Everybody deserves to live life to the fullest. From the day you were born to the day you leave this earth, you were created with a purpose – a reason for living. Join us today on the podcast we sit down with Dr. David Clarke to discuss the reasons why growth is essential to our livelihood.


Dave: Life’s not worth living if it’s just on the superficial crust of the earth. It’s just not. The benefits are awesome. Now, there are the most important are spiritual benefits. If you’re growing, you will automatically remove obstacles to your relationship with God. There are physical benefits because when you’re walking with the Lord, I think automatically there’s, stress is released.

Emotional health is critically important. Every relationship you have, God, spouse, kids, neighbors, friends, is going to be improved dramatically.

Terry: Welcome back to the journey coaching podcast where we care deeply about real and authentic relationships. This is Terry, your host, and I have sitting with me two really cool guys. I have David Clark. He is a Christian psychologist and author and speaker from Tampa, Florida.

He’s written some pretty amazing books. His most recent one is called, I Destroyed my Marriage. So some, some really challenging things. Also with us today as Jeff Carlson, a business owner, and one of the founders of Journey Coaching, and he also happens to be my husband and Dave is one of our good friends.

So we should have fun with this conversation. Our topic today is going to be about why grow. I’m going to let Jeff kind of kick this off and start with some of the first questions. 

Jeff: Well, I’m just super excited, Dave, that you are joining us with the zoom thing, you know, pretty cool. We’re all figuring out how to do zoom, but, uh, yeah, very cool.

We’ve known each other for like, what, five, six, seven years?

Dave:  It seems like, yes, six or seven years. I think so. 

Jeff: Yeah, yeah. And when I, yeah, it’s been, and we’ve done some really cool things together. My wife and I attended a day of seminars, and I thought it was off the chart, the best marriage seminar I’d ever been to.

And Dave, I think one of the reasons for that is just you are, not only do you bring very good content, very good, raw, honest, you don’t beat around the Bush, let’s put it that way. 


Dave: I don’t, I write no frills. Right. To the point. 

Jeff: Right to the point. And that’s in your books which by the way,  DavidEClarkphd.com I think is your website, correct?

Dave: David E.

Jeff: David E Clark. 

Dave: Yes. 

Jeff: Yes. 

Dave: That does it, yes. 

Jeff: And that he’s been on focus on the family, written lots of books, done lots of seminars. Really, really good. Really good content, and go ahead Terry. 

Terry: We will put a link to Dr.Clark’s website and all of his books and stuff on our website.

Dave: Yeah, that’d be great. Yeah.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah. No, and well worth it. 

Dave: This could be about me, too. I mean, it’s about Journey, and I love Journey, but it could be about me as well. 

Jeff: And it has to be, right?  It’s just cause, I mean come on Dave, you know you, it’s all about Dave. 

Dave: That’s right. That’s what Sandy says every day. 

Jeff: Oh my gosh.

So anyways. You know, very good content and really good at getting to the heart of people’s relationship issues they have. 

Journey has  also been in development for  many years. We’ve been, you know, five, six, seven years butting Journey together, have a great coaching process to help people one-on-one, go through individual coaching ,coupled a couple.

But here’s the thing, and here’s why. I’m really excited to talk to Dave today because you’ve been doing this interaction with people and you can call it coaching, counseling, seminars, whatever you want to call it. They’re really helping people grow. You’ve been doing that for what, like 30 years?

Dave: 33 years. There’ll be 34 this August. 

Jeff: Yeah. 

Wow. Wow. Wow. 

And as Terry mentioned, I’m a business guy, so I dabble in this part time. Terry is also a counselor, she is full time. You know, you guys dive into the deep end of the pool. And you do, each in your own ways, you do a great job. What I have found, you know, with my heart of trying to help people grow and develop, what we have developed through journey is really this one phrase keeps coming back to me.

And again, it’s why I’m excited about talking to you today, Dave is, just people’s mindset of why should I even grow? You know. Why even bother? And let’s just really highlight that real quick. Terry and I were at a couple of seminars that Dave did down in Georgia here a few years ago, and one of the best evenings I ever have experienced in terms of the content of the material. In terms of he packages, everything in humor.

And I think you have people… there could have been some serious pant wetting going on there. There was some serious laughing. I mean if you remember that night, people were just. 

Dave: They liked it! 

Jeff: They liked it! It was really good. But now I want to compare that for a second.

So the last super bowl, I mean, like we’ve all, we may not have heard of Journey, we may not have heard of Dave Clark, but we’ve certainly heard of the Superbowl, right? We go, wow, it’s the super bowl. And last year, like 700,000 people attended like over a 100 million watched on TV. So, you know, as good as Journey is, as good as Dave’s books, seminars are, I think we’ve got to be honest, Dave, we reached less than a hundred million people this last year, right? 

Dave: Slightly less, yes.

Jeff: Slightly less, but in terms of helpfulness and in terms of, you know, what are you going to get out of it?  I will guarantee that engagement in growth, and you know, whether it’s, what David Park is doing, what Journey is doing or something someone else finds to do in terms of personal, spiritual, emotional, physical growth is going to be more helpful than watching the superbowl. Why do so many people watch the superbowl? 

You know, help unpack this just cause you’ve seen this, right? You have seen the challenges. You know that you can help people if they will just be open and listen. But it comes back to somebody sitting out there today and if they’ve even made it this far to hang onto the, you know, to listen to this part. 

Why grow? Why, why should I bother that the person sitting out there that the guy, the gal, the couple, why do I even need to bother to grow?

Dave: That’s a great question. Our culture and even the church, we see it filtering into the churches, is really superficial and entertainment driven. We got into this mode, you really can’t offend anyone. I have spent my career offending people. That’s what I do. And as I recall from the Bible, that’s what Jesus did as well, by speaking the truth.

And so we have this whole culture. We’re turning out narcissist after narcissist, now. The numbers are off the charts. We want superficial, we want easy. People don’t like change because change is hard. People don’t like, you know, to work on things because it’s going to cost them some pain and they don’t want to endure any pain.

So we have all these distractions, why the Superbowl is incredibly successful. The marketers are geniuses, they’ve made this dumb game, which is actually meaningless, into an incredibly meaningful event. And they talk about it for hours and months leading up to, but it really, it means absolutely nothing.

It’s fun, but it doesn’t mean anything. That’s the culture we’re living in. The church, I’m afraid in many cases, has adopted that. I’ve talked to pastors all the time, and they’re well meaning, they’re good people, but they don’t have anything like Journey. They have the things that they do, but they’re very sensitive to offending people, big donors.

And here’s how we’ve done things. They do want people to come to Jesus, and they do want them to grow. That simply isn’t happening on any mass level in the United States or in the world. 

Jeff: Well, I think the focus, and sometimes, you know, there’s so many other peripheral things that we get focused on and even in the church, right?

Because Jesus’ call to action is to go make disciples. So. Disciples. 

Dave: You don’t hear many sermons on that. That’s a command. That’s not a request. That’s a command. It’s why we’re here. It’s our number one reason for living. But in the Christian world, especially, there’s 10, 12, 40 things ahead of that now, and that’s sad.

Jeff: So again, a neat opportunity to talk with you, Dave. And, because again, we can come up with all the great strategies. We can come up with all the good stuff out there, but people have to engage. I mean, they really do. And if they don’t, if they don’t make the decision, right, I mean, you can be, and you see that on your practice probably for the last three decades.

If they’re not engaged in it, if they’re not saying, I am going to be a self feeder. And do something better with my life. You can meet with them as many times as you want and they can invest as much time and energy and it’s probably not going to do any good. Correct? 

Dave: Right, terrible. Understand this, and this is how I operate too, but the number of one and two time clients I have, you wouldn’t believe. Because I get right to it. Here’s your problem. You’ve come in to see me. They don’t know what they’re going to face. 

They want even therapy to be easy. And there’s nothing easy about it, it’s a  brutal process. It demands a tremendous amount. So I don’t, I don’t try to draw them in. That’s just not how I’m made. 

Look, I’m 60 years old. I don’t care anymore. So I will say, here’s what we’re going to do, and the looks on their faces. Going to have to read my book. I don’t read. I can’t help you. Then I have to do this homework assignment for the next session. No, I’m busy, I’m not going to be able to. I say, fine, I won’t see you.

They, they, they’re not willing to change. They want to come in and see a counselor because it’s the thing to do and check the box. But that Clark guy was just out of control. 

Well, you know what? You’re going to have to work hard. The Christian life is very similar. Salvation is free. Nothing else is free after that. You’ve got to work. You’ve got to grow. You’ve got to make the change. That’s my journey. So outstanding. I’ve never seen anything as good, in my experience, in terms of discipleship and growth. But boy, not many hands are gonna go up in terms of, I want that. 

Jeff: Right. 

Dave: Which is a shame. 

Jeff: And hopefully we can, yeah, hopefully these kinds of discussions will help to get people thinking a little bit because, you know, along with the challenge of growing, we do really want to come alongside people and help them. And, and I want to go back to something you just said that I actually disagree with.

Dave: I see our time is up! No, go ahead.

Jeff: But you said, you know, stuff like I just tell people as I see it, cause I don’t, you know, I don’t care. Well, I would argue that you probably care more because you’re just not going to sit and take people’s money and their time just to talk with them. And you know, butterflies and rainbows stuff. Right? I think you care enough where you’re going to go, guys, here are the things that have been proven to work. You just need to listen. 

Dave: I think you’re right. I do. I wouldn’t be doing this job if I didn’t care. That’s true. 

So I want them, and I know, and Terry would know too, and you know too, Jeff, you know the results, what they can experience if they’ll just do the hard work. 

Jeff: Well, let’s talk about the downsides here. Because, by the time people walk into your office, because let’s face it, most people don’t wake up in the morning and say to themselves, well, you know, at noon today, should we go to Chick-fil-A or should we go to counseling? 

You know, it’s usually like. Oh man. You know, one of the last resort things we should do is go to counseling. So, that’s a couple or person that’s has really resisted maybe some positive change in their life. 

Terry, if you want to jump into this too, but can you paint a few pictures. 

Let’s just go into the crap that’s out there.

I mean, what are lives looking like when people just go, you know, I just want to keep it at a surface level. I just want to find the next good restaurant. I want to watch the next great sports event, and I really can’t address this stuff in my life. I don’t want to grow. What does that look like? What do you guys see when people walk in the door?

Dave: Well, Terry and I are in the same business, so it’s administrative. They’re in a massive crisis when they hit the door, they wouldn’t be there otherwise, but still, they want to do the, at least in my experience, the bare minimum to kind of get back to status quo. Satisfied. 

Jeff: So they may have like a broken leg, but they just want a bandaid, huh?

Dave: Right. Yeah. I don’t want to really go through rehab. Here we see this all the time in the physical world. People have knee replacement therapy, they have a surgery, and they need to do the physical therapy afterwards to recover and many do not. And so they suffer the consequences. They don’t get full range of motion. They don’t have the health they could have. It’s just a built in laziness of really not wanting to push yourself. 

Terry: I think it comes into pain too. You know, they come in because there’s a pain point. There’s something that’s really, really painful. Their relationship or there’s too much conflict or there’s something, but when you start talking about what you need to do to change and fix that pain point, then it feels like, you know, the pain of change feels worse than where they’re at in some situations. And there’s pain avoidance, I guess in my mind. 

Dave: Yeah. I think you’re right. It’s going to be costly. Of course, what we try to sell them on, and Journey’s the same way. You can’t, you don’t understand the cost of not doing this, it’s going to be very great. The benefits of doing it, it’s a guaranteed success.

You follow the Bible’s principles, you do the emotional work, you walk with Jesus. Now, there’s a high cost to that, but the benefits are not just for this world, but for eternity. But you know what? Now I think I’ll just stay where I am. 

Terry: I think, I don’t know if you’ve experienced this this, Dave, but there are some couples that really do the work, and I have so much joy from watching them have joy.

There’s something that really comes from, they’ve done the hard work, they’ve made this incredible progress, and they found the person that they fell in love with again. And there’s something that’s, that’s what keeps me going. 

Dave: Oh, me too. Isn’t that the greatest? Yeah. We live for that.

I just had a phone thing before I started this session. And she had a major loss in her life. She’s married. But she is, from the evaluation, she’s going to do the work. She’s going to do the process. She’s going to read a book I wrote to sort of go through the steps and boy, I hope she does.

I thinking, boy, because I know where she could end up and if it’s a couple, it’s great too. When they finally, and with God helping them, they breakthrough and it’s better than it ever was because Satan’s telling them now that you’re done, you might say together, but it will never be the same. I say no won’t be the same, it’ll be better! Because God can do that. 

Jeff: Yeah. Those stories just have to, again, I would think your guys’s days would be just highs and lows. I mean there’s probably not a whole lot of middle ground. Right. I mean, those days where you just. Well, Dave, you golf, right? So, you know, those days when you’re just hitting the shots and you know, that ball comes off the club head and you’re like, wow, that’s just, that thing’s going to go a hundred yards.

But it’s just gotta be highs and lows and just watching people either, you know, thrive or sink. 

Terry: I think that’s incredibly sad when you lay out a plan that you have seen work in other couples and they reject it and they walk away, and to see them separate and to know that there was a hope and they’ve just kind of rejected it.

That’s probably the low point for me. 

Dave: Yeah. I don’t like that either. I think after so many years, I guess got, I’m almost prepared for that so I can, and maybe as a guy I can compartmentalize, but there was a sadness cause you think, oh, you’re just, you’re just gonna not going to make it. And God, that greifs God, because he’s not going to force his way into your life.

You have to invite him. But when they say pretty much, no I’m not going to do that yet. It’s a downer. But the next session, somebody is working hard and doing well. So yeah, it’s a very intense job when you’re working directly with people. Yeah, man. 

Jeff: So, with journey, we really hope to put you guys out of business. I mean, that’s our goal.

Dave: Now we’re really done!

Jeff: And I say that I say that kiddingly cause you know, there’s always going to be the situations that individuals aren’t trained for. But I will guarantee you, as individuals, which I’m just a business guy, you know, I kid people, I tell people Terry swims in the, I swim in the shallow end of the pool and she swims in the big pool.

But for just us, you know, like normal people out there in the non-trade, we can do some of this. We can come into relationship with other people. We can build intentional friendships. We can talk about our stories honestly, we can talk about our strengths, our weaknesses, we can share a worldview.

We can come up with two or three action steps. And wouldn’t that be cool to kind of help you guys out to either keep a few more people out of your offices or to supplement that? Right, where they build some friendships. And actually I want to just jump into that real quick today because we did a little, when we were inviting Dave on the program, we do a little send out things and that just asked to give a little background.

Yeah, the first word binding on and one name came up. And again, this goes back to before data even had any degree or even knew what he was doing, right. He knew a gal, and her name is Sandy, right. 

Dave: Yeah. 

Jeff: So, in terms of people that have been instrumental in your life.And he calls her The Blonde. Sandy, his wife of many years.

Dave: 37 years.

Jeff: Just, in that little bio that you filled out, I mean, her name came up a lot. I mean, so just having someone in your life that you can be open and real and honest with. Just real briefly, Dave, just for personally, how has that affected you? Can you imagine life without her or how you might have been? Cause I tell Terry, if she hadn’t been in my life, I can see a whole different kind of Jeff that isn’t very nice and pretty. 

So you guys, I mean, what’s it been like for you and how important is it to have somebody in your life that can come along side you in a healthy, positive way? 

Dave: Well, Sandy is just an extraordinary person. No, I was attracted to her first because she’s a beautiful California blonde.

Okay, let’s just put that out there. I didn’t care about her mind. I didn’t care about her personality. She’s just gorgeous. 

Anyway, but as I got to know her, Oh, just on fire for Jesus came from a home where good people, but mother and father and brother, not Christians. No church. So she came to Christ, you know, kind of on her own and was going along. They thought she was a fanatic. 

So I was always, I’d always been a Christian, you know, like, who cares? My parents were wonderful people. They still are. And so I got to college and I really was just a nominal Christian. When I met Sandy, I was a sophomore, she was a freshman, and she was so on fire for Jesus.

Oh, she really got me going. I knew number one, I had no chance with her unless I grew in Christ, no chance. So the first thing she did, once we’re starting to click, you know, I didn’t have that much experience in my life with women because for some crazy reason, most women don’t click with me. Who knows?

Anyway, so she said to me, the first thing was, I’d like to invite you to come to a Bible study at my dorm. 

Oh, I thought I’d like to make out in my car, over there on the marina. But anyway, I said, I’d love to go! That sent me a message. That’s the most important thing to her. So it’s always been that way.

She keeps me going. We work on our spiritual bond and it strikes me that Journey is very similar. But what you said, Jeff, is critically important. It’s that if it’s just the professionals like Terry and I, or the pastors, or the ones that are supposed to do it, that are doing it we’re doomed. It’s not enough people and it doesn’t work cause there’s not the relationship.

 Listening to a Sunday sermon could be the best sermon in the world. Does it make any difference? Ultimately it’s that individual one-on-one process, that Journey process. It’ll make all the difference. 

Jeff: Yeah. Well, and something, and again, this is, maybe we save this for another day, but I think something that I’ve always appreciated about your approach, Dave, is the simpleness, the basic, the honesty.

So you are big promoting and you do this a lot. Couple of talk times, right. That’s a huge thing on the phone. 

Dave: Yeah. Every couple has to hear that. Yeah. 

Jeff: Yeah. And just, I mean, how basic, right, is just for couples in this busy world. Just sit down and just talk. 

Dave: Yeah. And Terry knows this.

They don’t do it. I’ll ask them, what is your communication like? First session, over the course of a week, they think they’re communicating. They’re not. Texting about the dog needing to go to the vet or a brief conversation over a meal, the kids are there. Watching a show together. No, I say one on one specific conversations where you’re trying to get deeper spiritually and emotionally. Silence, most couples. 

Terry: You actually have to give them questions to ask each other. They don’t know how to talk to each other, sometimes.

Dave: It’s true! So yeah, you have to choreograph it for them cause they say, well if we do this, what are we going to talk about? They’re panicked. This is going to be awful.

I say, Oh, give me a break. They’re so far removed from being able to talk for hours, and so, yeah. Okay, I’ll choreograph this for you. 

Jeff: But again, how important is that?

Dave: The relationship, right? That’s the thing. 

Jeff: It’s the relationship. And so when we talk about this growth thing and why grow, I think sometimes people think, Oh my gosh, you know, it’s like, maybe this time, I don’t know, but maybe it’s like they’re thinking about what’s it like going to a gym and I’ve got to lose 50 pounds and I’ve got to sweat and workout. 

Yeah. Maybe there’s some are tougher things there, but some of it’s just basic kinds of things too that can be really enjoyable to just sit down and, you know, talk to your spouse. 

Dave: It’s the highlight of my day. Every day we’ll sit down, we watch the West Wing because we love the West Wing and we’ve just gone  through the whole series, which we love, and we have dinner and watch that and have a 30  minute couple talk time. And that’s, that’s better than the West Wing.

Jeff: Yeah. 

Dave: Because it’s Sandy, and she’s talking and sharing. Oh, we have some great conversations. 

Terry: I think we need to get ready to kind of land this plane and we set it up as we’re going to talk about why grow. I’d like to throw that out as kind of our last big question is, okay, so Dave, why should your clients grow?

Why should people out there who are listening to this podcast consider making some changes and growing. 

Dave: No, because life’s not worth living if it’s just on the superficial crust of the earth. It’s just not. The benefits are awesome. Now, the most important are spiritual benefits. If you’re growing, you will automatically remove obstacles to your relationship with God.

They’re always there. As we move through that and you’re really attached to God and you’re walking with him and you know Jesus and the spirits working through you, I’m in. That’s what the Bible has in mind for us. Part of that is reaching out and discipling others and sharing what you’ve learned. There are physical benefits because when you’re walking with the Lord, I think automatically stress is released.

And he’ll, he’ll bless you in so many different ways. Not necessarily financially, but that could be part of emotional health is critically important. Every relationship you have, God, spouse, kids, neighbors, friends, is going to be improved dramatically and you’ll want to get closer to those people. And so even if you have just a few close people, you’re not going to get that unless you grow.

So you’re giving all that up for the dumb Superbowl. Or I like that meal, or, boy, I think I’m going to play golf, whatever. Those are extras. That’s not part of it.

Terry: You know what I love about this is, I’m going to guess, because let’s face it, there’s lots of podcasts out there, right? I mean, there’s a ton of podcasts now, but I’ll bet you there’s not too many out there that say the dumb Superbowl. 

Dave: That’s right. But it is, it’s dumb, I tell ya. Like, I watch it, but it’s like it’s frivolous.

Jeff: Lotta icing, we need the cake, right, buddy? 

Terry: I think we should end on this. This has been a really fun conversation with David Clark and Jeff Carlson and the topic of why grow. At journey, we’re interested in the conversations that matter to you and your relationships. You want to grow. We want to help not only with podcasts, but we encourage you to get into one-on-one relationships.

One-on-one coaching relationships. A good place to start is with the seven session Journey Coaching checklist, you can find it online right now. It’s available, either you can order it or it’s available as an interactive PDF that you can download at JourneyCoaching.org.

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