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We accept your grace, Lord, so that we may be made whole again.
Gratia Plena
Gratitude Wonder Joy
Our Mission:
to provide counseling which is faithful to the teachings, values, and traditions of the Catholic Church.

Our Primary Services:
Evaluation and Treatment for mental illness & addictions.

August 14, 2012
 
Learn to Be Still
There was a good song recorded years ago by the great rock group The Eagles, called “Learn to Be Still.”  The ability to “be still” may require some real effort and practice given today’s culture, but the spiritual and psychological rewards are powerful.  Try being still and internally quiet, doing nothing except finding yourself in the presence of God:  no reading, no texting, no music, no prayer requests, et cetera.  This can be done anywhere, even in the midst of a noisy airport, but sometimes it may help to be still in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.  Our Father calls us to this way of being in Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”
 
Scrupulous Anonymous
This is a resource for people who suffer from a religious form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and their friends and loved ones.  These good people believe that they have committed one or more sins but upon discussion with clergy or religious or a spiritual director, it is discovered that they actually have not.  Consequently, they unnecessarily feel great distress, usually in the form of guilt or shame, as well as anxiety and depression.  They may obsess about their behavior and thoughts, over analyzing their motives and responsibility.  They may sometimes feel as if they are emotionally paralyzed.  See this web site which is supported by Liguori Publications.  Also check out this book Understanding Scrupulosity: Questions, Helps, and Encouragements, by Thomas M. Santa, C.Ss.R.  Sometimes psychotherapy and/or medication can be of help to these individuals.
 
Recent Blog Articles
Dr. Ken occasionally posts articles and musings on topics of psychology, spirituality, and the integration of the two.  Feel free to suggest a topic.  Gratia Plena is here to be of service to you.

Building Gratia Plena Counseling
Please share this email with (forward to) a Catholic friend or family member, or any person that you think might like to know about Gratia Plena counseling.  As Gratia Plena grows, we will hire new counselors and open new offices around the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese.  Tell friends and family to check the website and like the Facebook page! 

What’s New?

  • The Gratia Plena laptop began having technical difficulties mid-July.  It took many hours to finally accurately diagnose that the hard drive was failing.  Thank God for a slow fail, as opposed to a sudden and catastrophic crash.  A new hard drive was purchased and installed, and the old one will be properly destroyed.  Our electronic medical records were never in danger, because we make immediate back-ups during the day, and as well as less frequent secondary back-ups.  The Gratia Plena EMR is protected by encryption and multiple passwords (and locked doors), and the primary record plus the two backups are maintained at three different physical locations.  Genuine thanks and appreciation go to Elvis Ebako and Paul Buckle in San Antonio for their patient (and free!) technical support.
  • Recent studies indicate that in the US about 10% of boys and 20% of girls are sexually abused before the age of 18.  In July, Dr. Ken was trained along with twenty other Catholics from around the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to be facilitators for the Virtus program.  This program is used by the Archdiocese and by others around the country to help create safe environments for children and teens.  The program grew and developed from a 1991 charter document written by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Dr. Ken will facilitate the presentation of this program at St. Justin Martyr parish, and at other parishes as needed.  Let us pray for and protect our youth.
  • Donations to Gratia Plena were lower in July, but our expenses certainly didn’t drop!  If you are able to help with any small amount, you can feel the satisfaction of being part of our mission to bring healing to marriages, families, and individuals who are suffering from mental illness and/or addiction.  Give in the spirit of St. Paul, as described in his second letter to the Corinthians in Chapter 9.  Use this link to make a donation right now and the process will take less than five minutes.  Thank you and God bless you for your generosity.
  • Whatisrecovery.org seeks 12,000 people in recovery to define the term "recovery" as it applies to alcoholism and drug addiction.   This is a historic opportunity.  Never before has the recovery community itself been asked to define "recovery" and the term is now being used, expanded, and applied in helpful ways to recovery from mental illness.   The results will help pave the future of recovery in both fields (mental health and addiction).  If you are in recovery, please take a few moments and complete the survey.  If you know someone in recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism, please share this survey with them.
  • Dr. Ken will be presenting this fall on the topic of “pornography” at Sts. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus Catholic Church in Kingwood.  Stay tuned for details.
Dr. Ken's Movie of the Month Recommendation: The Fisher King.  This is a 1991 award winning movie starring Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges, and directed by Terry Gilliam (of the Monty Python comedy group).  One semester years ago when I was teaching at the University of St. Thomas, I assigned this film to my class of graduate students as a special project.  The story brings into a modern context the legend or myth of Percival and the Fisher King, sometimes described as the Wounded King.  The surface plot is about the Quest for the Holy Grail.  However, an underlying subplot involves the restoration of spirituality in mankind through a search or deep desire for wholeness and healing as defined in the context of Jungian psychology.  This theme has great implications for our culture today in which we have scores of “wounded” people addicted to pornography and many others suffering from obesity, issues that can be examined as spiritual struggles being played out in the context of the human body.  Alert for parents: this is not a movie for children since it has some nudity, plenty of profanity, and a few flashback scenes of violence.  There are also depictions of frightening hallucinations which are well done from a cinematography standpoint, and these scenes provide us with some insight as to what it might be like when a person with a mental illness experiences hallucinations.  In next month’s newsletter, watch for Dr. Ken’s “Book of the Month” recommendation.
 
Disclaimer: Gratia Plena and Dr. Ken do not receive any compensation or earthly benefits from recommending books, movies, music, websites, blogs, et cetera…
 

Copyright © 2012 Gratia Plena, All rights reserved.

Contact Us:
3 Sugar Creek Center Blvd, Suite 100, Sugar Land, TX 77478
(832) 886-6850
www.gratiaplenacounseling.org 
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