Forgiveness… For You, or For Me?

For most of us it is easy to identify specific instances where someone has offended us. Whether you have received an ugly look in the grocery store for blocking the aisle, or cheated on by your significant other, the feelings that reside are often the same (different levels of hurt, but still ultimately the same core feeling). But how do we deal with these feelings of hurt, pain, fear, shame, and vengefulness? Well, we can lash back and seek justice for the violations others have done to offend us. We can hold on to the offense resulting in ongoing resentment, hardening our heart and providing us a sense of stress that almost traps us into misery. Or, we can choose to impart our forgiveness on the offender and everyone lives happily ever after.
Forgiveness gives the offender the right to violate me again, and allows them a pass for the hurt and anguish right? WRONG! Forgiveness is actually meant to help and heal the victim of the offense. Think of all of the heartache the wrong doing has caused, and continues to cause you. Would you want that to continue to linger, or to vanish away? Chances are that you would pick the latter. The pain rarely ever just “disappears” however. Forgiveness is a process that can take days, months, or even years depending on the offense. And even after working diligently at this task, it may only be possible to enter a place of acceptance, which is okay too. It is also okay to enlist the help of a therapist, pastor, friend, or family member that has some knowledge on the subject. You will do the work on your own, but tips and moral support are very big helpers.
For more information on forgiveness and its benefits, visit our website at Or, if you would like to make an appointment at our Tampa or Brandon offices give us a call at 813-244-1251.

First Comes Love, Then Comes Communication…


When couples get engaged to be married, there is often a feeling of euphoria, passion, and happiness. Knowing who you want to spend the rest of your life with, without a shadow of a doubt, can leave someone feeling satisfied and content, sometimes leading to less “realistic” communication about the future. The passionate love almost blinds us from seeing potential red flags and sometimes tears down our boundaries that we always knew we could keep. Conversations are intense and intimate, but may not include real and transparent values and beliefs. To avoid a fight and keep the “good feelings” going, couples will sometimes dodge discussions about sensitive topics, only leading to unmet expectations and future arguments. Jobs, kids, pets, finances, religious beliefs and boundaries with in-laws are common sources of disagreement that can even lead to divorce. Getting these opinions and expectations out is an essential part of setting up a healthy relationship and in turn a thriving marriage. Talking about difficult subjects also builds communication skills and allows the couple to learn how to talk to one another.
While arguments cannot all be avoided, and are in some instances inevitable, talking about the large topics is almost sure to be a benefit to the engaged couple. Check out this article for more information on topics to discuss before getting married.

For more information on premarital counseling in the Brandon/Tampa Bay area, call Star Point Counseling and set up an appointment today 813-244-1251. Or check out our website

What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy, or CBT?

At Star Point Counseling we are committed to providing quality counseling services to our clients. While our counseling approach is overall ecclectic, borrowing from many theories, a large part of our work is Cognitive-Behavioral. This includes the aspects of thinking, and doing. To give you a little more insight into what CBT is and how it is so helpful, check out this article by Deborah Cory as she interviews one of the leading CBT therapists and scholars of our day.

For more information about our specific services visit our website at

Adjusting Back To School- Make Your Transition Easy


For kids and parents alike, the arduous task of preparing for school to start back is needed but not usually welcomed.

Backpacks, pens, pencils, book covers, crayons, scissors and lunchboxes are just a few of the items required by schools, not to mention uniforms and clothes! Along with all of the financial stress are also the not so regular sleeping patterns that our children so happily develop. Getting up in the morning is a daunting experience for parents and children sometimes causing fights arguments, or even can result in the parents and children being late to work and school!

So, how can you avoid and minimize some of these stress provoking, and highly likely situations? Well, here are some tips that may ease your transition.

1. Be aware!- The first step to minimizing stress is to see where the stress is coming from or in this case, where it could potentially come from. Make a list of potential things that could cause stress at the start of the year for you and your child. Have your kids make a list too, you may be surprised to see what stresses them out!

2. Be structured!- Making a plan, and having expectations set can be a great way to kick start your transition. Kids who are more aware of their expectations often perform better, and actually can develop a higher self esteem. Have your children give insights and ideas as well so that each member of the family feels like they are a part of this plan.

3. Be flexible- Not every plan will work out every time, no matter how precise you make it! Allow for small adjustments and variables that may be uncontrollable.

4. Stay Calm- Be aware of calming techniques that can help you if the schedule is not precisely followed. Diaphragmatic Breathing, Progressive Muscle Relaxation, and Meditation are just a few of the things that may help decrease reactivity. And for the long term, eating right, exercising, and drinking plenty of water can also help to increase your ability to cope with stress.


For more information on stress and anxiety treatment, visit our website at, or give Sam a call to schedule an appointment today 813-244-1251!