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Free Printables: What NOT to Say (and what TO say) to a Loved One Leaving the Church

Free Printables: What NOT to Say (and what TO say) to a Loved One Leaving the Church

By Common Consent published my guest blog today about what not to say to a loved one leaving the Church. I’ve had a handful of requests for PDF printables of the lists in the article…so here you go!

What NOT to Say to a Loved One Leaving the Church (Printable PDF Download)

25 Things TO say to a loved one leaving the Faith(1)

What TO SAY to a Loved One Leaving the Church (Printable PDF Download)

25 Things Not to say to a loved one leaving the Faith(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download FREE chapter of The Assertiveness Guide for Women

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Affirmation: A Conference Dedicated to Fostering Loving Dialogue about LGBT Mormons

Affirmation LGBT Conference

 Next month, Julie Hanks will be presenting at Affirmation, a conference dedicated to fostering a loving discussion among LGBT Mormons, their friends and family, and the LDS community.  The conference is non-political, but is instead focused on providing healing, love, and support for our LGBT brothers and sisters.

The Deseret News asked Julie a few questions about Affirmation.  Here is a bit of the interview:

Q:  How did you get involved with Affirmation? How long have you been associated with the group?

A: While I am not officially affiliated with the group, I am a huge supporter of Affirmation’s mission of inclusiveness, love, and support for Mormon LGBT individuals.

Q:  What do you hope to communicate with those attending?

A:  I hope to communicate a message that every life is valuable and important. No matter where we are on our life’s journey, God’s love for us is infinite, and Jesus Christ’s Atonement is always available as a source of strength and healing. Too often, we think that we have to do something different or be someone different to be worthy of God’s love, but nothing can separate us from the love of God.  

As an LDS performing songwriter and a licensed therapist, I plan to share some of my best-loved songs and words of encouragement based on my experiences working with LGBT individuals and their families.

Q:  What misconceptions do you think people have about LGBT Mormons and Affirmation?

A:  There are so many misconceptions about LGBT Mormons that it’s difficult to know where to start. Here are a few: that being LGBT is a choice, that you can’t be LGBT and participate in the church, that LGBT Mormons want to leave the church, that many LGBT Mormon who have left the church are bitter and want nothing to do with it.  None of those things are necessarily true, and we want to help eradicate these myths. 

Many people assume that Affirmation is an activist group that is in opposition to the LDS church’s teaching.  Affirmation is about creating and maintaining a respectful and healthy dialogue between LGBT Mormons and the broader LDS community that encourages inclusive attitudes and practices. 

 

The Affirmation conference is on September 12-14.  Click here for more details and to buy tickets.

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When a Loved One Experiences a Faith Crisis

When a Loved One Experiences a Faith Crisis

Religion is a part of our culture and our identity, both individually and as a society. Sometimes, however, a person experiences a faith crisis (sometimes referred to as a faith transition) and chooses a different path. Studies show that 28% of Americans change their religious preference at least once in their lives, and the number continues to grow. This is an issue that hits the hearts and homes of many in our community, and can unfortunately be a source of great pain, confusion, and potential conflict in families. Here are some strategies to handle a faith transition of a loved one:

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Should I Forgive My Abusive Mother? Julie Hanks on Rewind 100.7

Should I Forgive My Abusive Mom?I’m giddy about being invited to talk with listeners on the Todd and Erin Morning Show. They’re now on air weekdays at Rewind 100.7 FM! I chatted with caller “Nicole” about whether or not to forgive her mother who has a history of alcoholism and abusive behavior.

For individual, couple, and family therapy services in Utah visit WasatchFamilyTherapy.com

Click arrow below to listen to the conversation!

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The Forgiveness Quiz

Whether you identify as a partner in a relationship, a member of a family, or coworker at your job, chances are someone you trusted has emotionally hurt you. When we get hurt we often feel victimized and become carried away in thoughts of retribution or self-pity. It is actually common for us to feel more powerful in our victimhood and become stuck in anger and resentment. It can be easier to remain in this state when we believe forgiveness means forgetting because forgetting could set us up for repeated grief. How much do you know about real forgiveness?

Take this TRUE/FALSE quiz!

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6 Ways to Grow A Teen’s Self-Esteem

Many people young and old, male and female, struggle with recognizing their self-worth and their true potential in life. Often we are our worst critics. Most of us would gasp in horror if we heard another person speak out loud the thoughts we tell ourselves because it would be considered abusive!

Recently, as I was speaking to a group of young people and their parents on the topic of self-esteem, we broke down the definition of what self-esteem truly means. This is an interesting concept and I think helpful to break down into segments.

 

 

  • To esteem something is to hold it in high regard, to treasure it, to value it.
  • The self is you, the individual

How amazing it would be to think of your self in this manner. Is it possible to hold yourself in high regard, to value yourself, and to treasure it – i.e. to treasure you, the real you?

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Cut Down On Family Drama During The Holidays: Studio 5

My own personal experience coupled with my professional experience working with families for nearly 20 years, I’ve learned a few helpful strategies for navigating those occasional stressful situations that come whenever families gather.

It’s not your job to make everyone happy
Even though ideal holiday celebrations are associated with happiness, remember that it’s not your job to make everyone happy. Someone will inevitably be disappointed because they didn’t get a gift they were hoping for or because you spent more time with your partner’s family than with them. I worked with a woman in my clinical practice who worked so hard to make sure that everyone was delighted with the holiday gifts and family celebrations that she ended up exacerbating her existing physical health problems and had to spend most of the holiday in bed. We worked together to help her let others have the “privilege” of learning how to deal with disappointment and upset.

Start a different tradition
One of the beauties of being an adult is that you get to choose what you want to do. Family traditions are meant to promote family bonding, not family “bondage.” If you are feeling like you don’t have a choice in how you celebrate the holidays, it may be time to start a tradition of your own and opt out of another tradition.

It’s particularly difficult when there are strong extended family ties to break away and start your own traditions. I know of a family who decided to try leaving town to spend Christmas with an extended family member in another state. This helped establish them as “grown-ups” and sent a clear message that they are going to select which extended family traditions they will participate in.

Act like a grownup, even when you don’t feel like one
Have you ever noticed how family gatherings have a tendency to bring out old patterns and roles? A 50-year-old man can magically transform back into that older teenage brother who used to tease you mercilessly. Or that little sister can shift from a respected adult into a spoiled little girl. If old family patterns resurface, leaving you feeling like (or acting like) a child, remind yourself that you can choose not to revert back to playing your childhood role.

I worked with a man who had taken on the role of “the responsible child” early on in his life. He grew up worrying about finances and caring for younger siblings needs. As an adult, his family continued to look to him to host and foot the bill for parties, gifts, and travel expenses for family gatherings. We worked together to help him step out of his childhood role by allowing his family of origin (now all adults) to make their own travel arrangements, participate in planning and bring food to family gatherings.

Assume that others have good intentions
Even if you are well prepared to handle family drama; it may sneak up on you without warning. An offhanded comment about your parenting skills (or lack thereof) or a sister-in-law forgetting to buy a gift for your family may catch you off guard.

To fend off potential drama, I’ve found it helpful to make up a story in my mind that makes another person’s potentially hurtful behavior make sense. Thinking, “Oh, I know she’s had a difficult time caring for a sick mom” helps me to not take offense and get sucked into family drama. Assuming others’ missteps are underscored by good intentions will help you have a happier holiday.

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5 Ways to Help a Loved One with an Eating Disorder

Do you suspect that one of your friends or family members is struggling with an eating disorder, but don’t know how to reach out to them? If so, my heart goes out to them and to you, because I understand that it is a heart wrenching experience. It is very difficult to watch someone you care about go through something so difficult, and it is even more frightening when you don’t know how to help them. Here are 5 suggestions that might help you approach the situation:

Recognize the Problem

It is helpful to recognize the signs of an eating disorder. The following are some of the things you may notice if your loved one is truly struggling with this issue:

Anorexia Nervosa
• Dramatic weight loss
• Wearing baggy, bulky clothes to hide weight loss
• Preoccupation with food, dieting, counting calories, etc.
• Refusing to eat, especially certain foods, such as carbs or fats
• Avoiding mealtimes or eating in front of others
• Preparing elaborate meals for others, but refusing to eat them
• Exercising excessively
• Poor self-image/Making comments about being “fat”
• Stopping menstruating
• Complaining about constipation or stomach pain
• Denying that extreme thinness is a problem

Bulimia Nervosa
• Evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in a short time, or finding lots of empty food wrappers or containers
• Evidence of purging, including trips to the bathroom after meals, sounds or smells of vomiting, or packages of laxatives or diuretics
• Skipping meals or avoiding eating in front of others, or eating very small portions
• Exercising excessively
• Wearing baggy clothes
• Complaining about being “fat”
• Using gum, mouthwash, or mints excessively
• Constantly dieting
• Scarred knuckles from repeatedly inducing vomiting

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How To Talk To Your Young Child About 9/11

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(Reposted from Sept. 2011)

As with the past 10 years, this upcoming September 11th marks the anniversary of the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center. Many of us can still vividly recall exactly what we were doing at the moment this occurred. For me, I was awakened at 5:45 am with a phone call from my mother telling me to turn on my TV immediately. I watched CNN and saw the second airplane hit the building on live television. I watched the towers crumble and our world as we knew it forever change. I was living alone in Los Angeles and that day, the whole city shut down out of fear that we would be the next target.

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