by Amy Daniels
In a world full of opinions, unsolicited advice, and social media standards near perfection, it can be a challenge to assess your own life in realistic terms. Keeping up with the Joneses becomes a full-time exercise in inadequacy. When it comes to getting a full picture of or solving problems in your personal or family situation, finding an outside perspective is helpful.
Sometimes, talking to a counselor can give you a better perspective than going to friends or family for advice. “Your friends and family can be a great support, but they are not unbiased. They may sometimes give you advice based on their own unhealed emotional wounds,” Owens explains. “It’s not either I talk to my friends/family or talk to a counselor. It can be both. If you trust your family/friends’ judgment and they make good choices in their own lives then they can certainly be a source of wisdom and support, but because they also have their own lives, they may be unable to give you as much support and guidance as you need.”
Don’t wait to get the help you deserve, Owens counsels. With a Master’s degree in Counseling and Psychology, Owens is a licensed professional counselor by the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors. She typically works with women and couples, helping them to find solutions to a variety of issues.
“I’ve always wanted to be a counselor,” Owens says. “I wanted to do something that was bigger than me.” Owens says that she was drawn to counseling to “help people when the realize that they their relationships are not as healthy and happy as they could be.”
Counseling for Women
There are many reasons for counseling. Many of Owens’s clients come to her looking for help dealing anxiety, stress, depression, and family conflict. Owens works with many women to help them acknowledge and experience their emotions in a healthy way. She works with them through trauma, anger, and panic, counseling them to learn to be assertive and how to have healthy relationships.
Learning to set healthy boundaries is a major component in maintaining healthy relationships. Owens says that many people, women specifically, have a difficult time setting boundaries with their partners, their parents, in-laws, and in other relationships largely because of the fear of conflict. “It’s important to learn to be assertive and set boundaries with those you love,” she says. “Setting boundaries is important to your mental health. Sometimes feelings may get hurt, but, you have to learn and accept that you can’t control how other people feel.”
Pre-Marriage & Marriage Counseling
“No matter how good your dating relationship is, pre-marriage counseling is so important for all couples,” Owens says. To ensure the longevity of a relationship, Owens offers pre-marriage counseling to help couples identify and deal with existing issues and prepare for the future. “There are feelings and emotions,” she says, “and then there is truth and logic. I can help people realize that they can love a person, and consider how that looks in the real world.” **
When issues arrive after the vows, Owens says that, “sooner is always better than later,” for couples to seek counseling. “Some people feel ashamed if they feel like they need marriage counseling after one year of marriage,” Owens says, “but it’s better to deal with the problem rather than letting it grow and not addressing it until year ten.” Owens likens marriage counseling to taking a broken car to a mechanic, or to visiting a doctor after breaking a leg. “You can tell that something isn’t right, but you’re not an expert on how to fix it, so you go to an expert. Marriage counseling is no different. You go to an expert to learn how to have a healthy marriage. There should be no shame.”
As a John Rosemond Certified Parenting Coach, Owens works with parents to create a family system based on love and leadership, and where respect, and responsibility are key components. “A lot of popular parenting beliefs that we see on social media and television have taken us in the wrong direction,” Owens explains, “they might sound good and make us feel good, but they aren’t what our children actually need.”
“Parent coaching is the easiest and shortest form of counseling I offer,” Owens states, citing that most parents see significant changes after only one or two sessions. Owens describes the John Rosemond method as a “common sense approach to parenting” in regard to problems being addressed based on juvenile brain development.
The techniques and strategies that Owens offers promote setting boundaries to develop a marriage-centered home rather than a child-centered home. “I help parents learn how to say, ‘no’ without feeling guilty about it,” Owens explains, “but also to be firm in such a way that they only have to say ‘no’ once for the child to understand.” From a psychological standpoint, children who are given more control often feel more insecure, which leads to behavior issues. “Children should not have so many choices or have their opinion asked for most decisions. The parents are the leaders,” Owens asserts.
With her own beliefs firmly rooted in her relationship with God and Biblical scriptures, Owens recognizes that many people want to work with a counselor who shares the same spiritual beliefs. Even though a counseling client may have a positive, beneficial experience without a faith-based component, Owens says that spiritually minded individuals often find the counseling experience more complete when they see how it works with and upholds their core beliefs. Another important part of Christian counseling is helping people to grow in their relationship with God, fully understand His love for them, and learn how to apply Biblical principles to live healthy, thriving lives. Using a person’s faith as an anchor can help solidify new habits and positive life changes.
To learn more about Made to Thrive Counseling,
visit www.greenvillefamilycounselor.com or call (252) 364-8741.
Made to Thrive Counseling is located at 3483 Evans Street, Suite D
in Greenville. Lynn Owens is licensed professional counselor, licensed by the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors.