I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on a recent episode of the “Mormon Matters” podcast; I joined other LDS therapists to talk about ways that we can ensure ourselves and our families are protected in ecclesiastical situations. With the #MeToo movement and other instances of high-profiled men abusing their position of power to take advantage of vulnerable people, it’s time we take a look at the dynamics of how all of this applies to Mormonism. The purpose of our discussion was not to instill paranoia or fear that dominates our thoughts, but instead to empower Mormon families to be smart and safe in how they approach ecclesiastical settings.
Several months ago, a family member recounted a small but powerful scenario that happened in her Sacrament Meeting. While conducting the meeting, the bishop acknowledged that one of his counselors was not present on the stand; his counselor’s wife was ill and he was sitting in the pews with his children. Interestingly, not once was the man’s spouse acknowledged for sitting alone with her children week after week while her husband sat on the stand. Why? Because women are expected to perform the bulk of the invisible labor required for maintaining relationships.
If you have any kind of close relationship, you’ve almost certainly experienced needing to have a tough conversation. Maybe it’s about children, in-laws, unmet expectations, but when concerns arise (and they do), you need to talk about it. But when emotions are high and there’s a lot at stake, things can quickly get derailed. Inspired by my research, personal experiences, and my years as a clinician, I’ve developed an acronym that can be used as a tool to navigate these difficult discussions. It’s called “OSCAR.”
Divorces are traumatic, painful, and messy; there are so many raw emotions to work through, but if children are involved, the most important priority for two adults is to work to make sure that their kids are well taken care of. Here are four tips to successfully co-parent following a divorce:
In any given year, 1 in 5 Americans experiences mental illness of some kind (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.). Clearly, this is an issue that affects a great deal of us, particularly the loved ones of those suffering. And mental illness is more than just an individual problem; it is a family concern. Here are some ways to support a spouse or partner with mental illness:
It seems we worry a lot, don’t we? We worry about our husbands, we worry about our family finances, we worry about what’s happening in the world, but perhaps most of all, we worry about our kids. And while worry is understandable (and certainly something that every mother has experienced!), it really doesn’t do us any good at all.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lindsay Aerts of KSL’s “The Mom Show” and share my thoughts about certain motherhood expectations that seem to permeate our society. I loved this topic, as it touches on so many themes that are important to me: Mormon culture, mental health, families, and social media. Here are some common modern-day motherhood myths debunked!
I was pleased to have my thoughts included in a recent Deseret News article that focused on a few themes I am very interested in: aspirational shame for Mormon women, the wage gap, motherhood, and partnership. Here are some of the ideas that I shared:
Recently, I was interviewed by “Good Things Utah” as to what is the secret to a happier, healthier marriage. And really, who doesn’t want this kind of marriage? One in which both partners feel connected, valued, and loved. From my 20+ years of experience as a clinical counselor, I’ve found that fostering the skill of empathy can really make all the difference for couples.
We all want to raise emotionally strong daughters, but sometimes we have to pause and do a little work on ourselves. If you are raising or mentoring a young woman, it’s important for you yourself to identify and own your insecurities, any past issues, and acknowledge any relationship hang-ups you might have. For example, maybe you don’t feel good about your body because of comments your mother made to you when you were a teenager.