Day: August 28, 2015

happy

Can You Really Stay Happy, No Matter What?

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT 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 in my peripher ...[Read More]

The Secret Way Suffering Helps Us to Help Others

The Secret Way Suffering Helps Us to Help Others

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMT “Whatever the sorrow, whatever the concern, whatever the pain and anguish, look for a way to turn it to beneficial use- perhaps in helping others to avoid the same problems, or perhaps by developing a greater insight into the feelings of others who are struggling in a similar way.” – Howard Hunter “Why me?” This ubiquitous cr ...[Read More]

public speaker

Can Anyone Be a Fearless Public Speaker? Even You?

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT “According to studies, most people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. This means, at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld About a decade ago I performed with a comedy group in college. Some nights I was “on,” but other nights I'd get nervous about t ...[Read More]

movies for mother's day

Movies for Mother’s Day

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) For moms everywhere, here are my favorite examples of cinematic maternal love. Here's my favorite movies for Mother's Day. BACK TO THE FUTURE What if you could travel back in time and see your parents as teenagers? Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) jumps from 1985 to 1955 and is stunned that his conservative mother (Leah Thompson) was much more like hi ...[Read More]

The Best Ways to Help When Someone is Grieving

The Best Ways to Help When Someone is Grieving

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist In 2005 one of my college buddies lost his mother to terminal illness. My heart broke for him: I was close with my mom and struggled to comprehend what it would be like if she died. Although I wanted to be there for him, I found myself frozen into inaction, intimidated by the enormity of his loss. I felt inadequate in the face of it. Nothi ...[Read More]

bad boys

Why Bad Boys and Wild Girls are Overrated

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT Whether it’s art imitating life or vice versa, society at large seems to agree with a prevalent theme of pop culture: nice guys and good girls are boring, while bad boys and “girls gone wild” are attractive and exciting. Allow me to challenge this frothy fiction with the potency of reality: there is nothing more attractive than someone with a ...[Read More]

dads

7 Things Amazing Dads Do

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT While some dads are deadbeats and some mothers truly do an amazing job raising kids on their own, the lasting effects of a great father cannot be underestimated. I should know, because my dad is amazing. I say this neither to boast nor to gush, but rather because, in both my personal and professional opinion, he's got this dad thing pretty much figured o ...[Read More]

stepfamily

6 Keys for Successful StepFamilies

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT Although increasingly common, stepfamilies (or “blended” families) are often misunderstood. Old-fashioned types may see them as abnormal. Well-meaning “progressives” erroneously assume that blended families are the same as first-marriage families “once the dust settles.” Research and experience demonstrate, however, that “the idea that the st ...[Read More]

Why the “Bored Couple at the Restaurant” May be the Happiest

Why the “Bored Couple at the Restaurant” May be the Happiest

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT There may be no greater argument against lifelong monogamy than the bored couple in the restaurant. “Oh heaven, please don't let us end up like them,” you may have thought as you observe them silently picking at their food, looking at their phones, or vacantly scanning the restaurant for something presumably more interesting than their partne ...[Read More]

exercise

Why You Should Exercise for Sanity, Not Vanity

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT When I was younger, working out was all about how I would look in my swimming trunks. In my 20's it seemed easier to find time for it. As I've gotten older, the challenges of balancing career, marriage, and parenthood have contributed to the mentality that I'm “too busy” or “too tired” to exercise. What's more, I've tried to justi ...[Read More]