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Dr. Julie Hanks Top Posts of 2016

2016 was a tumultuous year – a lot of highs (like publishing a new book “The Assertiveness Guide for Women”), and a some definite lows (like the circus of the US presidential election). Looking over my blog posts over the past year there is a lot of variety in the topics — transgender bathrooms, U.S. presidential election, the difference between humility and pride, saying no, Mormon burnout, teaching kids about healthy sex, idealizing motherhood…and a lot many of the top posts are related to Mormon culture. Here’s the top 10 for the year 2016

10. 10 Signs of a Healthy Self

A simple graphic I’ve created with signs of a strong and healthy self.

  1. I consider the opinions of others but I make the final decisions in my life.
  2. I am generally aware of my feelings, thoughts, needs, and wants.
  3. I allow others to feel and think differently than I do…

9. Pride in Disguise: 4 Facades of False Humility

Just as pride is multi-faceted and can come in disguise, humility is not always what it seems, and identifying the two can be tricky. It’s a topic that comes up frequently in therapy sessions. Here are some ways that pride falsely manifests itself while wearing the mask of humility.

8. Avoiding Mormon Burnout By Saying No

We know that it’s dishonest to lie, steal, and cheat, but have you ever considered that it might also be dishonest to say “yes” when you really mean “no”?

7. Partnership Trumps Domination: What’s Really at Stake in This Election

This 2016 presidential election isn’t about the candidates, Hillary or Trump. It’s about choosing the fate of our future and the fundamental model by which we will organize: domination or partnership.

6. 5 Ways Mormons can Teach Healthy Sexuality

Several months ago, my 8 year-old-daughter noticed the difference between her body and my 46-year-old-mother-of-four body and was asking questions. Throughout her life, my husband and I have used anatomically correct terms when talking about the human body, invited questions about birth and breastfeeding, talked about how babies are born, and have even gotten into a few specifics. We had been having discussions long enough that we had almost exhausted her questions. Except for one.

5. 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.

4. 5 Myths About Forgiveness

It’s a common saying that we should forgive and forget when someone offends us, but the truth is that there’s a little more to forgiveness than that. Throughout my years as a therapist, I’ve worked with many clients who struggled with the concept of forgiveness (what it means, how to do it, etc.). Whether it’s with minor offenses or severe abuse, we don’t always quite get the whole idea of forgiveness. I define forgiveness as ceasing to feel resentment toward someone who’s wronged us. Forgiveness is beautiful and can heal hearts and relationships, but I think we still may misunderstand it at times. Here are some common myths about forgiveness:

3. How Idealizing Motherhood Hurts Mormon Women

“All I’ve ever wanted in life is to be a mother,” she sobbed as she slumped over burying her hands in her face. Through her tears she muttered, “My whole life I’ve been taught that being a mother was the most important role. Now, I’m getting so old that I will never be able to have a child. What meaning is there to my life without the role of mother?”

I’ve heard sentiments like this over and over again in my twenty years of clinical psychotherapy work with LDS (Mormon) women. In our efforts to acknowledge and validate the crucial contribution of mothers are we unintentionally sending a message that women who aren’t able to bear or rear children in this life are somehow less valuable to the Church and to God?

2. Response to Meridian Magazine’s “8 Things That Can Pull You Away From the Church

When I read Meridian Magazine’s article 8 Things that Can Pull You Away from the Church yesterday morning my heart sank. Not because I disagree with the author’s suggestions of ways to strengthen one’s faith, but because it oversimplifies the complex process individuals go through when they decide to distance from or to leave the LDS Church. (Meridian Magazine is a private online magazine whose audience is primarily active Mormons)

1. 10 Reasons I’m Not Afraid to Use Trans-friendly Bathrooms

During the last few months, public discussions and debates have centered around bathroom policies for transgender individuals. As the intensity of the discussion continues, I have noticed that I am not alarmed or afraid of trans-friendly bathroom policies. I am no more concerned about my children’s or my own safety than I was last year. Here are 10 reasons why I’m not afraid to use trans-friendly bathrooms.

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About Dr. Julie Hanks, LCSW:
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to KSL TV's Studio 5, and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. . Connect on Facebook & Twitter. Her book The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide for Women is available now.

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