This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.

Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises and Your Vagus Nerve by Christopher Bergland

Diaphragmatic breathing (also referred to as “slow abdominal breathing) is something you can do anytime and anywhere to instantly stimulate your vagus nerve and lower stress responses associated with “fight-or-flight” mechanisms. Deep breathing also improves heart rate variability (HRV), which is the measurement of variations within beat-to-beat intervals.

This Popular Social Network Ranks as the Worst for Young People’s Mental Health by Quenton Fottrell

Instagram, an app that people use to share photos of their lives as seen through a series of flattering filters, was rated worst for the mental health of young people in a study by the Royal Society for Public Health in the U.K. The researchers asked nearly 1,500 British social media users aged 14 to 25 about five of the most popular social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube. The aim of the survey was to find out how they feel each of these platforms impacts their health and well-being. Based on the 14 health-related questions, Instagram came out the worst, followed by Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Building Relationships with Families Touched by Chronic Illness and Disability by Mary Tutterow

The numbers have grown too big to ignore. More than 65 million people, 29 percent of the US population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member—a child with special needs, a spouse with cancer, a parent with dementia, a family member with schizophrenia. So how will our churches serve these families—through all ages and phases of care? And it’s not just about those who are afflicted. What about those who are struggling to care for them?

10 Ways to Know if You’re on the Wrong Seat in the Bus by Chuck Lawless

Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, popularized the concept of “getting the right people on the right seat in the bus.” It’s not uncommon in church consulting to find church staff members who seem to be in the wrong seat. If you’re wondering about your role, here are some indicators of that possibility.

The Three Myths of Cohabitation by Andrew Palpant Dilley

According to a recent sociological study, cohabitation has a notably deleterious impact on one particular group: kids. “As marriage becomes less likely to anchor the adult life course across the globe, growing numbers of children may be thrown into increasingly turbulent family waters,” writes Bradford Wilcox in Foreign Affairs.

What I’m Reading

suffering langbergSuffering and the Heart of God: How Trauma Destroys and Christ Restores by Diane Langberg. When someone suffers through trauma, can healing happen? And, if yes, how does it happen? Dr. Diane Langberg tackles these complex and difficult questions with the insights she has gained through more than forty years of counseling those whose lives have been destroyed by trauma and abuse. Her answer carefully explained in Suffering and the Heart of God is Yes, what trauma destroys, Christ can and does restore.

But it s not a fast process, instead much patience is required from family, friends, and counselors as they wisely and respectfully help victims unpack their traumatic suffering through talking, tears, and time. And it s not a process that can be separated from the work of God in both a counselor and counselee. Dr. Langberg calls all of those who wish to help sufferers to model Jesus s sacrificial love and care in how they listen, love, and guide. The heart of God is revealed to sufferers as they grow to understand the cross of Christ and how their God came to this earth and experienced such severe suffering that he too is well-acquainted with grief. The cross of Christ is the lens that transforms and redeems traumatic suffering and its aftermath, not only for the sufferer, but it also transforms those who walk with the suffering. This book will be a great help to anyone who loves, listens to, and seeks to help someone impacted by trauma and abuse. There is no quick fix, but there is the hope for healing through the love of God in Christ.

Tweets of the Week

Meaningful Meme

Calvin and Hobbes gets deep.

On the Lighter Side

Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.