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The Pope and Our Dysfunctional Christian Family

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | April 15, 2015 | Comments

The Pope and Our Dysfunctional Christian Family

When Pope Benedict announced his retirement the Catholic world was abuzz. I wrote “Be Careful You Don’t Become the Next Pope” in response to what I saw were astounding displays of fear and pride. Many pledged to “police” his every word and action and boy, they’ve been true to their promise!

What occurs to me is this: As Christians we are a family. The Pope is our Holy Father and the Church our mother.

The Ultimate Reality of Easter

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | April 04, 2015 | Comments

The Ultimate Reality of Easter

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.

Intentions or Prayers? Or Both?

By Cindy W. Clark, Life and Business Coach | March 13, 2015 | Comments

Intentions or Prayers? Or Both?

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

 Intentions, by definition, are: the things that you plan to do or achieve; an aim or a purpose.

These could be good or bad intentions just like anything else. By choosing positive intentions, with a positive mindset, we feel most in line with our purpose for the world and for the greater good. Plus, it just feels good!

The Cross and Our Pursuit of Happiness

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | March 11, 2015 | Comments

The Cross and Our Pursuit of Happiness

Sometimes it’s seems hard to be an American Catholic. The Church preaches the Cross and the Constitution preaches our right to pursue happiness. How do we reconcile the two? It’s a challenge. Let’s face it, living here in the U.S., it’s hard to avoid the bombardment of enticements for the latest toys, pleasures and conveniences. They’re attractive, after all. And having human emotions we are naturally attracted to all that’s good, beautiful and true. Pictures of that Caribbean beach vacation package are going to get our attention, especially this year as we experience the coldest temperatures on record.

Positive Thinking and Goals in Scripture

By Cindy W. Clark, Life and Business Coach | March 06, 2015 | Comments

Positive Thinking and Goals in Scripture

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Lent – a time to repent; to look at things in our lives that we know are not in alignment with God. A time when we focus on simple living, prayer, and fasting in order to grow closer to God and leading up to the Resurrection of our Lord. My question is why just during Lent? Growing up I couldn’t comprehend why people were always giving something up during this time. I understood from the Bible why we did. What I couldn’t understand was why we didn’t just live our lives this way all the time.

Planning a Better Breakup from the Beginning

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | March 04, 2015 | Comments

Planning a Better Breakup from the Beginning

In no area of life do we experience more pain than when it comes to broken relationships. Obviously an equally heart wrenching experience is losing a loved one through death. The pain of divorce, though, can often be more devastating and lead to longer term stress. Even the break up of romantic non-marital relationships can take a heavy toll.

There’s nothing worse than running into and “ex” with whom you had a bad ending. It’s awkward. It can be painful. But it doesn’t have to be. Imagine running into an ex without all that angst?

Fifty Shades of What?!

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | February 16, 2015 | Comments

Fifty Shades of What?!

 

I don’t know about you, but the hype for this movie really gets me going.

 

Check out my guest blog in The National Catholic Register:
Fifty Shades of Psychologically Imprudent, Self-Defeating and Out of Touch with Reality

Get in on the conversation. Would love to hear your views!

Relationships: Getting Them Right

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | February 11, 2015 | Comments

Relationships: Getting Them Right

I remember reading a great book by Harville Hendrix years ago, Getting the Love You Want. The point he made so well was that we tend to marry our lost self - that part of ourselves that may have gone underground because of past wounds from our childhood. He also made the point that whatever mistakes may be made in a first marriage, these tend to be repeated in the second. The underlying reason is the unconscious motivations that lead us to choose the partners that we do. Tragically many divorces could be avoided if we understood this.

Superdad XLIX

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | February 04, 2015 | Comments

Superdad XLIX

Well, here’s something I never thought I’d write about: The Super Bowl. My history with it has been uneven, at best. I used to see it as a great time to get out with my girlfriends. Restaurants and movie theatres were empty - the world was my oyster! Then I graduated to the Super Bowl party - the great post holiday excuse to see friends, eat lots of junk, and break up the monotony of winter. Now it’s more sedate as my honey actually likes to watch the game and not be distracted by the party. My constant questions like “Are you rooting for the blue guys?” and “Why is everyone screaming?” are distractions enough.

A Year’s Supply of Eskimo Pies

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | January 28, 2015 | Comments

A Year’s Supply of Eskimo Pies

Remember the consolation prize? You picked the wrong door on Let’s Make a Deal and instead of a new car or an all expense paid trip to Hawaii you got a year's supply of Eskimo pies or Rice-a-Roni - the San Francisco treat. Always made me wonder how consoling such prizes actually were!

(And, what IS the average daily requirement of Eskimo pies?)

Hurt by an Abortion You Didn’t Have?

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | January 21, 2015 | Comments

Hurt by an Abortion You Didn’t Have?

In the abortion debates that have gone on for over four decades in America, there are an awful lot of assumptions that are made. The first one being that a woman has a right to choose abortion to avoid ruining her life by having an unplanned child. Without critical thought, such an argument seems to make sense…but only with the false assumption that an abortion helps the woman in the long run. Mounds of evidence refute this. Interestingly, a woman who had an abortion in the past is as much as six times more likely to join a pro-life group in the future.

Aim Higher In Your Relationships

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | January 15, 2015 | Comments

Aim Higher In Your Relationships

Relationships can be so wonderful and life giving. God designed it that way. We are literally made for relationships - with Him and with one another. One of the mistakes that we make though is believing that a relationship can “complete” us. If we meet the right person then we can finally be whole and happy. Well, there’s some truth to that.  When our significant other has qualities that we don’t have, as a unit we can be more effective and experience greater joys…depending on those differences, of course.

The “To-Don’t” List

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | January 03, 2015 | Comments

The “To-Don’t” List

Ah, it’s a new year and time to set our resolutions of all the good things we would like to do and all the bad things we would like to stop doing. But New Year’s resolutions have become almost cliché. So many jokes are made about giving up on those resolutions by the middle of January that it may make you feel almost silly to even admit that you made any.

I find a similar phenomenon when it comes to my to-do list and my list of goals.

What Do You Want for Christmas?

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | December 10, 2014 | Comments

What Do You Want for Christmas?

As Advent begins our thoughts often turn to the gifts we’re hoping to receive and what gifts to get for loved ones.  It can be quite a challenge.  But how often do we think of the real gifts that we should be asking for?

As I meditate on the Rosary mysteries throughout the year, I usually preface each decade by asking for a virtue associated with that mystery.  For instance, for the Resurrection I ask for Faith and for the Ascension- Hope.  I’m not original…got it from a rosary prayer meditation guide years ago.

But when it comes to the Birth of Jesus, I get very bold and ask for 3 virtues.

Are Sexual Sins the Worst Ones?

By Allison Ricciardi, LMHC | November 24, 2014 | Comments

Are Sexual Sins the Worst Ones?

In 24 years I’ve seen a lot of clients, mostly Catholic and Christian. And because I am a specifically Catholic therapist (ie. I integrate the faith into the process and follow the teachings of the Church), many of the clients I see will discuss their troubles not only from a psychological point of view but from a spiritual perspective as well. Many seek therapy because they are troubled by past sins and in some cases, present sins from which they cannot seem to break free.

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