On Faith: EQ Workshop at Mariners Church Sept. 19

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marinersDo you want to understand why you do some of the things you do? Would you like to have better relationships?

If so, then you may want to improve your EQ by attending the upcoming EQ Workshop at Mariners Church on Saturday, Sept. 19 from 9a.m. to noon.

“EQ stands for ‘emotional quotient’ and it’s how we measure our emotional intelligence,” explained Jack West, Pastor of Care and Recovery at Mariners. “EQ helps in every kind of relationship, be it marriage, parenting, at work, or at play. This workshop is for people who want to raise their emotional intelligence for better relationships. It’s designed to give tools to increase people’s compassion for themselves and for others. We’ll have experts in the areas of Psychology, Pastoral Care, and Therapeutic Art Therapy help us improve our EQ and navigate life better.”

The experts are Brian Whitley, Billy Vaughan and Jennifer Mathews.

Whitley is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who focuses on helping individuals and couples manage their stress and emotions in healthy ways. He is a former police officer and recently co-authored “Affect Regulation Training: A Practitioner’s Manual.”

Vaughan was a United States Marine for 21 years before graduating from Talbot with a Masters of Divinity emphasizing pastoral care and counseling. He is also a full-time chaplain at the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

Mathews is the founder of Heart Heals, art workshops created to encourage personal growth and self-discovery in adults and teens coping with issues such as stress, fear, grief, trauma, or addiction.

West said Whitley will help participants access emotional memories, and Mathews will follow with a therapeutic way to process those emotions through creating art.

Research shows creating art is a necessary addition to talking about emotions for the brain to integrate information and function at higher levels.

“I have a degree in mental health counseling and marriage and family therapy and have worked in the church context for eight years,” West explained. “I’ve noticed that we Christians often carry a polarized understanding of our emotional world. There are often extremes of those who are in denial or dismissive about the validity of psychology and science, or those who accept it and may have had experience with counseling or a family member with mental illness, but they don’t know how to reconcile it all with the Bible.”

“We tell people the whole book of Psalms in the Bible is dedicated to our internal experience, particularly with God,” he continued. “God wired us with emotions and without a healthy emotional life, our activity with God and others will always be disconnected. How we are with God emotionally is how we are emotionally; it’s a barometer of how settled we are with others.  If I’m angry at God then that’s going to affect every relationship in my life.”

West explained that emotions are phasic, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. But he said many people don’t realize that those emotions will end, and they often do something unhealthy while trying to soothe the pain when it’s at its worst.

When they learn the needed tools and resources, they can regulate their emotions and deal with them properly. The EQ Workshop is designed to give those needed tools.

“The EQ Workshop is free and accessible to everybody,” said West. “We also welcome different faith perspectives. It’s the first time for this, but it’s something we’ll build on.  We live in such a resource-rich environment with people in the forefront of research. It’s a great way to offer needed care for people, be it in recovery or mental health.”

For more information go to marinerschurch.org/care.

Cindy can be reached at [email protected].

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