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February 2018
Kilgore Korner
Barry Winstead M.Div, M.A., LMFT
Clinical Director, Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center

The Growth Formula

I believe one of the consequences of the polarized culture within which we live can be an atmosphere of palpable tension at all levels of relationship. From top to bottom or bottom to top, whether in public or private spheres of our lives, the subtle influence on our souls is to walk around a bit more guarded and ready for defense and confrontation, instead of being open to and seeking out opportunities to show care.

In my seminary training in pastoral care and counseling I learned a formula that has stuck with me to this day. Howard Clinebell, a pastoral counseling professor and author who died in 2005, called it “The Growth Formula.” Here it is:

Caring + Confrontation = Growth

When there is too much confrontation and not enough care in any system the result is guardedness, defensiveness, suspicion, resentment, and isolation. Conversely, when there is too much care and not enough confrontation chaos ensues, and strange as it may seem, people experience some of the same emotions as described above. The point is that both are needed for mature, healthy, and meaningful relationships and growth.

When talking about mature growth and relationships in his letter to the Ephesians the Apostle Paul put it this way, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph. 4: 15 – 16).

If you need help with any part of “The Growth Formula,” we can come along side and help get things back into balance for you and your family! Call us at (502) 327-4622, or email me at bwinstead@kilgorecounseling.org to get connected. We are thankful for your support of Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center!

Peace, Barry


December 2017
Kilgore Korner
Barry Winstead M.Div, M.A., LMFT
Clinical Director, Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center

Thomas Merton: The Surest Sign

As I write this I am at the mercy of a nasty virus, and though I try not to take on the “man-cold syndrome,” I feel pretty awful. The weakness I feel reminded me of my limitations, and of my need to just let healing take its course sometimes. This brought to mind some of Merton’s words about weakness and “poverty” as a reminder of our dependence on God.

“If we know how great is the love of Jesus for us we will never be afraid to go to Him in all our poverty, all our weakness, all our spiritual wretchedness and infirmity. Indeed, when we understand the true nature of His love for us, we will prefer to come to Him poor and helpless. We will never be ashamed of our distress. Distress is to our advantage when we have nothing to seek but mercy. We can be glad of our helplessness when we really believe that His power is made perfect in our infirmity.

“The surest sign that we have received a spiritual understanding of God’s love for us is the appreciation of our own poverty in light of His infinite mercy.”

If you, someone you care about, or a relationship is in distress, don’t keep in concealed. There is hope and healing! Call us at (502) 327-4622, or email me at bwinstead@kilgorecounseling.org to get connected. We are thankful for your support of Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center!

Peace, Barry


November 2017
Kilgore Korner
Barry Winstead M.Div, M.A., LMFT
Clinical Director, Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center

A Letter of Recommendation

“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 (NIV)

Have you ever thought about yourself as a living breathing letter of recommendation formed in the very heart of God? God recommends you! That’s what I hear Paul saying in the verses above, and that’s what his ministry was about – making sure people understood that God was relentlessly for them. And once understood and absorbed, they could not help but reflect that “letter of recommendation” to others. When we know how loved we are, we naturally reflect that love in all that we do and we become “a letter from Christ” to the world.

The reality is I don’t always feel or think I am “a letter from Christ.” There is so much in this world that can cause us to doubt God’s endorsement of us, but it does not change the endorsement. That is what we are about at Kilgore – endorsing people – no matter what you have been through, what you might be thinking, or what you might be feeling, consider yourself endorsed!

If you, someone you care about, or a relationship needs help through any of life’s challenges, feel free to give us a call at (502) 327-4622, or email me at bwinstead@kilgorecounseling.org to get connected. We are thankful for our partnership with Second Presbyterian, and thankful for your support of Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center!

Peace, Barry


October 2017
Kilgore Korner
Barry Winstead M.Div, M.A., LMFT
Clinical Director, Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center

“Positive Sentiment Override”

If we are honest, to varying degrees, I think most of us like to hear people say good things about us. We need to know and feel that we are loved, respected, appreciated, and that we really matter to somebody. As it turns out, this is a vital ingredient in healthy relationships, something the nation’s premier relationship expert (John Gottman Ph.D) calls “positive sentiment override.” In fact, he even put a number on it suggesting that for every negative interaction it takes five positive interactions to set things right. This tells us we need to be spending WAY more time engaging in positivity (whatever that might be) with one another. Otherwise, we can fall into what he calls “negative sentiment override” where we lose a basic sense of trust and respect for one another and disconnect altogether.

Ok, so you’re saying to yourself, well that’s pretty obvious, but my challenge/question in response to that is. How obvious is it? I don’t know about you, but 5 positive to 1 negative is something I have to be intentional about. We cannot expect to be perfect with one another, so elimination of the negative is not possible. However, with work it is possible to stay in “positive sentiment override” so that your “relationship account” can withstand those inevitable withdrawals.

If you, someone you care about, or a relationship needs help through any of life’s challenges, feel free to give us a call at (502) 327-4622, or email me at bwinstead@kilgorecounseling.org to get connected. Thank you for your support of Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center!

Peace, Barry
 
There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.
– Thomas Aquinas –
 
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