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Troubling Trends


 

In counseling, we view the relationship as one of the most essential pieces to being able to bring about positive change in a client’s life. Lately, I have noticed a trend among the young female clients that I have been working with. During the first couple of sessions, I assess how my clients view themselves. Specifically, I look for the things that they consider to be the most important about who they are. Surprisingly, one of the first things they disclose is their sexuality.


I began to question why this would be what they consider to be one of the most defining things about them.


I am not trying to take away from the importance of sexuality, but these young girls don’t seem to be able to see themselves as something beyond that. I recently read an article by Sissy Goff, where she talked about how to connect International Women’s Month to the girls in our life. Her emphasis was talking to our girls about the joy in being a woman and what that means. Not just the ability to become a mother, but understanding the divine plan of the various roles that women play.


The article outlined how to help girls connect to other influential females in their world and understand how they got that role. Goff points out that as we get older, we can lose sight of those we look up to the most. Too often girls are taught the idea of all the ways that the world is unfair and stacked against them, rather than the power that each individual possesses. When young girls are taught to view themselves as disadvantaged – simply for being a woman – they are then primed to look for it in their world.


As a mother of three girls, I have not figured out the perfect way of parenting. Like many of you, it is a constant work in progress where I strive to be just a little bit better than I was the day before. My twins are in middle school and I have found that the dinner table is the richest place of the day to get the best insight into their world.


The conversations normally revolve around all things social. Very little academic information is shared. Listening to them makes me thankful I am not a middle school teacher. The pieces that worry me most as a parent are the way that they notice how their peers are changing as they are making the shift from child to adolescent.


They tell me about the types of shocking clothes that the other kids are wearing. The widespread use of cell phones and social media in school. The relationships between certain peers that have either formed or fallen apart. The manner in which kids speak to each other or to the adults in the school. The theme I hear linking all their stories together is a cry for significance. My clinical experiences with clients reinforce their stories. I see it again and again, where girls are attaching their significance to things that will have many negative consequences.


The ideas of Konstantin Kisin were recently shared with me where he was drawing reference to a study called the Dartmouth Scar Study. A group of women were gathered and told that they would be going for a job interview. Before the interview, makeup artists worked to make a scar or facial deformity on each of the women’s faces. Then, with a mirror, the women were shown the scar on their face. Prior to leaving the room to begin the interview, the artist then told the women they just needed to touch it up one more time. What the women did not know, is in that moment, the scar was removed completely.


After the interview, the women were asked if they thought that they had been discriminated against as a result of their facial deformity.


They all said YES!


They believed that the person conducting the interview asked certain questions due to the fact that they had this facial deformity or that they would not stop looking at that area of their face. This is learned victimhood. It leads us to believe and see exactly what we are looking for. Kisin addresses how learned victimization can lead to a person believing that the world is against them.


Instead, we need to teach our youth that they are strong. That they possess the ability to show grit in hard situations. Unfortunately, that is not what is always taught. Instead, our youth are exposed to these big ideas at a young age. They make lifelong decisions and do not possess the critical thinking abilities to comprehend the long-term consequences.


The only rational question to ask is what do we do next?


As their therapist, I want my clients to see themselves outside of their sexuality. To recognize that things in life are not always going to be fair or come easily. That through our struggle and fight, we learn what we really care about. Helping young people connect to the idea that they have the ability to make good decisions. Understanding where those lines of thinking have come from and using them to guide us toward healthy decisions.


I also believe in not always giving young people the answer. In session, I often like to toss the ball back into their court, and let them work out the consequences of their ideas.


It’s within that struggle that they really learn about themselves and find what they are looking for. Sissy Goff often says, that we want our kids to wrestle with the ideas and complexities of life while they are under our roof and influence rather than encounter a struggle for the first time at the age of 35. Let them make mistakes and mess up when we are the ones that support them through the repair process, rather than the unforgiving world.


The bottom line is that we see in life what we look for. If we want to create a culture of people that believe the world is stacked against them, there will always be evidence to support that. However, the same ideas apply that if we want to build and shape a child to see the world as a place of options and possibilities, there is evidence to support that as well. God did not promise us a world without suffering. However, there is power in that, because we get to choose what we want to suffer for.


Teach your children that we get to choose a life of joy, love, empowerment, adversity, and strength. Teach them to look for these things and their life will be better for it.


 



🏌️‍♂️🏌️‍♀️ Join Us for our 8th Annual Golf Classic! 🏌️‍♂️🏌️‍♀️ 


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📅 Date: Thursday, September 26

📍 Location: Adams Pointe Golf Club, Blue Springs, MO 

⏰ Tee-off Time: 8:30 AM


Register Today and Secure Your Spot! Don't miss out on this opportunity to support a worthy cause while enjoying a memorable day of golf and community spirit. Spaces fill up fast, so reserve your spot today by clicking the button below or contact Naomi (naomi@peacecounseling.org) for sponsorship inquiries.




 


We can’t say thank you enough to every single partner on our team who recognizes our mission to serve our community and has joined arms with us to make it happen. We, our clients, and students are beyond grateful for the unwavering support. We extend our gratitude to our March partners:


  • Thank you, Darrell & Judy Brammer, for your generous annual gift to our mission. You are such a blessing to our team.

  • We are so grateful to partner with Children’s Services Fund of Jackson County for our In-School Counseling Program. Thank you for your grant contributions this year!

  • Roger & Laura Neir and ConCarpet Tile + Design, thank you for joining us again as the Presenting Sponsor for our 8th Annual Golf Classic. Your generous sponsorship makes a huge difference in the lives of our clients.

  • We are honored to partner with Metcalf Auto Plaza to provide the support needed in our community. Your heart for others is so evident. Thank you for your gifts.

  • A huge thank you to Jason & Val Schram for your new monthly donation. We appreciate your generosity and invaluable friendship.


To all of our faithful monthly and recurring supporters — THANK YOU from our Peace Partnership team! – Stone AMP SEO, Jeff & Lacey Cherry, Zane & Melissa Morerod, Mark McDonald, Jondy & Heather Britton, Matt & Kristy Newton, Clayton & Pam Wooldridge, Mark & Cathy McGaughey, Greg & Jennifer Spears, Roger & Jennifer Madsen, Mike & Jan McGraw, Cory & Leslie Young, Midwest Accident Reconstruction Services, Stan & Deb Oglesby, Willie & Adia Valdes, Shelly Schuman, Linda Hartman, Dave & Rosie Bourland, Clean Heart Maids, Rudy & Stacy Blahnik, Mike & Tracy Pruitt, Mike & Sandra King, Diane Smith, Dan & Gigi Rippee, Andre & Rose Fantasma, Kevin Quinn, Genesis Counseling, Scott & Lydia Hurley, Jon & Naomi Thompson, John Otradovec, Larry Curtis, Tamara Stroud, Rick & Kathy Daulton, Joel & Ruthie Morris, Church at Coffee Creek, John & Vicki Hefner, Jenny Glasgow, Teddy Koehler, Brandon & Vanessa Blanchard, Summit Springs Church, and Rick & Jan Britton.Blanchard, Summit Springs Church, and Rick & Jan Britton.


We appreciate each and every one of you!


Interested in hearing more about our mission? Contact our Director of Development, Naomi Thompson, at: 816.272.0653 or naomi@peacecounseling.org to find out how you can join our team of Partners. To make a donation through our website, please click on the link below.




 



Have you or someone you know been helped by Peace Partnership or Genesis Counseling? If so, would you please consider paying it forward to help another find healing along their journey? We are asking anyone who is not currently partnering with us financially to consider donating $100/year for the next 3 years to help make a difference in someone else’s life. Collectively, we can help SO MANY PEOPLE! Please consider a gift today. Call the office for help getting your gift set up or choose a recurring donation on our website here. We are so grateful for your help changing lives!


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