Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Safe Ways to Exercise in the Heat

In Health and Beauty, Lifestyle, Personal on June 22, 2012 at 11:20 am

When hot weather strikes, many people want to continue their regular exercise routines. But you need to know how to keep working out while protecting yourself against the dangers of high temperatures and humidity. The staff of Presentation Solutions has a few tips to help athletes continue their regular routine, in any temperature.

The most important thing to keep at close hand is water.  A little known fact is that by the time a person becomes thirsty, they are already dehydrated. If you are exercising heavily in hot and humid weather it is possible to lose up to three liters (or over twelve cups) of water. So, it’s extremely important to keep hydrated or the body will start taking water from organs. In order to hydrate effectively, Presentation Solutions recommends that you start drinking water before going out into the heat. Experts recommend that athletes do not drink cold water because it can be jarring to the system. In order to hydrate properly, drink cool water and a lot of it – especially after you’ve exerted yourself.

Although it’s tempting to reach for something with more flavor than water, it’s extremely important to avoid drinking juice or soda. Both juice and soda contain more than ten percent of carbohydrates, which aren’t absorbed well during exercise. However, sports drinks are fine to consume while working out because they usually contain less than eight percent carbohydrates. When exercising for less than one and a half hours, either water or sports drinks do an equal job of keeping someone hydrated.

Presentation Solutions also recommends wearing light colored, roomy clothing when you are outside, because that helps reflect light and keep air circulating – which will help keep you cooler.

And one final tip for people who are keeping up with their exercise routine in the summer – try to stay out of direct sunlight by wearing a hat and sunscreen.

Better Nashville Interviews Mercy Ministries 2008 Graduate Tara

In Information, Personal, Professionals on June 11, 2012 at 1:52 am
Mercy Ministries

Mercy Ministries

Mercy Ministries graduate Tara is a local college student who is confident, happy, and full of life.  But she hasn’t always been that way.  Better Nashville recently met up with Tara to get her story.

Better Nashville: From the outside Tara seemed like any ordinary teenager.  But on the inside lived an eating disorder, a battle of self-worth.

Mercy Ministries Grad Tara: My best friend and I would eat lunch every day in the cafeteria and I would just be sitting there ya know throwing things under the table or like throwing it in my purse or just saying, “Oh you know I already ate” or whatever.  And she had no idea.  So I would do the same thing with my family.

Better Nashville: This habit of restricting food started back in the fifth grade.

Mercy Ministries Grad Tara: That was the year that my granddad passed away.  And he had been somebody who was really special to me and really the only person I felt like I didn’t have to be perfect around.  Ya know I’ve just always been a perfectionist.  And so I sorta had this thought of like ya know I’m not good enough or not smart enough or not pretty enough.  But I always felt special when I was with him.  And so when he died I really went into a depression.

Better Nashville: Things got even worse in high school before anyone found out about Tara’s secret.

Mercy Ministries Grad Tara: And it got to a point where I couldn’t even walk anymore and that was when my parents, they had sorta suspected that something was wrong before that but I would just lie and say “No, I’m fine.”  But I couldn’t deny it anymore at that point.

Better Nashville: That’s when her parents put their eighty-pound daughter in an eating disorder treatment facility.

Mercy Ministries Grad Tara: It goes back to when I was in the hospital and the eating disorder treatment center and I was at a point in everything where I absolutely had no hope left.  And I actually had a psychiatrist tell me that she was going to be speaking at my funeral so it just completely, um, really I was just ready to give me.

Better Nashville: After several failed attempts of healing at different treatment centers, Tara was finally taken to Mercy Ministries; a place she says was totally different.

Mercy Ministries Grad Tara: When I first got to Mercy Ministries I tried to be rebellious and get kicked out because I thought if Mercy Ministries saw who I really was they would realize they were just wasting their time.  They didn’t.  The Mercy Ministries staff kept loving me and just telling me how much God loved me and they really helped me learn to trust Him.  And that made all the difference.

Better Nashville: Tara began looking at herself in a different light.

Mercy Ministries Grad Tara: They have you write down the negative thoughts about yourself and then you go to the Bible and you find verses that sorta correspond to it.  So for example, ya know if my negative thought was I’m ugly then I would go to the Bible and find verses that say that God has made everything beautiful for its own time.  And then that really meant something to me.

Better Nashville: Now, more than a year since Tara arrived at Mercy Ministries, she now knows she’s loved and beautiful, inside and out.

Mercy Ministries Grad Tara: I feel happy now.  And I told myself I was happy before when I was sick and it was all completely an act.  And so it’s been really weird to actually be genuinely happy.

Whitney Nall – Mercy Ministries Staff: When I first got to Mercy Ministries I saw these girls come through the doors and they couldn’t even look us in the eyes.  And I would be giving tours of the Mercy Ministries home and just no eye contact or a girl just really seemed down.  Compared to on their graduation days or the days before when they are truly a new creation and just singing at the top of their lungs during morning worship…  And just truly transformed.

Better Nashville: Tara carries that reminder with her every day.

Mercy Ministries Grad Tara: All the girls that graduate from Mercy Ministries get this ring on graduation day.  And you can see it has three little stones in it and it’s called the Trinity because it represents the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  And then in the middle it actually has an “M” for Mercy Ministries.  And so it’s obviously very symbolic and very special to me.

Better Nashville: It’s a reminder of how far she’s come.  Tara is now a sophomore at Belmont University majoring in journalism.

You can help out Mercy Ministries by running or supporting their run for Mercy team in the Country Music Marathon.  The race is on April 24th (2010).  Whoever raises the most money for the Run for Mercy team will win a concert by Christian artist Jamie Jamgochian at the Nashville Mercy Ministries home.  Pretty cool stuff!

Learn more about Mercy Ministries at

Blog Post – Markus Lattner

In Personal on May 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm
Markus Lattner

Markus Lattner

Growing up in the countryside of Austria and spending all his free time in the woods, marshes and mountains, Markus Lattner created an intimate connection to nature. The main focus of study and interest for Markus Lattner was on raptors; in his teen years he spent every minute observing, seeking out and collecting data on these birds of prey.

At 13 years of age Markus Lattner became aware that a big waste company was planning to build a large trash sorting and composting facility only a half mile from his home in the marshland adjacent to the river flowing thru the valley. At that time Markus Lattner knew that a vary rare bird named the Eurasian Curlew, ‘Grosser Brachvogel’ in German (Numenius arquata) was using that land as a nesting ground. It is now declared a near threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Markus Lattner was very upset that these birds could be lost, and with his cousin (who had inspired him to take up interest in birds) and uncle’s help, the three started to sound alarm in the community. It took many years of fighting, educating the community, and legal wrangling but they were instrumental in creating the first grass roots movement for the conservation of nature in the region of Upper Austria.

According to Markus Lattner, their efforts resulted in the scrapping of plans to build the composting facility. Instead, the company built a very small recycling sorting facility a few years later outside the marsh area. It also led to the protection of land by the WWF for the birds. In a new unique way now, reports Markus Lattner, the marshes are left untouched until the birds have left in late spring and only then the farmers can use the land for agricultural purposes when the birds are no longer affected.

More importantly, says Markus Lattner, this was part of the beginning of the larger green movement in Austria. The people involved in that movement later fought for changes in building a major European north/south highway corridor thru the valley. In addition, Markus Lattner says that the people realized that concentrating waste in one place was more harmful to the environment than equally distributing the waste. It also brought about major restructuring how Austrians looked at waste creation, collection, separation and recycling. In fact, says Markus Lattner, Austria now is the leading country in the world – recycling 60% of waste products.

These lessons, relates Markus Lattner, are a constant reminder of the importance of ever-looking at energy needs and finding environmental solutions for them. He says that it has reinforced in him a belief that decentralizing the creation of energy is the way forward. Part of the solution, suggests Markus Lattner, would be that energy is created at the point of usage without having to rely on complex (and vulnerable) distribution and centralized generation systems. He agrees that there will remain a need for a distribution network and central generation but on a minimal scale. Unfortunately, concludes Markus Lattner, that would mean loss of control for big interest groups and therefore investment into solutions are not of great interest.

Success Isn’t Easy | Douglas Battista Explains the Value of Hard Work

In Information, Personal, Professionals on May 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm
Douglas Battista

Douglas Battista

Growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania, Douglas Battista was taught the value of hard work by his father. Today, he is the President of North America Field Operations for Jenny Craig in Carlsbad, California. Douglas Battista says that his climb up the corporate ladder was not without bumps in the road, and believes that his father’s influence provided him the tools needed to focus on his goals.

Douglas Battista attended Niagara University in Niagara Falls, New York earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Travel Tourism/Hospitality Administration in 1994. Shortly after college he took a job as the Food Service Director for the ARAMARK Corporation in Hartford, Connecticut. During his time at ARAMARK, Douglas Battista enrolled at the University of Hartford to focus on a graduate degree. He earned a Masters of Science in Organizational Behavior in 1998, one year after being promoted to Regional Recruiter.

According to Douglas Battista, many people thought that working a full-time/high-stress job while living so far from home would make it difficult to complete his degree. What they didn’t understand, says Douglas Battista, was that he understood that to find his place in the world he had to make his own breaks. No one was going to do that for him. In 1999, with five years of experience, a college degree, and a passion for human resources, Douglas Battista relocated to Irving, Texas, where he continued to serve ARAMARK as the HR Manager. This position set into motion events that would eventually lead him to work for the Walt Disney Company, and finally to his current appointment.

It seems, reflects Douglas Battista, that the values instilled in him during his youth are becoming less important with each successive generation. Many people believe that if they want something bad enough, they’ll get it, but often aren’t willing to put much effort into achieving their goals, observes Douglas Battista. In fact, many of these dreamers are disappointed when they reach their 30s and are still waiting for their adult life to begin, laments Douglas Battista.

According to Douglas Battista, creating your own successes isn’t just financially rewarding. He reports that people who set goals for themselves and take the steps to achieve them tend to be happier overall, even if they encounter obstacles along the way. And, points out Douglas Battista, the emotional benefit of looking back and seeing what you’ve accomplished is the most rewarding part life.

One Act for God can Equal an Eternity of Prosperity, says Dr. Pierre Bennett

In Information, Personal, Professionals on April 3, 2012 at 11:34 am
Dr. Pierre Bennett

Dr. Pierre Bennett

Presentation Solutions recently spoke with Dr. Pierre Bennett, the Pastor of God’s Luv International Ministries Church, who says that even the lowest citizen of a town can rise up and find himself worthy in God’s eyes.

Presentation Solutions: Thank you for joining us, Dr. Pierre Bennett.

Dr. Pierre Bennett: Thank you for having me.

Presentation Solutions: Dr. Bennett, you  speak of the story of Joshua quite often. Why is that?

Dr. Pierre Bennett: It’s because I feel that the story of Joshua has many good messages.

Presentation Solutions: Can you give us an example?

Dr. Pierre Bennett: Joshua was told to take the city of Jericho, which was considered a sinful city. Ironically, the only person he is told to spare within the confines of the town is the city’s prostitute.

Presentation Solutions: Why is that?

Dr. Pierre Bennett: Rahab the harlot – the prostitute – had enough faith in the Lord to hide His spies in her home. She was in danger herself. She had enough faith to make room for one of God’s people. She asked that she be spared.

Presentation Solutions: And she was?

Dr. Pierre Bennett: Yes in  one move, one touch, one act delivered her from her lifestyle prior to that event and was a blessing to her and to her entire family. Amen?

Presentation Solutions: Isn’t it amazing?

Dr. Pierre Bennett: God can use whomever He wants to. The least likely person will be the one that can be used for the mightiest task

Presentation Solutions: The passage in Joshua 6 verses 17:18 is: “Because she hid the messengers that we sent; and you, by all means abstain from the accursed things lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things.” Is that right?

Dr. Pierre Bennett: Yes, that’s right.

Presentation Solutions: So, all because she was able to get past her fear and act  in faith, God was able to spare her from the destruction of the city…

Dr. Pierre Bennett: The moral of the this story  is that when you get right with God you will reap His prosperity.

Presentation Solutions: Yes, and in the story Joshua spares the prostitute and her entire family and then he curses any man who rises up and builds the city

Dr. Pierre Bennett: So not only did he take the city, and burn the city for everything that was not like God, but only kept the gold and silver, which went into God’s treasury.

Presentation Solutions: And the prostitute was spared to live and go on and live a better life than she had in the city of Jericho?

Dr. Pierre Bennett: Amen.

Presentation Solutions: Dr. Bennett this is all very interesting but I’m afraid that we’re out of time. Thank you for sharing your insight with us. We are sure our readers will find this inspirational.

Dr. Pierre Bennett: I certainly hope so. If it touches just one person then I have done God’s work.

Dr. Pierre Bennett may be reached at God’s Luv International Ministries Church at (703)395-1430.

Pastor Pierre Bennett: Loving God through a Holy Life

In Health and Beauty, Information, Personal, Professionals on March 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm


Pastor Pierre Bennett

Pastor Pierre Bennett

Pastor Pierre Bennett has been working to help others all his adult life. Beginning as a serviceman in the military and continuing with his own resort travel club business, Pastor Pierre Bennett has experienced the joy of helping others. It is in his pastoral ministry, however, that Pastor Pierre Bennett found his true calling as the founder and leader of God’s Luv International Ministries Church.

Pastor Pierre Bennett acknowledges that we’re all sinners. But he believes that the biggest sin of all isn’t physical sin. Sometimes we sin the most when we think we’re walking so perfectly that we could never make a mistake, Pastor Pierre Bennett explains.

We all have weaknesses, Pastor Pierre Bennett points out. And if the Lord sees we need to be strengthened in a particular area, He works to strengthen us. Before Pastor Pierre Bennett was called to the ministry, he confesses, he lived a sinful life. In fact, Pastor Pierre Bennett often compares himself to Paul, chief of all sinners. While Pastor Bennett doesn’t believe in glorifying that part of his past, he does believe that sometimes the most remarkable change comes in going from the far left to the far right and learning what really matters to God.

According to Pastor Pierre Bennett, once a person has been through the firey consequences of sin and repents he or she wants to take in everything–every part of serving God. He or she doesn’t want to miss any of it. Pastor Bennett recommends making a habit of praying earnestly, so that God will do His work to make your heart clean and repentant.

Pastor Pierre Bennett recalls the story of King David, who was punished by God with a three-day plague upon his people. After three days, David asked for mercy not for himself, but for the people, Pastor Pierre Bennett relates. Punish me, David said, but don’t punish my people. What have they done?

Because David was able to place his kingdom ahead of himself, he freed himself, Pastor Pierre Bennett describes. While he had fallen into disfavor with God, the people had done nothing wrong. It was through this selflessness that David finally was able to find the personal forgiveness he sought, Pastor Pierre Bennett adds.

As Pastor Pierre Bennett explains it, God loves us first, and then He teaches us how to love Him in return. The next step is to teach us to love each other. Pastor Pierre Bennett concludes that one of the reasons God teaches us to love one another so that we may together be able to build churches in the future.

Joe Zanotti Describe How Cooking is Like Engineering

In Lifestyle, Personal, Professionals on September 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm
 Joe Zanotti

Joe Zanotti

Joe Zanotti believes his love of cooking is tied to his work as an engineer. Like engineering, Joe Zanotti says, cooking has a certain number of truths and rules, with equipment, “tools of the trade” used to apply those truths. There is a science to cooking as there is in engineering. And just like engineering, Joe Zanotti says, cooking is an art. Within the rules is an ability to be creative, and therein lies the expression of one’s individuality. While Joe Zanotti finds himself spending great amounts of time managing and guiding projects, he finds the real enjoyment in being able to just focus on the design aspects of projects, creating the final product. Cooking allows Joe Zanotti to influence the design, trying out different methods until he gets his desired end product. And, better yet, cooking is a project that doesn’t take weeks to complete, says Joe Zanotti. “You can see and enjoy you efforts in a few hours.

When he isn’t experimenting with recipes in his own kitchen, Joe Zanotti likes to travel, trying out the area’s favorite foods. For instance, while visiting friends near Chesapeake Bay, Joe Zanotti likes to buy fresh, spicy crabs by the bushel. “Bring them home, cook corn on the cob, have some vinegar slaw…” Joe Zanotti begins. “Sit on the deck and eat crabs and drink beer for hours. Your hands get cut up from the shells, spices all over your face…rather messy but entirely good!”

Another of Joe Zanotti’s favorite foods is sushi. “The most amazing place to eat sushi is at the giant fish market at the Tokyo bay in Japan. This is a very large outdoor market where all the boats dock and bring in their catch of the day. They bring in so many sea creatures that we just do not see in the USAS. Lining the open market are maybe 25 or so small sushi shops. Talk about fresh. It cannot not get any better!”

About Joe Zanotti

For Joe Zanotti, family heritage has always been important. Growing up in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Joe Zanotti was always aware of his Italian and Slovak heritage enjoying the culture, foods and curtoms. In fact, he spent many weekends and long summer weeks at his grandparents’ house in the nearby mill town of Braeburn.

Joe Zanotti has lived in Pennsylvania most of his life, mostly near Pittsburgh. After graduating from Burrell Senior High School, Joe Zanotti attended the Pennsylvania State University, where he majored in civil engineering. During college, he was an invited member of both the Chi Epsilon Honorary Society and Tau Beta Pi Honorary Society, both national engineering societies for honors students. Joe Zanotti attended graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied structural engineering.

An experienced structural engineer with more than 31 years in the field, Joe Zanotti often travels throughout the USA and overseas for work. Joe Zanotti is currently employed by Camp, Dresser, & McKee, Inc., a worldwide engineering firm based in Pittsburgh. Joe Zanotti’s work often stations him in many Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam and in Middle-East countries such as Israel.  He considers working overseas, such as when he helped rebuild a Catholic church in tsunami-damaged Banda Aceh, Indonesia, an experience that has been life changing.

Prior to Camp, Dresser, & McKee, Joe Zanotti was project design manager for MPS Corporation in Leetsdale. He worked as a structural engineer for Sargent & Lundy Engineers in Chicago, as well as Dravo Engineers in Pittsburgh. His professional associations include the American Society of Civil Engineers, International Concrete Repair Institute, for which he serves on the board of directors, and American Concrete Institute, for which he is a subcommittee member on the national level.

An avid golfer, Joe Zanotti has had the privilege of golfing everywhere from overseas in Asia to many top courses in the USA. Joe Zanotti began golfing at the age of fifteen, at a tiny 9-hole course near his house where greens fees were only $3-$4 a day.  For years, he was part of an annual golf retreat comprised mostly of former Pennsylvania State graduates. Joe Zanotti is an avid cook and would maybe enjoy attending chef school when retired. He is a lover of great wine and while he wouldn’t consider himself a connoisseur, Joe Zanotti keeps 40-50 bottles of wine in his basement at all times.

Born in 1958, Joe Zanotti currently resides in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, where he has lived since 1988. Joe Zanotti is registered as a professional engineer in eleven states, including Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Indiana, and the District of Columbia. He is single, with no children, has a brother, sister, nieces and a nephew and both of his parents are still alive.

Anatesha Dunn | More Than Words on a Page

In Personal, Professionals on September 16, 2011 at 6:06 pm
 Anatesha Dunn

Anatesha Dunn

Anatesha Dunn reviews Joyce Meyer’s Living Beyond Your Feelings

Anatesha Dunn knows that as a Christian woman, God provided emotions for a reason. They protect His children by allowing them to create bonds with family, friends, and community, says Anatesha Dunn – but the Devil always has his nose where it doesn’t belong, and he created anger, lust, and a grocery list full of other negative feelings. Anatesha Dunn suggests Joyce Meyer’s Living Beyond Your Feelings for Christians looking to offset the negative and embrace the positive for a healthy and prosperous life.

In the book, reports Anatesha Dunn, Meyer points out that people tend to speak more openly about the negative. She tasks the reader with focusing more on the uplifting feelings, and sharing those instead of broadcasting just anxiety, anger, or sadness. Anatesha Dunn is quite sure that this simple change has the power to help alter a person’s perception of themselves.

Anatesha Dunn is quick to point out that although Meyer suggests not speaking solely of negative feelings, she also reminds the reader that God is listening no matter what the emotion. The main theme of this inspirational text is empowering men and women to overcome the barriers of bad feelings, acknowledges Anatesha Dunn.

Meyer also insists that God gives choices and free will, and that it’s man who chooses to act on the negative. Anatesha Dunn’s believes this book is a useful tool for those wishing to take control of their own emotions. Choosing to do what is right, says Anatesha Dunn, makes a great difference in how one feels. Living Beyond Your Feelings reminds the reader of this simple fact.

One lesson that Anatesha Dunn hopes that readers take from this book is that emotions may be more of an enemy to an otherwise diligent Christian. They can cause confusion, and possibly, laments Anatesha Dunn, resentment toward the Creator. Human physiology leads mankind to experience virtually limitless mental states. Emotions are always felt. They are always there. There is no escape from feelings.

This book serves as a tool of empowerment for the reader to take control and learn to avoid reacting negatively to unpleasant emotions, says Anatesha Dunn. Joyce Meyer wrote the book due to her own experience with roller coaster emotions, and Anatesha Dunn feels that it is this citing of personal experience that makes the book so powerful. To this book goes Anatesha Dunn’s most ardent recommendation.

About Anatesha Dunn

Anatesha Dunn believes in Joyce Meyer’s positive, uplifting messages. A fan of Meyer’s book, Battlefield of the Mind, Anatesha Dunn takes spiritual guidance from Meyer’s advice to gain control over one’s own mind and refuse to let negative thoughts intrude. It is an attitude that has served Anatesha Dunn throughout her life.

Anatesha Dunn has worked most recently for Financial Freedom in Longwood, Florida. At Financial Freedom, Anatesha Dunn assisted with taking inquiries from potential clients looking for financial advice. During her time assisting customers with their financial needs, Anatesha Dunn no doubt relied heavily on Meyer’s advice on dealing with different temperaments.

“Learn different personalities and how to live with them,” Anatesha Dunn paraphrases from Meyer’s advice. “Once you know what triggers a certain personality, you can learn how to move through certain situations to get the end results you’re looking for.”

A devout Christian, Anatesha Dunn also follows the wisdom of Bishop T.D. Jakes. Once the subject of a Time Magazine cover story titled, Is This Man the Next Billy Graham?, T.D. Jakes is highly respected among Christians, thanks to his positive, uplifting messages. Anatesha Dunn especially appreciates Jakes’ take on change.

“Jakes accepts the inevitability of change, teaching how to embrace and accept it rather than fear it,” Anatesha Dunn says. “Mixing both sacred and secular insights, he shares a unique mix of practical and pragmatic steps, coupled with the sage wisdom of scripture for which he is noted.”

Anatesha Dunn believes in giving back, having headed up and assisted with fundraisers as well as participating in volunteer work over the years. She is certified in both CPR and First Aid and, in the course of her career, Anatesha Dunn has often been trusted with matters that are confidential and of a sensitive nature.

Anatesha Dunn currently lives on the East Coast, where she is actively involved with her church. She believes in Meyer’s advice to arm yourself with God every day.

“Begin your day with prayer to get your day started,” is the advice Anatesha Dunn takes from Joyce Meyer. “End your day with prayer and reflection of what you did that day.”

Anatesha Dunn believes in following Meyer’s Battlefield of the Mind in positive thinking as well. Using the power of positive thinking, Anatesha Dunn finds specific ways to impact every aspect of her life. Anatesha Dunn has learned to count her blessings, thanks to a couple of great role models.

Anatesha Dunn also believes in balance. Anatesha Dunn tries to approach every day with a cool, calm, level and objective mind.

“Life is an experience of both good and bad,” Anatesha Dunn says, taking from Meyer’s advice. “In order to really enjoy life, try to find the positive in everything.”

Thaddeus Heffner, MMFT | Boys Are Born, Men Are Built

In Personal on March 2, 2011 at 4:57 am
Thaddeus Heffner headshot

Thaddeus Heffner MMFT

For millennia, notes Thaddeus Heffner, MMFT (Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy), different cultures around the world have had within their traditions what is known as “rite of passage” for their boys to cross the threshold into manhood.  Thaddeus Heffner suggests that in the United States, and Westernized nations in general, rites of passage have long since vanished from the cultural norm.

Thaddeus Heffner suggests that historically the U.S. turned a corner around the time of the Industrial Revolution.  “Fathers and sons used to work side-by-side on the family farm, or whatever the family trade might have been,” points out Thaddeus Heffner.  With the birth of the Industrial Revolution, fathers began to leave their sons at home to work in the cities, adds Thaddeus Heffner.  This was merely the beginning of the rift that has long since widened regarding male gender affirmation.

At first glance, Thaddeus Heffner suggests that the growing rates of absentee fathers, divorce, child abuse and addictions within the family system can seem like a bullet train speeding away at an unstoppable rate.  However, Thaddeus Heffner believes that the tide is turning in masculinity, and that slowly but surely men are stepping into wholeness.  Not perfection, acknowledges Thaddeus Heffner, but wholeness.

Thaddeus Heffner comments that, “Men today are being taught by their own inner father wounds. They are learning that they missed receiving something from their own fathers; affirmation, a blessing, to know that they have what it takes.”  Thaddeus Heffner calls this the “Terrible Gift.”

“Many men run from their wounds because they are too painful, explains Thaddeus Heffner.  It is only when a man looks at his wounds that the pain becomes transformative. This is the Terrible Gift,” says Thaddeus Heffner.  This is when men who are fathers begin turning to their own sons to bestow the blessing and affirmation that they themselves may never have received.

“This is my passion,” states Thaddeus Heffner.  “To work with men, wherever they are coming from and whatever wounds they are bringing, that the hearts of fathers and sons might once again be turned toward each other.” Day in and day out, Thaddeus Heffner gets to see his passion become a reality both in working with men in his Brentwood, Tennessee office as well as staffing several different men’s retreats each year.

About Thaddeus Heffner

Thaddeus Heffner holds a Master in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trevecca University.  While he facilitates sessions for couples, groups and individuals, his increasing focus is working with those who wish to reduce their unwanted same-sex attraction and feel whole as men.

After spending several years working with “At-Risk Youth” in the public high school, Thaddeus Heffner went into private practice in 2008.  While his office is located in the heart of Brentwood, TN, Thaddeus Heffner also works with clients internationally who seek to focus on unwanted same-sex attraction.

For the past four years Thaddeus Heffner has involved himself in staffing experiential weekends with organizations such as People Can Change and New Adam.  Thaddeus Heffner also enjoys speaking and teaching on the root causes of homosexuality, as often as he is able.  The passion of Thaddeus Heffner is to help men understand that we each have a unique story, and to see men embrace healing in their lives while getting their needs met through healthy community.

Thaddeus Heffner is a member in good standing with both the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. For more information about the work of Thaddeus Heffner please visit

Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz Discusses a Safe Approach to Rock Climbing

In Personal, Professionals on October 8, 2010 at 5:10 am

Avid nature-lover Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz says that time spent in the great outdoors is enriching. Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz especially enjoys outdoor recreational activities like hiking, bicycling and rock climbing. As a dweller in the American northeast, Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz knows first-hand the value of spending a day communing with nature.

For those who prefer more rugged recreation, Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz suggests rock climbing. Rock climbing is not an esoteric fad, notes Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz, but an age old practice that explores the relationship between human and landscape. Two factors vital to effective rock climbing, says Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz, are a solid grip and good balance.

Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz says that a good grip, however, does not mean a tight grip. Squeezing or clutching at the rock, says Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz, tires out muscles more quickly, leading to setbacks like fatigue and cramps. Holding on to the rock with a vice grip, says Berkowitz, actually impedes fluid motion. Sometimes on a difficult patch of rock, adds Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz, a person will tighten their grip because they are nervous. The key is to relax, maintain a firm grip that is not too tight and examine the rock for the route ahead. Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz especially cautions inexperienced climbers to stay focused on the route along the rock so as not to come up empty handed. There are forearm exercises, notes Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz, that will go a long way towards improving a climbing grip.

Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz also points out that rock climbing requires good balance. Rock climbing puts people in challenging positions, says Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz, and good balance helps climbers to maintain calmness, clarity and comfort as they navigate a path on the rock face. Before making a move, adds Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz, it is important to maintain a keen sense of one’s center of gravity. There are different climbing exercises, explains Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz, that will further help to develop a steady balance. Inquire with the local climbing community as well as contacting online resources, says Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz, to learn the best and latest balance exercises.

About the author

Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz is a skilled professional who has received the designations of MSE.d, CSW and LCSW. Initially, Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and then earned an MSE.d.

Later, Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz received a Masters of Clinical Social Work (CSW), which was followed by recognition as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Embarking on his chosen vocation path, Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Queens College, Flushing New York in 1994. Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz was certified as a school social worker and school Psychologist in 1997 at Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York and he earned a Masters of Clinical Social Work (CSW) from New York University in 1999. Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz was issued a certificate in 2000 as a Post Masters in Early Childhood and Adolescence Psychotherapy and Berkowitz obtained his Post Masters certificate in Gestalt Therapy from the Gestalt Association of Psychotherapy in New York City, New York in 2002.

Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz served as a special Education Instructor in the New York City Public Schools in Brooklyn from 1993-1994. Additionally, Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz logged experience as a school Psychologist and Social Worker with the Board of Education in Brooklyn, NY from 1994 until 2006. Berkowitz also served as a social work intern at Maimonides Psychiatric Outpatient in Brooklyn New York during 1998 and 1999.

During 1999 and 2000 Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz worked as an outpatient social worker, MSW, CSW at New Hope Guild in Brooklyn, New York. Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz also served as Administrative Assistant, MSW, and LMSW at Fordham Tremont Center in Bronx, New York 2003-2004. Additionally, Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz periodically offered his services as Clinical Social Worker, MSW, and CSW at the Jewish Board of Family & Children Services in Brooklyn New York from 2002 through 2006.

Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz served as the Administrative Director, MSW, and LMSW at the Bikur Cholim Department of Clinical Services in Rockland, New York in 2004 and 2005. Currently Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz maintains a private practice in Teaneck, New Jersey focusing on children, adolescents, couples, and families.

Yochanan Jonathan Berkowitz can be reached by calling 646-338-5424 or by email at For more information go online to his website at