Editor’s Note: Dr. Johnson wrote this article for her blog in March 2020. It seems just as applicable in 2021.
I find myself thinking about something these days. I’ll let you guess what it is. I talk about it, I read emails about it, I make decisions based on it, I consider how others are reacting to it, my shopping is affected by it, my activities are affected by it, my feelings are impacted by it. And I don’t watch TV and I’m not on social media! Nevertheless, I find myself overwhelmed by it. Maybe it’s just me.
But if it’s not just me, if you are overwhelmed by it too, I have an idea for you. Actually, it’s not my idea. It’s God’s… he has the best ideas… Turn your mind to something else. Here are some ideas from Philippians 4:8: Whatever is whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
The thing is, in the moment when we’re overwhelmed by…other unmentioned things… it’s much harder to think about anything else. It helps to do some preparation. Some people have prepared by hoarding toilet paper. You will prepare your mind. Take time right now to fill in these blanks:
Something that is true:
Something that is noble:
Something that is right:
Something that is pure:
Something that is lovely:
Something that is admirable:
Something that is excellent:
Something that is praiseworthy:
Then, when you are tempted to be pulled into the mire of something that is said (1000 times) to be unprecedented, you can turn to your list and let your mind rest on any one of these things. And when it gets drawn back to tumultuous times, you can turn again to your list.
Psychologists call this, “turning the mind.” The bible calls it, “meditation.” Whatever you call it, may it bring you grace and peace in all that is now upon us and all that will come.
Dr. Veronica Johnson is co-founder of Envision Counseling Clinic and is a Licensed Psychologist in Castle Rock, Colorado. She has specialized training and over 15 years of experience working with individuals who experience same-sex attractions and find themselves in conflict with other aspects of their identity, such as their spirituality. For women and teen girls who struggle with eating disorders, Veronica uses Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills to help clients regulate their emotions, particularly around food, perfection, and self-image. Having worked for PREP, Inc. Veronica is trained in PREP’s well-known and effective communication skills for couples. She is trained in EMDR, a technique used to overcome symptoms arising from traumatic experiences. She has also edited books and written articles for publication.
Dr. Johnson is devoted to love and authenticity whether in the counseling office or elsewhere. She is guided by biblical understandings of who we are and what life is about. She uses an interactive style of therapy that puts men and women at ease. Clients feel cared for, challenged, and encouraged in Dr. Johnson’s office.
Dr. Johnson obtained her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Regent University in 2012 shortly after completing her doctoral internship at Eden Counseling Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. During her doctoral training, she was an active research member at the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity. Her masters degree is in Professional and Biblical Counseling from Colorado Christian University, and she is also an alumnus of Biola University, in Los Angeles, California.
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