Being a Latter-day Saint, I understand there are many issues that relate exclusively with members of our church that would be difficult to discuss with therapists not of our faith. It can also be frustrating for those who do not have access to an LDS therapist/counselor geographically close by. Or maybe the one LDS therapist you know is a close friend or someone you’re not comfortable with.
I hope through this blog to present a venue where anonymous questions can be posted and where relevant information and resources can be shared. I will review questions submitted and answer as many as possible.
Although all of the information and counsel I share will be in alignment with church doctrine as I understand it, I am not one to give the “traditional” answers of “pray, fast, read your scriptures and all will be well”. Although these behaviors can help, I have worked with too many couples, families and individuals to know that life is not this simple. I will be upfront, creative, and open to discussing issues that in the LDS community can feel taboo. For example, where do you turn or what do you do when you (or your spouse) are having an affair, are excommunicated, have a homosexual/bisexual orientation, are struggling with doctrine and/or losing your testimony, are dealing with issues around sexual abuse, are in a single member family, are let down by priesthood leaders who you thought would support you differently, etc.? What about children who refuse to follow in the path most LDS parents desperately want them to take (i.e. seminary attendance, scouting, missions, temple marriage) and instead are experimenting with body piercings and tatoos, pre-marital sex, self-mutilation, drugs & alcohol, etc.?
Although the purpose of the LDS lifestyle is to offer happiness, strong family relationships, eternal perspective and unlimited blessings; the high expectations it promotes can often leave members feeling guilty, shamed, anxious, inept, depressed and/or frustrated. If you find yourself in any of these positions or have an experience you feel would help others, please feel free to post a question or comment that you would like input on.
I moderate comments to make sure this is a safe space for all those who are asking questions and commenting. Please make sure your comments are made in a way that do not attack others, belittle concerns or use inappropriate language. I welcome comments where I’m disagreed with or different perspectives are shared – as long as this is done respectfully. Thank you.