Dealing with Holiday Stress

Tips for Managing Holiday Expectations
Donating While Shopping
End of Year Giving
On the Shelf

Dear friends,

As November rolled by and December is upon us, I am amazed by how quickly the year has gone by. And I am also struck by all God has given us and done for us in these past months.

Many, many people have come through our doors with heavy hearts and broken relationships. They have found caring and competent therapists who listen and love using their gifts as clinicians. Both the clinical and office staff here at Associates are tremendous blessings to me and to our community.

The partnerships we have with men and women like you also bring me to thanksgiving. In very real ways, we could not do what we do without our network of support.

What are the things in your life, large or small, that make you grateful?  Around my family dinner table one recent evening, we all took time to list our reasons for gratitude. Some of the things were funny, some seemed obvious, while others had not occurred to me before I heard them from the lips of one of my daughters. My prayer for you this entire holiday season is that there will be time in many of your days for reflection and gratitude.


Heath Greene
Executive Director

Dealing with Holiday Stress

The period between mid-November and New Year’s Day can feel like a series of extra events, parties, and gift-giving opportunities.

These weeks can be a source of both great joy and great stress.

“We often have an image of how holidays should play out, how they should feel and what they will look like,” says Georgia Youssef, a marriage and family therapist at Associates. “We know real life doesn’t look like a commercial, yet somehow we still idealize holidays.”

For those who struggle with depression or anxiety, the holiday season can exacerbate everyday issues.

“It can certainly be harder for those who already have trouble with anxiety,” Youssef says. “Loneliness can be even more of an issue, and difficult relationships can be especially tough.”

Families experiencing painful changes, whether due to divorce or death, can find planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas to be doubly challenging. “That’s a really hard place to be,” Youssef says. She recommends deliberately “changing it up” by incorporating something new and different for various celebrations. “It’s important to acknowledge going in that it will be hard, and it will be different.”

Tips for Managing Holiday Expectations

  • Say no! There is often not time to do all the things you want to do, even when they are good events or opportunities.
  • Give yourself permission to take a break. Sometimes a short walk can recharge your batteries.
  • Build in quiet and solitude.
  • Make a clear plan for who will do what tasks when the work will be shared for a meal or an event. This will give everyone the same expectations.

 Donating While Shopping—
Feeling Good about Spending!

If you use Amazon for any online shopping this holiday season, there is a simple way to support Associates in Christian Counseling—at absolutely no cost to you!

Instead of beginning at the Amazon site, instead go to You will be prompted to choose a charity, and Associates is on the list.

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of purchased goods to Associates—it couldn’t be easier.

End of Year Giving

There is one more month to make a tax-deductible gift to Associates for 2015. As you plan your giving, we are grateful for your prayers and for your partnership. We could not do what we do without you.

A few hard financial facts:

  • In 2004, therapists gave $14,841 in “ministry discounts” to help clients afford therapy. In 2015, the total is $68,257—an increase of 460%!
  • In 2004, we took $10,946 in mandatory contracted discounts from insurance. In 2015, that number has grown to $136,246—an increase of 1,245%.

We are serving more clients, yet receiving less payment. Please pray for us, for our clients, and that financial resources will meet our needs.

Did you know? ACC now has a brokerage account.
If you want to give stock as an end-of-year gift,
contact Rick Cole at

On the Shelf for Thanksgiving

Coming Clean: A Story of Faith
by Seth Haines
We're all looking for ways to stop the pain. Like author Seth Haines, we're all seeking balms for the anxiety, heartache, and loneliness of life—whether it's through people-pleasing, shopping, the internet, food, career highs, or even good works and elite theology. We attempt to anesthetize our anxiety through addiction—any old addiction. But it often leaves us feeling more empty than before.

This is an account of Haines’ first 90 days of sobriety, illuminating how to face the pain we'd rather avoid, and even more importantly, how an abiding God meets us in that pain. Seth shows us that true wholeness is found in facing our pain and anxieties with the tenacity and tenderness of Jesus, and only through Christ's passion can we truly come clean.

Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking through Suffering Together
by Kara Tippetts, Jill Lynn Buteyn
In Just Show Up, Kara and her close friend, Jill Lynn Buteyn, write about what friendship looks like in the midst of changing life seasons, loads of laundry, and even cancer. Whether you are eager to be present to someone going through a difficult time or simply want inspiration for pursuing friends in a new way, this eloquent and practical book explores the gift of silence, the art of receiving, and what it means to just show up.


Words on Gratitude

“I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love[b] toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.”
Ephesians 1:15-16

“Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.”
Author Unknown

“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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This e-newsletter is published monthly by Associates in Christian Counseling Andrea Greene, Editor
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