• New site launched!
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    Henze and Associates: Counselling and Care

    Launch

    More then just counselling! Proven transformation and healing, for a seeking Christian community.

    Setting hearts free to really live the fully human lives of grace and freedom Christ promises us all.

    In an atmosphere completely free of shame or judgment, we simply provide the highest standard of professional care for all who seek our help.

    At long last, Google finally forced all of us slackers to update to a mobile friendly site.

    File servers and content management services not yet updated but the main site is live!

    Drop by, have a look and play crash test dummy for all of the bugs we have not yet caught!

    😉

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  • Maybe clothes do make a man… sick?
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    The Good Men Project

    If clothes aren’t physically or emotionally healthy, why are we horrified when people don’t wear them? Show a man with a gun… it’s called action. Show a man with a dick… it’s called indecent.



    There’s something wrong with the way Americans have come to accept almost every aspect of the human condition except for the most natural one. We’ve accepted guns, drugs and violence, yet refuse to accept bare breasts and genitalia.



    Put a man killing and raping women in a movie and it may go on to win an Oscar. Put a naked woman on the screen, and it won’t be allowed a nomination (take “Blue is the Warmest Color? for example).



    We’ve become so desensitized to everything, but the one thing that makes us human. We’ve come to accept almost every negative aspect of human nature, yet refuse to condone the most natural state a human being can be — the nude.

    Ok, so, the above linked rant is way too much fun to ignore — it simply begged to be posted. Just read it…

    But, some of the content is actually quite scholarly and factual.

    In particular, the linked literature summary on the impact of social nudity upon children is both really well done and serious food for thought.

    (Though, I highly doubt it will do anything to quell the nearly religious fervor with which so many sectors of our society attack even the simple concept of a clothing optional beach…)

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  • Giving hugs later doesn’t help…
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    Science Daily

    “If you believe that you can shake your children or slap them across the face and then smooth things over gradually by smothering them with love, you are mistaken,” wrote lead researcher Jennifer E. Lansford on the Child and Family Blog. Lansford is a research professor at the Social Science Research Institute at Duke University. “Being very warm with a child whom you hit in this manner rarely makes things better. It can make a child more, not less, anxious.”



    The blog is a joint project of the Future of Children at Princeton University and the Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group at the University of Cambridge.



    Lansford calls it “one of many worrying findings” in the multicenter research about corporal punishment. They interviewed more than 1,000 children and their mothers, from eight different countries, asking about levels of physical punishment and also about anxiety and aggressive behavior on the part of the children.



    They found that while maternal warmth can lessen the impact of “low levels of corporal punishment” among children ages 8 to 10, both anxiety and aggression still remain — just not quite as much. It doesn’t typically diminish the negative impact of high levels of physical punishment. Lansford said countries with a more authoritarian parenting style, like Kenya and Colombia, see less effect on the children than other countries.



    “Generally, childhood anxiety actually gets worse when parents are very loving alongside using corporate punishment,” she wrote. The researchers aren’t sure why, but she said it might be “simply too confusing and unnerving for a child to be hit hard and loved warmly all in the same home.”

    There is truth here — and a rather clear example of simple ideological spin…

    The truth part of it is that the majority of the discipline tactics taught within the hallowed halls of fundamentalism are, in fact, child abuse and no amount of good intention or loving acts after, “Giving you a slap across that filthy mouth,” is going to lessen the impact of such. The hold of aggression and anxiety will remain the same and the abuse will only increase the chances of the same behavior occurring again.

    The spin?

    Note how the wording above changes from slapping kids across the face to corporal punishment. Because those are one and the same?

    Really???

    Yet, you read nearly any writing on corporal punishment and you see this exact error replicated nearly constantly.

    Two obvious facts remain:

    (1). Corporal punishment is still in huge use around the world and across North America by people who, plainly, think these researchers are idiots.

    (2). We definitively KNOW that corporal punishment is largely ineffective and, at best, a short term solution.

    People still really do trust science and can be persuaded — by scientists that they see as having no axe to grind and no willingness to warp their language to accomplish such.

    We need more then a few of them in this field or people are forever going to read, “Spare the rod,” (Which was the expensive and fragile hooked tool used to steer and rescue sheep,) as, “Spare the staff.” (The straight fighting weapon used to violently defend sheep from marauding agents.)

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  • Maybe your stoner buddy in college was right…
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    HuffPo

    In the years since, members of the medical community have continued to argue that MDMA doesn’t belong in Schedule I. Some recent studies, also approved by the DEA, have found that the drug could be an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder when administered under proper supervision.



    The latest study is being sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a nonprofit organization that funds research on beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana. MAPS sees the DEA’s approval as a sign of change.



    “The smooth process of regulatory approval for this study indicates that stigma is no longer standing in the way of regulatory approval for research into the therapeutic uses of MDMA and other psychedelics,” Brad Burge, communications director for MAPS, told The Huffington Post. “Now, the main challenge has become finding the funding necessary to complete the research. As these studies move forward, we’ll start seeing support for psychedelic research as an opportunity, rather than a risk.”



    MAPS said that 18 patients diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses will undergo MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions under the supervision of Dr. Philip Wolfson, the study’s principal investigator, at an office in Marin, California. The year-and-a-half study will test the drug’s potential applications for treating anxiety and stress disorders related to the end of life. MAPS will begin recruiting subjects as soon as final preparations are made, hopefully within about two months, Burge said.

    This pretty much stands on its own as yet another example of government finally waking up and realizing that the war on drugs has also (perhaps even mostly) been a war against medical research and treatment.

    This particular drug is insanely potent giving the therapist close to God-like powers to define the person but, in some cases, the alternative may be life long torment.

    Even if it is found to be too potent though, the above willingness to finally allow science to continue is still a breath of fresh air.

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  • Young and smart???
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    NYT

    The picture that emerges from these findings is of an older brain that moves more slowly than its younger self, but is just as accurate in many areas and more adept at reading others’ moods — on top of being more knowledgeable. That’s a handy combination, given that so many important decisions people make intimately affects others.



    No one needs a cognitive scientist to explain that it’s better to approach a boss about a raise when he or she is in a good mood. But the older mind may be better able to head off interpersonal misjudgments and to navigate tricky situations.



    “As in, ‘that person’s not happy with all your quick thinking and young person’s processing speed — he’s about to punch you,’? said Zach Hambrick, a psychology professor at Michigan State University.



    The details of this more textured picture of the aging brain are still far from clear, and social measures like the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test have not been used much in this kind of research, Dr. Hambrick and other experts said. And it is not apparent from the new analysis whether changes in cognition with age result from a single cause — like a decline in the speed of neural transmission — or to multiple ones.



    But for now, the new research at least gives some meaning to the empty adjective “wily.?

    We’ve now had over a decade of attitudes in places like Silicon Valley and other areas that, if you are over 30, you are already an, “Old fool,” and need not apply to the latest start-up.

    (It almost goes without saying that most of the young kids that uttered similar words are now, themselves in that, “Old fool,” category, have already lost their first company (or six) and, now at 40+, are finally making money at their current endeavor because it, well, you know, actually has a product to sell…)

    Yet, the attitudes still continue.

    The above linked is a simple research based sketch of what we all already knew:

    We’ve all met prodigious levels of stupidity, intelligence and wisdom in people of every age.

    What it doesn’t say is another piece we also know:

    People largely choose one or more of the above by their willingness (or lack thereof) to take out the emotional barriers that render them foolish and to conquer ignorance by real learning rather then parroting the fear based nonsense some talking head on TV tells you to say.

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  • Stop blaming the geek toys!!!
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    HuffPost

    In recognition of World Sleep Day and with the help of research firm KJT Group, Philips conducted a survey titled “Sleep: A Global Perspective” to help gain insight into the main sleep disturbances affecting people worldwide. They found that worrisome thoughts about work and economic or financial issues are the top two stressors keeping people awake at night. Speaking with almost 8,000 people across 10 countries, the research team gathered information regarding participants’ sleep times, wake times, daily routines, sleeping environments and perceptions of their work-life balance to determine the greatest obstacles in the way of developing healthier sleep habits.

    This one pretty much speaks for itself.

    It’s probably not your iPad keeping you up — it’s hidden income inequality and an increasingly rigged system where workers are being bent to the breaking point.

    Thankfully, people are starting to notice it and, at least, post snarky videos about such but a real fix is a long way off…

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  • The purity culture gets married — kinda…
    4 Comments on The purity culture gets married — kinda…

    Relevant

    We weren’t haunted by the ghosts of prior sexual experiences or battling with regrets. We desired to be together free and unashamed, but we were plagued by our inability to stop feeling guilty about fulfilling sexual desires we had trained ourselves to view as wrong and dangerous. While we intellectually believed that sex was a good thing that was intended for enjoyment in marriage, we had spent years conditioning ourselves to respond to sexual feelings with fear, guilt and shame.



    In the space of a few hours, something we had treated as forbidden, dangerous and private became something we were meant to enjoy and celebrate with each other. No amount of intellectual knowledge could take those deeply ingrained feelings towards our sexuality and magically change them the moment we slipped on those rings or later when we slipped off our wedding clothes. It isn’t really strange that this transition didn’t happen instantaneously, what was stranger was that we expected it to.



    We aren’t the only couple who has experienced this. When I first started writing about this topic, I received messages from hundreds of people who said, “Me, too! I followed all the rules and no one told me this could happen. What can we do about it??



    There is no magic formula for overcoming feelings of guilt and shame in your sexual relationship. This is not a checklist to follow that will guarantee the results you want. People are complex and every marriage is unique. But these are some principles that helped in my personal situation and I hope they can be encouraging to you.

    The tag line of the above linked is, “Even those who save sex for marriage have to deal with feelings of guilt.” (Frankly, it’s only worth reading as an example of how to completely miss the point…)

    The article starts with that thought — and then proceeds to lay out a series of steps to finally overcome purity-culture-imbedded shame in a married sex life via pearls of wisdom focused around identifying and talking about lies, reciting Scripture and spending years trying to finally have enough positive sex to block out the voices from your past.

    They won’t work — our offices are filled with people who already tried that formula… The majority of them are close to or are now agnostic or even atheist…

    It’s not fixing the real problem.

    This article is not hosted by some Fundamentalist Independent Baptist Church — it’s on Relevant Mag. This is now mainstream Evangelical thought and what’s most stunning about the article is really what it doesn’t ask.

    While the author does close with a vague wish:

    I wish I had been taught to honor marital sex without being ashamed of my sexuality. I wish I had understood that my sexuality had value outside of my virginity.

    Nowhere in it is present the intellectual ability to ask, “Is this tsunami of guilt, shame and fear really the message of the Gospel?” “Can you possibly fix that level of condemnation for a full third of person-hood by just adding a few affirmations about sexuality she already knew anyway?” “Is something that rarely worked at preventing premarital sex and now is so widely destroying marital sex is really the right path to be on in first place?”

    Weirdly, the author is clinging on — at least for now. But, she’s a complete outlier and it is going to end.

    This is not minor damage. Sexuality is the core of a person. Once a person has come out of a culture that simultaneously floods him or her with judgment for having a sexuality while reducing his or her value as a sexual being down to a one-time-use commodity (which s/he better choose to spend well or risk never being able to purchase a worthwhile partner with such), the wounding is so deep the cheap band-aids offered by that culture don’t have a prayer of ever working.

    Either that person grasps what grace, freedom and conversational intimacy with God looks like and walks free of the unholy trinity of guilt/shame/fear itself — or the pain will continue. Usually, at an intolerable level.

    At that point, the person either leaves Christianity entirely and stops inflicting this on the next generation, or they find real grace and freedom, leave fundamentalism and also cease from inflicting this on the next generation.

    Either way, this is going to end.

    The only question is, will Christianity survive it?

    Us few Christian therapists out there trying to walk those couples into grace, freedom and being led through life via conversational intimacy with God are completely out-numbered by an army of secular therapists who, quite rightly, see religion/Christianity as toxic spiritual abuse — and are walking the victims of these lies out of it entirely…

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  • What keeps men from seeking help?
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    Good Men Project

    The shame experienced by men who have lost their position as the primary breadwinner in their family can be devastating. This is frequently more than just a lost job—it can also define the purpose of a productive life. The loss of purpose experienced in job loss can cripple self-esteem and destroy one’s concept of self-worth. This shame can create a solid barrier to discussion, particularly discussion with a stranger in therapeutic situations.



    In a poll sponsored by PacifiCare Behavioral Health and Psychology Today titled Therapy in America 2004, men responded with some discouraging feedback. They said they not only distrusted therapy and therapists, but they also would not even want to be associated with “the type of person? who typically receives therapy. That represents a level of contempt that makes a willingness to enter therapy a very difficult challenge, indeed.



    The poll also clarified three reasons why people who have identified themselves as needing treatment have still not gotten it. They said they stayed away because of the high cost, because they felt their problems were not serious enough to warrant treatment, and because of skepticism about the treatment actually working to solve the problems. A full 32 percent doubted the treatment would work.



    The image of the fully self-reliant man remains ingrained in the fabric of our social structure. Roughly 1,000 65-year-old males were the subjects of a 2011 study published by two Rutgers University sociologists, Kristen Springer and Dawne Mouzon. The “Macho Men? study reveals that avoidance of health care in general is the norm among macho-oriented males. These men were the most heavily invested in the belief that a “real man? is one who is strong to the point of virtual invulnerability.



    This same assumed invulnerability is, no doubt, the rationale behind the avoidance of health care even in the face of overwhelming evidence for its need. If a man is going to deny himself a visit to a doctor for a physical condition, he is even more likely to deny himself a visit to a therapist for mental conditions—especially any such condition that implies any weakness.



    Furthermore, the goals and benefits of therapy are frequently misunderstood. Therapists are not the only ones who hear things like “people can’t change? or “you can’t change the past.? But this is exactly what therapy is supposed to do. Therapy can change things for the better.



    While it obviously can’t change the past, therapy changes our emotional and cognitive reactions to the past. It can give us a new sense of awareness for the past and an entirely new set of beliefs and behaviours. With effective therapy, the emotional response to past events can change, and old beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world around us can be changed from limiting and negative beliefs to more positive ones. We can change a point of view from a belief in one’s limitations to expressions such as “I can handle life? and “I am in control.?



    Therapy can make a positive difference. The Therapy in America poll confirms that among those who have completed therapy, the vast majority of both men and women agree that it has helped. Getting a man through the door may present some serious challenges, but if he does manage to get there, the help is likely to be highly beneficial.

    The full article is well worth reading — but it misses one important point:

    The medical community, which used to be one of the primary referral sources to therapy, has now launched what is being described as an all out civil war against therapy.

    Oh, secure in the breathtaking arrogance of absolute certainty that all behavior results solely from biological/chemical interplay or imbalance in the brain, the medical community has thrown its weight behind one form of therapy they hold is the only scientifically proven form of therapy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and immediately claimed the right to license family doctors to practice such. Beyond that, they have virtually ceased even bothering to train psychiatrists in anything but the dispensing of psychoactive medications.

    (Unfortunately, even the growing tsunami of evidence for parallel levels of quantum signaling in the brain has utterly failed to dissuade most from this dogma… )

    And, the value they see is real. There is much that is really good and beneficial about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but it’s only one of so many tools — and it’s a limited one at that. Modifying a few distorted thoughts and beliefs is hardly an answer for the kind of internal turmoil men experience during the above defined sort of crisis situation. Trying to solve it with such creates a pressure cooker of unprocessed emotion in a man that likely WILL have him needing said psychoactive medications in fairly short order…

    Women, typically, will seek someone to talk to first. Men, if they seek help at all, will usually start by somatizing what they are feeling and seek medical help. If a doctor will tell a man to go for deep emotional or psychoanalytical therapy, then most men will take the risk.

    But, if the doctor displays their profession’s increasing bias against that deep heart level work, the door slams closed and men are left with little more then behavioral formulas and drugs.

    That generally results in nothing good…

    (Oh, and as to the insanity of the claim that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the only scientifically proven form of therapy, I leave you this.)

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  • Is your fitness all in your genes???
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    NYT

    The researchers were looking for young adult identical twins in their early- to mid-20s whose exercise habits had substantially diverged after they had left their childhood homes. These twins were not easy to find. Most of the pairs had maintained remarkably similar exercise routines, despite living apart.



    But eventually the researchers homed in on 10 pairs of male identical twins, one of whom regularly exercised, while the other did not, usually because of work or family pressures, the researchers determined.



    The dissimilarities in their exercise routines had mostly begun within the past three years, according to their questionnaires.



    The scientists invited these twins into the lab and measured each young man’s endurance capacity, body composition and insulin sensitivity, to determine their fitness and metabolic health. The scientists also scanned each twin’s brain.



    Then they compared the twins’ results.



    It turned out that these genetically identical twins looked surprisingly different beneath the skin and skull. The sedentary twins had lower endurance capacities, higher body fat percentages, and signs of insulin resistance, signaling the onset of metabolic problems. (Interestingly, the twins tended to have very similar diets, whatever their workout routines, so food choices were unlikely to have contributed to health differences.)



    The twins’ brains also were unalike. The active twins had significantly more grey matter than the sedentary twins, especially in areas of the brain involved in motor control and coordination.



    Presumably, all of these differences in the young men’s bodies and brains had developed during their few, brief years of divergent workouts, underscoring how rapidly and robustly exercising — or not — can affect health, said Dr. Urho Kujala, a professor of sports and exercise medicine at the University of Jyvaskyla who oversaw the study.



    Of course, the study was small and not a formal randomized trial, although it involved identical twins.



    But Dr. Kujala said he believes that the results strongly imply that the differences in the twin’s exercise habits caused the differences in their bodies.

    The above is already being panned as not being a randomized study — and that’s clearly true.

    But, think about it: No researcher would ever be allowed to force the unwilling to exercise at gunpoint. And, with all we already know about health and fitness, could anyone ever get a university ethics review board to approve stopping people from exercising for a lifetime?

    Critics can call this whatever they want. The fact of the matter remains, this is the best we are ever going to get — and it’s very close to definitive.

    You can take two people who have identical genetics and who were raised in an identical environment with identical fitness levels who still eat pretty much the same and, with the simple addition or subtraction of exercise, change nearly everything that matters about the person’s health in about three years.

    Obviously, there are stupid things you can do with your diet that can override nearly any level of exercise but, with all other elements remaining largely equal what we have always guessed to be true has just been proven:

    Exercise is still, hands down, the key element of health and fitness.

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  • Have you discovered, THE SECRET???
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    Mark Manson

    Secret

    Research also shows that actively engaging in positive thinking, such as when you imagine getting a job, doing well on an exam, or even successfully recovering after surgery, can actually result in poorer outcomes. Psychologists think that this kind of delusional positive thinking can make us complacent and lazy, as though we already accomplished something we have yet to accomplish, causing us to put forth less effort and to feel less motivated.



    Other studies show that people who engage in “self-affirmations? and are then presented with information that threatens their affirmation (even healthy criticism or feedback) actually engage in more faulty reasoning than people who don’t use self-affirmations. In fact, people who indulge in delusional positive thinking ironically become downright angry when someone tries to contradict their wall of airy-fairy thoughts. The truth about their situation just becomes that much more painful to them.



    Delusional positive thinking ironically generates greater closed-mindedness in people. They must always be vigilant and block out potentially negative feedback or criticism of their beliefs, even if that negative feedback is life-or-death important to their health and well-being.



    On top of all of that, as I have argued at length previously on this blog, we are all really bad at predicting what will make us happy and/or miserable in the future. So, by using the law of attraction, we might spend all this time and energy building a “future life? that isn’t what we want at all. Maybe we envision having drunken orgies every night of our lives and so we seek out swingers and weird kinky sex groups on Craigslist and, turns out, it’s not all that great and it kind of makes us depressed… but The Universe gave it to us because we asked for it! I think it’s healthier (and more practical) to reserve judgment on what I will or will not like until I find out through my own experience, rather than just make shit up and hope it works out well.

    The full article is so well written and complete it’s basically impossible to add to it.

    Just read it.

    (Especially, focus on the explanation of how The Secret sorta works and how such can completely, “Screw you up.”)

    Call me crazy, but I believe that changing and improving your life requires destroying a part of yourself and replacing it with a newer, better part of yourself. It is therefore, by definition, a painful process full of resistance and anxiety. You can’t grow muscle without challenging it with greater weight. You can’t build emotional resilience without forging through hardship and loss. And you can’t build a better mind without challenging your own beliefs and assumptions.

    Truth.

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