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Woman’s Day Interview Julie Hanks on Miscarriage

miscarriage

Chances are that you know a woman who has had a miscarriage.  It can be difficult to know how to respond when a friend experiences such a tragedy.

LCSW Julie Hanks recently offered her professional insight on the topic to a Woman’s Day article entitled “9 Things Never to Say to a Woman Who’s Had a Miscarriage.”  Here’s a quick review of what not to say in this situation:

1)  Nothing (acknowledge the loss; don’t stay silent)

2)  ”You can always try again.”

3)  ”It wasn’t meant to be.”

4)  ”At least you already have one.”

5)  ”At least you weren’t that far along.”

6)  ”Don’t tell [insert name of pregnant friend/ family member]; it’ll upset her.”

7)  ”At least you didn’t know him/her.”

8)  ”At least it happened before you bought anything for the baby.”

9)  ”There must have been something wrong with the baby.”

 

Read the full article here of things not to say to a woman who has experienced a miscarriage.

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Studio 5: Are You Self-Aware or Self-Absorbed?

We each have a long list of personal responsibilities: our finances, careers, bodies, families, etc. It’s critical to be aware of our lives and our needs. But when does self-awareness become self-obsession? Do we think about ourselves too much?  Here’s how to determine if you’re self-aware or self-absorbed:

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Getting to Know Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, Clinical Director of Wasatch Family Therapy

Clair-Mellenthin--300x300

PsychCentral recently interviewed our very own Clair Mellenthin, the Clinical Director here at Wasatch Family Therapy. Clair was asked about how she copes with stress, the best part of her job, and her overall experiences being a therapist. Here are a few of her answers:

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5 Things I Wished I’d Known In Graduate School

Common Therapy QuestionsI feel very privileged to be an adjunct professor at Westminster and University of Utah.  I really enjoy teaching, it re-energizes me. I love the student’s thirst for knowledge and dedication to their field. I remember trying to juggle school, work, practicum, and family and how difficult it is but how excited I was to start my career.  I wanted to construct a blog detailing what I wished someone had told me. Although the advice is specifically for people in the counseling field, it has application for anyone in higher education.

  1. Worry less about grades and focus more about gaining knowledge/experience.  (Yes, this is coming from someone who literally freaked out when they got an A-).  I have never had a client or even a job ask about my GPA.  They wanted to know my skills and training.
  2. Interview your practicum placement.  If it isn’t a good fit, find somewhere else.  One of my internships was amazing the other placement was horrible.  I knew from the beginning that my second placement wasn’t good but I didn’t want to look like a “quitter.”  I didn’t realize that the interview process needs to be mutual and that I needed to take charge of my learning experience. There is no shame in saying it isn’t what you want.
  3. Attend as many professional trainings that you can.  Most trainings have a big discount for students, take advantage of it!  Even if that means using some of your student loans- trainings are a great investment.  Especially if the trainings have a certification or count towards a special licensure. This will distinguish you between other graduates and help you find your specialties/passions. They also are a great place to network and become involved in professional organizations.
  4. Find a mentor. You will need an advocate to help you navigate the field, for consultation and support. A mentor can be a professor at your school, your clinical supervisor or someone in your professional organization. A good mentor should support and challenge you at the same time.
  5. Start a professional case portfolio.  Some of the most difficult/interesting cases I worked was when I was a student.  I didn’t realize at the time that I would want to refer back to details and interventions (for training or evaluation purposes).  Keep notes in your personal files without identifying information.  Obtain consent to video-tape sessions and interventions.

Hang in there, it will get better.  Hopefully, you will look back on this experience with some fondness or at least relief that it is over.

-Holly Willard, LCSW

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Five Stress Relieving Strategies For Busy People

Wasatch Family Therapy DepressionChronic stress causes problems in every area of life, not the least of which is physical sickness and mental exhaustion. Many people’s depression and/ or anxiety can be traced to chronic high levels of stress. We live in a face-paced and complex world with more stressors than ever. The problem is that people who are stressed out don’t feel they have the time to do anything about it- and so the stress gets worse and worse.

When you honestly have very little time to take a step back from life and take care of yourself, you need to get creative about carving out peaceful moments throughout each day. Prioritize and simplify wherever you can, because as the old adage says, if you don’t take time to be well now, you will certainly take time to be sick later. While you’re figuring out how to cut some things out (!), here are some simple strategies you can implement today to de-stress:

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Julie Hanks to Present at Uplift Families Parenting Conference with Utah’s First Lady

Uplift Families ConferenceI have the pleasure to speak at the Uplift Families Parenting Conference on September 13th. Hosted by Utah First Lady Jeanette Herbert, this exciting event will feature several prominent presenters who will help us learn to develop and celebrate meaningful child-parent relationships. Come and be inspired as we discuss ways to uplift Utah families! Dinner is included.

My presentation will be focused on an area that parents (especially mothers) often neglect…yep, you guessed it! I’ll be tackling the topic of self-care for parents.

Get Event Details

Purchase Tickets

Download the 2014 Uplift Families Conference E-Poster

Get info about my book The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Survival Guide for Overwhelmed Women.

Hope to see you in a few weeks at the conference!

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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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Reconnect with your Spouse! – Upcoming “Hold Me Tight” Couples Class

HoldMeTight WorkshopFlyer OCT2014Are you tired of reading relationship books with a few tips and advice that may put a band aid on your marital discourse?  Dr. Sue Johnson, author of Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations For A Lifetime Of Love, relationship researcher and expert, believes that the attachment bond individuals have with their partners is crucial for a happy, healthy relationship.   Just as an infant feels close, attached, and loved when her mother gazes in her eyes, adults have the same need.  We innately feel a desire to connect, be loved, depended on, and to feel safe.  When the attachment is insecure with our spouse or partner, there is greater likelihood for disconnection, isolation, and distance.  Hold Me Tight looks to address that attachment bond.

Wasatch Family Therapy is pleased to announce that we are, once again, offering a Hold Me Tight workshop.  Based on Dr. Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) approach. An approach in which empirical research shows that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery. The workshop will take readers through the following seven transforming conversations:

  • Recognizing Demon Dialogues
  • Finding the Raw Spots
  • Revisiting a Rocky Moment
  • Hold Me Tight
  • Forgiving Injuries
  • Bonding Through Sex and Touch
  • Keeping Your Love Alive

Join us, LaShawn Schultz CSW and Jameson Holman, for this eight-week course beginning Wednesday nights on October 1st in the Cottonwood Heights location from 6-8 p.m.  Register now and find the emotional connection that can come as partners reach for one another, holding tight.

 

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Normal or Not: The Lightening Round!

normal or not bedtime issues

Listen as LCSW Julie Hanks answers a lightening round of “Normal or Not” questions. Is it normal to tuck yourself tightly under the covers? How about stripping down to your skivvies right when you get home from work? Find the answers to all these questions and more!

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What is Lifespan Integration?

WOMANSUNSETBethany Johnson*, a 25 year old young woman, sat in my office.  Presenting symptoms: near debilitating insomnia, hyper vigilance, hyper arousal, irritation, nightmares and flashbacks.  This was classic PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)  Surprisingly perhaps, Bethany wasn’t a soldier who had recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, but rather had been teaching English as a second language in the Philippines – and she happened to be working at a school that was right in the eye of Hayian, the category 5 typhoon that struck the Philippine Islands in November 2013 and according to a CNN report “was probably the strongest tropical cyclone to hit land anywhere in the world in recorded history.”

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