There is nothing wrong with teaching ideals and one could argue that that is the primary job of religious institutions. However, in real life, holding up ideals often leaves members never feeling “good enough” because they have not achieved the ideal righteous Mormon life. Chronic feelings of “never good enough” because your life doesn’t look like an Ensign magazine cover, your child has left the Church, your spouse isn’t committed to church callings, you’re struggling with the word of wisdom, you’re having difficulty forgiving someone, you’re not a good provider, or you’re not an attentive mother or father, can erode our whole sense of self.
I had a delightful chat with the passionate and brilliant Gina Colvin, host of A Thoughtful Faith podcast a few days ago about Mormon women, particularly those from Utah, and the challenge of developing and using our own voices.
Husband and I have been married for 8 years, and we’ve always had a different mindset regarding television and media usage. I grew up with the belief that TV was almost sinful in its idleness and wastefulness, and even had parents that would cancel cable/satellite for stretches of my growing up years. My husband, on the other hand, grew up in a family where television after dinner was how the family spent time together and still his family regularly spends time in front of the television. We just had our second daughter, and our oldest one is 4 years old and watches what I believe to be too much television.
A Crisis of Perceptions: New Paradigms to Address the Complexities of Modern Mormonism
Presenter: JULIE DE AZEVEDO HANKS, PhD, LCSW, is a seasoned psychotherapist, owner of Wasatch
Family Therapy, and author of The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide for Women.
ABSTRACT: Mormonism has inherited ways of thinking that are no longer sufficient to understand or address the complexities facing the 21st-century Church. Concepts from cybernetics, systems theory, and
complex thought will be presented as alternative lenses with which to view and wrestle with the Church’s increased historical transparency, gender concerns, racial diversity, LGBTQIA issues, and member disaffection. Read more
Listen to Dr. Julie Hanks’ Sunstone presentation. Early relationship patterns lay the framework for our identity development, social interactions, and assumptions about others. If gender equality is to be achieved within Mormon culture and theology, it must first be modeled in family relationships. Cultural Transformation Theory provides a framework for moving from a domination model that values “masculine” over “feminine” to a partnership model where relationships are based on connection and equality.
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
Based on both clinical wisdom from working with women and from her own experiences, Dr. de Azevedo Hanks invites women to embark on a journey to create a stronger sense of clarity, confidence, connection, and compassion by increasing their assertiveness in the areas of their lives that matter most. This book is useful to any woman who desires to increase her assertiveness and is a good tool for clinicians to use when addressing issues of connection, gender, attachment, and assertiveness. This wonderful guide is highly recommended for anyone who wants to be more assertive.
Reviewed by Beth Russell, Ph.D., LCSW, Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work, The College at Brockport for New Social Worker
Watch for my advice on saying no in Jan. 2017 Real Simple Magazine cover story “Say Yes to Saying No”! Saying no is necessary but it’s rarely easy. Need help to to say no? Look no further. Get better at saying No in 2017!
From Lean In to The Female Brain, experts from diverse fields, with varying degrees of success, have tried to empower women to best understand their feelings and behaviors and act accordingly. The Assertiveness Guide for Women, by psychotherapist and clinical social worker Hanks, follows in a similar vein, with the particular goal of helping women improve their communication, set healthy boundaries, and benefit their personal and professional relationships.
It is important to note Hanks’ areas of expertise in considering this book, because they have a significant impact on her approach. Her method is thoroughly imbedded in psychotherapeutic technique and theory, which may limit the scope of its applicability. Indeed, a book that is more concerned with childhood attachment types than the societal obstacles women face each day may not work for everyone.
If someone starts a conversation leading down a road you know will be bumpy, feel free to duck out—just acknowledge their comment first, says Hanks. “No one can engage you in an intense political discussion without your willingness to enter that discussion,” she says. “You can be really respectful and validate or hear them and then change the subject.”