What is your reaction when your children/ teenagers start asking questions about spirituality or faith?  Have you raised your children to believe a certain way spiritually or religiously?  A person’s spirituality is part of the core of the person, which differs from religion.  Even if you do not believe in anything you find peace and sanctity in something.  What brings you peace, comfort?  This speaks to the spiritual essence of who you are.

As your children grow, they will likely develop the same spiritual beliefs that you believe.  So, if you raise your children in a Christian home and attend church and Bible studies, then Christian beliefs and values will be instilled into your children’s core – even if as adults your children choose to believe differently.  The same goes for if you raise your children in no religious affiliates, but rather impart the wisdom and culture that you have learned from living your life.  This can take many directions such as the appreciation and peace in nature, scientific knowledge, cultural music and foods, social networking and media, etc.  These can be aspects of your children’s beliefs and values based on how you present them.

As a parent you may decide that you want your children to choose their spiritual path completely on their own.  While this may be a good intention you need to be prepared for questions from your children as they explore their world and listen to their friends.  In the article by parenting.com, “Teaching Spirituality to Kids” Lisa Miller, PhD says that parents do not need to have all the spiritual answers when their children ask spiritual questions, but rather show them around, explore with your children.  She goes on to say that, “kids who develop a sense of a loving higher power or a guiding force–whether they call it God, creator, Allah, or simply “loving universe”–are 80 percent less likely to suffer major depression and 50 percent less likely to suffer from substance abuse as teens.”

So, whether or not you desire for your children to believe a certain religious way, or have faith in a particular entity or to be spiritual with the world and nature – or all of the above – it is a part of parenting that needs attention just as much as feeding, clothing, and spending quality time with your children.  In showing your children religion or spirituality you are bonding with your children in a way that will last a lifetime.

You can learn more at:




Embrace the journey with your child as you experience the privilege of being a parent.

Learn more about me, Rachel Andrews, at: http://www.lifestylechangescounseling.com


Dear MAx,

My 19 year old step daughter had an argument with her mother, so her father and I lent her $2000 to move back home. She has not started paying us back, and, she is “too busy” to talk to us about her intentions. She has moved out of our home, bought a new car, and goes out with her friends. How can we hold her accountable? Can we Facebook her about this?


Dear Katherine,

I have often heard both parents and young adults refer to being “disowned” or “disowning” because of problems of accountability. I sincerely hope I can come up with some reasons for you to not “disown” your daughter.

Let’s look where she is supposed to be in her life: She is 19 years old; according to Erikson’s Stages of Human Development, she is at a “turning point in human development (where) reconciliation between the person one has come to be, and the person society expects one to become.” This is one of the most radically changing stages as “it is a bridge between childhood and adulthood.” This is supposed to be the time for experimenting and exploring life.

Who she emerges as, will be determined on how she reconciles where she came from, and, what she has come to define as her own value system. The ideologies she chooses for herself may not align with yours.

Remember, they are trying to define “who” they are—it is an exploratory journey.

If your daughter has had a difficult time growing up in a “house divided”, she is going to struggle with developing a sound sense of accountability and integrity. She may not have the ability to trust, form healthy relationships, or maintain honesty.

Erikson suggests a “psychological moratorium, when a person can freely experiment and explore.” Another words, give her some space and time to figure it out.

Still, there is the money situation that is upsetting you. Money is about business; not families.

My grandfather use to say (translated from Sicilian), “If your family needs money, and you have it, give it to them. If they pay you back, they respect you; if they don’t—they are still family.”

Since you “lent” her the money, you understood that she was going to pay it back. She is out of integrity with that agreement.

For your own piece of mind, my suggestion is to send her a certified letter with your expectations for payment, and consequences for non-payment. Set consequences that you will follow through. The request and the declaration of consequences will continue to hold her accountable for the debt, and, teach her the importance of staying in integrity—her word needs to be impeccable.

Oh, and, NO! Facebook is NOT appropriate for airing personal family business. Humiliation doesn’t solve problems, it only fuels the fire.

What you do with this situation will help her shape her relationship with money.

Be well on your parental journey.


Have a question about addiction, recovery, or life transitions such as retirement, career change, grief and loss issues, empty nesting, etc, ‘Ask MAx’. Send your questions to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR  97440; or, e-mail your questions to:  maxfabry@HealerToday.com. Learn more about MAx Fabry at www.lifestylechangescounseling.com.













When you think of the word “inspire” what comes to mind?  Maybe a beautiful sunset as the day comes to a close.  Maybe you begin to think of the good deeds that people have done.  Maybe to inspire is to make a difference in somebody else’s life without even trying.


To inspire can be all of these.  It depends on the person being inspired, his mood, and his own way of thinking.  It is not your job to seek to inspire others, but to be a positive inspiration to others is beneficial to everyone involved.  You do not need to know whether or not you inspired a person, but if you seek to be a good person and say or do something that inspires another person along the way then you are helping your fellow human being.

Being inspirational is a bit different than being a motivation to others because when you inspire others you are doing so without the goal to inspire others.  There is no ulterior motive attached to inspiring others.  When you motivate, an ulterior motive may or may not be the reason you want to motivate others.


Think of inspiring actions or words as a fresh, clean breath of air.  It calms the mind and gives peace while you acquire a sense to take action to accomplish a goal (big or small).  As a parent, you can inspire your children without even trying as they watch and listen to you.

If you are positive role models for your children then you are more likely to inspire them to become positive people.  If you show them negativity, then you are more likely to inspire them to take a negative path in their lives.  There is no cookie cutter way to inspire your children or others, but you do so by being yourself.  You can change the way you act in the world to be a positive inspiration.


Embrace the journey with your child as you experience the privilege of being a parent.

Learn more about me, Rachel Andrews, at: http://www.lifestylechangescounseling.com




Dear MAx,

My nephew recently returned from Afghanistan after his vehicle was blown up. He is going to lose his foot. We are all so proud of him, and, so grateful he is alive. How do I support him, his family, and my family through this time?


Dear Peter,

I am sure I speak for my readers, as well as myself, when I ask you to send best wishes to you, your nephew and his family.

We often hear statistics about the number of casualties suffered since 2001; what we don’t hear a lot about are the several hundred thousand troops that have sustained physical and psychological wounds; thousands of whom have lost major limbs.

While researching this article I read that the type of explosives used were actually designed to maim rather than kill. War thinking is that when someone is killed, they are buried, and never seen again. Maiming is a psychological war strategy to keep the enemy visible in order to warn others not to interfere.

I hate war. Grief and loss is more my expertise.

As I teach in my workshops, grief and loss is not just about someone dying. Losing a body part can produce psychological consequences similar to experiencing any major loss. The person with the loss may experience long term depression, anxiety, and sexual dysfunction related to the loss.

Individuals react differently to their loss depending on the magnitude of the loss, their psychological makeup prior to the loss, and their belief system.  Sometimes a person will spend a lot of time in “denial” of the loss: avoid talking about it, not looking at it, or, overcompensating. Others will go in the opposite direction becoming consuming with an obsessive preoccupation with the loss. Both ends of the spectrum can be problematic.

Unlike “after the fact” life events that require psychological counseling, amputations require the most intimate front line professions to be available to the wounded: doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff. It is up to these folks to talk with the wounded to reassure them, and their families, of the fear, grief, and physiological consequences of amputations.

An excerpt from Coping With Loss, edited by Colin Murray Parkes and Andrew Markus suggests “Avoiders” may need opportunities to talk through the implications of their loss and reassurance of the normality of grief and of its physical and emotional consequences. “Sensitisers” are more likely to benefit from meeting other patients who have undergone similar surgery and can help to reassure them that it is possible to live with disabilities.”

Psychological care is needed following discharge. Ongoing grief counseling, and Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will need to be addressed during recovery. Overlapping counseling, as someone is beginning the hospital discharge process, can benefit the wounded as well as the family members—including children.

Human beings are extremely resilient; soldiers go into war with the strongest resilient character that allows them to do what they have to do with courage, patience, and fortitude; this same strength allows them to rebound.



“Ask MAx” is originally published every Thursday in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can order home delivery at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.

Have a question about addiction, recovery, or other life transitions:‘Ask MAx’. Send your questions to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR  97440; or, e-mail your questions to:  maxfabry@healertoday.com.










The following is an excerpt from a FACT SHEET reprinted from the Oregon Health Authority regarding CCOs:

“HEALTH SYSTEM TRANSFORMATION What Oregon counties should know about mental health and addiction funding

Funding for mental health and addiction services is changing

Counties will continue to directly administer state-contracted funds and county general funds, but Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) will assume the direct authority to administer Oregon Health Plan funds for mental health and addiction services.

Oregon Health Plan dollars – Currently, funding for those mental health services covered by OHP go to mental health organizations (MHOs). In an effort to integrate behavioral and physical health through health systems transformation, this funding will go to the CCOs instead. In addition, current funding for the adult mental health care coordination portion of AMHI will be routed through CCOs. Those counties that want to continue providing these services and preserve their safety net will have the opportunity to contract with the CCOs.”

Here is the problem: If you look through the “Trillium Provider Directory”, other than treatment centers, there is not one “Provider” that has a “CADC” as part of their credentials. “CADC” indicates that the provider is certified as an addiction counselor through The Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon (ACCBO). A “Licensed Mental Health Practitioner” is not required to have met the requirements of an addiction counselor. Mental Health and Addiction are not the same; they each require specialists trained for those modalities.

ACCBO, compared to other Oregon licensing and certification boards, is relative new and understated.  ACCBO has brought sense and sensibility to the field of addiction treatment.  The Board has set standard and best practices required to be followed by all addiction counselors in the State of Oregon. ACCBO was founded in 1977 “with the mission of certifying addiction professionals through competency based evaluation of education, experience and exams…..The primary purpose of certification is an assurance that counselors have met minimum standards of competence, are ethically accountable to the general public at-large, and have contemporary knowledge evidenced through continuing education.” ACCBO professionals are required to submit 40 continuing education hours to renew their certifications. This requirement guarantees that they are up-to-date with the fast paced changes of  best practices for treating addiction, and,  as also overseen by the National Institute of Health, SAMSHA.

Other types of mental health professionals including Licensed Professional Counselors and/or,  Licensed Masters in Social Work and Medical Doctors, to mention a few key practitioners, are not required to have formal training, or continuing education, in the field of addiction. In Oregon, there are very few medical doctors that have the credentials of “Addictionologist” or “Certified Addiction Specialist”.

If the future of delivering addiction treatment is going to happen through CCOs, ACCBO may have to step up to the plate to continue validating the Certification requirements for ALL practitioners that work with the addiction population. This might ensure that OHP clients now, and other insurance clients in the future, continue to have equal access to practitioners that practice within their scope: practitioners with credentials that include “CADC”.



To learn more about health system transformation and coordinated care organizations, visit

http://health.oregon.gov. Read about the Addictions and Mental Health division’s system change efforts and what they mean for local mental health authorities at


To learn more about the credentialing process in Oregon, go to www.accbo.com.

To learn more about me, MAx Fabry, BA, CADCII, go to www.lifestylechangescounseling.com.




Reverend Sherry Lady is Associate Minister at Unity of the Valley in Eugene, OR, where she serves as the director of Pastoral Care, Adult Education, Angel Network and Coming Alive drama Ministry. She is also liaison to Youth Education, Chaplain Ministry and Taize Ministry. She expresses the knowing that life is a spiritual practice. She has also been dedicated to a personal daily meditation practice for many years and expresses a deep belief in the power of prayer.

Read more about me at http://www.godshealinggift.com




Stress Management: Fact vs. Myth

In order to manage our emotional response to life’s stressful situations, we need to bust one great big myth that invades our minds singing this song:

How can I show you that I love you

If I am not

Worried and anxious about you

 Almost all the time?


The simple fact is that we can do a better job of loving, caring for, and doing for others when we ourselves are feeling balanced, calm, clear-headed and focused.

So, I bet you are now thinking, Well, that sounds easy to say, but not so easy to do. How am I expected to get calm and balanced?  I don’t have several hours a day to take hot baths, go to the gym, get a nap, meditate, or go walking on the beach.

 Which brings up another fact: all of these activities are wonderful sources of relaxation and calm. The myth is that they are not the only possible ways we can self-soothe our over-taxed nervous systems.

Check out my website to learn more about how to Bust the Myth, and Learn the Facts.




Parenting is a full-time job.  Just when you think you get a break, something happens and reminds you that you are always on the clock.  As a parent you try to do the best job possible and you sometimes error in ways that you did not realize were possible for you.  You look and watch other parents who seem to have everything under control.  As you observe these amazing parents you probably have the feeling that you are the only parent who does not have everything under control.  Guess what, those amazing parents feel the exact same way at times, and may feel the same way more often than you might think.

This does not give any parent permission to criticize other parent’s parenting styles.  But, all parents can have relief in knowing that as long as they are doing the best they can in providing their children with the key essentials their children need (nourishment, shelter, clothing, and proper love), then being who you are – a human being – is just right.

I heard a woman say that she gets so busy that she has titled herself the super hero name, “Wonder what I was doing Woman.”  Many parents may find this name suitable for themselves at times – the parents who openly share the difficulties they are undergoing, and the parents who keep the difficulties to themselves.  Nonetheless, as long as you are doing the best you can without causing your children harm, you deserve a super hero badge even when you feel like you are simply being human.  And when you are being human you are not alone.

Now that you know that you are not alone do not fear sharing your parental (human) questions with other parents.  If you have other parent friends then talk to them.  Talk to trusted family members, your pediatrician/family doctor, join a parent group, or seek continuous counseling from a professional.  All of these options are healthy support systems so you can continue to be a positive parent.





Embrace the journey with your child as you experience the privilege of being a parent.

Learn more about me, Rachel Andrews, at: http://www.lifestylechangescounseling.com