mourning

pete's dragon

PETE’S DRAGON Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S PETE'S DRAGON ABOUT? After years in the woods without human contact, a young boy is discovered along with his guardian… a large green dragon. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A) Folks, we're in a new golden age of Disney movie-making. Pixar's been carrying the banner for years, the Marvel and Lucasfilm acquisitions have been huge, and Disney A ...[Read More]

all hands on deck

“All Hands on Deck” – How Christ Rescues Us From Despair

Jonathan's note: Although I am a man of faith, I have the utmost respect for those who do not share my beliefs. I share this deeply personal poem, which I wrote years ago in a time of turmoil, in the hope that it will bring spiritual relief to those looking for such.  “All Hands on Deck” By Jonathan Decker The world's a storming, tumultuous sea With multitudes drowning, struggling, los ...[Read More]

singing with angels

SINGING WITH ANGELS Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT’S SINGING WITH ANGELS ABOUT? A woman finds renewed faith and strength singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir while facing several personal and family struggles. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B) With gorgeous music and beautiful cinematography, Singing With Angels is in many ways a delight for both the eyes and ears. When the choir sings, the movi ...[Read More]

suicide

Suicide: How to Help Those Left Behind

By Jonathan Decker (Clinical director, LMFT) No one should have to suffer the pain of a loved one’s suicide alone. However, in the face of such a tragic loss friends and family may feel ill-equipped to help; after all, what good are any words or actions next to the enormity of such sorrow? Two months ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar entitled “Suicide Bereavement: What Works and What ...[Read More]

loved one

The Hidden Ways Refusing to Grieve Can Hurt You

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't the ...[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]

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]

once i was a beehive

ONCE I WAS A BEEHIVE Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S ONCE I WAS A BEEHIVE ABOUT? Still mourning her father's death, a teenager from a Protestant family gets roped into attending a Mormon summer camp.  IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B+) Faith-based comedies often fall terribly flat. Wholesome doesn't always equal funny, and good intentions don't necessarily lead to polished screenplays (or performanc ...[Read More]