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Let us Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ~ Hebrews 12:1

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David Cartwright MA LPC

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David, his daughter, Chelsea Miller and his granddaughters, Greysen, Mattia and Luciana

Introduction to  Faith-Based

Dialectic Behavioral Therapy "DBT"

We serve a creative God who has gifted us with the ability to integrate thoughtful therapeutic practices with our faith.


DBT on it's own serves a great purpose in the lives of those who are not actively seeking a faith but searching for relief from depression and anxiety.  DBT is highly effective for those searching for balance between the reasonable mind and the emotional mind.

As a longtime practitioner of DBT in a secular environment I have seen good results in many of the adolescents I have worked with.  Given the right home environment and support from their parents and siblings, many of the tools introduced in DBT are effective but the 'Achilles Heel' of DBT is apparent to followers of Christ.  DBT teaches that given the right tools and daily practice we can overcome depression, anxiety and problem behaviors on our own.  The truth is that we can't do it on our own and although DBT is highly effective, without the power of prayer and the daily surrender of our self, our thoughts and our sin to Christ, DBT alone does not offer the hope and healing that so many are seeking.  Christ teaches us to "Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7. But... how?


  • How do we recognize the thoughts that are leading us to live anxiously?

  • How do we learn to remove ourselves from harmful environments or head off situations that lead us to make poor choices?

  • How do we learn to experience emotions without acting on them?

DBT is highly effective in helping to identify harmful thoughts, situations and emotions as they begin to form.

Christ came to give us life abundantly and the enemy of our souls does all that he can to rob us of our identity in Christ and to deter us from living a purposeful life.  Depression, anxiety and mood disorders can be overcome and we can live an abundant life full of purpose, meaning and value.  Faith based DBT is not just a band-aid to ease the pain, it is healing, restorative, thought provoking and offers lasting benefits.


We hope to strengthen your faith as we journey with you throughout our 8-week program.  Growth is never easy but you are not alone, The Holy Spirit is walking with you every step of the way and we are here for you too.  As people who have walked thru fire and been refined in the difficult process, we understand what you are going thru.  We believe that running after Gods heart is not always easy but it is worth it and we are called to stand together and lift each other up.


Sincerely, David Cartwright MA, LPC

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David and "Justice"
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 Chelsea Miller and Sparrow

Introduction to Storyridge Ranch and Natural Horsemanship

Dear Friends,

Here at Storyridge ranch we practice Natural Horsemanship and Classical Horsemanship; A philosophy of working with horses based on the horse's natural instincts and their methods of communication.


Natural horsemanship takes time and patience to learn because it strips us of one of our most natural tendencies which is to force or manipulate our own way.  It also teaches us the importance of leaving things behind that interfere with our relationship with our horses.


Natural Horsemanship unwinds a wound up soul.  It whispers in a world that yells and it requires patience in a world of instant gratification.

Natural horsemanship puts the horses comfort and emotional needs first.  It teaches us to capture our every thought and to be purposeful in the interactions we have with our horse.  It teaches us to shelve our selfish desire to ride a "perfect horse," and to embrace the partnership for what it is.  We learn to

accept ourselves and our horses in our current state, to be peaceful where we stand at this moment in time and to patiently grow together as partners.  We slowly earn the love and respect of each other as partners through patience and devoted time.


Natural horsemanship teaches us about genuine love that includes healthy boundaries, language that makes no sound and leadership that allows for failure and teaches grace.  We exchange our desires for praise recognition and a paycheck as we learn to embrace the truest heart of a horse that desires to learn through comfort, safety and play.

It is a sincere belief of mine that God has a special place in his heart for horses and all of the equine family.  It was with privilege that a small peaceful donkey was chosen to walk into Jerusalem carrying Christ on his back.  Someday Christ will return on a white stallion to wage war on sin. As his son's and daughters, we have been given dominion over all creatures including the powerful horse and the lowly donkey.  To care for them requires understanding and patience, a soft hand to reassure and strong mind to create and adhere to boundaries.

As a writer and horse enthusiast I wrote a short story based on my own life experiences called "The Warrior and the Stones."  The storyline in-short is about a group of adolescents in ancient times who carry their pain and unresolved emotions (that have manifested as heavy stones)  in large bags that they carry on their backs.Through a chain of events the adolescents meet a  warrior who rides a beautiful horse and who carries no stones with him.  The  greatest desire of these young adults is to become warriors and they long to learn the art of horsemanship and the art of battle, but none of them can ride and fight effectively and survive in battle with the heavy stones they carry. The warrior teaches them how to be 'praus' and journeys with them as they let go of their stones, one by one.


Our philosophy on horsemanship at Storyridge is that we cannot reach our goals as horsemen and horsewomen if we are carrying burdens into our time with the horses.  Horses can detect anger, distraction, emotional baggage and unrested/anxious spirits like none-other!  It has been said by many that horses are the mirror to our souls.Letting go of our stones allows us to become thoughtful, effective and compassionate horsemen and horsewomen and more importantly effective warriors in our everyday life as we fight in the war being waged against our souls.

As representatives of Storyridge partnering with DBT therapists these are our goals.

  • To be Godly examples in all that we do.

  • To identify/put a name to the stones we carry and to teach others how to set  these stones aside as we begin our work with the horses.  The goal is to eventually let them go.

  •  To teach the practice of being "praus." We train our horses to be praus to  our bidding just as we are called to be praus as followers of Christ. 

Have you ever read or heard "The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth?"  What comes to your mind when you hear the word 'meek?'  You probably picture someone cowering in fear, a pushover, maybe the image of a little mouse comes to mind...

Sadly, the word 'meek' is one of the most misused and misunderstood words in the english language.  What I'm going to share with you about this little word has the potential to be life changing.


'Praus' is a word in the Greek language that translates to  'meek.'

This word  originated in the ancient Greek military and it relates to the way the Greek soldiers trained their war horses.  They were careful in training the horses so as not to break their powerful spirit, the horses needed to be brave and powerful to go into battle.  But the horses also needed to be under complete control of the warrior riding them.  Their training was so thorough and precise that the warriors could control the horses with a gentle press of the leg upon the horses side.


In the same way that we train our horses to be praus, we need to be praus to the bidding of the Holy Spirit.  God created us in His image which means we are wild, powerful, intelligent and beautiful among many other things! His goal is not to break our spirit as we submit to him but to be under his control and sensitive to the faintest whisper of his voice. It is my most sincere desire that through all that you learn and experience at Storyridge that the strong, holy, wise individual that God created you to be will come shining through and that the areas where your spirit has been broken will begin to repair so that you can experience life abundantly, full of purpose, adventure, beauty and love!



What Does it mean to be praus?

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