Coming Soon: Story Group!

Join us for our 9-week Transformational Story Group based on the Allender Center’s Story Methodology – that we are best known and our stories best read in the company of others. If you are tired of feeling anxious, depressed and discouraged and long to feel seen, loved and healed, then please consider applying! 

Narrative Focused Trauma Work has proven to be a significant source of wholeness, healing and freedom in people’s lives and relationships. Sharing difficult stories of our past in the presence of others helps shed the masks of guilt and shame, as well as unravel some of the most harmful and unhelpful relational dynamics in our lives. At the end of 9 weeks, you will emerge with a fuller understanding of life, an ability to embrace more of what life offers, and a kindness that is rooted deep in your heart.

This Story Group will be facilitated by Scott Moore. Scott is a Trauma Informed Pastoral Counselor and a Story Group Facilitator/Coach. He has a bachelors degree from the University of South Alabama, a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary, and has been an ordained minister and pastor in the Presbyterian church since 2010. He holds multiple certifications in Narrative Focused [Trauma] Therapy from, and is a Core Facilitator for The Allender Center at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.

2021 Spring 9-Week Story Group:

  • Time: Sundays, beginning May 2nd (7:00-9:00pm)
  • Place: Hurley Counseling Center
  • Investment: $80/Session

Additional Mindfulness Yoga, lead by Lajuan Humbert, will be offered after each session for those who would like to attend.

Destress Colorfully

Are you stressed out? Feeling anxious? Blue? Unfortunately, this is a common state that many people find themselves in every day. Life can be hard. There are competing demands of work, school, family, friends, homelife, bills to pay, errands to run. Sometimes it seems like the world never stops or even slows down. So what’s the solution? While it won’t solve all your problems, pushing pause and taking a moment to destress can certainly help. Of course, there are many ways to do this, but one of the simplest, and (in my opinion) most fun ways to take a mental break is something you are already familiar with: coloring.

            Coloring has been shown to be helpful to reduce stress and anxiety for several reasons. First, coloring promotes mindfulness. While you are coloring you aren’t focusing on the future or worrying about the past. Instead you are firmly grounded in the here and now, selecting colors and filling in the spaces. In fact, some research suggests that coloring can have similar effects to meditation, and for those who find mediation difficult it can offer an easier alternative. Additionally, the repetitive motion required for coloring can be soothing.

            Preliminary research as well as anecdotal evidence also suggests that certain colors can cause you to feel different emotions. For example, warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow often make people feel happy. Cooler colors such as blue and green often promote relaxation and calm. Because of this, the color palette you choose to use can also add additional benefits to coloring.

            While there are many commercially available coloring books for teens and adults on every topic from gardening to animals to the latest TV show, many coloring pages available for free online. Here are 18 to get you started. They range from simple to complex and are designed to promote mediation and relaxation.

If you would like to read more about the benefits of coloring see this article.

This blog was written by our intern, Hannah Shaffett

New Year, New Me?

The first of the year has come and gone. If you are like most people, you probably have
a few New Year’s Resolutions: eat healthier, exercise more, be kinder to your family and friends, save money, the list goes on and on. When the clock strikes midnight on December 31st those resolutions seem so promising. We all think that this is the year we will make it work. Then we go back to work or school. Life gets busier and busier. It’s been a long day, why go for a run? It’s so much easier to go through that fast food drive through than it is to go home and cook something healthy. That new phone looks so nice, surely it will be worth the splurge? And once you’ve broken your resolution one time, what’s the point of keeping it going? If you are already struggling with keeping your New Year’s Resolution, you’re not alone. Most research suggests that by the end of this month, 80-90% of people will have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions. So what’s the solution? How do we make resolutions that will stick? The answer is much simpler than you might think:
Don’t make New Year’s Resolutions!

That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive for self improvement, you can and you should.
A resolution for a whole year, however, is way too daunting for most people. On day one or two it may be easy to think that you can go the whole year without eating sweets, but by day twenty or thirty, the possibility seems a lot sadder. So what should you do instead?

● Make daily resolutions. Choosing to make coffee at home instead of going through the drive through today is a much easier choice.
● Break your goal down into specific manageable steps. Instead of making a blanket
statement like “I’m going to be more patient with my mother” decide on something
specific, such as “When my mother criticizes my shirt, I am not going to say anything.”
● Focus on the process more than the goal. Instead of saying, “this year I am going to give up all sweets” say “today I am going to eat vegetable sticks because they taste good and give me more energy.”
● Most importantly don’t compare your progress to that of others. Don’t worry about how fast or how far other people are running, instead focus on the fact that you got out the door in the first place.
● Finally, give yourself room to fail. Just because you slipped up and snapped at someone or ate that cookie, doesn’t mean you’ve failed at your goal, all it means is that you are human. So what if you have one (or ten) bad day(s)? Tomorrow is another chance to make another resolution.

This blog was written by our intern, Hannah Shaffett.

Sign up for Mindfulness Training

For many, 2021 is gladly welcomed after enduring such an unexpected, difficult and challenging 2020. A new year is often accompanied by hopes of new beginnings and fresh goals. Do any of the following goals resonate with you?

~Reduce stress, anxiety & depression                                                                                     

~Increase levels of focus & concentration

~Better sleep

~Improve overall health & well-being                             

If you are desiring any (or all!) of the above list, integrating mindfulness into your daily life has been scientifically proven to include these potential benefits (plus many more)! For more details on mindfulness, see our recent post

As you enter 2021, you can choose to spend your energy, thoughts, and time dwelling on this past year or worrying about what lies ahead for this new year. Instead of being stuck in the worlds of  the “back then” of the past or the “what ifs” of the future, what would it be like to learn to live in the NOW? Purposely paying attention and being able to capture and engage the present moment.

This is where mindfulness fits in. Mindfulness is the quality of being fully present and engaged in the moment, free from distraction or judgement. It means being aware and in touch with who you are, what you are feeling and doing, and what is going on around you–in the present moment–being fully alive and engaged.  That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But how does one cultivate mindfulness?

We are excited to announce that LaJuan Humbert, intern at Hurley Counseling, will be leading a 6-week Mindfulness Group on Wednesday evenings at The Well (Hurley Counseling, 1327 Springhill Ave.) from 6-7:30pm beginning  January 27th.

The weekly classes will include 30-minutes of mindfulness education and skills training followed by 45-60 minutes of mindfulness practice. This class is for all levels and all ages. Advanced sign-up and payment are required. Cost is $30 per session. This class will be offered free of charge to veterans. For more information or to sign up, please contact Hurley Counseling at 251-222-8880 or at

“Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life.” ~ Buddha

“The mind is just like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.” ~ Idowu Koyenikan