Blog Section

Our Definition of “Good Mothering” is Bad For Mental Health

Our Definition of “Good Mothering” is Bad For Mental Health

Families are central to Mormonism, and creating eternal families through making and keeping covenants with the Savior is at the core of our work here on earth. However, it seems that primarily mothers, are talked about as the heart, or the center, of the families. Preparing to be a “good mother” is emphasized in Primary, Young Women’s, and continues as a central thread woven throughout Relief Society lessons and discussions.

When we speak of “good mothers” in church, we often hear stories of mothers’ great sacrifices (like a pioneer women burying a child along the trail West), frequent heartache and long-suffering (Elder Holland’s talk ‘Behold Thy Mother’), and the great joys, blessings, and the eternal significance of mothers. These themes echo family research that highlights a paradox of parenting — it is considered to be one of the most rewarding aspects of life while simultaneously being associated with increased stress, dissatisfaction, and even depression.

More

3 MYTHS of Self Compassion

canstockphoto7797192To most, compassion is a commendable quality. But for some reason, this quality is limited to “others” in our culture, not often for “oneself.” Lets explore 3 possible false assumptions that may prevent us from applying compassion to oneself.
1-Self Compassion means weakness.
Susan didn’t express any painful feelings while going through her divorce. She believed she had to be “strong for the kids” and power on no matter what. This meant putting herself last and ignoring any emotional or physical needs.  When Susan fell apart 3 months after the divorce was final, she wondered why she was able to be “strong” in the beginning, but then suddenly became “weak and unable to handle even the smallest tasks”. What Susan didn’t realize is that instead of being a “weakness”,
researchers are now discovering that self-compassion is one of the most powerful influences of coping and resilience, that we have available to us.  How one relates to themselves when the going gets tough- as an enemy or ally-is often what determines ones ability to cope successfully.
2- Self compassion is narcissistic.
High self esteem requires standing out in a crowd-or being “above average” in the American culture. The problem of course is that it is impossible for us to be outstanding, all of the time. When we compare ourselves to those “better” than us, we will always feel like failures. An example of
this is teen bullying.  One teen told me “picking on wimpy nerds boosts my self esteem and makes me feel cool”. After many sessions he finally discovered he needed to focus on himself, and ways to feel more secure, rather than his demeaning behavior towards others. Narcissism usually results in exercising power over others; self compassion is the opposite-empowering oneself so there is no need to compare or put others down.
3- Self compassion is selfish.
Some confuse self care with selfishness and assume caring of oneself automatically means neglecting everyone else.  As a therapist, I am always amazed when I meet people who consider themselves to be good, generous, altruistic souls, who are perfectly awful to themselves.  Caring for oneself is actually the opposite: it’s one of the most important things you can do to have healthier relationships, and it does not mean you neglect loved ones! In reality, beating yourself up can be a paradoxical
form of self centeredness.  When we can be kind and nurturing to ourselves, however, many of our emotional needs are met, leaving us in a better position to focus on others. Therefore, having self compassion equals the ability to have more to give others, not less to give others.
These 3 myths often stand in the way of caring for ourselves. More information and even classes on ways to improve self care can be found at www.mindfulnessprograms.com or web search (name of State) i.e.. “Utah msar”.
More

Self-Compassion Exercise from Assertiveness Guide Featured on Weightless Blog

Self-Compassion Exercise from Assertiveness Guide Featured on Weightless Blog

According to Julie, think of a recent situation where you experienced pain, whether from a physical injury or an emotional one. It might be anything from a fight with a friend to a breakup to someone’s passing. She suggests asking ourselves these questions:

  • “What did I tell myself about my pain?
  • Was my self-talk nurturing or was it critical?
  • Did I validate my suffering or minimize it?
  • How did I behave toward myself when I was hurting?
  • Was I able to provide nurturing, comfort and validation to myself?”
More

Is there a Burnout Epidemic Among Mormons?

Is there a Burnout Epidemic Among Mormons?

A recent LDSLiving.com, “What to Do When You’re Overwhelmed at Church,” ended with a simple survey. It asked one question: Have you ever experienced spiritual fatigue or burnout? Over 1,900 people took the online survey, and a whopping 95 percent said that they had experienced burnout.

Ninety-five percent! Houston, we have a problem.

More

Social Media, Depression, and Loneliness: How to Beat the Facebook Blues

Social Media, Depression, and Loneliness: How to Beat the Facebook Blues

It’s no secret that social media connects us like never before. In an instant, we can snap pictures and post our whereabouts (think that selfie from your backpacking trip in Europe) and also keep tabs on what our friends are up to. I love social media. It has been an integral part of my professional life and is a great way to keep in touch with my loved ones. But it is not without its problems.
s
In the past few years, there has been public and medical concern about such topics as cyber-bullying and too much screen time (particularly for young people). As a psychotherapist, I’d like to address one more issue as it relates to mental health and social media: that of internet loneliness, depression, and feelings of low self-esteem.

More

5 Ways to Cultivate More Optimism: Studio 5

5 Ways to Cultivate More Optimism: Studio 5

We’ve all faked a smile to get past a rough patch, but there are ways to actually increase our happiness naturally. It’s true that some people may be more prone to having a positive outlook- whether because of their genetics, environment, or upbringing. However, there are still strategies that all people can use in order to train themselves to “look up” a little more. Here are some ways to cultivate optimism in your life:

More

5 Common Road Blocks to Couple Intimacy

couple-listening-optimizedWant more intimacy in 2015?

5 common road blocks that could be keeping you and your partner from optimal intimacy!

Environment

Work life, parenting responsibilities, maintaining a home, dishes in the sink or a bedroom overcrowded with laundry, these are just a few examples of things that contribute to shaping our environment. Is there anything present or obstacles in your environment that could interfering with opportunities to create more intimacy. Environment can play a crucial role in our ability to focus and dedicate time to growing and nurturing intimacy in our home and relationships.

More

Tips from Buddy the Elf to Increase Happiness

We all have our favorite quotes from Buddy the Elf, from the 2000 Christmas movie, ELF. If we take a closer look at some of those quotes, I think we will find that there is a lot we can learn from Buddy on how to be happy, and increase our sense of well-being.

1. “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear…”

As a matter of fact, according to a German research study, singing does enhance immunity by increasing antibodies that fight sickness (http://www.prevention.com/). So, yes, while singing is a great way to spread holiday cheer, it also boosts your own mood and keeps you healthy!

More

3 Things You Never Say to Someone with Seasonal Depression: UtahValley360.com Interview

UtahValley360.com interviewed Julie Hanks about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. As indicated by its name, this disorder affects individuals seasonally at the same time each year. For some it can happen in warmer months but typically this disorder occurs in colder months where we experience less sunlight.Wasatch Family Therapy Depression

Julie suggested that these three things should never be said to someone affected by SAD..

1.You don’t look depressed. 2. Happiness is a choice. 3. I know just how you feel.

Read the entire article to learn more and find out what solutions can be offered for someone suffering from seasonal affective disorder.

Cialis vs Viagra it is old dispute between two similar medicines which stand by the way almost equally. but here not a task how to decide on a choice and to start using one of them. Viagra vs Cialis much kontsentrivany cialis which is on sale in the form of powder and we use it as required emergency. but nevertheless what harm they neninut especially if the birch costs.

More

Let Go of Grudges

Wasatch Family Therapy Depression

Bitterness and anger trapped inside your body- sound fun to you? The common practice of holding a grudge, or harboring negative emotions against someone who has wronged us, is poisonous both mentally and physically. So why do we do it? Even when the hurt feelings are justified, grudges only serve to hurt us further while doing nothing to solve the offense suffered or repair the damaged relationship. Here’s some steps you can take to release the ugly feelings, and move toward forgiveness and inner peace.

1. Sort through the emotion; get to the heart of what hurt you.

Before confronting another in anger, or determining you can never forgive them, find out if there are deeper issues involved. Perhaps the offender hit a deeper nerve they were not even aware of. There is an old writer’s motto that states, “I write because I don’t know how I feel until I read it.” Journaling out all the feelings involved in the offense, the grudge, and the reactions you are having might reveal other ways to look at things and release much of the pain, leaving room for forgiveness.

More