Christian Counselor Suggests Don’t Say I Know How You Feel

Free tip from a Christian CounselorWhen we asked our newest counselor addition, Debbra Bronstad, what should be said to someone we might know that is going through grief, she replied with one of the best answers we’ve heard yet. She said: “Do NOT tell them ‘I know how you feel.’ At best, you know you felt when you experienced loss. Every loss is different and each person’s grief is unique.”

That’s a great reply, Debbra. I always cringe when I hear “I know how you feel” in movies and t.v. Can’t the writers come up with anything better than that?

Checkout Debbra’s complete profile here.

Rochester Hills Christian Counselor Debbra Bronstad, LMFT

Rochester Hills Christian Counselor Debbra Bronstad, LMFT

Debbra Bronstad is a Christian counselor located in Rochester Hills, MI and serving the Metro Detroit area including Rochester Hills, Rochester, Oakland, Troy, Shelby Township, Auburn Hills, Lake Orion, Pontiac and Utica. Debbra helps her clients get to the root of anxiety, grief, trauma and relationship conflict to put an end to destructive patterns and find hope, peace and joy again. Debbra is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist equipped to help you take the specific steps necessary to move on after a death or relationship breakup has broken your heart.

Christian Counselor Websites

Not only do we feature Christian counselors on this website for the general public to view and contact, but we also assist those counselors when they have questions about the Internet. One of those questions that came into our email was, “How do I go about starting a website for my counseling practice?”

There are really three main types of websites for any business, counselors or otherwise. Those include websites that are free, those that cost a little, and those that cost a lot.

Which type is the best fit for you will be determined by money, of course, plus the level of involvement you want to have in the process of producing content for the website as well as your present versus your desired level of stature as a business.

Let’s look at each of the three website types.

Type 1 – FREE Websites for Counselors

The easiest and fastest website you can create completely for free (that also has high value) is still to this day a Blogger website. Blogger is owned by Google. So, you can read between the lines that the “having high value” part is achieved by using something Google owns.

Although the word “blogger” suggests you will be starting a “blog,” keep in mind that Blogger allows you to have “pages” too, not just blog posts. Once you have a live website on Blogger, your URL to promote becomes Notice how “blogger” changes to “blogspot.”

If you’re bit more adventurous, you can try (also popular blogging software) or Wix, which is also a free website provider.

Type 2 – Websites for Counselors that Cost a Little

The next step up from there is to “pay” for your own website hosting account ($50-$200 per year depending on your chosen website host) and then install and setup WordPress software on your private hosting account. If you go this route, I strongly urge you to do two things:

  1. Do NOT Use the One-Click Install – Just about every website hosting company out there like GoDaddy and Hostgator have WordPress already installed on their servers. So, you can just pop in there and register a domain name for yourself and then go through a couple of clicks to install WordPress. The problem with the one-click method is that it installs WordPress with a bunch of default settings that leave your website wide open to hackers! Always download the software from (free for downloading) and then install it on your website hosting account.

  2. Consider Here Next Year for Hosting – I’ve personally worked with more than 300 installations of WordPress websites over the years. Here Next Year has its own dedicated web servers that are specially configured to power WordPress websites. WordPress is a great software but has its quirks too.

Once you have WordPress installed as a live functioning website, you can choose one of the many included free design themes that come with the software as installed. Or, you can find a theme at or or search google for “wordpress themes” and you’ll find many providers of pre-designed WordPress themes for sale between $10 and $200.

If you’re a person that describes himself or herself as a “technophobe” to friends and family, prepare yourself now that you will also need to find and pay someone to do that installation process for you of BOTH the WordPress software and the pre-designed theme. Expect that cost to be anywhere between $50 and $500. Just depends on what you want them to do in the setup process.

The great thing about WordPress is that its look and feel can be completely customized. Most designers are already familiar with WordPress to the point where they can customize pieces and parts of a pre-purchased design theme for $50-$100 or so. You might have to pay a bit more for a logo design or additional items. But, it’s pretty safe to say that you can keep a website at this level in the $300-$1,000 range.

So, the design themes that you pay for can be customized or you can even go so far as to customize the entire website. And, that’s where we get into the bigger bucks.

When I install WordPress and pre-purchased themes, I usually charge clients $350. Then we do customizations after that, to give you an idea.

Type 3 – High-End Websites for Christian Counselors

I’m really only thinking this level of website would be a logical consideration for Christian counselors that are banded together as a group to counsel people in a church or joint counseling location. I’m just not seeing that most individual Christian counselors would need this level of detail in their website design. And, that’s exactly what boosts this category of website into higher dollar numbers in the area of $2500-$10,000.

This type of website is much more involved on the design end. Heck, it takes a programmer usually 10 hours just to install the custom design into the website.

The big benefit, of course, to a high-end designed website is that there will be no other website in the world that will look just like yours. You will attract higher-end clients with a higher-end website. When people see your custom website, they immediately know you are not new in the counseling business. You very quickly receive an elevated stature with a custom website which turns into ROI that can be quantitatively measured for sure.

I serve many industries with website design and development and can handle working on several at a time. But, I only accept one custom website design project per MONTH because of the intensity and high level of involvement with the process. My package deal for any custom design website is $5,000. Yes, there’s the sticker shock. Like I said, this isn’t going to be the way to go for most individual Christian counselors, but it’s there if you would like to talk about it.

So, What Level of Website is

CCUS is a pre-purchased theme that we customized along the way. In fact, we’re talking about changing the design now that the site has been around a while and we’ve attracted a very reputable core of counselor members. Most of our customizing has been spent in the programming side of things, which brings me to my last point.

Finding Your Technical Backbone

If you decide to go the free website route, you should be able to manage that entire process on your own or maybe with some basic help by an admin type of person or someone you know that already has a blogger, WordPress or Wix website. But, if you engage with either of the two other website types, you simply MUST connect with someone that will be your “technical backbone,” that person you can go to whenever something goes wrong with your website or when you need something new to be developed to enhance the website.

That person can be found through Craigslist ads or you might be able to find a local college kid. If you really know what you’re doing, you can even outsource some of the work to other countries to save a buck. But, I want to caution you….I’ve been doing this work for 18 years now. I’ve engaged with every type of helper you can imagine. You need to start a relationship with a developer that you will gain great trust in over the coming years.

Your website technical backbone will become just as intimate with you as your doctor! Be careful who you choose!

If you have any questions about a Christian counselor website, please contact me through the Contact Us page. I reply to all emails usually within the same day but at least within 24 hours.

Best of luck with your website!
Marty Dickinson

Bedford Texas Christian Counselor Christianne Young

Bedford Texas Christian Counselor Christianne Young

Chrisitanne Young, MA, is a Christian counselor at SoulCare Counseling in Bedford, Texas. She joins with her clients to help them create healthy thoughts and behaviors for a life in line with the mind of Christ. If you feel trapped in a cycle of unwanted behaviors and painful emotions, Christianne can help you find the joy and hope you are looking for. Serving Euless, Hurst, Colleyville, Keller, Southlake, North Richland Hills, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Richland Hills areas.

Margate, Coral Springs Christian Counselor John E. N. Daniel

Margate, Coral Springs Christian Counselor John E. N. Daniel

John Daniel is a visionary with a burning desire to coach, counsel, teach, empower, develop, and assist persons from all walks of life to attain their maximum potential and fulfill their life purpose and destiny. He coaches, counsels, consults, mentors, and ministers to many all over the globe weekly. John is a Certified Professional Coach and a Certified Clinical Christian Therapist CCCT#0404021013. His training extends from leadership theory and development, community development, business, to educational and organization psychology.

Anaheim California Christian Counselor Michelle Ng, MA, LMFT

Anaheim California Christian Counselor Michelle Ng, MA, LMFT

Michelle Ng is a licensed marriage and family therapist serving the Anaheim area. Her goal is to provide a safe and nurturing environment so that clients can feel comfortable enough to explore their emotions. Michelle identifies herself as a Christ-follower and understands the importance and challenges of integrating faith with everyday situations. She invites you to contact her today to start your healing process.

Jason Esswein, M.S., LMFT,Expands Counseling Services Practice to Offer HSP Therapy

HSP stands for Highly Sensitive Person. Jason Esswein, M.S., LMFT, is dedicated to helping HSPs, both children and adults, by equipping them with various tools, strategies, and techniques to help them stay grounded, centered and effective in their daily lives.

World Wide Web – March 12, 2013 Jason Esswein, of Jason Esswein Counseling Services, is now offering services to Highly Sensitive People (HSPs). The focus of these services is on building skills to more effectively center oneself in a world filled with distractions, thereby obtaining more peace, joy and an overall positive sense of well being .

The term HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) refers to people who process information differently than most in that they tend to perceive events more intensely than others and reflect more deeply on issues and experiences than the general population. Unfortunately, although HSPs comprise roughly 15 to 20% of the population, they are often misunderstood. The highly sensitive person can be more aware of others, which at times can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed. This, in turn, often has lasting consequences in terms of these individuals’ self-esteem and sense of self-worth as well as lead to anxiety and depression.

Jason Esswein Counseling Services offers customized services to meet the needs of the HSP population, a population that faces especially difficult challenges given much of Western culture tends to devalue issues such as sensitivity, boundaries, and consciousness.

Jason’s counseling and psychotherapy services help individual adults, children and couples increase their self-awareness. Jason has worked extensively with clients to help them overcome anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and other conditions with the goal of fostering insight so they can resolve unhelpful feelings and improve relationships with increased self-confidence and self-esteem. He also offers parent counseling and individual life coaching services.

Jason Esswein, M.S., LMFT, received his B.A. in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from San Jose State University. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from San Jose State University in 1999. He launched his private counseling and psychotherapy practice in San Jose, California, in 2005, in order to provide a confidential setting in which clients feel safe, valued, and supported.

Jason helps HSPs learn the tools and skills necessary to not only cope and survive, but thrive. This is accomplished through a variety of techniques, including talk therapy, relaxation and mindfulness-based exercises, as well as “homework” assignments that help HSPs learn to stay grounded and centered in what often feel like overwhelming circumstances. For example, many HSPs experience significant anxiety around large groups or crowds.

This is often because they are absorbing OPE (other peoples’ energy) without being aware of it, which can cause them to feel bombarded with excessive stimulation and emotions that are not their own. Fortunately, with training and practice, HSPs can learn to monitor their sensitivity and awareness, set healthier boundaries, and remain calm and centered in these and similar situations so they can move forward and have fun experiencing all of the variety life has to offer.

Jason Esswein is dedicated to informing the public about the special challenges faced by HSPs as well as helping individuals embrace what being an HSP means for them. The website for Jason Esswein, M.S., LMFT, is an information rich hub that is a current display of Jason’s commitment to raising awareness and helping individuals manage their gifts to function optimally in the world. The website provides resources that clients can draw upon as well as the ability to easily schedule consultations and appointments through an online booking system.

Learn more by visiting:

Jason Esswein, M.S., LMFT
Jason Esswein Counseling and Psychotherapy Services
1936 Camden Avenue, Suite 9
San Jose, CA 95124
Phone: (408) 975-2982

How Do Therapists Sit with the Pain?

Many people often wonder how psychotherapists can sit with the heavy burdens and pain expressed by their clients. I want to take a moment to give my perspective on how this is possible for anyone to accomplish, if not do and feel they’ve had a rewarding, meaningful experience.

We’ve all been to some kind of party or gathering when we weren’t feeling our best. Given that it’s not always socially acceptable to let our true feelings show, participating at a social event in this state of mind, (especially with those we don’t know well) can be exhausting at best, excruciating at worst.

Then, when the Universe allows, or we’re open enough to see the opportunity, someone in the party appears to be genuine. There, in that moment, you might feel that it’s okay to be more fully yourself, to relax a bit, to not feel as compelled to participate in the “social dance” in which you find yourself surrounded.

We feel we can take at least one deep breath, possibly even realize we may not have been breathing fully at all. If we’re lucky, that person may talk about how they’re actually feeling or what they’re thinking (i.e., “I’m a little nervous at social gatherings” or “I’m annoyed with my boss.”) This then gives us permission to be authentic as well. I will never forget my colleague’s quote, “Nobody real is boring.”

This experience can be easily compared to therapy. While no type of suffering is enjoyable, there is a meaningful interaction created when one shares themselves vulnerably and authentically. Every time I witness a client taking a risk (no matter how small) there is a sense of communion and presence that is palpable. Think of those times when a friend, coworker, or family member finally revealed to you a glimpse of their inner world and you felt that sense of connection. Feelings and thoughts simply are. Its what we do with feelings that is most important. If nothing else, an instant sense of respect and reverence is established. I, like other psychotherapists, believe it is a privilege to be part of peoples’ personal and spiritual growth process.

Jason Esswein is a licensed marriage and family therapist in south San Jose, CA. He works in private practice with individual adults, couples, and children.

(408) 975-2982

What Are You Broadcasting?

What Are You Broadcasting Jason Esswein MS LMFT

Do you find yourself asking the following questions: Why does this keep happening to me? Why do I keep dating the same people? Why do I always end up in these situations? If so, I would encourage you to take a serious, courageous look at what you might be “broadcasting”.

Despite our best efforts to hide our true feelings or fears, we always communicate in one way or another. Communication researcher James Borg asserts that 93 percent of communications is nonverbal: “…the way you say something – using behavioral cues like facial expressions, pace, pitch, tone and posture – can say a lot more than the actual words you select.” So, with that in mind, it is important to uncover what we are “broadcasting” through our non-verbal cues. Once we have discovered what we are truly “saying,” is this something we’re genuinely willing to change?

Creating the same unhealthy situations and patterns in relationships is often the result of things we’re broadcasting without any awareness. This can be seen in many obvious, as well as subtle, ways. For example, driving behavior can reveal the driver’s emotional state so clear it might as well be written on a neon sign. How fast do they accelerate? Brake? Weaving? The tone and volume of voice is also very telling. Do people speak loudly, or so softly that they are practically inaudible? How do people put things down or close cabinets and doors? With an unnecessary amount of force or only what is required? Also, what about their breathing? Do they often sigh as if their time is being wasted when another speaks or do they frequently cut people off?

Whether we want to or not, we cannot not communicate. Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth, 2005) often describes the energy fields we emanate. According to Tolle, “regardless of what you say or do, or what face you show to the world, your mental-emotional state cannot be concealed. Every human being emanates an energy field that corresponds to his or her inner state. Most people can sense it, although they may feel someone else’s energy emanation only subliminally, that is to say, they don’t know that they sense it, yet it determines to a large extent how they feel about and react to that person. Some people are most clearly aware of it when they first meet someone, even before any words are exchanged. A little later however, words take over the relationship and with words come the roles that most people play. Attention then moves to the realm of mind, and the ability to sense the other person’s energy field becomes greatly diminished. Nevertheless, it is still felt on an unconscious level.”

Although “energy field” can sound a little strange to some, we all usually refer to it when asking questions, such as “What was your vibe on that guy”, or “what’s your sense of that church” or “did you get a read on her?” These are all examples of people describing their experience of someone’s energy field. Remember, just because we cannot see something does not mean it does not exist (i.e., microwaves, radiation, radio and cell phone signals). Energy fields are just as real as physical matter. In fact, Albert Einstein discussed how matter is energy, only it is energy vibrating at a slower speed. The implications of this are enormous. It could be argued that our energy field or “broadcast” actually creates our physical reality!

A more obvious broadcast can often be easily observed when hearing the music being played on someone’s car stereo when stopped at a traffic light. People often choose the type of music that mirrors their current emotional landscape (i.e., songs involving joy/connection, violence/anger, breakups/sadness). For example, a woman who just met the man of her dreams may be listening to “At Last” by Etta James or a man who just filed for divorce may listen to “Outside” by Staind.

In order to be more aware of and influence our “broadcast” to others, it takes a willingness to get in touch with (and pay conscious attention to) what we’re thinking and feeling on a regular basis. Are we angry, sad, frustrated, and worried, or are we feeling relatively calm, hopeful, and happy? The more we become conscious of our thoughts and feelings, we will have more choices available to us. More specifically, when we are triggered (when we become upset by a thought, word, or event) we will have far more choices and impulse control at our disposal when responding — versus reacting.

An important question to ask is “How do we want someone to experience us when we’re communicating or simply in another’s presence? There is a saying that “some people bring joy to a room when they enter, others when they leave.” We have all felt lighter when someone has entered our space, as well as better when they left. We undoubtedly have experienced the reverse without even being aware of it; our presence has either added to or taken away from the well-being of others, particularly when we were in a negative state. I’d like to suggest that we all give someone an experience of the world as safe and benevolent rather than hostile and cold. Remember that everything we say and do does one of two things: it creates closeness or distance (rarely anything in between). So, how do we go about even knowing what “station” we’re transmitting?

There are several practical ways we can become more in tune with what we’re giving off energetically. A helpful exercise is to look in the mirror before starting your day. Relax your face and look back at yourself with a “soft gaze.” If someone was looking into your eyes, how do you think they would feel? What might they think? Now, it’s time to set your intention for the day. How do you want others to experience you: present, kind, impatient, or angry?

Remember to pay attention to your breathing. Medical professionals know and emphasize the importance of deep, full, and controlled breathing for self-soothing, calming ourselves down enough to be able to think clearly, and overall improvement in health. Take time to yourself daily (at least 5 minutes 3 times throughout the day) to slow your breathing and allow yourself to feel the various sensations/energies that run through your body. This aids in centering and clarity. Allow those sensations (even the negative, heavy, fearful/panicky ones) to just be, without fighting or resisting them. Resisting what is your current emotional-mental experience only magnifies it, adding further upset (i.e., panicking about feeling fear) to an only temporary uncomfortable experience. This is part of the process of becoming present. The more we give our conscious attention/awareness to these feelings, what Eckhart Tolle calls “pain bodies,” the more they dissolve.

Awareness of how we’re really doing is crucial if we want to have more choice. Whether that choice is how we project ourselves throughout the day, who we select as a life partner, or how we shape our relationships with our families and colleagues, our “broadcast” will always play a central role. Our thoughts and feelings, particularly those that remain unexamined and/or out of our conscious awareness, readily trigger emotional responses and a corresponding broadcast via emotional energy.

Psychotherapy is an ideal environment to explore these thoughts and feelings within the context of a safe and trusting relationship with a competent therapist. Make sure that your potential therapist is open to an “interview” before formally beginning counseling as an appropriate match is crucial. If the right connection does not exist between you and your therapist, effective therapy may not be possible. Above all else, you need to feel comfortable, safe, and free from judgment before it’s possible to trust someone with thoughts, feelings, and actions that you may not even feel comfortable repeating to yourself when alone. Therapy can also help with general communication strategies that can greatly improve our relationships through insight and self-awareness.

Jason Esswein is a licensed marriage and family therapist in south San Jose, CA. He works in private practice with individual adults, couples, and children.

(408) 975-2982

Mount Laurel New Jersey Christian Counselor Dr. Samuel Verghese

Mount Laurel New Jersey Christian Counselor Dr. Samuel Verghese

Dr. Samuel Verghese of Mount Laurel, NJ, author of “Brain Power” and “The Complete Stress Management Workbook” has successfully helped individuals walk through the grief process and challenges encountered when adjusting to life without a loved one. He has given seminars and done missionary work around the world, including Peru, Amazon jungle, India and the Philippines. Dr. Verghese’s focus is to help individuals neurobiochemically, nutritionally, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.