self-fulfillment

meaning of your life

What is the Meaning of Your Life?

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist When it comes to our suffering, our experiences, and our lives, we often get hung up on the question: “What does this mean? Why is this happening to me? What am I supposed to learn from this?” Cosmic purposes and divine designs are issues for theology and philosophy, and interpretations and beliefs are so varied that I won̵ ...[Read More]

positive thinking

When Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” This satirical self-affirmation, made famous by Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley, highlights the type of thinking advised by many therapists, researchers, life coaches, and others. While there is much research to support the power of positive thinking, sometim ...[Read More]

Flexibility in Pursuing Dreams

Be Flexible While Pursuing Your Dreams

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I saw Jaws at entirely too young of an age. The film terrified me, but it also sparked a lifelong obsession with sharks, particularly Great Whites (the species in the movie). For decades I fantasized about climbing into a cage and seeing one up close. It was on my bucket list. I once had the opportunity to cage-dive in shark-infested water ...[Read More]

partner's growth

Are You Unknowingly Preventing Your Partner’s Growth?

Want your partner to change? You might accidentally be hurting your cause. Here's what to do differently.

New Year's resolutions

Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist There are countless stories and jokes about abandoned New Year’s resolutions, perhaps because the experience is so universal. When it comes to self-improvement, it seems that “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” So how do we overcome weakness to fulfill our goals? Allow me to share with you five keys which have ...[Read More]

Is Guilt Healthy or Harmful

Is Guilt Healthy or Harmful?

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist In my observation there are two schools of thought about guilt. The first is that it’s a healthy emotion that inspires us to change our behavior, while the second argues that guilt contributes to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness that impede our growth. So is guilt healthy or harmful? The truth is, it can be either. Like fir ...[Read More]

exercise for sanity not vanity

Exercise: It’s About Sanity, Not Vanity

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist When I was younger, working out was all about how I would look in my swimming trunks. In my 20’s it seemed easier to find time for it. As I’ve gotten older, the challenges of balancing career, marriage, and parenthood have contributed to the mentality that I’m “too busy” or “too tired” to exercise. ...[Read More]

god's love

How God’s Love Can Help You to Love Yourself

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Billions of people worldwide believe in God in some form or another. One of the most universal doctrines is that God loves everyone. Sometimes people settle into the idea that “God loves everyone simply because He’s God.” To me, this is a lazy, impractical theology. If God just arbitrarily loves everyone, vaguely and coll ...[Read More]