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SCA Statement of Faith

SCA Statement of Faith

All our staff members hold the following core beliefs, and are guided by them in all we say and do. Many of our clients share these beliefs, and in fact seek us out because they do. For those who do not shar

The Word of God

We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

The Trinity

We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; that these are equal in every divine perfection and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption.

God the Father

We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ

We believe in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into Heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth.

The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding Helper, teacher, and guide.

Regeneration

We believe that all men are sinners by nature and by choice, and are therefore under condemnation. We believe that those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

The Church

We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the Head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work, and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.

Last Things

We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His Kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, and the eternal felicity of the righteous, and the endless suffering of the wicked.

What Is It with Labels? Adam Wilson

What Is It with Labels?

Counselors are infamous for encouraging people to not let themselves be defined by their disabilities or limitations. Indeed, society has come a long way in altering our perception and definition of disabilities. Often the focus has been on not labeling people.

Yet in my work with children with learning disabilities such as ADHD and Dyslexia, I have found that what damages the children most is not the label, but the ways in which adults around them lower their expectations of what the child is capable of. Rather than seeing the massive potential inherent in the child, the adults in their lives begin to see the limitation as the central defining quality of who that child is and how they must be raised.

One of my favorite moments as a therapist is when I get to point out to a child (and a parent) what a remarkable masterpiece they are, and likewise, to show them the insignificance of the disability to their ultimate God designed identity.

Adam Wilson, MA, LPC

My Child Cant or Wont?

My Child Can't, or Won't?

Often parents wonder if their children's challenging behavior is something they can't change or they won't change. It is an important question since it helps us to know if they is a behavioral issue where the child is making poor choices or if they are dealing with a medical/mental health issue which is out of their control.

It can be helpful to think about the mental health history of the child's family. Is there a history of ADHD, mood disorders like depression or bipolar, anxiety, etc? When did the challenging behavior begin? Is there a pattern to the behavior or triggers which seem to make things worse? Sometimes it takes a professional to help determine possible causes of a child's behavior. However, it is always helpful to talk with those who are actively co-parenting with you. Taking about some of these simple questions may help you to step back and see the child's behaviors, and what they are communicating to you, from a new perspective.

Amy Craig, MA, LPC

Failed Connection-Shawna Koller

Failed Connection

We’ve probably all seen those messages from our electronic devices that tell us our specific device has failed to connect. What if a failure to connect becomes a reality in our lives?

I have recently been surprised by the number of teens, tweens, and young adults I’ve come into contact with who, after being asked if they’ve spent any time with their friends and family, have responded with some form of no, we talk via text, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. The conversation quickly turns to how many of their “friends” on social media have liked or commented on the latest picture they’ve posted.

When texting and social media begins to take the place of in-person connection, a false sense of connectivity forms. Texting and social media have many advantages, however they can’t be the main source, nor can they take the place of connecting with one another.

Today, I encourage you to have some real-life face time with someone you know.

Shawna Koller, MA

Now You See Me, Or Do You? by Jim Lewis

Now You See Me – Or Do You?

Sometimes it’s not the argument, the offense or the personality difference that ruins a relationship. Those problems deserve attention, but something deeper may be causing them. It’s the way partners see each other.

We construct mental pictures of our partners from collections of experiences we’ve had with them. Those collections can grow so large we believe we know all about our partner; we’ve heard, seen, done it all. We close our minds to new insights, new possibilities. That can kill a relationship, because:

  • Humans are too complex and fluid to contain in any collection of experiences, however large. When we’re reacting to a mental picture, we’re not relating to a whole person.
  • We tend to spin our memories. Our brains automatically scan for threats, paying special attention to bad experiences and constructing pictures of our partners that evoke fear, resentment, or even contempt.

You could be with a toxic person who will never change. But before you conclude that, consider the possibility that your partner …

  • Makes sense when you see the world through his/her eyes
  • Is doing the best he/she knows to meet legitimate needs
  • Consists of desirable and undesirable traits ̶ just like you
  • May display more desirable traits as you learn to appreciate each other

When you were falling in love, you marveled at the unfolding mystery who was your loved one. If you can open your mind again to that mystery, you may rekindle the joy of exploring the person who won your heart.

Jim Lewis, MDiv, MA, LPC

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Courage to Change

For change to happen it requires action and this begins with a single first step. Usually this first step moves us away from what is comfortable and known and this is experienced as scary or threatening.

Sometimes when we take that first step and experience the feeling of discomfort that results it often sends us running back to where we came from, however unhealthy and destructive it is, at least its known to us.

However, having the courage to walk into the unknown and allowing ourselves to experience the discomfort is a way that we move from where we are to where we want to be.

Charity Barone, M.A.,LPC

Am I a Failure? Doug Feil

Am I A Failure?

Do you ever feel like a failure? Many of our clients do. What is your theology of failure? The Bible is truth, plus it reveals often spectacular failures from cover to cover, so there must be some great Biblical teachings on the concept of “failure!” In a word study, you will find references to God’s love never failing, but that is it!

Failures in the Bible aren’t; in God’s plan He uses them for good if we let Him. Peter’s denial of Him 3 times may on one level look like a failure, yet Jesus predicted it, prayed for Peter ahead of time, and told him what to do when he recovered from it (Luke 22:31-32). He not only recovered, but also led the apostles and wrote one of the great evangelistic verses in the Bible (1 Peter 3:15). God knows we are broken, but as the Redeemer, we cannot be failures!

Doug Feil, MS, LPC

Stop and Smell the Roses-Jennifer Pollock

Stop and Smell the Roses!

“Stop and smell the roses!” is more than just a song or a nice idea. Breathing, specifically slow, deep, abdominal breathing, gives more benefits to our body, mind, and spirit than one may realize. But isn’t your breathing slow and deep enough already? Try this short test from Dr. Denise F. Beckfield in her book, “Master Your Panic and Take Back Your Life!”:

1. Sit or stand by a timepiece (clock, watch, phone) and breathe the way you usually breathe.
2. Count the number of breaths you take in sixty seconds. Don’t try to adjust your breathing.
3. How many breaths did you take? If it was more than twelve or thirteen breaths, you are probably breathing too quickly and shallowly for excellent health.

However, even if your breaths were below twelve, you could also benefit substantially from learning to do slow, deep, abdominal breathing. Dr. Beckfield’s chapter on both how and why to learn this skill is one of the best descriptions that I’ve found. Give it a try! Practice it regularly, and your health will thank you.

Jennifer E. Pollock, LCSW

Encouragement for Step Parents Jodi Top

Encouragement for Step Parents

Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

In my role as a counselor I am often asked to provide guidance when it comes to step-parenting, this is a guiding principal for me. To courageously listen long, long past what is comfortable until you can see into the heart of a child, until you can see not only their laughter, but are still enough to see their sadness, their hopes, their doubts about the world they live in.

Until you have fallen in love, essentially with the child, you cannot successfully direct, discipline or guide without the umbrella of the biological parent’s authority. Not because of ineptitude or incompetence, but simply because the best parenting is born out of falling in love. The long dreamy looking and watching and knowing that biological children know from their infancy cannot be replaced by a step-parent. But courageous listening, self-sacrificing until the falling in love comes will never fail to bring healthy, happy, mostly willingly, attached children to the step-parent willing to labor for it, not unlike their biological predecessors labored for theirs. Step- parents, be courageous and listen!

Jodi Top, LCSW