Learning relational brain skills, like the ones we’ll introduce in our upcoming Thrive JOYStream, can completely change your life! Just ask Chris Coursey, a former slave to fear and alcohol and now a director at Life Model Works.
A Life Controlled by Fear
Getting cussed out by his alcohol counselor was a turning point for Chris Coursey. It came after he received his second DUI within a year. His counselor “hoped to never see me again after my first round of counseling. Now I faced jail time and hefty fines. I had stopped trying and was dying.”
Chris’s story is about a descent from a life of promise to one completely controlled by fear. He purposely flunked a test for entrance into an elite school. He dropped out of sports his senior year, despite promising opportunities in college.
“I have a lot of examples in my life where I quit trying because I figured I would fail anyhow. This is a common theme since I can remember. Sadly, many of the things I quit were actually things I was good at. ‘At least if I quit it doesn’t look like I failed. Quitting gives me control,’ I told myself.
This controlling approach to life began to affect his relationships. “I hurt many girls because of my fear of rejection and failure. I often ended dating relationships and friendships because of underlying fears and trust issues. A girl would start to really care for me and I would bail.”
Chris spent a lot of his time in high school and college drinking. “I drank excessively. I smoked and partied incessantly. Blackouts, drinking and driving and self-destructive actions were routine. I ended up in scary places. I daydreamed about my funeral and wondered if death would be a relief.”
The turning point when Chris encountered a prayer-infused approach to counseling in college. Chris felt totally overwhelmed and even told God “you’ve got the wrong guy!”
The Turning Point
Then one night, he woke up suddenly, with a sense that he should immediately read Isaiah 61. He didn’t know what it meant, but had the sense it was in the Bible.
He looked it up, and was overwhelmed by what he read “The chapter’s theme was what I saw the previous three days – counselors “preaching good news to the poor… binding up the broken hearted… proclaiming freedom for the captives.”
“I found myself doing what I had not done in a long time. I bowed in prayer and worshipped the God who hears.”
Life-Changing Brain Skills
Chris became more involved with counseling, which eventually led him to the concepts being written about and explored by Dr. Jim Wilder. They partnered together, with Chris developing practical training experiences.
He quickly found himself overwhelmed with new opportunities and experiences. One of those was leading Thrive Training events, which required public speaking. Speaking had been one of the triggers that had always filled Chris with fear.
It was the actual brain skills that Chris learned at Thrive that allowed him to speak and lead Thrive Training events. “I had been learning the THRIVE brain skill of returning to joy from fear and the other five negative feelings. I had learned how fear affects the brain’s control center and how to quiet myself.
“I was learning the Godsight skill – how to see things as God sees.”
Chris used an approach to prayer taught at Thrive called the Immanuel Process. This helped him unearth painful memories, and recognize how Jesus had been with him the entire time.
“Thrive and the 19 relational brain skills radically transformed me and my relationships. I felt hopeful. I learned that attachment pain drove my deadly behavior and depression…I resolved old wounds that hindered my growth… I grew up.”
Chris Coursey doesn’t just teach how the 19 Relational Skills can affect your life. He’s living proof!