Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Dr. Kris Doty regarding a qualitative exploratory study she conducted and presented at Utah Valley University with active LDS women diagnosed with depression attempting to understand possible contributing factors. Factors which deemed significant were genetics, history of abuse, family relationships, feeling judged by others and “toxic perfectionism.” The interview explores each of these factors in depth as well as how cultural influence and doctrinal misinterpretation from a Mormon perspective can affect depression. Strategies on how to deal successfully with depression are discussed, including a look into how spiritual and religious approaches made available through the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be used in healthy, edifying ways.
Dr. Kris Doty is a graduate of Utah Valley University, having received her bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science. She earned a Master of Social Work degree from Brigham Young University and a doctorate in social work from the University of Utah. Her research interests include cultural considerations surrounding Mormonism, welfare reform, and program evaluation. Kris is a licensed clinical social worker with a specialty in crisis intervention. Her practice experience includes crisis counseling in the emergency room at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, and conducting individual and group therapy at a residential treatment facility for adults with learning disabilities. She is currently a disaster mental health volunteer with the American Red Cross and maintains a small private practice. She is also a popular speaker and trainer on topics related to depression and early returning missionaries. Kris is currently the Chair of the Department of Behavioral Science at Utah Valley University where she is also the BSW Field Director. She has been married for 33 years and has five children and three grandchildren.