Shepherd Way Counseling derives from my maiden name Shepherd. Many times people assume I offer Christian counseling and ask about my faith. I am a Christian, but I always make clear I am not a Christian counselor. As a licensed clinician, I ethically cannot and do not project my own beliefs onto other people. I help people of all faiths. I have learned a lot through others, but mostly we are way more similar than different.
Christianity encourages “the renewal of our mind.” I mainly use cognitive behavioral therapy in my practice. So I assist in helping individuals understand how thinking affects feelings that contribute to behavior.
I understand psychology through both undergraduate and graduate education. Psychology explains the self-fulfilling prophecy. This is a belief or expectation that you hold which can influence the outcome. Meaning if you think you will never be successful you more than likely won’t.
Universal laws teach us that as you think, so shall you be. This means that positive energies, thoughts, and vibrations attract positive things into your life; and negative energies, thoughts, and vibrations attract negative things to you.
No matter your belief, the moon affects the tides and it shines only by reflecting the sun. You can truly shine when you realize how your thoughts and feelings are affecting you. You can learn to control your thoughts. You have power over your life through your thinking.
We have up to 60,000 thoughts per day. According to the National Science Foundation, 80% of those are negative and 95% are repetitive. Therefore, most people think more negatively than positively. Cognitive behavioral therapists call them ANTs, automatic negative thoughts. You don’t even realize you are replaying your negative thoughts which are causing anxiety. A negative thought cycle can become a habit like knowing how to ride a bike without having to think about it. If you are doing this you are STUCK, not growing. Fear can immobilize you.
All of the above beliefs tell you to be aware of your words and thoughts and envision a positive outcome no matter your situation. If you are experiencing more anxiety than usual, you are focusing too much on a negative outcome of the future. There is no way to know exactly how your future is going to unfold, so worrying about it is wasting your time and making you feel miserable. Stop it! People are too worried about “how” and not focused on what they can accomplish today. God gives us grace for each day. If you are carrying worry it is a burden you were never meant to carry. The universe and science say all you have is now. Stressing yourself to the point of insanity is not helping anyone. Watch your thoughts and words. Change them when necessary. Be grateful for your life today believing it can get better.