Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Keeping Marriage Healthy Under Stress

This month's SWAN meeting featured special guest speakers from the Tri-Lakes Relational center Dr. Jared Pingleton and Counselor Shaun Lotter. Dr. Pingleton shared an inspirational message with couples encouraging them to recognize that the enemy is not each other, the problem is not the child - it's the stress that is pulling a marriage apart that is the problem! He encouraged husbands to give wives a break, and to find ways to romance her...otherwise, "they're going to be a mommy - and not a wife."
He also encouraged wives to understand that men have an intense need to fix things, and that when they are unable to "fix" the problems, it can cause them to feel inadequate, which in turn can lead to withdrawal and avoidance. Counselor Shaun Lotter shared that in his counseling experience, one of the things that many families experience is guilt...wondering if they've done enough, or wondering if could they have done things differently. Counselor Lotter encouraged families to not feel guilty, but to seek help to find ways to cope with the guilt and stress.



The Tri-Lakes Relational Center will soon be changing their name to The Relationship Center. Getting professional help to deal with the stress of raising a child with a disability is so important, there's nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed about. Your children depend on you to take care of yourself so that you can in turn take care of them. Dr. Pingleton stressed the importance of finding ways to "recharge your battery" pointing out how difficult it is to give to your children or your spouse when you are empty and have nothing left to give.
It was a wonderful session, full of great insight and helpful advice. The Relationship Center has trained staff equipped to help you and your spouse. Click on the link below to visit their website and find out more information. Don't put off getting help if you need it. SWAN gives Dr. Pingleton and Counselor Lotter an
ENORMOUS thank you for taking the time to come visit with us and share such a wonderful presentation!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tri-Lakes Relational Center :: Springfield Missouri :: Josh Spurlock

Official Google Blog: A different kind of company name

People will extreme things for a cause they are passionate about. Like the mayor of Topeka, Kansas...he's passionate about helping his city grow with Google.

At Tri-Lakes Relational Center we're passionate about helping people grow!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Body Image: What Everyone But You Sees About Your Body Sex, Love & Life

***VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: Not Recommended for Men.****

What Everyone But You Sees About Your Body Sex, Love & Life: glamour.com

This surprising article out from glamour magazine / glamour.com boldly affirms the beauty found in every shape and size of woman and even dares to publish some model pictures of real people. It's not perfect, but it's a move in the right direction. Kudos to them.

Here are some highlights...

"...you can correct your body-image distortions without lying to yourself—and even look hotter in the process."

"I shoot nudes, and looking at a roll of film frame by frame, I can literally see the moment when a subject has forgotten about what she considers her problem areas. She’s stopped slouching, rounding her shoulders or even posing. To help her get to that point, I ask what she’s most proud of—her arms, legs, breasts, whatever—and I shoot it. Then we look at those shots together and, more often than not, when she sees them, she comes up with other things she likes." —Madame Athena Chang, portrait photographer

“Since pregnancy is such a transformational time, I use the opportunity to plant seeds with expectant mothers. I point out that women’s bodies are soft and round for a reason. For example, hips widen to accommodate the weight of a new life. And what we call the pooch—the slight roundness of the belly—stores needed estrogen. We’ve been poisoning ourselves with unrealistic images for so long that we see these parts as liabilities. But we can create life, for God’s sake! So I want all of us, pregnant or not, to embrace the changes our bodies undergo as a part of the natural order of things.”

"We asked guys all over the country to tell us what their ideal woman looks like, and every one said the same thing: “Confident!” Here’s what else turns their heads:

“What makes women so interesting to look at—and touch—is the contrast between their smaller, smooth areas and the plump, soft ones.” —Sam, 25, St. Louis

“Every woman has her own shape, and whatever that is, that’s what’s up.” —Jerome, 27, Charlotte, N.C.

—Kenrya Rankin Naasel "


God created the female body with an allure that is naturally attracting. Often times women hide this allure by the way they carry themselves. The truth is, when I woman realizes that she IS beautiful she carriers herself in a way that reveals that beauty.




Monday, December 28, 2009

Eating Disorder Support Group

Eating Disorder Support Group

What: FREE weekly support group, peer-organized and supervised by professional counselor


Who: For individuals with any type of eating disorder
Open to those of all ages and stages of recovery
Friends & family also welcome to attend to support their loved one

When: Tuesdays at 7 PM

Where: Tri-Lakes Relational Center, 2131 S Eastgate Ave, Springfield MO 65809

Why: Because you are NOT alone!!! We understand the battle, and together we can support
each other toward recovery.

Questions? Please contact Josh Spurlock, MA, PLPC at 417.496.1867 or Help@GetRelationshipHelp.com or Amanda at cyberangel_62880@yahoo.com

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weddings are Something to Get Excited About!

Marriage was God's idea and He gets excited about it!

No other institution reflects the character, personality, and beauty of God in creation like marriage. He wants us to enjoy marriage for all he created it to be.

When we enter into marriage with our hearts and minds in accord with God's we have the best chance of enjoying our marriage on days that end in "y" as long as we're breathing.

So while many couples spend a fortune and hundreds of hours planning a wedding, perhaps it's worth while to invest a little time and money into the only thing you'll take away from your wedding day that really matters YOUR MARRIAGE.

Pre-marital counseling can help establish a foundation for your marriage that will keep the joy and excitement lasting long after the wedding cake has gone stale.

With that kind of confidence going into your wedding you'll have a reason to dance and shout on your wedding day....like these guys :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Christian Women Have More Sexual Fun

This article discusses research done by two studies that both conclude that Christian women enjoy sex more often and more orgasms than the general population.

Read on to learn more...

Recent findings offer insights into therapy for the faithful

Evangelical Christian women have sex more frequently and experience orgasms more often than American women in general, according to a recent study on sexual satisfaction. Aside from these two differences, Christian female sexuality echoes previously published reports about the sexual likes, dislikes and practices of the nation's women as a whole.

Yet the study's findings illuminate avenues for marital and sexual therapy in a Christian context, 'where faith often plays a presiding role.

The study, titled "The National Survey on Christian Female Sexuality," was conducted by Debra Taylor, M.A., MFT, Archibald Hart, Ph.D, and Catherine Hart Weber, Ph.D. An AASECT-certified sex therapist based in Ventura, Calif., Taylor specializes in serving a largely Christian clientele. She presented the findings in May at the AASECT annual conference.

Uncertain of how congregations would react to being the subject of sexual scrutiny, Taylor said she was heartened when church members clapped at her news about the study and entreaties for participants. Although Christian male sexuality was the subject of one previous study, she said, until now no similar effort has been made for their mates.

Working in collaboration with Hart, who conducted the study on Christian men, and Hart Weber, Taylor designed a 100-question open-ended questionnaire to gather data on more than 2,000 evangelical Christian women. The study is the subject of "Secrets of Eve" (Word Publishing, 1998), published under the three authors' names.

Respondents considered themselves "committed Christians," meaning they accept the Bible's teachings as their faith, and typically attend church services at least once per week. The women ranged in age from 18 to 85 years and were predominately white Californians, 63 percent of whom were married.

Encyclopedia Britannica defines Evangelical Christians as, broadly, any Christian church preaching the gospel, and in specific, Protestant churches that "emphasize the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, personal conversion experiences, Scripture as the only basis for faith, and active home and foreign evangelism."

The National Association of Evangelicals counts some 43,000 congregations nationwide.

The study's findings gently surprise more than shock. As a whole, many Christian women report high levels of sexual satisfaction. Factors associated with sexual satisfaction include a happy marriage, frequency of sexual intercourse, frequency of reaching orgasm and lovemaking sessions that last between 30 and 60 minutes.

Enjoying most the physical and emotional close ness that sexual activity brings, 30 percent of the respondents reported greater satisfaction levels when they engage in sex two to three times per week.

This frequency is slightly higher than that reported in the groundbreaking 1994 University of Chicago study of the general population, "Sex in America."

Taylor attributed the higher rates to a desire by Christian women to please their mates, who commonly want more frequent sex. This attitude is summed up in a comment offered by one respondent, Taylor said, who wrote that she loves giving herself to her husband, and that satisfying his needs is more important to her than achieving orgasm.

Still, the study showed that women were enjoying more frequent orgasms as well, a finding that accords with the Sex in America study, which gathered data on broader religious groups. Taylor chalks it up to the consistency that comes with more frequent intercourse. "Perhaps that works in their favor," she said.

Another significant finding was that the more the women thought about sex, the greater their level of sexual desire.

Yet fatigue threw a damp towel on the flames of passion, proving itself to be the largest obstacle to Christian women's sexual satisfaction. Nearly half of all respondents declared that finding energy for sex was their area of greatest difficulty, followed by feeling desire.

One respondent contributed this comment: "We wait to have sex until it is late at night and I am so tired I could die."

"Fatigue is a huge issue," Taylor said.

The survey also prompted questions from respondents, who amended pages and wrote in the margins. Among the most common were concerns about "normal" sex drives, frequency of sex for couples with kids and changes that come with aging and menopause.

Some questions were more personal: Is it normal to need manual stimulation to reach orgasm -- or is there something wrong with me? Is it unusual for a woman to masturbate? What are the effects of childhood sexual abuse on sexuality?

Therapists and counselors need to be aware of these concerns, Taylor said, because they can carry an extra burden for Christians. For instance, faiths in which masturbation is discouraged can make it a source of guilt and anguish for some.

The study also raises differences between Christian men and women in their attitudes toward sexual activity. Christian women think about sex less frequently than their mates and have lower energy resources for sex. Furthermore, body image plays a role in Christian women's sexual satisfaction, as do ways women connect sexually, wanting to feel emotional closeness with their mates before engaging in sexual activity.

Although consistent with couples in general, these gender differences --along with the study's other findings -- could prove to be fruitful fodder for Christian clients, whose sense of sexual satisfaction is further influenced by faith, the church and the scripture.

"When you work with Christians, don't forget to use their resources," be it the Bible or a member of the clergy, Taylor told her workshop audience.

"When you have a client who is Christian, and you will, you cannot take the God out of the therapy because that is what gives them life," she added. "You can't do sex as a Christian and leave God outside the room, because Christ is there when you have sex."

Christian women have more fun. By: Richard, Diane, Contemporary Sexuality, 10945725, Jun2000, Vol. 34, Issue 6

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dirty Little Secret


In this recent article by Today's Christian Woman magazine the editors discuss the little known reality that ""men aren't the only ones lured by internet porn."

Click this link "Dirty Little Secret" to read the full article

If you or someone you know is struggling with porn, click here to discover freedom from internet porn.

Here are some interesting excerpts...

"34 %. That's how many readers of Today's Christian Woman's online newsletter admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn in a recent poll."

"One of the great myths about pornography addiction is that it's only a male problem. Although the church has begun to recognize that pornography addiction is almost an epidemic among Christians, most ministry programs still focus on men as addicts and their wives as victims.

Yet the statistics are both startling and terrifying: One out of every six women, including Christians, struggles with an addiction to pornography. That's 17 percent of the population, which, according to a survey by research organization Zogby International, is the number of women who truly believe they can find sexual fulfillment on the Internet.

Surprisingly, many of the women who find themselves drawn to online porn sites are much like Maggie, a respected business owner. These women are wives, moms, and sisters who all profess faith in Jesus Christ; they have normal jobs, attend church regularly, and sing in the choir. Though their lives appear normal on the surface, they're hiding a dirty little secret from their families, friends, and colleagues.

So how—and why—does an average Christian woman become addicted to pornography?"


According to Marnie Ferree, a licensed marriage and family therapist and clinician at the Woodmont Hills Counseling Center in Nashville, one of the few centers in the country that treats female sexual addiction, the draw of pornography can be as complicated as childhood sexual abuse—or as simple as unresolved loneliness. Marnie, a recovered sex addict and the author of No Stones: Women Redeemed from Sexual Shame, counsels more than 50 women each year and fields calls from almost that many each month.

Typical of the type of women Marnie counsels is Julie, a young wife and mother from Georgia, who first saw pornography as a child in the home of a relative, and whose curiosity led her to explore it further as she grew older. She and her husband later rented X-rated videos after hearing it would help their faltering sex life. "That's the ugliest lie out there," Julie explains. "Instead of bringing you closer, it drives a wedge between you and your spouse!" As many couples who turn to porn experience, their marriage continued to falter, since they now also were dealing with unrealistic expectations. As the problems persisted, Julie's husband withdrew from her and she turned to porn to ease her increasing loneliness. "I was using it as a tool to escape the problems in my marriage."

Loneliness also is the reason Rose*, a single mom, turned to porn. She didn't go looking for it in the beginning. "I was seeking companionship. In chatting with other lonely people struggling in their marriages, I learned of some Internet sites I could visit to make friends and have fun. At first, the sexual talk in these chatrooms seemed harmless and non threatening. My loneliness and craving to feel wanted drew me into relationships I really didn't want."

Lacey*, who's 30 and single, wasn't particularly lonely, but she was in search of her "soul mate." She'd developed her ideas of romance and love from popular novels, and believed much of a woman's worth is based on her sexuality—which led her to Internet pornography.

Women desiring to find companionship often prefer cybersex and online chatrooms to porn sites that offer only pictures and graphic stories, but they eventually start surfing both. All forms of pornography can stimulate the user, releasing chemicals in the brain that act on the body in much the same way as cocaine does. It's an exhilarating but unfortunately short-lived euphoria. The loneliness returns, leaving the woman wanting more contact and more stimulation, thus creating the cycle of addiction.

This need for connection doesn't always stop at cybersex, which leads to one of the more alarming statistics about a woman's addiction to pornography. "More than 80 percent of women who have this addiction take it offline," says Marnie Ferree. "Women, far more than men, are likely to act out their behaviors in real life, such as having multiple partners, casual sex, or affairs."

The first step toward healing for an addict is to realize she's not alone. She needs to know there are people out there who understand and can reach out to her in love.

"Women addicted to porn need professional therapy with a Christian counselor and a renewed sense of kinship with other women who understand," says Marnie. "The worst thing you can do with these women is lecture them about praying more or asking God for help. They've already done that, often to the point of despair. They do need to be held accountable for their sins, but they also need help, support, and unconditional love."

To read more see the full article or follow this link to find help overcoming pornography in Springfield Missouri.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tips for successful marriage counseling

Given the big investment marriage counseling is, it makes sense to make the most of it. Here are some practical thoughts that will help you maximize your marriage counseling experience.

Don't under estimate the damage.
Your marriage didn't get where it's at in a day and it's not going to get back on track overnight. It's going to take time and work.


Don't over estimate the damage.
There is hope even for the most severely damaged relationship. It's normal to feel overwhelmed when you don't know how to make things better. Keep your heart and mind open. Let your counselor help you discover the path to healing you've been unable to find on your own.


Come ready to work.
Marriage counseling is hard work. Your counselor doesn't a magic wand that will fix your problems nor can he or she solve your problems for you. Your counselor can help you know what to do, but it's up to you to do it.


Take responsibility.
Nobody can work on your stuff but you. If you're not willing to make changes things probably aren't going to change, no matter how much counseling you receive or books you read.


Understand the power of one.
The truth is you can't change your spouse. Neither can your counselor. However, you can make changes in yourself that will influence your situation / relationships for the better. That your counselor can help you with.


Don't give up.
You can not be defeated if you do not quit. Listen, the saying is true "the night is darkest just before the dawn". Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better; this is normal. Expect things your counselor says to make you un-comfortable at first. Change isn't easy, but it's necessary for us to have the life we want.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good Sexual Intercourse Lasts Minutes, Not Hours

This article, orginally posted at ScienceDaily http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080331145115.htm, does a great job dispelling one cultural myth about sex.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 2, 2008) — Satisfactory sexual intercourse for couples lasts from 3 to 13 minutes, contrary to popular fantasy about the need for hours of sexual activity, according to a survey of U.S. and Canadian sex therapists.

Penn State Erie researchers Eric Corty and Jenay Guardiani conducted a survey of 50 full members of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, which include psychologists, physicians, social workers, marriage/family therapists and nurses who have collectively seen thousands of patients over several decades.

Thirty-four, or 68 percent, of the group responded and rated a range of time amounts for sexual intercourse, from penetration of the vagina by the penis until ejaculation, that they considered adequate, desirable, too short and too long.

The average therapists' responses defined the ranges of intercourse activity times: "adequate," from 3-7 minutes; "desirable," from 7-13 minutes; "too short" from 1-2 minutes; and "too long" from 10-30 minutes.

"A man's or woman's interpretation of his or her sexual functioning as well as the partner's relies on personal beliefs developed in part from society's messages, formal and informal," the researchers said. ""Unfortunately, today's popular culture has reinforced stereotypes about sexual activity. Many men and women seem to believe the fantasy model of large penises, rock-hard erections and all-night-long intercourse. "

Past research has found that a large percentage of men and women, who responded, wanted sex to last 30 minutes or longer.

"This seems a situation ripe for disappointment and dissatisfaction," said lead author Eric Corty, associate professor of psychology. "With this survey, we hope to dispel such fantasies and encourage men and women with realistic data about acceptable sexual intercourse, thus preventing sexual disappointments and dysfunctions."

Corty and Guardiani, then-undergraduate student and now a University graduate, are publishing their findings in the May issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, but the article is currently available online.

The survey's research also has implications for treatment of people with existing sexual problems.

"If a patient is concerned about how long intercourse should last, these data can help shift the patient away from a concern about physical disorders and to be initially treated with counseling, instead of medicine," Corty noted.

Penn State (2008, April 2). Good Sexual Intercourse Lasts Minutes, Not Hours, Therapists Say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

EPIC Evidence Parental Influences Conference

Josh Spurlock will be presenting on the subject of Sexuality at the EPIC parent conference held this Saturday March 7th at Tri-Lakes Church Student Center 10 am -3 pm.

Evidence Student Ministries Present: EPIC ( Evidence Parental Influences Conference), Saturday, March 7, 2009 from 10am to 3pm at Tri-Lakes Church Student Center - 2527 State Hwy 248 Branson, Mo. Free Admission, Catered Lunch $5 per person, and Free Child Care Available.

Parents come and learn how you can be the most influential person in your students life. Call to register 417-339-4041

Special Speaker: Keith Chancey President of Kanakuk Institute; Dr. Jared Pingleton, Tri-Lakes Relational Center Branson; Josh Spurlock, Tri-Lakes Relational Center Springfield.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tri-Lakes Relational Center Springfield Counseling Services

The counselors at Tri-Lakes Relational Center Springfield are committed to providing Biblically Christian and clinically proven professional counseling services to the Springfield Missouri Metro area. In addition to providing individual, marriage and family counseling to adolescents through adults we also are a resource to the community and local church.

We specialize in

• Marriage Counseling ~ Including Pre-marital, Preventative Maintenance, and Marriage Crisis

• Teen Issues ~ sexual concerns, rebelliosness, alchol and drug use, self-harm

• Eating Disorders ~ Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating

• Sexual Wholeness ~ Recovery from sexual abuse or trauma, sexual frustrations in marriage, pornography and sexual addiction, as well as distressing same-sex attractions

In addition to these areas of specialization we also help with struggles with:

• Depression
• Anxiety
• Grief / Loss
• Anger
• Emotional Distress
• Loneliness
• Mood Swings
• Forgiveness
• Guilt
• Stress Management

Whatever your struggling with, the counselors at Tri-Lakes Relational Center would be honored to journey with you to a brighter day in your life and relationships.