Welcome to the Morning Light Counseling Library!
This library, created by Carrie. M. Wrigley, LCSW, is organized by topic, to help you easily find materials that can be useful to you. Browse the topical menus above; explore the home page for latest or feature articles, or use the search button on the top right to find something specific. Click the Resources tab for books, handouts, articles, and links to other helpful websites. Browse and enjoy!
Your Happiness Toolkit - A Powerful New Resource for Fighting Depression
Your Happiness Toolkit: 16 Strategies for Overcoming Depression, and Building a Joyful, Fulfilling Life is a comprehensive guidebook for depression recovery and prevention. Written by Carrie M. Wrigley, LCSW, it contains a treasure box of healing strategies, drawn from Carrie’s 30+ years as a counselor. It features practical, drug-free techniques you can use – starting today-– to help yourself or someone you love.
This book is available on Amazon, as a paperback, ebook, or audiobook. Get your copy today, to learn how to build a "happiness toolkit" that can go with you wherever you go, to strengthen you and lift you up - even in challenging times.
Christ-Centered Healing from Depression
"Christ-Centered Healing from Depression and Low Self-Worth."
A 55-minute talk recorded by Carrie Maxwell Wrigley, LCSW, in 2005 for BYU Education Week, produced by KBYU-TV, now available on You-Tube :
Dealing with His Porn Problem
One of the saddest and increasingly common problems women in our time face is discovering that her husband has been looking at pornography, or has become addicted to it. Sometimes, this terrible discovery comes as a result of his direct confession to her. Far more often, she stumbles unexpectedly into evidence of his porn use – on their home computer, on his cell phone, or elsewhere. Other times, she has had preparatory feelings – "something just feels wrong." Sometimes, she is utterly blindsided by the discovery. However, and whenever it occurs, learning of her husband's porn problem can create waves of intense pain, disillusionment, anger, fear, and devastation for her.
Many women describe this situation in terms reflecting severe trauma and betrayal: "The world as I knew it just blew up." "It's like he had an affair. No, it's worse than an affair because there are so many women involved, in endless supply." "Suddenly, nothing in our life together feels real anymore." "My trust in him is utterly destroyed."
Women also describe the devastating impact this has on their sense of themselves, and of basic safety within their marriage: "This means – I'm not good enough, I'm not attractive enough, I'm not... enough." "I can't even leave the house anymore without wondering if he's going to do it again.""I wonder now if it's safe to leave him alone with our children." "I worry that our sons will find his porn, and develop similar problems." "I'll never be able to trust him, again." "Maybe I need to end this marriage."
Giving Focus and Attention to Your Spouse
It seems almost magical when we first fall in love. Suddenly, we no longer feel alone in the world. We feel we have found "that special someone" who completes our sentences, meets our needs, and makes us deliriously happy. Suddenly all those movies and fairy tales about a couple living "happily ever after" no longer just seem like a distant childish fantasy. We are living the dream! And we entirely expect that easy, automatic ecstasy we experience with one another to last forever.
During that magical time, other relationships, projects, and responsibilities often fall by the wayside. We may neglect our friends and family members. It becomes hard to study, hard to work, hard to do anything except enjoy unhurried time with our beloved. We feel exquisite pain - even physical pain at times - when we have to be separated for a while. It's agonizing to say goodnight; or to say goodbye if one of us needs to leave on a trip or spend some time away. We are so naturally focused on one another during this time, that it can be very challenging to tear ourselves away from one another to attend to other things. We suffer deeply when we are apart. When we are reunited again, we feel renewed and full of joy.
This is a time when neither of us has to tell the other what to do to make us feel loved. Somehow, we just know. We feel driven to do kind things for our each other - buy a special gift; scrawl out impassioned words on a special card; extend a special kindness; perform a special service. We hold each other close, look into each other's eyes, tell each other how grateful we are for that sweet love that has so transformed us. If we watch TV during this time, we watch it together, still focused primarily on the experience of being together - cuddling, talking, laughing, enjoying our relaxed time in each other's company.
What happens, after a few months or a few years? Nearly all couples experience a waning of the initial intensity and excitement that brought them together in the beginning. Feelings diminish, or disappear completely. We may still love each other dearly, but we may perhaps no longer feel "in love." When offenses occur - as they seem to, more and more often - we have a harder and hard time forgiving and moving on. We may remain committed to one another, because of the kids, or because of our religious commitments, or because divorce is just too expensive. But the fire of connection we started with, all too often, goes out, leaving us both in the dark and the cold of missing what we once had.
If you have ever experienced this distressing turn of events with your beloved, take heart! You are not alone; and this dreary disconnecteness does not have to be the ultimate destination of your relationship.
You Are What You Eat - And So Is Your Brain!
In this medically-oriented age, the term “chemical imbalance” is often tossed around to describe the distress experienced by individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, or other emotional conditions. This, for many people, is a scary experience – to be diagnosed with a “chemical imbalance” of the brain.
Often, such a “diagnosis” adds to the sense of distress, powerlessness, and hopelessness that individual might already be suffering. Clients have at times said to me (as their counselor) “I’d rather be struggling with diabetis or heart disease or cancer than with this devastating brain disease!” Often, their fear of this “diagnosis” comes from watching the decades-long struggles of a parent or other loved one with a similar emotional challenge – who has perhaps taken medication for years but never really improved. Such clients fear that they might inevitably be destined to a similar miserable fate – and feel hopeless to stop the cycle.
However, after many decades of investigation, there is still no clear scientific evidence substantiating the “chemical imbalance theory” – nor is there any clear test or medical procedure to determine what is the nature or treatment needs of that particular “imbalance.” What has become very clear over decades of investigation, however, is that simple, everyday lifestyle decisions made by individuals and families affect, in a very direct and powerful way, the functioning and health of the human brain.
Finding Time for Those You Love
We live in a busy world, getting busier all the time. Both men and women, teens and children seem to be constantly occupied with a bombardment of pressures, scheduled events, entertainments, and distractions. Our work hours seem to get longer and longer, crowding out other activities and enjoyments. Then after work, we may often compensate for the pressures of work by coming home to hours of screen time - whether that be TV, Facebook, internet browsing, video gaming, or Netflix. We keep our smart phones with us constantly, creating a ever-present connection with the outside world through messaging, texts, emails and phone calls. We seem pulled in a thousand directions, without a break. We may compensate by trying to multi-task; but sometimes that leaves us even more overwhelmed and unproductive than before.
What impact can this frantic lifestyle have on our marriages and relationships with our children and other family members? Plenty. Time is one of the fundamental languages of love, and is a key element in all the others. If time is in short supply in a close relationship, love will soon feel like an accompanying casualty. Like an unwatered plant, even the best relationship can wither, become weak and sickly, or even die from a lack of consistent care.
How can we turn around this destructive trend, and find the time to preserve, protect, and nourish our most important relationships? Here's 3 key suggestions to help:
About Carrie Wrigley
Carrie M. Wrigley, LCSW, the creator of this site, is a counselor in private practice at Morning Light Counseling in Sandy, Utah. There, she specializes in treating depression, anxiety, addiction, marriage and family conflicts, wellness issues, and a range of other concerns. She developed this site initially as a resource for her counseling clients and students, but is happy to share it with others as well.
Carrie believes in the human capacity for physical and emotional healing, and finds that people have great power to heal themselves and their relationships, when given access to effective information. Over her 30+ years as a counselor, she has identified many resources that have proven helpful to her clients. She is hopeful that these resources can be useful to others as well, by means of this website.