118: Helping Teens have Healthy Boundaries within a Mormon Construct

Natasha Helfer Parker continues the series on “boundaries” that is being hosted by a panel of providers from Symmetry Solutions, who specialize in mental health and relational issues within Mormonism. This is the third segment which focuses on Young Men and Young Women (12-17 years of age).

We notice in our mental health work with primarily LDS clientele, that there are difficulties understanding what healthy boundaries are and look like… as well as how to implement them in a patriarchal and authoritative structure, where often people feel like boundaries have already been set for them by the system. Unfortunately, not having the ability to create healthy boundaries for oneself, one’s children, and one’s family… can contribute to issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, negative relational dynamics and even abuse. From simple things, like whether or not one feels personal permission to reject a calling, to more serious issues such as whether or not we should support children’s interviews behind closed doors where they are asked sensitive questions including about their sexuality…. this is a relevant topic to today’s Latter-day Saints. We hope you will join in the discussion through the comments section to share either things you want us to address, things you are concerned about, ways you disagree/agree with us, things that have helped you balance healthy boundaries, etc.

Those who join Natasha in this episode are Lisa Butterworth and Sara Hughes-Zabawa.

Sara Hughes-Zabawa has extensive experience working with trauma survivors and with teens and young adults struggling with depression and anxiety. She helps LGBT+ individuals and their families develop advocacy skills, foster acceptance, and explore the relationship between their sexual and/or gender identity with their religious beliefs. Sara also helps clients navigate difficult life transitions, especially those related to their faith, is a skilled yoga instructor and uses mindfulness training to support clients in cultivating self-care practices.

Lisa Butterworth specializes in women’s issues, faith transitions, sexual concerns, LGBT+ journeys, trauma, anxiety disorders, body image concerns, and depression. She offers both coaching/consultation and therapy services to individuals, couples and families. She is also the founder of Feminist Mormon Housewives.



#metoo movement

Protect the Children – Stop Sexually Oriented Interviews of Mormon Youth

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Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST runs an online practice, Symmetry Solutions, which focuses on helping families and individuals with faith concerns, sexuality and mental health. She produces Sex Talk with Natasha, writes at The Mormon Therapist for Patheos: Hosting the Conversation of Faith, runs the Mormon Sex Info Podcast and is the current president for the Mormon Mental Health Association.

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