Christine Chiu, MFT

January 26, 2015

Community in the Therapy Process

Filed under: community, counseling, mental health, relationships, therapy — rt @ 12:17 am


One of the most dramatic changes which takes place early in the therapy process is an increase in self and other-awareness. We begin to see patterns in our own lives that need changing. We see our own self-destructive tendencies.  We see how we have brought pain to others, and acknowledge how we have also been hurt by others. As these insights dawn on us, we begin to soften our hearts and open ourselves to change.

The humility which self and other-awareness makes possible is the soil in which true community can grow. When we accept ourselves and others as humans even though we struggle and sometimes fail, we can become far more gentle with ourselves and with others.

Being in community is a crucial part of our healing and transformation.  As we increase our capacity to be open, honest, and vulnerable with trusted friends, we will experience a depth of relationship and greater intimacy.  This feeling of connectedness will become a powerful support for us as we continue to grow and heal.

I’m a big advocate of community and social support.  I know it’s hard, especially when we’re feeling depressed or anxious, but it is crucial in our healing journey, and evidence proves it.  When we are around people, safe people we trust, we feel more connected and less alone.  We were wired to be in relationships and to be in community.

Developing a strong support system may take some time and require you to step out of your comfort zone, but as you open your heart to change, you will find it both helpful and enjoyable.  You will see that you are not walking this journey alone, but instead, you are alongside a community of people who can support and encourage you towards healing.

If you are looking for a support group, there are different kinds of groups you can join, including a therapeutic group, community group, growth group, psycho-educational group, and many others.  Please ask your doctor or therapist today about how to access a group in your area.


July 5, 2012

Choosing the Right Therapist

It is extremely important to inform clients (especially those who are entering into a counseling relationship for the first time) that every therapist will have a different style and approach, and to be encouraged to look for a therapist that best fits their needs and goals.  I’ve heard of folks who don’t have a good initial fit with their therapist and end up being discouraged (and never return to therapy), so I like to tell my clients upfront that I’d like them to be honest with me because I want them to feel comfortable working with me.  I might add that they give it a chance and commit to a few sessions in a row, just to really see if it is working out for them, but at the end of the day, what I am really trying to inform my clients is that this time is for THEM and I genuinely want them to feel comfortable and safe.

The key is to empower the client in knowing they can make this decision for themselves.  In my experience, clients have always been open to this introduction of mine, and I trust it gives them a sense of 1) better understanding of the therapeutic experience and dynamic, 2) a sense of freedom and empowerment, and 3) a trust that I am doing this work for the benefit of my client.  In fact, to my last point, I really do feel strongly that I am intentional (or at least, i try my best to be as intentional as possible) in making sure every thing I do and say in the therapy room is for the benefit of my client.  If it is not, there is no point in saying it.  The purpose of therapy is to benefit the client and partner with them in transforming their lives, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  It should absolutely never be about the therapists’ own motives or feelings of satisfaction for having helped someone.  A therapist must always be mindful of this, and focus on the clients’ worldview and the clients’ goals.

For more information, visit: How to choose a therapist


July 4, 2012

Why seek therapy?

Filed under: counseling, therapy — rt @ 8:18 am

We often go through life so fast that we rarely take the time to stop and reflect on what we’re doing and perhaps more importantly, why we’re doing it. It is important to process events in our life, including the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that often accompany us. Why is it important? Because it is healthy for our mind, our spirit, and our heart.  Because it enables us to function at our fullest potential and experience a deep joy and satisfaction that we all crave.

We go to the doctor when we’re not feeling well, or even for regular physical check-ups, yet we don’t check out how we’re doing emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  Why is that? I think we neglect these important areas of our lives because it is often “unseen” (and therefore disregarded), but also because we lack understanding of how the mind, spirit, and heart works (and therefore, these areas are also undervalued – intentionally or not).

To notice and care about our emotional, spiritual, and mental health is often viewed as insignificant.  If we’re not doing well emotionally, it hurts us inside but because we are so good at hiding our true feelings, we convince ourselves that we can manage life fine.  Eventually, however, what we’ve been suppressing for so long will always reveal itself externally, whether in behavioral changes or even physical changes (i.e. getting sick, feeling exhausted, or under-functioning in our daily activities).

Seeking therapy is one step towards caring for our overall holistic health.  Psychotherapists partner with you in your personal growth and exploration, as well as help you cope with many life issues, ranging from transitions/changes, relational conflicts and concerns, depression, anxiety, codependency, addictions, and numerous other issues.

Here is a great website explaining more about Psychotherapy and Counseling – I hope it helps you in your journey towards healing:

Questions About Therapy

I cannot emphasize this point enough, (taken from the above website): “Remember: The most important factor in securing effective therapy is a good relationship between you and your therapist.”

November 2, 2009

More on the 5 Love Languages & other articles

Filed under: counseling — Tags: , , , — rt @ 12:23 am

After having another conversation with someone this weekend about the 5 love languages, I was reminded how much this knowledge can and will transform relationships for the better. I am a strong advocate for improving relationships and for reconciliation, so here is the website again if I haven’t already posted it:

The 5 Love Languages

June 6, 2016

Helpful resources

Filed under: counseling — rt @ 8:37 pm


  • Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands (People in need of change helping people in need of change) – Paul David Tripp
  • You Can Change – Tim Chester
  • How People Change – Timothy S. Lane & Paul David Tripp
  • Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering – Tim Keller
  • Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God – Tim Keller
  • A Grief Observed, The Screwtape Letters and the Joyful Christian – 3 favorite books by C.S. Lewis

VARIOUS SERMONS – Tim Keller sermons – Tim Keller sermons – Tim Keller sermon on spiritual warfare)   – Rankin Wilbourne sermons

OTHER HELPFUL WEBSITES WITH SERMONS AND/OR BOOKS – Great articles and sermons, some good ones on singleness too – Paul Tripp has some great books (and sermons) on parenting, marriage, and counseling (instruments in the redeemer’s hands, how people change, what did you expect?, etc) – Elyse Fitzpatrick has some good books for devos, parents, marriages, counseling and other women’s issues (women counseling women, grace based parenting, comforts from the cross, etc)


June 3, 2016

Bible verses about pain

Filed under: counseling — rt @ 8:44 pm

What does the Bible say?

1. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 That’s why we are not discouraged. No, even if outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are being renewed each and every day. This light, temporary nature of our suffering is producing for us an everlasting weight of glory, far beyond any comparison, because we do not look for things that can be seen but for things that cannot be seen. For things that can be seen are temporary, but things that cannot be seen are eternal.

2. Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

Share in the suffering of Christ.

3. Romans 8:17-18 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.

4. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

5. 2 Corinthians 1:5-6 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.

6. 1 Peter 4:13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.

Pain should never cause you to go astray and quit.

7. Job 6:10 At least I can take comfort in this: Despite the pain, I have not denied the words of the Holy One.

8. 1 Peter 5:9-10 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Pain should lead you to repentance. 

9. Psalm 38:15-18 For I am waiting for you, O LORD. You must answer for me, O Lord my God. I prayed, “Don’t let my enemies gloat over me or rejoice at my downfall.”  I am on the verge of collapse, facing constant pain. But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done.

10. 2 Corinthians 7:8-11 I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.

He will never forsake you.

11. Deuteronomy 31:8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

12. Genesis 28:15 What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”

13. Psalm 37:24-25 Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.

14. Psalm 112:6 Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

Seek the Lord

15. Psalm 50:15 Call to me in times of trouble. I will save you, and you will honor me.”

16. Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, giving protection in times of trouble. He knows who trusts in him.

17. Psalm 147:3-5 He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and names each one. Our Lord is great and very powerful. There is no limit to what he knows.

18. Psalm 6:2 Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.

19. Psalm 68:19 The Lord deserves praise! Day after day he carries our burden, the God who delivers us.  Our God is a God who delivers; the LORD, the sovereign Lord, can rescue from death.


20. Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

21. Psalm 119:50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

22. Romans 15:4 Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope.

January 26, 2015

What to do about our past

Filed under: counseling — rt @ 11:55 pm

Some favorite verses on what to do about our past:

Philippians 3:13-14

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Isaiah 43:18-19

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

Ephesians 4:22-24

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

January 3, 2015

A Resolution for all: Seek & Embrace Community

Filed under: counseling — rt @ 11:54 pm

Find your trusted friends, your inner ring…

Open your soul to them…

Ask them to:

fight with you,

pray for you,

support you.

Be vulnerable with these safe people in your life – you will feel closer and more connected to others, more known, more understood, more loved.

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