Blog Section

Bullied Students More Likely to Bring Weapons to School: Julie Hanks on KSL News

Wasatch Family Therapy Depression KSL TV news asked Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW to stop by to give her thoughts on bullied students and the link to weapons in school.  Hear what our Wasatch director has to say on this subject:

Read the full story here

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The Psychology of Black Friday Shopping: Julie Hanks on KSL Morning News

Julie Hanks joined Andrew Wittenberg of KSL Morning News to talk about the psychology of Black Friday shopping and what might cause the craziness that we sometimes see in the stores.

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Is Public Shaming Good or Bad Parenting?: KSL News

Julie Hanks, LCSW joins KSL News to discuss the newest parenting trend, public shaming.

Public shaming might not be the punishment that parents are hoping for. It may encourage bad behavior by directing attention to it. This concerning trend shames the child but doesn’t address the negative behavior. Also, it does seem concerning that parents are receiving attention for the shaming instead of focusing on the teaching of positive behavior.

Here are a couple ideas that can take the place of public shaming:

1. Focus on your relationship with your child. Use that relationship to discuss the values that matter to your family and why their behavior isn’t in line with those values.

2. Focus on positive behaviors that reinforce family values, like volunteering.

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Supporting Loved Ones In Coming Out: KSL News

Holly Willard was featured on KSL about the importance of unconditional love and understanding when a family member comes out of the closet. The issue is very emotional and difficult so here are some tips when a family member discloses their homosexuality to you:

1. Let them know that you love them.  They need your acceptance and unconditional love.  They have felt alone and rejected for a long time.  Saying you love them defuses the fear and provides healing.

2. Tell them they belong and will always be a part of your family.   The decision to come out of the closet takes a lot of courage because of the many horror stories of families who disown their children.  They need to know that they are yours and will always be.  They need to know they belong.

3.  Don’t Lecture.  They are probably aware of your religious beliefs/values.  Most likely they have done a lot of research on the topic because they are trying to reconcile their beliefs and feelings.

4. Recognize that they have come out to you because they care about your relationship.  When someone comes out of the closet, they are asking, ” Can you see me for who I am and accept that.”  They are being open and honest. The emotional message that they are trying to convey is that they want to be closer to you.

5.  Find a safe and supportive place to explore your feelings.  Acceptance is a process, be patient with yourself.  Find someone you can talk to i.e. support group, friend, or therapist.  The process can be especially difficult when your child discloses.  Most parents grieve who they thought their child was or what they wanted for their future. Parents want to protect their child and they  might be scared of the societal challenges their child may face. It is usually not helpful to talk through these issues with the person because they may see it as rejection or you wanting to change them.

6. Have an open dialogue about what they want for their future.  Keep the door open to continue the conversation so you can discuss their goals and how you can support them.

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Can Too Much Happiness Make You UNhappy?: KSL News


You may be surprised to learn that “moderation in all things” applies to moods, too. June Gruber, a professor of psychology at Yale University compares happiness to food. We need it, but too much of it can cause problems. While happiness is associated with a stronger immune response, longer life, and ability to endure painful experiences, it also has a dark side. I was recently interviewed on KSL morning news about this interesting twist on happiness.
KSL AM news interview originally posted here

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[Video] Teen Girls Ask Am I Pretty Or Ugly? YouTube Videos Alarm Professionals: KSL TV News

5-17-11Insecurity about appearance among teens girls is nothing new. In past decades, girls would ask friends and peers, “How do I look?” The internet now allows teens to take that question to the masses asking in YouTube videos “Am I pretty or ugly?” Desperate cries for validation are opening up young women to mean and insensitive comments or sexual innuendos by anonymous commenters.

When I first heard about these videos I felt sick inside. It played to the insecure teen that still lurks in me, and at times. I can quickly connect with those feelings of early adolescence when I was trying to find myself and to be accepted by others.

We are constantly bombarded with messages that women’s primary value is in the attractiveness of her physical appearance, and unfortunately sometimes the parents place excessive emphasis on daughter’s external qualities.

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Texting Doesn’t Replace Comfort Of Mother’s Voice: KSL TV News

Texting

A new study published in Evolution & Human Behavior shows their no substitute for hearing your mother’s voice to calm daughters who are stressed. I sat down earlier today with Brooke Walker at KSL TV News to share my thoughts on this news study.

Give what I’ve learned about attachment theory, the results of this study aren’t surprising. Nothing can replace the presence and voice of a parent to soothe a stressed child.

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Will 1 Year Waiting Period Before Divorcing Save Marriages?: KSL TV News

Wasatch Family Therapy CouplesKSL’s Brooke Walker asked me to weigh in on the recent proposal from the Institute for American Values suggesting to lawmakers a mandatory divorce waiting period. In my clinical work with couples I’ve found that couples often seriously consider or file for divorce because they have lost hope of reconnecting with their spouse and think that they’ve exhausted all resources. I frequently suggest slowing down the divorce process by reminding couples, “You can get divorced next month, in 3 months, or in a year. What’s the rush?”

Luckily, marriage counselors have more tools than ever before to help couples understand the root of their emotional disconnection and to repair relationships, if they are willing. Dr. Susan Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, the model we use here at Wasatch Family Therapy, has had tremendous success repairing severely distressed relationships.

Learn more about this proposed wait period and here a few of my thoughts on the topic…



Read the entire “Second Chances: A Proposal To Reduce Unnecessary Divorce

Read more on KSL.com – Waiting period before divorce could prevent split families

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Having A Favorite Child Isn’t Such A Bad Thing: KSL News

In his new book “The Sibling Effect”, Jeffrey Kluger says that whether they want to admit it or not, every parent has a favorite child. I think he’s right. A parent may naturally “click” with one child over another or may find one child easier to understand. What’s important is that parents to do what they can to work against playing favorites by celebrating each child’s strengths, seeking support and feedback from spouse or other adults to manage the internal struggle, and to refrain from comparing your children to each other.

I was recently asked to comment on favoritism in families on KSL TV news. Here’s the interview!

Did your parents have a “favorite” child? Do you play favorites? Join in the conversation about playing favorites on our Facebook page!

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Have Playgrounds Become TOO Safe, Stifling Development?: KSL TV News

 

Where have all of the cool playgrounds gone?

Remember the tricky bars, metal carousel, really high slides, and gigantic monkey bars? A recent NY Times article on this topic suggests that eliminating all risk may not be in your child’s best interest, developmentally.

Brooke Walker of KSL News asked me to share my thoughts on this New York Times article in a recent KSL Evening News story.

Watch what I have to say about it here…

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