This is a Special Edition of the Redeemer Counselor Update newsletter.
Through this quarterly Update, we want to share the healing work that God is doing through Redeemer Counseling because of friends like you and gospel-centered views on issues that many people face. Please share this link to friends who may want to sign up: counseling.redeemer.com/update
A Message from Our Director Judy Cha, Ph.D, LMFT
Redeemer Counseling COVID-19 Support Groups starting in April
Redeemer Counseling is responding to support you and our clients through the current crisis.
Building Resilience through Stressful Times - Group for Teens aged 14-17
Tuesdays, April 7 - 28, 4 - 5:30pm
Dealing with Uncertainty and Anxiety Remote Group
Saturdays, April 11 - May 2, 7:30 - 9pm
Facing Financial Loss, Change, and Fear
Tuesdays, April 21 - May 12, 1:00 - 2:30pm
Enduring Social Isolation and Loneliness
Thursdays, April 30 - May 21, 6:30 - 8:00pm
Staying Connected While Staying Away
By Judy Cha, Ph.D, LMFT
Even before the threat of COVID-19 invaded our lives, loneliness was an epidemic of its own, particularly in the elderly and adolescents. Researchers have correlated loneliness and social isolation with various health issues, including mental illness and mortality risk.
During this global pandemic, nations are calling the public to practice social distancing and shelter-in-place to contain the spread of this virus. Although these are necessary steps to protect our health as well as others’, this can lead to people feeling entirely alone, further intensifying the sense of isolation. However, these adverse effects can be minimized and even prevented when we proactively seek to stay connected. (Click here to read more.)
Stay connected with yourself
- Being anxious about what is happening is normal. Anxiety is not something to be avoided, bottled up, or ignored. Yet, it also is not something that should control you and throw you into panic. Accept the reality of the present and try not to let your anxiety define your thoughts about the future. Here is a tool that you can contour for yourself or use for those you care for: Relieve Suffering Through Radical Acceptance
- It’s time like these that compel us to consider not only the brevity of life, but what makes our life most meaningful. Take time to reflect and journal about what is truly important to you and reorder your priorities.
- It's easy to get distracted in your thoughts. Ground yourself in your body: go for a walk, do some relaxing exercises at home, take longer baths.
- Do everyday mundane things mindfully. Slow down to enjoy a cup of tea, enjoy the process of cooking, etc.
Stay connected with others
- When you are able to verbalize your thoughts and feelings, it helps to better deal with them, no matter their intensity. Reach out and talk to someone. You could schedule a lunch hour or break time to meet with other people online to talk and connect.
- Enjoy the less hurried time you get to have with your family or with whom you live. Be present. Discover something new about one another or enjoy doing something together.
- Physical touch can soothe distressing emotions and provide a sense of security and comfort. Following health guidelines and good hygiene, exchange healthy touch with family members.
- Minister to one another. It can range from picking up groceries for your elderly neighbor, to connecting on FaceTime with someone who lives alone, to reaching out to pray or to ask for help, or just shooting the breeze about your eventful day of shelter-in-place.
- Ministry leaders can minister to their church families by connecting with them more frequently than you normally would. Use the blessing of technology and virtual communication to meet and see the faces in your community.
Stay connected with God:
- Stay grounded in your faith by meditating on His Word. Take five minutes to visualize the truths you read in scripture, because visualization helps make the text become real. Remember who He is, His power, and His goodness. Here is an Individual Lectio Divina you can use as a template to start with: Worshipping God as My Creator.
- Talk to God about what concerns you— your fears, complaints, your suffering. Listen for his response of comfort and instruction.
- Intercede in prayer for others and the world. When a disturbing news report comes on, pray for the concerns you see and hear. To pray for the needs of the nations, you can refer to this resource guide: Operation World Prayer App.
Sponsor clients who have been impacted by COVID19
More than 65% of our client sessions are subsidized. This percentage is growing as COVID continues to affect people’s lives. Please consider giving to RCS and help us care for those in need through these difficult times.
From Tim Keller:
- Devotional with Tim Keller on Psalm 11: Disciplines of Distress Redeemer City to City
- Questioning Christianity talk on Peace in Times of Suffering and Uncertainty.
- Sermon: Living by Faith in Troubled Times
From Redeemer Counseling Services: Anxiety-reducing tools that you can use for yourself or use for those you care for.
A song to cheer you:
Forward Redeemer Counseling Update to your friends
This Redeemer Counseling Update is a quarterly email that shares gospel-centered thoughts on life issues from our staff as well as RCS news, upcoming groups and events. Please share this link to friends who may want to sign up: counseling.redeemer.com/update
If you have any questions about this newsletter, please contact [email protected]