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The Raphael Remedy Blog

Welcome to The Raphael Remedy blog where we discuss real solutions for real life challenges in our blog. We welcome your comments.

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When a Family Vacation is Anything But…

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | July 21, 2014 | Comments

When a Family Vacation is Anything But…

I had to chuckle during a session recently. My poor client recounted a horrifying “vacation” with family. An over-controlling mother, tension with the step father and a fussy baby transformed a one week vacation into 3 weeks off purgatory. Ok, I didn’t really chuckle out loud, but inwardly I could really relate. Been there. Done that. Not fun.

When summer vacation or holidays come around, and especially for those who have families in other states, it’s often expected to spend your vacation time visiting them…or having them visit you. Seems logical.

With God All Things Are Possible… Well… Except THAT!

By David F. Prosen,LMHC | June 24, 2014 | Comments

With God All Things Are Possible… Well… Except THAT!

Most Christians believe that God can heal those who are suffering physical or emotional illness or spiritual pain. Many of us have seen miracles happen. We have seen people recover from end stage cancer, overcome drug and alcohol addictions, survive shark attacks or weeks stranded in the wilderness. Miracles happen every single day.

But we also recognize that not everyone heals in the way they may be praying for. Yes, God does hear and answer our prayers but in His time and according to His will. Scripture tells us that all things work for the good of those who love the Lord. My step dad died slowly of a painful cancer. His faith was stronger than any one else I know and yet God didn’t “cure” him.

Honor Your Father and Mother- Is there a limit?

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | June 13, 2014 | Comments

Honor Your Father and Mother- Is there a limit?

Let’s face it, not all parents are perfect and some fall very short of that mark. In our dysfunctional world, many people today have come from homes of abuse and extreme neglect.  In striving to be good Christians, many struggle with this commandment.

So, let’s take a closer look.  Can we honor parents who constantly hurt or abuse us?  The answer is yes- but with qualifications.

The Parable of the Emotionally Healthy Samaritan

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | June 07, 2014 | Comments

The Parable of the Emotionally Healthy Samaritan

In Luke’s Gospel we hear of the “good” Samaritan, the kind soul who helps the man beaten by robbers and left for dead at the side of the road. In stark contrast, the priest and Levite walkaway,even crossing to the other side of the street to avoid confronting this reality.

We’re told this “good” Samaritan was “moved with compassion” upon seeing this man. In turn this led to him taking the action that Jesus praised. I think there is an insight often overlooked in this story. The teaching of two eminent Catholic psychiatrists, Dr. Anna Terruwe and Dr. Conrad Baars help us to appreciate this parable in another light.

Dear God, Why?

By Eileen Benthal, Wellness Coach | June 03, 2014 | Comments

Dear God, Why?

“The whole genome SNP analysis detected an interstitial duplication of the chromosomal segment listed above.”

This was the first line of a very complicated report on genetic testing for my daughter, Johanna. This was not an email I wanted to read before Iʼve had my cup of coffee. Recently, I was in a discussion with the geneticist who ordered these tests. As he rattled off terms like those in the sentence above, I bit my tongue not to say; “Itʼs all Greek to me.” This renowned doctor is Greek, so I didnʼt think the expression would impress him.

Obesity: Disease or Injury?



By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | May 29, 2014 | Comments

Obesity: Disease or Injury?



The American Medical Association recently declared obesity to be a disease. I'm sure this will spark a firestorm of debate pro and con. But it occurs to me that if we're to consider the disease aspect of obesity we should probably seek to understand it as an injury as well. Think of it...with nefarious food additives, hidden transfats and fake diet foods touting low fat but substituting sugar...or worse yet, high fructose corn syrup, one could make the case that obesity is a deliberately inflicted injury on a gullible and unsuspecting public.

Change the Channel

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | May 22, 2014 | Comments

Change the Channel

When we get hit with big life changes or heavy emotional challenges, the tendency to get caught up in them is very natural.  We have a need to talk about things…to vent and to make sense of the situation.  Sometimes we’re looking for a glimmer of hope, other times we want validation for the strong emotions we’re feeling.  Venting and talking things through can be essential for us to cope and find eventual closure.  But let me give you a few ground rules that can help keep the process healthy.

How Does the Catholic Church view Homosexuality?

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | May 19, 2014 | Comments

How Does the Catholic Church view Homosexuality?

Do we condemn? Do we accept? Is there a third way to view this issue?

'The Third Way'  is a new documentary film from Blackstone Films that explores this important issue.

GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER

By Allison Ricciardi | May 01, 2014 | 1 Comment

Life is a continuous opportunity for joy as it is always in our power to serve and give

GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER

For many of us, growing up Catholic may have led to some confusing conclusions when it comes to our emotions. Prevailing wisdom was often this: If you do something good that you really don’t want to do, but do it anyway, there is more merit in that.

Hmmmm…does this square with Scripture? It sounds almost good on the surface. After all, shouldn’t we be overcoming our fallen nature through will power? Well, yes, sometimes. But that’s only a starting point.

Easter - The Ultimate Reality

By Allison Ricciardi | April 17, 2014 | 4 Comments

Easter - The Ultimate Reality

The glory of Easter morning!  The horrific events of the crucifixion are eclipsed by joy, disbelief and astounding glory.  He is risen. Truly risen.  He has conquered death and with it, all sins that lead to death.  We are saved.  We are set free.  It’s REALITY! The God who IS reality, “I AM” has told us, has proven Himself through His cross and resurrection.

Is Prayer Enough When Times Are Hard?

By Janice Gentles-Jones | April 05, 2014 | 4 Comments

Is Prayer Enough When Times Are Hard?

I recently had a conversation with a close friend and she told me of someone who was going through a really difficult time and was inconsolable because of her situation. I found myself saying “tell your friend to pray about it”. My friend responded with annoyance and said that the person does go to church (most Sundays in fact) and she prays.

At first I was a little taken aback by the annoyance. But as I started thinking more about what I said, I realized I fell in the trap of saying the common “pray about it” phrase and how empty it can sound without context.

A Lenten Dilemma – Detoxify or Not?

By Dr Kevin Kulik | March 31, 2014 | Comments

A Lenten Dilemma – Detoxify or Not?

Lent literally means “spring”, and is a time that most Christians can take advantage of an incredible opportunity to cleanse internally, but unfortunately, most do not take advantage of it.

The benefits of rebalancing our bodies, minds and souls are not limited to Christians. However, when the spiritual dimension is added, particularly with the Lenten focus of self-denial, sacrifice and penance, we can clear away the passions, self-centeredness and self-indulgence that weigh us down and poison every aspect of our lives.

Will It Ever Get Warm Out?!

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | March 26, 2014 | Comments

Will It Ever Get Warm Out?!

I hate to be a downer, but I have to tell you that I don’t think so.  I really don’t feel like it’s going to ever get warm again.  If it were going to get warm it would have done so by now, after all it’s almost April already!  When we had a warm day a couple of weeks ago I was hopeful, but it got so cold again.  From the high 50’s down into the teens and 20’s.  I’m just miserable.  I hate the cold and I’m sick of all of my clothes.  I hate wearing socks and all my sweaters are shot.  Today the wind is blowing and it’s just freezing out.  I’m having trouble getting out of bed in the morning and I can’t wait to get back in bed at night.

Nothing will be impossible for God…

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | March 25, 2014 | 1 Comment

Nothing will be impossible for God…

Ok, now that’s straight out of the Bible, but how many of us can truly say from our hearts that we believe it?  Sure, in theory we all agree but when it comes to your own life circumstances, do you buy it?

Thy will be done…

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | March 18, 2014 | Comments

Thy will be done…

On earth as it is in heaven…..Hmmm…most of us have repeated that phrase in the 'Our Father' prayer thousands of times but how often do you stop to really think about it?

Although our world is beautiful in many, many ways, it is very far from heavenly.

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