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Mormon Mental Health Podcast

Supporting mental health within the Mormon community.
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Now displaying: Category: Porn Addiction
Jun 1, 2017

Four Certified Sex Therapists who routinely work with Mormon clientele offer a response to An Open Letter to Bishops from a Wife of a Pornography Addict: 7 Things I Wish You Knew.  Natasha Helfer Parker, Kristin Hodson, Kristin Marie Bennion and Shannon Hickman lead a thorough discussion walking listeners through both the clinically sound parts of the piece, as well as the perspectives they consider misinformed, inappropriate or even harmful to potential readers and ecclesiastical leaders. 

May 25, 2017

Four Certified Sex Therapists who routinely work with Mormon clientele offer a response to An Open Letter to Bishops from a Wife of a Pornography Addict: 7 Things I Wish You Knew.  Natasha Helfer Parker, Kristin Hodson, Kristin Marie Bennion and Shannon Hickman lead a thorough discussion walking listeners through both the clinically sound parts of the piece, as well as the perspectives they consider misinformed, inappropriate or even harmful to potential readers and ecclesiastical leaders. 

May 11, 2017

Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Dr. Brian Willoughby, associate professor at Brigham Young University, in regards to his involvement with the recent research publication written in The Journal of Sex Research titled: Damaged Goods: Perception of Pornography Addiction as a Mediator Between Religiosity and Relationship Anxiety Surrounding Pornography Use. There has been much media frenzy around what these results mean and Mormon Mental Health Podcast felt it was important to reach out to the researchers themselves and get their take on what the study was striving to understand, how it was conducted, and how they hope the public and media will interpret and best understand the results. 

Apr 29, 2017

After the recent podcasts where Ryan Flake shares his story about having been treated as a “porn addict,” it is perfect timing to release a podcast Mormon Mental Health partnered with Mormon Matters on last fall. Natasha Helfer Parker teams with Dan Wotherspoon to provide a panel discussion, including leading national experts, on the issues with treating sexual and relational problems through the lens of addiction treatment.

Natasha Helfer Parker and Kristin Hodson, two of the panelists, helped author an Op-Eds in the Salt Lake Tribune focusing on the issue of pornography, and especially if an “addiction” model is appropriate to be taught in high school settings. The impetus for the initial opinion piece was the propriety of allowing the group “Fight the New Drug” (FTND) to offer presentations in public school assemblies or other gathering types, especially since the science behind the claims FTND makes about pornography as “addicting” is not credible. There are major divisions within helping communities with regard to the effects of pornography upon the human brain and body, and the best approach(es) to take when someone comes to a therapist for help with a level of pornography usage they feel is is problematic.

Natasha notes that Mormon Matters went on to interview some clinicians who take the opposing stance to this podcast. However, Mormon Mental Health Podcast is purposefully not including those on its website due to the concern of spreading misinformation that continues to confuse the public. The information found on the episodes that are shared by MMH are supported by the position statements of the national body of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

Apr 25, 2017

Natasha Helfer Parker teams with Dan Wotherspoon of Mormon Matters to provide a panel discussion, including leading national experts, on the issues with treating sexual and relational problems through the lens of addiction treatment. 

Natasha Helfer Parker and Kristin Hodson, two of the panelists, helped author an Op-Eds in the Salt Lake Tribune (here and here) focusing on the issue of pornography, and especially if an “addiction” model is appropriate to be taught in high school settings. The impetus for the initial opinion piece was the propriety of allowing the group “Fight the New Drug” (FTND) to offer presentations in public school assemblies or other gathering types, especially since the science behind the claims FTND makes about pornography as “addicting” is not credible. There are major divisions within helping communities with regard to the effects of pornography upon the human brain and body, and the best approach(es) to take when someone comes to a therapist for help with a level of pornography usage they feel is is problematic.

Mormon Matters went on to interview some clinicians who take the opposing stance to this podcast. Mormon Mental Health Podcast is purposefully not including those on its website due to the concern of spreading misinformation that continues to confuse the public. The information found on the episodes that are shared by MMH are supported by the position statements of the national body of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

   

 

Apr 18, 2017

Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Ryan Flake, who was referred to the LDS Addiction Recovery Program by his bishop due to confessions about viewing sexually explicit material and masturbation. They discuss his upbringing as a Mormon and the many messages he received from an early age that contributed to quite a bit of sexual shame by the time Ryan was preparing to go on a mission, even though he was not having any relational sexual experiences. Ryan’s story does a good job of highlighting how certain rigid expectations and attributed meanings can do harm in regards to self-esteem, anxiety management, relational dynamics, sexual development and self-identity. Ryan talks about his experience with the ARP and how he found the messaging shaming and unhelpful in his particular situation where “addiction” was not a correct assessment.

It is the hope of podcasts like these to educate the public about the difference between things such as chemical dependency from relational and behavioral problems that are more common among the general population. It is important to get help and find adequate resources for whatever issues one might be facing. Correct assessment and competent professional help are vital first steps. Unfortunately, the research shows that mental health professionals who come from a religious background themselves, will be more willing to follow a “sex” or “porn addiction” model even though there is no such formal diagnosis. Therefore, the Mormon community needs to be aware that getting adequate help for this topic is complicated and one needs to use caution and good research to get appropriate help.

Apr 8, 2017

Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Ryan Flake, who was referred to the LDS Addiction Recovery Program by his bishop due to confessions about viewing sexually explicit material and masturbation. They discuss his upbringing as a Mormon and the many messages he received from an early age that contributed to quite a bit of sexual shame by the time Ryan was preparing to go on a mission, even though he was not having any relational sexual experiences. Ryan's story does a good job of highlighting how certain rigid expectations and attributed meanings can do harm in regards to self-esteem, anxiety management, relational dynamics, sexual development and self-identity. Ryan talks about his experience with the ARP and how he found the messaging shaming and unhelpful in his particular situation where "addiction" was not a correct assessment. 

It is the hope of podcasts like these to educate the public about the difference between things such as chemical dependency from relational and behavioral problems that are more common among the general population. It is important to get help and find adequate resources for whatever issues one might be facing. Correct assessment and competent professional help are vital first steps. Unfortunately, the research shows that mental health professionals who come from a religious background themselves, will be more willing to follow a "sex" or "porn addiction" model even though there is no such formal diagnosis. Therefore, the Mormon community needs to be aware that getting adequate help for this topic is complicated and one needs to use caution and good research to get appropriate help.

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