Issue #6 - June 19, 2011  

Counseling Comments & Insights from
Debbra Bronstad, MS   

Marriage & Family Therapist Intern

Grief Recovery Specialist

Life Coach 

Serving men, women, children and couples in San Luis Obispo County  

(805) 242-3569 

In This Issue
What Can You Do About Father Wounds?
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Father's DayGreetings!



Father's Day. Most of us have some kind of internal reaction to the celebration of dads. If we had a kind, loving and patient father, we have fond memories of dad being there for us.   


If you grew up without a dad, or with a father that was abusive, Father's Day can be a day you just wish would go away. Either way, we are all impacted by our fathers, for good or ill.  


Dads have a vital role in raising their offspring, giving children a sense of protection. Dads model for boys how to be a man, and for girls, how they expect to be treated as women.


The impact of dads is especially evident when they are absent.  Growing up without a dad, or with an inadequate dad, can undermine your confidence and sense of security. It can affect your view of God, His presence and the level of trust for His provision in your life.  



If Father's Day reminds you of painful memories or leaves you feeling sad, upset, depressed or empty, what can you do?


  1. Seek to become aware of your father wounds. I can hear some of you saying, "Why in the world would I want to do that?"


    When we carry anger, disappointment or pain from our past, we can have a tendency to overreact in our other relationships.  We may vent our anger at our spouse or children in ways that are out of proportion to the current situation. Sometimes the pain manifests as unexplained sadness or depression. In other cases, we live with fears and anxieties that we know are irrational, but still powerfully control our lives.  

  2. Recognize the difficult feelings may be related to grief. Unresolved grief can easily be triggered when you feel a dad void. Can you talk to a friend or family member about your feelings? Simply telling someone who listens compassionately without judgement can help relieve the burden.  If that is not enough, a counselor can help you find peace and hope to get to the other side of the pain.
  3. Spend time with supportive, nurturing people who care about you. Are there other men in your life who provide a healthy role model of the man your father should have been for you? In your church or community there may be men with love, kindness and wisdom who can be mentors in those places where you need a dad. 
  4. Pay attention to your thoughts. Beware of negative, self-defeating thoughts swirling unhindered in your mind. Take charge of your thinking. Consider the positive things you have in your life or that your father brought into your life.
  5. Do you need to forgive? "But how can I let go of what he did to me?"  Forgiveness is a transaction between you and God that releases the pain of past neglect and offenses. Is bitterness or resentment poisoning your heart? It is likely time for forgiveness. 
As a counselor, I specialize in helping people recovery from grief and process painful life events, regrets and memories so that the pain is neutralized and those areas of life can be restored to hope, freedom and joy.

Give me a call at (805) 242-3569 or Email me to schedule a free consultation about how we can work together to reduce the pain.


I look forward to hearing from you and supporting you in your life, family and relationship journey.
Warm regards,



Debbra Bronstad

Debbra Bronstad, MS  (805) 242-3569

Marriage & Family Therapist Intern IMF 62480
Certified Grief Recovery Specialist
Supervisor: Sandra Sawyer, LCSW, LCS 12477