to have purpose in our lives. It assists us to connect our mind, body, and spirit together. This can help us to feel accepted, loved, and to feel like we are making a meaningful contribution in life. Another way to become more spiritual and to grow closer to the Lord in our personal walk with Him is to meditate (Harrison & Westwood, 2009). 

Sit still a few moments and concentrate on positive and uplifting thoughts. It is also helpful to pick out a scripture verse that you like and meditate on that verse for a few moments to focus on God’s truths and promises.  

Research has demonstrated that there is significance in having spiritual beliefs to enhance our views in life and to help us with cope with the trials and stresses that we can come up against in our lives. Having grounded beliefs about our lives and implementing prayers and faith can attribute to us having healthier relationships with our families, friends, and our relationships in our community (Brockhouse, et al., 2011). 

It is also vital to share and have spiritual and emotional peer support. A great way to obtain support is to attend church and make new friendships there.

Faith is seen as the groundwork that facilitates us to make sense of our world and circumstances. The concept of faith symbolizes a created expression to be; faith is an evolving design of believing that builds and directs authentic living and gives value and meaning in the present time period of inter-relating (Dyess, 2011)

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Holy Bible, Deuteronomy 31:8)

I hope that if have not already done so, that you invite Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior. Prayer, meditating on His Word, and gathering and learning with other believers at church can help you in your journey in life to have and maintain optimum mental health. If you would like to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, seek someone who knows Him and then continue to read scripture and learn how to have a daily relationship with Him and spend eternity with Him.

Becoming a Christian is a simple process of accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. The following steps may be helpful to you as you make this wonderful decision.
·         A. Acknowledge that you have a need for Christ in your life. Romans 3:23 reminds us that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” and the result of our sinfulness is death - Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death.”
·         B. Believe that Jesus died for you so that your sins might be forgiven. Romans 5:8 “But God shows His love for us, in that while were sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
·         C. Commit yourself to Him by praying and indicating that you desire for His forgiveness of your sin, and you desire for Him to take control of your life.

Romans 10:9-10 - "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Holy Bible)

If you feel an urgency to make a decision after reading these preceding paragraphs, this means the Holy Spirit is working in your heart, drawing you into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you are prepared to make this decision you might offer a simple word to Christ as demonstrated in the following prayer:

"Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I have sinned and I need forgiveness for my sin.
I ask you to forgive me of my sin and to come into my life and become my Lord
and Savoir. I commit my life to you and I ask you for guidance as I begin a new
life as a Christian (
Calvary Baptist Church, 2015).

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Holy Bible, Matthew 11: 28-31)

-Brockhouse, R., Msetfi, R. M., Cohen, K., Joseph, S., (2011). Vicarious exposure to     trauma and growth in therapists: The moderating effects of sense of coherence, organizational support, and empathy. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 24(6), 735-742.
-Calvary Baptist Church (2015). Retrieved from:
-Dyess, S. M., (2011). Faith: A concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(12), 2723- 2731.
-Harrison, R. L., Westwood, M. J., (2009). Preventing vicarious traumatization of mental health therapists: Identifying protective practices. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 46(2), 203-219.
-Holy Bible, New International Version
By Diane Gammon M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counselor
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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Parenting- The Five Love Languages for Children and Teens (By Gary Chapman)

I have highlighted great ideas from Gary Chapman's books, "The Five Love Languages of Children and Teenagers" to help parents because we all need all of the help that we can get! 

Parental Self-Care- A parent or guardian needs to demonstrate self-care and realize that they are first, very worthy and loved by God themselves. They need their emotional love tank to be filled and take care of themselves first before they can be what they need to be for another person.

A Child’s Needs- After a parent/ guardian implements self-care and self-love, then they can better show their child love in ways in which can fill their child’s emotional love tank. If a child or teenager does not have their emotional love tank full from a parent or guardian, it will profoundly affect their behavior and mood.

A Child/ Teen needs:
 1.) To feel Loved                               3.) To feel Accepted 
 2.) To feel Connected                        4.) To feel Nurtured.

Unconditional Love and Acceptance- A child or teen needs to know that you accept them even when you do not approve of their behavior. They need to know that your love for them is unconditional and that there is nothing that they cannot do that will get them from you loving and accepting them.

Show your love with the 5 Love languages:
1.)   Affirmation- Give them words of praise, “I am so proud of you for...” Give them words affection, “I love you.”  Leave them notes to show them that you love and care.
2.)   Physical Touch- Touch your child and teen. If you as their parent or guardian do not show them love and affection by appropriate touch, they will seek it elsewhere. Do not force it, but experiment when you can touch them to show them your love such as a high five handshake, rub their neck, rub their feet, give them a hug, reach out and hold their hand when you pray, pat them on the back, stroke their head, have ‘group hug’ when possible as a family or with friends and your child.
3.)   Quality Time- Make the time to spend quality time with your child. When they speak to you, do not be doing something else. Look at your child when they talk to you and make eyes contact. Also, reflect back wheat you hear them saying to you. Take an interest in their interests and spend time just being with them. Listen for how they are feeling and express understanding and support to them. Ask about their day and act interested when they answer you. Make plans to do something with them, even if it is at home for twenty minutes. Be creative! Be their cheerleader and encourager!
4.)   Acts of Service- Do things for your child to show them how much you care for them. Help them (lovingly) to do things that they need to do for school or with a chore.
5.)  Gifts- Give little gifts when appropriate. It can be as small as a chocolate candy kiss left on their school books with a handmade card that tells them that you love them and are thinking of them. Remember that time with them is the best possible gift!

      The Five Love Languages for Children and Teenagers (By Gary Chapman)

                             Happy Parenting! 

By Diane Gammon M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counselor

                                    Blog Website

Saturday, April 25, 2015

My Daily Super Smoothie- Healthy and Delicious!

I used to think that any kind of smoothie was healthy but this is not true.

The way that I eat which is very healthy has been a gradual progression. After much research and experimentation, I have learned how to make a healthy and delicious smoothie.

Now for the most part, no two smoothies that I make are exactly alike. I like to alternate different fruits and veggies for optimum health benefits. However, here is an example of a basic and very healthy smoothie. 

I start out with a liquid.
I either use a vegetable juice that I made from my own juicer or carrot juice from Bolt House Farms. When I juice my own juice, I usually juice carrots, celery, broccoli, beets, apples, and kale.

Sometimes I use Kefir which is liquid probiotic drink. I have also used green tea that I made myself from a tea bag.

I then add frozen fruit.
This helps to make it tasty and thick like a shake. I use a half of a frozen banana and then a variety of frozen berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and black berries. 
Some times I add kiwi, pineapple, peaches, or grapes. 

Next, I add my greens.
If you only have fruit, that it is too much sugar. Yes, it is a natural sugar but it is still a sugar.

I usually cut up some celery, broccoli, or cucumbers and then I add some spinach leaves or kale in it. 

I also cut up a small carrot to get the nutrition benefits that is different than juicing.  

I also add part of an avocado.
This is a healthy fat and helps to make it creamy.

Now for the HEALTHY GREEN powders!

I buy and add green barley powder and wheat grass powder by putting in a portion of a spoonful of both. 

Both can be found at health food stores or you can make your own - with a lot of effort. 

These contain very large amounts of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, high amounts of antioxidants, enzymes, folic acid, and more. It helps strengthen the immune system and is alkaline so that it will help balance blood pH toward normal.

Now for another amazing healthy powder- turmeric!

I also add turmeric powder because it is extremely healthy and helps protect against cancer. 

You can either buy it and grind it into a powder yourself or buy it in powder form at a health food store.  

Turmeric has MANY health benefits!

Next, the nuts and seeds. 

 I try to add one or more of the following into my smoothie: Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, or pecans. I grind them into a powder form right as I am making my smoothie so I can add in the powder fresh. Sometimes, I also add liquid flax seed oil. 

If you will eat the nuts plain, skip putting them into your smoothie and just stick with the flax seeds. Pictured to the left are brown flax seeds and then after they are ground into a powder. They come in brown or a golden color. Flaxseeds are a a great source of fiber.

Next, I add a lemon.
I just peel the lemon like an orange, cut the seeds out, and add it in. Lemons are so very healthy!! They have multiple health benefits and I like to add them because their strong taste zaps out the not so tasty turmeric and green powders. 

I also add some powder coca some times.
Coca is healthy if it is raw and organic from a health food store and does not contain sugar.

How about some lentils! 
I cook lentils and then let them cool and add a little in my smoothie some times.They are rich in dietary fiber and protein. 

Optional- protein powder.
Many protein powders have a lot of ingredients that are not healthy. If you want to add a protein powder, I suggest that you purchase one that does not have artificial and unhealthy ingredients. Thus, it will be one of the most expensive protein powders at the health food store but worth it!

I use the brand Jay Robb. It is NON GMO and organic. I like both the egg white chocolate or the whey chocolate protein powder. Grocery stores actually sell some of the flavors but a health food store will have more to choose from.

Another option is yogurt.
It depends if you are trying to stay away from dairy or not. If I use a yogurt, I use an organic brand and only use a half of a small container in each smoothie.  

You can add and/ or substitute any fresh fruit or veggie as well as any raw seeds or nuts. If money was no option- I would buy every kind of fruit and veggie that there is at the store!  

The key is that if you really want to make it healthy, your smoothie needs to be more than yogurt and fruit if you are going to have them frequently. 

Yogurt is acidic and fruit is sugar so you need greens to balance your diet to achieve the needed alkaline in your body. If your body is too acidic, disease can grow.

My suggestion is to make one small change / purchase at a time to work toward eating healthier and making your smoothies healthier!

It is best not to mix fruits and veggies in the same meal unless you are juicing them. However, I personally would not get the greens down without the help from my tasty frozen berries! I have at least two of these smoothies a day and it is a meal for me.

The KEY is to add healthy ingredients in your smoothie that you would not want to sit down and eat plain but that you want in your diet. For instance, I do not like to eat celery so I juice celery for part of my liquid in a smoothie and I also cut celery up to add in my smoothies.

Another key is to add ingredients into your smoothie that are not easily juiced such as baby spinach. 

Experiment, explore, and create a smoothie that is best for YOU!

Eating fruits and vegetables daily reportedly reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke, helps lower blood pressure, helps fight some forms of cancer and helps reduce inflammation.

            Here's to your health! Happy smoothie making! 

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so." Genesis 1:11

                        Please share your favorite smoothie recipes below in the comments.

By Diane Gammon M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counselor
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Friday, April 24, 2015

Think Before You Speak

Think before you speak, text, email, post, fax, and tweet. When you communicate before thinking about what you want to say, it can result in you saying something that you may wish that you had not said. This is especially true when you are tired, upset, hungry, hormonal, stressed, or angry.

We can usually tell when we are not feeling our best emotionally or physically and when we need a filter for our words.

Many times even when we know this, we proceed and communicate anyway.

It usually causes us to have regret with the words that we communicated not to mention the way that we said them.

Something that you can do to help you filter your words when you are not in the best of spirits for whatever reason is to write or type out what you want to say first. Then, wait 24 hours and reread it and tweak it after you have calmed down a bit and have given things more thought.  

It is always best to at least wait to communicate when you are not in pleasant spirits until you are feeling better. This is just so that you don’t say something that you may regret later because you spoke when not feeling your best.

It is especially important to wait to talk when you are in a confrontational and/ or in a stressful situation. 

Moreover, if you are communicating back to someone who has spoke to you and it has upset you, do not react while you are upset. Allow yourself time to gain your composure and to think about the situation and then RESPOND instead of reacting.

Pay attention to your tone of voice as well. Remember that when you text, email, etc. that others cannot ascertain your tone and that you can come across in ways that were not intended.  

Try not to react impulsively or emotionally. Think before you speak.

You can apologize and try to take back your words but you can never take back how you made someone feel.

He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly. 
Proverbs 14:29 

By Diane Gammon M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counselor

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Making Peace with Your Past

Sometimes it is not what is in front of you that is a road block to what you are pursing in your life but it is something in your rear view mirror. 

Although we can try, it is can very difficult to leave the past in the past. Our mind goes back and revisits the past and then we relive our mistakes, traumas, anger, and regrets over and over again.
While it is important to bring these up to the surface to work through them, once we do that, we have to let them go and leave them in the past.

The best way to do this is to train your mind to let the past stay in the past.

While you may not have control over thinking of something, you do have the choice not to dwell on it and let it take over your emotions.

Focus on your life now and look to your future!

Sometimes it may be troublesome to move on from your past because there is still something that you need to do to make amends before you can move on. Perhaps it is forgiving someone. It may be that you have not been able to let go of someone.

Whatever it is, ask yourself what might be holding you back. Acknowledge it. Confront want you truly believe that you need to do to move past it and do it.

Allow yourself to reflect at your life and circumstances of what you are going through. Try looking at it as a third party. What would you tell a close friend or family member to do if they asked you?

It is helpful to be aware and then to understand why you are having a difficult time letting go and moving on.  

Accept what was and is and tell yourself that - YOUR PAST DOES NOT DEFINE YOU!

Leave what you need to let go of in the past.

When it creeps back up, tell yourself, “I am past this. I have let this go! I am healed! I DO NOT AND WILL NOT dwell on it nor will I let it consume my emotions any longer.”

Then, concentrate on the here and now and what lies before you.

Journal your values and aspirations and drive forward without looking in your review mirror any more except to say, "I am moving forward and I do not need to dwell in my past any longer."

We all have a past. They are all different. Mine was painful due to multiple traumas. Then, I made some decisions in my life that I wish I had not made due to my pain. However, my pain, traumas, and my mistakes do not define me! 

Right now, visualize carrying around heavy stones with you as you do everything in your life (representing things that you need to let go of)That would be difficult to carry those and keep moving forward, right? Now visualize placing them in a row and using them as stepping stones to move forward in your life. 

LEARN from your past! Turn your mess into a message!

Then when your past calls again- tell yourself, "I don't need to answer that call as it has nothing new to say! "

Seek help and talk to someone if need be. There is a whole new life out there waiting for you!

By Diane Gammon M.S. Clinical Mental Health Counselor

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