Video: Extending Lifespans And Ministering To The Dying

As I realize more and more where I belong in God’s Kingdom, using compassion is key to my work here on earth.

Understanding life’s end-stage transitions and the reality of life ending for people until the Lord raptures up his people, the need to plan for and realize the end of life is a process that so many people will experience.

How does one know they are at the end-stage of their lives, what do they think about, what are they feeling, and what doe they want the most are questions to be asked in order that people who want to serve in the capacity of bedside laypersons, caring compassionate “end of life companioners” to the dying should really understand.

Here, my initial video into the world of the dying, talks about the two big generations of the U.S. population, and how they will need compassionate, caring people at their bedsides during the last days of their lives on earth.  

 

May He Bid You Well Today And Every Day!

plants1Plants are a wonderful way to start the morning. I spray them every day making sure they are watered and getting the moisture and nutrients from the soil that they need.

Isn’t it wonderful that we have a God that so enjoys us that he provides beauty for us to see; God’s creation is beautiful but let’s not forget to worship the God of creation, and that we don’t worship the creation he made!

There’s a difference!  God is not the plants he made; he is the Lord God Our Creator of Heaven and earth!

I wish you a great day today and for my sisters and brothers in the Lord, may he bid you The Best Day Of Your Life!  There may be no tomorrow – at least here on Earth!  Enjoy it!

Hospice Volunteering

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In my quest to return to the field of counseling, rooted strongly in the Christian faith now, I have taken a step in working as a Christian with hospice patients.  I have signed up to become a volunteer for a year in a hospital hospice center near me.

It will require that I train for my role and commit to volunteering for one year.  I am comfortable with this, having trained and been a volunteer years ago for a nonprofit in Sacramento California for a year.  I kept my promise and was never absent from working on a crisis line for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  I still remember those days of being early in my counseling career.

But returning now gives me pause for thought as I recall how I had problems with other employees in some of the nonprofits and hospitals I worked for.  Mean-spirited people become counselors and mental health clinicians.  Not all are capable of doing the work well, and some were not the right people to work in the field, having close-interpersonal contact with clients.

I know now that God has chosen for me to live with a block in my heart with the bad experiences I have had, yet he knows I have a compassionate, mature and caring heart with patience for people who struggle and are hurting.  I can do that and will do that to the best of my ability.  It is diagnosing people in the wrong way – I believe – that has me concerned.

To work in my field at the level I was entailed diagnosing people according to man’s diagnoses, without God and Christ as part of the equation.  Never will determining treatment, diagnosing people and writing assessments be the same for me if I ever return to that part of working in mental health.

I am a Christian, and I will obey my Father, returning to a heartfelt concern for people who may want to know Christ Jesus in their last days of life.  

About My Work & My Resume: Counseling

LinkedIn sm photo (1)My Master’s Degree is in Counseling Psychology.  I have relevant coursework at the PhD level in Psychology but could afford to finish my doctorate degree.

My reason for posting this resume is in the hopes of re-entering the field of Counseling.  I have lately discovered a reason for going into the field again, although I have several concerns about doing so.

I can post this blog post on my LinkedIn articles page while I seek employment and change jobs to transition away from the administration job I have now.  I am encouraged I have a friend in nursing who believes I can transfer my career to Counseling after being away from it for a long time.  I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

I can remain stubborn and forget the counseling field, and I can serve the Lord as a secular counselor.  Either way, I have bills to pay and jobs in office administration are just not cutting it. 

I have been suffering from low wages for many years, involving the mortgage banking crash of 2009 and other issues revolving around fighting for custody of my daughter.  I learned the law rather well back in those days since I did so much work around helping parents who were suffering from parental alienation and domestic violence/sexual assault, fraud on the court(s), frauded documents and crooks in the legal system.

Posting my resume on LinkedIn may even attract Christian opportunities in the counseling field in my area.  I live near Seattle, Washington. 

SLEBOEUF, MA

OBJECTIVE

Seeking re-entry into the Counseling field.  Specialty in mentally ill adults and desire position compassionately helping people in transition.

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE

Provided counseling and therapy as a licensed intern in California to adults with co-occurring disorders (seriously mentally ill and chemically dependent), and foster children as a therapist/social worker for a foster family agency in Sacramento, California.

  • Practiced several modalities and interventions in a psychiatric hospital, county crisis unit, individual and group therapy, for stress reduction, anger management, cognitive behavioral interventions, coaching new behaviors, nutritional educational groups, psycho-education, healthy coping strategies
  • Provided clinical assessments
  • Wrote treatment plans in support of client goals, working collaboratively with other mental health professionals, probation officers, and school teachers, periodically reviewing them to update progress
  • Provided diagnoses utilizing DSM 4 for crisis unit near Sacramento, California, and provided clinical assessments where needed to support the involuntary admissions to psychiatric hospitals
  • Patient’s rights advocate for patients during their certification hearings against psychiatric hospitals for discharge from psychiatric hospitals
  • Educated and provided materials to support clients in recovery for their mental illness and/or chemical dependency issues as treatment group facilitator
  • Case-managed up to 15 foster children making home visits, training foster parents, writing quarterly reports for Child Protective Services case managers
  • Recommended by University performance reviewer to earn PhD to teach master’s level students earning a doctorate degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix
  • Conducted intake assessments and determined level of treatments for chemical dependency clients and referred clients into long-term residential treatment programs
  • Made referrals to outside agencies where appropriate
  • Completed training to become a University Instructor for University of Phoenix

EDUCATION

PhD Coursework in Psychology, Walden University, (online) Minneapolis, MN and Saybrook Institute, San Francisco, CA 1999 – 2003
Master’s in Counseling Psychology, National University – Sacramento, CA 1999
Bachelor’s in Journalism, University of California – Sacramento, CA 1996
Associate’s, in General Education, Napa Valley College – Napa, CA 1994
Associate’s, Liberal Arts. Napa Valley College – Napa, CA 1992

CERTIFICATION

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist (MFTI #39130) July 2001 to July 2003, CA

State Licensing For Christian Counselors: A Dilemma

Figuring out what to do in my life and taking a new road in thinking about my financial future, as a Christian I am wondering about my options for going into business for myself without being dragged through man’s courts and sued for working in a way that supports my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.  

As you may understand, having been trained to do therapy with people and having worked as a mental health clinician before I knew the Lord Jesus Christ made it acceptable to support some lifestyles that I know are not right in God’s opinion.  It makes it hard to make a living in the industry that I was educated in and spent a large part of my life working in, making much better money than I am now.

Since becoming a Christian, I have become “a new creature in Christ” and have new ways of thinking about the field of counseling and mental health in general.

I can’t say that I believe in the field of psychology now as much as I did; many obstacles have been planted in front of me in that I cannot agree with how the laws of our state of Washington and in any other state that condones gay marriages, for example, can really help me provide Christian counseling to someone who is gay or lives their lives that go against the laws of God. 

There are many quandaries that present themselves to me now that I am a Christian believer; other sins of mankind were more acceptable to me as a non-believer that I would excuse as a person’s lifestyle choices, but I don’t see those things the same way now.  Sin is sin and sinful people are the people who have turned away from God.

Gods law is much different than man’s and he is higher than us; his understanding of people is greater than ours.  We have to learn that mankind has a fallen nature, that we are born into sin, and it takes his Holy Spirit, I believe, to train us differently than the way we were raised if you were like me and raised in an unbelieving family.  His Holy Spirit teaches us and our minds and hearts are changed once we believe. 

Real believers will walk away from the understandings of worldly, unbelieving people, and follow God by reading the bible, praying, and talking to Him on a daily basis. 

In my video, I talk about how going against God’s morals are harmful to mankind and I for one have had trouble rectifying how to use what education I have and earn a better income for myself when I have been educated in man’s morals; having to support someone who is legally married but yet in the Bible, I know that same-sex couples being “married” is a sin to God.

How do I support someone who is living in sin because it is legal according to man’s laws, but that goes against biblical teaching?  

Talking off the top of my head I talk about these things in today’s video.  It may be less cogent than I’d like because I’m more or less trying to be thoughtful but at the same time I did not prepare to read something I had written down. 

I want to find a way to use the skills I’ve learned and feel I (and others) are gifted with yet not go against my belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and his Holy Word. 

This video today may be relevant to some people who are faced with the same thing: how they can live and work and be in line with their belief in God, but not fall under man’s laws where we can be sued for something we believe in, like a job we create in a company we build.   We see so many times in the news that Christians lose their companies and are financially ruined for not participating in the sinful ways of mankind.  Refusing to decorate a cake for a gay couple’s wedding is one example that comes to mind.

How can Christians earn a living without someone becoming offended and dragging them through the courts?  Seeking God on this, I have been thinking seriously about having to work at a company where I don’t believe it is for the good of people, yet having to earn income to keep a roof over my head is a very critical issue to anyone’s life in general.

“God Friended Me” – An Openload Video

God friended me movie

Photo Courtesy:  openloadtvstream.me

“Miles Finer is friended by God on Facebook and encouraged to help strangers.”

After a long day, I watched an online video called, “God Friended Me”.  It was a fun movie about a guy named Miles who is an atheist podcaster living in New York City.  He creates a podcast with a Rabbi friend from college, hoping to get his podcast syndicated on a big network.

As he is walking, Miles continued to get friend requests from “GOD” on his cell phone.  Unbelievably, this same GOD account keeps sending him friend request messages; “GOD sent you a friend request”, which he eventually accepts.

Not only did he get a friend request from GOD which perturbed him, he keeps getting a “friend suggestion”; that he friend a total stranger named John Dove, then another friend suggestion from the same GOD account that he friend a young journalist named Cara Bloom.

The movie weaves a story about how all these people are brought together in unexpected ways.  They share histories of major relationship issues that they share with Miles, who begins to question whether there is, after all, a “grand design” of life.

It’s a great movie, fun for someone wanting to spend some downtime and just relax, but be amused at the same time.

I’m sharing a movie link where I found the Pilot episode, “God Friended Me”, on openloadtvstream.me.

Here’s the full link:  https://openloadtvstream.me/episodes/god-friended-me-season-1-episode-1-s01e01/ 

“Companioning” The Dying

three crosses

Photo credit: Pixabay

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.  For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so that we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

I remember many years ago while in my 20’s, reading “On Death And Dying” by Swiss Psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.  Her groundbreaking work described the five stages of grief, which was unheard of in our day.  She studied how terminally ill patients were being treated in hospitals during her medical residency in 1958 and published her book in 1969. 

Back in those days no one admitting to ever having counseling and those recovery groups for everything from alcoholism to gambling were not on the map yet.  Everyone seemed to know of Kübler-Ross; her book was a huge best-seller focusing on a topic that is hard for most people to deal with.

This is a subject I have come to understand in a different way than Kübler-Ross did as well as current thought about dying.  We know as Christians dying is a joyful time of meeting the Lord Jesus Christ at the time of physical death.  We are not afraid knowing the truth of our lives after death.  

While the world still has it’s thoughts about what happens after life ends here on earth, we Christians know the truth: it is a time of preparing to meet our Lord and Savior and is the beginning of life in the eternal hereafter with Him.

But I wish to share a few links to what I’ve been looking at today about counseling the dying, along with a few other books I have since I continue to be presented in my heart and mind with creating my own course.  It would be online training for those who want to care for the emotional-psycho-spiritual needs of people who are in the end-stages of life.   

This would mean being trained to know how to care compassionately for those who are dying, spending time at their bedsides at their homes or in hospices or other medical facility.   My hope would be to join with other’s who have a desire to be in a companionship-caring role that may verge on counseling the family members, as well as being a compassionate listener and bedside companion for those at their end-stages of life. 

Below are some of the secular resources I’ve been looking at to compare what I have been taught at a secular college for training in counseling psychology.  Comparing what I have learned about what is called, “pastoral counseling” and “Christian layperson counseling”, I will use these resources to cross-over into Christian counseling from being trained in secular counseling.

Dr talks about dying patients she's cared for

Photo credit: CBC News on YouTube

Canadian Public Broadcast video (41 minutes): A doctor shares how the body shuts down during the dying process and how she made visits at home where patients want to be before they die – Death and dying: What to expect in the final stages of life

A downloadable .pdf file to understand grief and loss – Introduction to the Companioning the Bereaved

Online bereavement course – Online Bereavement Counseling Course

Teaching Christian Counselors: A Training In This Comes To Mind

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

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As I was skimming over what people published on LinkedIn, I read a post about teaching college students using PowerPoint, the software that creates single slides you show your audience on a whiteboard so they follow along with what you are saying.

Attending courses I well-remember this type of teaching, where I had to create my own as a college student.  One of my memories is of taking time to create a PowerPoint presentation about student visas for international students.  I spent a long time on my PowerPoint slides, doing the research needed and then writing out the information for what I would say while I showed my slides.

Then I went on to become a University Faculty Instructor for the University of Phoenix, in Sacramento, California.  I found that the students liked my bringing in redacted case notes that were mine that I actually submitted into my client’s case files.  

Of course, the names and all identifying information was blacked out, but the one comment that stands out in my mind from a student in that particular class was, “finally, something real that we can learn from”.  It meant the world to me.

Now when I read LinkedIn PowerPoint training courses, and view them in training videos, I become very bored.  It’s not the real thing; it’s not brining actual reality to a classroom unless you can present snippets of actual pictures to tell a classroom a story.  

Teaching today can present such a boring curriculum, and students pay for this kind of teaching.  Instructors can be lax in teaching and training and fall short of the teaching they are paid to do.

Another class I attended was about group counseling and the instructor divided the class up into two large groups and she was going to let us – the students – run the groups.  She would only check in once in awhile.  Is that teaching?  Must have been a nice job where she didn’t have to do much.

As a natural teacher – I believe I am, and I love it so much – I feel I have a calling to not only do some counseling, but teaching, to convey things I have learned from the courses I have taken and share them with those wanting an education and coaching on how to counsel hospice patients, and support people who may feel lonely at the end stages of their lives.

It’s a very compassionate place to be, being present and remaining there, present for the person and appreciating their value while they lay in the end-stages of their lives.

I have often thought about what it must feel like to be in a hospice bed, knowing I was dying without Christ; and then while I know Christ.  I marvel at the difference at what it feels like.

I felt afraid, not knowing Christ, but now I am content to know He is loving, tender and kind.  I hope to live a long and happy life; yet when I die in this body I will know I am dying in the arms of a loving Savior, who knows my time will end on this earth. 

I am not afraid to die; I am a Christian believer who has no fear, except the dread of knowing I won’t want to die with a long-term malady that keeps me bed-ridden.  Like Moses, I want to be walking on my own and in good shape as an elder person and have God take me up into his loving arms as quickly as possible.  I have prayed for this, and I’m sure many others have to.

All this comes to mind as I want to create a course of study about how to be a friend to someone who is dying; and be a Christian there for a person who may want to talk about Christ during their end of life.