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Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary Today!

Today marks the 10 years since of the founding of  Wasatch Family Therapy, LLC. I started out as a solo practitioner and big dreams of creating an exceptional therapy clinic that not only provides excellent clinical services, but also provides therapists the opportunity to create their “dream practice” in a nurturing work environment that supports personal growth and strong family relationships.

As I take a step back and reflect on this ten year journey many tender emotions surface. I am grateful for all of the trusting  clients who have allowed us to support them during life crises, transitions, and difficult times. Thank you to our amazing clients!

10 Year Milestones

  • 10,000 families served
  • 4000 + social media updates
  • 300 local and national media interviews
  • 50 Newsletters sent
  • Grown from 1 to 14 therapists
  • 13 interns trained or supervised
  • 1 to 2 clinic locations
  • 9 babies born to our staff members
  • 5 office spaces outgrown
  • 0 to 2 office and support staff
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Co-Parenting After Divorce: Julie Hanks on Studio 5

Cooperation and communication between divorced parents are crucial to a child’s well-being. It’s often difficult for ex-spouses to transition from intimate partners to “business partners”. You are both in the business of successfully raising your child or children together.

1) Nurture your child’s relationship with other parent

You don’t need to be friends with your ex-spouse, but you do need to be a friend to your child’s relationship with them. Regardless of your feelings toward your ex-spouse, it is in your child’s best interest to support and nurture their relationship with your co-parent. Your feelings or opinions toward your ex are none of your child’s business. The only exception to this is if you believe your child is in danger of being neglected, abused, or harmed.

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New Booklet Helps LDS Families Support Gay Youth: KSL News

Honored to be invited to give my thoughts on a story encouraging LDS parents to show love and acceptance to their gay teens.


Family therapist Julie Hanks believes the key to healthy relationships is unconditional love.

Read KSL News Story

Learn more about the Family Acceptance Project

 

 

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Dealing With Diabolical Teens

Having a defiant teenager is a particularly difficult stressor on a family.  A lot of parents get Wasatch Family Therapy Teensfrustrated and hopeless, wanting to give up altogether.  This stressor can also affect the couple relationship significantly.  So, what is the best thing to do with a defiant adolescent?

When addressing the issue of “diabolical teens,” one of my colleagues jested, “you just praise the hell out of them!”  This may seem counter-intuitive, but studies have shown that praise and positive reinforcement are the most effective tools for long-term changes with adolescents.  Understandably, the natural tendency of parents is to be stricter, yell, and demand compliance.  Sometimes this will work in the short-term, but will likely further damage the relationship and will make teaching your teen less effective.  Dale Carnegie suggested that “a drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.”  We can catch some of those pesky teenage behaviors more effectively through praise than with criticism.

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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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In Law Etiquette for Young Couples

Have you ever been to a fancy restaurant and felt uncomfortable because you don’t know what to do with the vast quantity of silverware?  A quick refresher on etiquette can be helpful in that situation.  Similarly, these ensuing tips will help young couples (and all family members involved) in dealing with the uncertainty that comes with having in-laws.  I like to call it “In-Law Etiquette.”

First of all, it is important to remember that every family is different.  We are very quick to label something that is different as “weird,” or “bad.”  However, just because something is different doesn’t mean that it is better or worse.  It is just different!  Branch out and have fun with the differences between family cultures.  Also, avoid labeling your in-law’s culture as strange, stupid, or dumb.  It can even be healthy to poke fun at your own family culture.

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Ask A Therapist: How Can Children Be Protected From Cousins Who Were Sexually Molested?


Q: My daughter’s children are close friends with their cousins.  The parents of these cousins took in foster children who sexually molested the cousins.  My daughter wants to know how best she can protect her children from being molested by the cousins.  All the children involved are younger than 10 years old.  My son was similarly molested by neighbor children and has been struggling with pornography and masturbation for twenty years.  She doesn’t want that to happen to her children.   Where can she go for advice?

A: The first step your daughter can take is to begin to have first of several conversations with her young children about good and bad touch- explaining “good” touch is a hug, a tickle under the armpit, a high five.  A “bad” touch is when someone touches your private parts or asks you to touch theirs.  Talking about what to do if this ever happens is also a topic for conversations throughout their lives- always tell a grownup! She also needs to ask if they have ever experienced “bad touch” to find out if they have also been abused.

Just because the cousins were sexually abused, it does not necessarily mean that they will in turn, molest others or engage in sexually inappropriate behaviors.  If they have not acted out sexually, you do not need to limit their exposure and time together, unless the foster children are still in their home.  To be on the safe side, an adult should be supervising their play for the next few months.  They can still have play dates and engage in normal interactions, but I would suggest that the play just takes place out in the open- no closed doors allowed.  I would also say “no” to sleepovers for the time being.  If the cousins have been acting out sexually because of their abuse, it is okay to limit the play dates and offer support as adult friends/family.

A good resource for your family members is The Association For Play Therapy where you can find play therapists who specialize in treating sexually reactive and abused children in your area.  There are chapters located throughout the United States.

 

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How To Deal With 5 Common, Childhood Fears: Clair Mellenthin quoted on GalTime.com

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S was quoted on GalTime.com sharing advice on helping children handle some of their most common fears.

GalTime writer Jennifer Lubell explores  common fears likelearning to swim, separation, getting shots and animals. Child therapist, Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, says this is all part of normal childhood development.

“Many parents are confused by their child who, until last week, slept through the night, kept the door closed, and wasn’t worried about monsters under their bed – and this week has morphed into a hysterical, frightened, over-tired monster themselves.”

Clair also advises that a parent’s response can be very helpful in alleviating the symptoms of these fears.

“Take the time to ask your child to describe their fear- what are they really afraid of? For instance, a child who is afraid to have the lights off at night may really be more afraid that you won’t hear 
her when she feels worried or nervous during the night,” she says. Never shame your child for expressing a worry or fear. Instead, validate the fear and then engage your child in finding a solution or developing a plan on how they overcome it and empower themselves, Mellenthin suggests.

 Read the article.

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Spring Clean Your Mind: Sharecare Guest Blog

It’s been 60 degrees in Salt Lake this week and it feels like Spring is in the air! The shift in weather gets me itching to start organizing the house, cleaning up the yard, and doing a little spring cleaning. I’ve also been thinking about doing a little spring cleaning on the inside too.

Since being named the#1 online depression influencer by Sharecare.com I’ve had the chance to guest blog on their website and reach a larger audience with my mental health tips. I’m thrilled about this new guest blog.

Read 6 Ways To Spring Clean Your Mind

 

 

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Are You Sabatoging Your Hubby’s Friendships?: Julie Hanks interview in WomansDay

I recently did a fun marriage interview with WomansDay.com on 10 things your husband’s friends may not be telling you.

“We think you’re judging us”

“Why do you dress like a 21 year old?”

“You call him too much”…

I comment on what might be behind these comments and how to talk to your hubby about his friend’s concerns:

READ 10 Things Your Hubby’s Friends Won’t Tell You

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