Meier Clinics
NewsletterInspiration, Insight & Information
July 2011
in this issue
:: Depression and Feelings of Hopelessness
:: Are You Armed This Summer? - A devotional from Focus on the Family
:: Study Gives Parents Urgent Topic for Discussion - A message from Timberline Knolls
:: Specialty Programs


By Helen McDowell, LCSW-C
     Intense hopelessness can become a problem when it accompanies depression. The depressed individual becomes tied to negative thinking and feeling, with the belief there is absolutely no recourse or solution to their situation. The perceived utter lack of workable options seems so convincing that negative thinking and feeling relentlessly endure. It seems to the depressed individual there is absolutely no possibility of resolution or change. Along with feelings of hopelessness in depression, one also may feel discouraged by a sense of low motivation, decreased pleasure, decreased energy, problems sleeping, increased irritability, difficulty concentrating, and unusual weight gain or loss. The "down" feelings are sometimes so severe that thoughts of suicide may arise as the individual attempts to stop the pain.
     Sometimes it is impossible to resolve our own overwhelming problems by ourselves. Help from an objective and caring resource becomes essential. At Meier Clinics, one resource for hope can be found in the Scriptures; "Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." Matthew 7:7.  In such times of difficulty, when personal energy seems low, an individual may also need to get help from a professional who understands. At Meier Clinics, "treating the whole person" (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) is our goal. We take heart from the promises of the Bible. "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10.     

     Sometimes in counseling, we discover distorted and counterproductive beliefs and attitudes that were formed early in our lives. Attitudes can arise out of defenses created in childhood. It can be very devastating for a child to disappoint a parent. But, with the help of a professional counselor, we can reflect on where the distorted attitude came from and together begin to work at the "price" of the attitude. With our acknowledgement of the grace of God, such work is done at Meier Clinics in a confidential, caring, and respectful Christian setting. Remembering the following words, we can confidently pray; "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." Psalms 31:24.

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Helen McDowell, LCSW-C, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Meier Clinics in Maryland. She treats individuals, couples, families and older adolescents for a wide range of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, grief and loss, and life transitions.  For more information about Helen and Meier Clinics, visit us at or call 888-7-CLINIC.



by Christina Browning, LCSW


   It's finally summer!! I love the warm weather and being able to go out and hike and swim! It's a wonderful time of year, although sometimes it brings out my insecurities. As I contemplate putting on that bathing suit or those shorts, I start to evaluate all the imperfections. Am I in shape enough to wear that? Then I start to berate myself that I should have been more diligent in working out over the winter. I start wishing I was more toned. I search for a new plan to fix my imperfections. From this moment on, I am going to eat right and work out in order to get fit and look great! Life would be great if I were stronger and more perfect, right?

   Well, it's a nice thought if we were in heaven and had perfect bodies. However, we are not in heaven yet, which means we will never be perfect while on earth! How do we live with our imperfections while striving to be better? I don't know about you, but I get tired of the tug-of-war in my head. "Be responsible, go the extra mile." "Rest in His spirit." "Do good works." "Stand firm." Which is it? Am I to fight or stand still? The answer: both. There is a season to work hard and fight. There is a season to rest. However, God has really been pressing in my heart that you cannot fight without His protection, nor can you rest if you're not protected. So what is my job? How do I know what to do? Ephesians 6:12-13 12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

   Did you know, often times, when soldiers put on armor, they could not do it by themselves? They needed an armor bearer. I believe the Holy Spirit is our armor bearer. If we reach out in relationship to Him, he will help us into our armor. He will direct which path to go down. Our job is to stand there, all decked out in our protected armor, rest in His safety, and follow Him when He calls us to battle. Are you getting distracted with your insecurities, or are you safe in who God created you to be? Do you have your armor on today?

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Christina Browing

Christina Browning is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has diverse work experience in hospitals and hospice.  She is a counselor at Focus on the Family (FOTF) and maintains her private practice in Colorado Springs, CO.  For more information about FOTF, call 800 A FAMILY or visit



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"Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. . ."

James 2:12



   A government study has found that more than half a million teens have had an eating disorder, most commonly in the form of binge eating and bulimia, and most of the time these go untreated. How can we change this downward trend before it gets more out of control? Kimberly Dennis, M.D., medical director at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, says it's critical for parents to talk to their kids about eating disorders as early as possible, and be open to the possibility their kids (or they) may have an unhealthy relationship with food.

   "Parents don't want to believe their child might have a fatal disease, especially when in a lot of cases the teen is still doing well in school and even excelling in sports. And when they suspect a problem, parents a lot of times think it's 'just a phase' and are in denial, but it needs to be addressed," said Dr. Dennis. "In addition to the critical need for parents to talk to their kids, is the need for all 'first responders' in a teen's life to be aware of this growing problem. Pediatricians, primary care doctors, school nurses, teachers and coaches need to be educated as well, and not afraid to talk to teens about these issues; because early detection and treatment is critical to ensure a full and healthy life for these teens."

   According to industry statistics, over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives.

   "More programs need to be developed to go into schools to not only speak to the students, but also to the school nurses, teachers and coaches. And parents need to get involved and be educated on the seriousness of these diseases," said Dr. Dennis. She also encourages parents to listen to their gut and look for changes in behavior, including kids not eating with the family, frequent trips to the bathroom immediately after meals, changes in diet, and consumption of a large, unhealthy amount of food in one sitting. 

Timberline Knolls with Tagline 

Timberline Knolls is a residential treatment center for females, ages 12 and older, nestled in a wooded area in a southwestern suburb of Chicago.  Meier Clinics provides Christian counseling services for those residents who request it.  For more information about this wonderful facility and program, call 877-257-9611 or visit


  • Day Program for Adults is available at the following Meier Clinics:  Wheaton, IL; Richardson, TX; Fairfax, VA; Bothell, WA.
  • Sexual Addiction Intensive Outpatient for Adults (Pathway to Freedom) at Meier Clinics:  in Richardson, TX.
  • After-school Intensive Outpatient Program for Teens (Breakaway) at Meier Clinics in Wheaton, IL.
  • Chemical Dependency Intensive Outpatient Program for Adults offered at Linden Oaks Hospital in Naperville, IL.  Meier Clinics staff provide a Christian track.
  • Residential Care for Women and Teens at Timberline Knolls in Lemont, IL, with a Christian track led by Meier Clinics staff.

For additional information about these programs, visit our website at or give us a toll free call at 888-7 CLINIC (888-725-4642).

The Price of Freedom

As we celebrate the anniversary of our country's freedom this month, many of our fellow countrymen continue to suffer in bondage and fear.  They are captive to their depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, past mistakes, broken relationships, and other all too common life issues.  Many do not have the tools to break free and are just waiting for someone to help them. Are you able to help?  Please prayerfully consider a financial donation today to help others get the Christian counseling care they desperately need so next July they can celebrate their personal freedom just as, together, we celebrate our freedom as a country.  Thank you.


All contributions to Meier Clinics Foundation are tax deductible within IRS regulations.  There are three easy ways to donate:

Mail:  MCF, 2100 Manchester Rd., Ste. 1510, Wheaton, IL 60187-4561

Phone:  800-848-8872


Thank you for taking time out of your day to read our newsletter.  We hope it has been Meier Clinics Logoencouraging and helpful.  If you would like more information about Meier Clinics and how we might be of service to you, please call us at 888-7CLINIC to be directed to the Meier Clinics nearest you or visit us at

Sandy Newport, Editor