Self Care

meaning of your life

What is the Meaning of Your Life?

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist When it comes to our suffering, our experiences, and our lives, we often get hung up on the question: “What does this mean? Why is this happening to me? What am I supposed to learn from this?” Cosmic purposes and divine designs are issues for theology and philosophy, and interpretations and beliefs are so varied that I won̵ ...[Read More]

positive thinking

When Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” This satirical self-affirmation, made famous by Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley, highlights the type of thinking advised by many therapists, researchers, life coaches, and others. While there is much research to support the power of positive thinking, sometim ...[Read More]

Flexibility in Pursuing Dreams

Be Flexible While Pursuing Your Dreams

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I saw Jaws at entirely too young of an age. The film terrified me, but it also sparked a lifelong obsession with sharks, particularly Great Whites (the species in the movie). For decades I fantasized about climbing into a cage and seeing one up close. It was on my bucket list. I once had the opportunity to cage-dive in shark-infested water ...[Read More]

bullies

Why Pitying Bullies Decreases Their Power

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist In the 2007 film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, our hero finds himself in a confrontation with his parents’ murderer, Voldemort, an evil wizard so terrifying that people dare not say his name. Harry has dreaded this moment, which is something his adversary takes full advantage of. Voldemort possesses Harry&# ...[Read More]

depression tasks

Why Depression Makes Easy Tasks Difficult (& How to Fight It)

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist THE WEIGHT OF DEPRESSION Could you eat a bowl of cereal? Of course you can, it’s so easy! Now imagine that I’ve strapped heavy weights to your arms. Could you still do it? If the weight were heavy enough, how long would it take before your arms started shaking and you gave up in exhaustion? In this scenario, no one would say th ...[Read More]

New Year's resolutions

Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist There are countless stories and jokes about abandoned New Year’s resolutions, perhaps because the experience is so universal. When it comes to self-improvement, it seems that “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” So how do we overcome weakness to fulfill our goals? Allow me to share with you five keys which have ...[Read More]

Is Guilt Healthy or Harmful

Is Guilt Healthy or Harmful?

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist In my observation there are two schools of thought about guilt. The first is that it’s a healthy emotion that inspires us to change our behavior, while the second argues that guilt contributes to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness that impede our growth. So is guilt healthy or harmful? The truth is, it can be either. Like fir ...[Read More]

“Everybody Poops” (the Importance of Regular Grieving)

“Everybody Poops” (the Importance of Regular Grieving)

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist It was definitely one of the stranger approaches I’ve ever tried in therapy. The woman in front of me (story shared with her permission) was struggling with the death of her husband several months earlier. Like so many widows, she tried to cope by immersing herself in child-rearing and work commitments, staying busy so that she hadn& ...[Read More]

balancing self-care with helping others

Balancing Self-Care With Helping Others

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist When I was young, my father and I bonded over archery. Dad taught me that I had to unstring the bow when I wasn’t using it, allowing the wood to straighten and the cord to dangle loose. If I didn’t allow the bow to rest, or in other words, if I left the cord tight and the wood bent, I’d ruin the bow. Over time, it’d no lo ...[Read More]

disappearing star

How to Stay Happy: Lessons from a Disappearing Star

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist One night, while stargazing near Brian Head, UT I noticed an especially bright star in my right periphery. Stunned by its brilliance, I shifted my gaze to admire it directly. It disappeared. Black space existed where the star had been. Thinking that I was mistaken, I looked elsewhere only to have it appear again, shining brightly once more ...[Read More]