Christy Kane PhD, CMHC

October 19, 2019 12:00 PM MDT
As a mental health professional, I find myself helping individuals at crossroads in their lives as they seek to understand various emotions and events that have taken place or are taking place. No matter what path my clients might be facing, through the lens of our Savior Jesus Christ’s teachings, I have gained a deep understanding that the first step in the healing and self-acceptance process is the gift of love—love that invites each child of God to trust, hope, and seek spiritual guidance, self-acceptance, and, when appropriate, accountability. Jesus Christ, although He taught the masses, made it a priority to focus on the individual based on where they were or are today and why they sought Him or seek Him. Our Savior made it clear in His teaching that all types of abuse are not appropriate, both through His words and actions. It was Christ who stepped forward to stop stonings and mistreatments during His earthly ministry, and it was Christ who stepped forward to love and help those in need. The Church’s recent efforts to provide training and awareness about abuse for youth teachers make it clear that this is an important topic for us to know and understand. Here a few more insights to help us better support with love those who have faced sexual assault or abuse.
7 Min Read
July 13, 2019 02:00 PM MDT
Often, when seated in my office with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I hear questions and statements such as: “Why doesn’t God love me? Why do I not receive the blessings that are promised when I strive so hard to be obedient? Why does it feel like I am being punished when others are blessed? I try so hard to do what I know is right, and yet nothing seems to change; why? Why can’t I get past or over these feelings of depression and/or anxiety? Is there something wrong with me? Why does it feel like God is not listening when I have done all that I know how to do? Why, if God is so powerful, does He not bring the changes into my life that I desire and so desperately need?” With each of these heartfelt questions expressed in desperation and defeat, the next phrase I hear, more often than not, is this: “I must be doing something wrong. I am just not good enough.” It is as if this anguished response expresses a logical answer to their questions.
3 Min Read
March 23, 2019 02:00 PM MDT
The other day I was in a grocery store when I noticed a small child giving his mother a run for her money. As I watched the two of them, I could tell the mother was getting very tired; and in a moment of desperation, she directed a few unkind remarks toward her small son. As she did so, I wanted to say, “Please don’t. You may not mean what you just said, but your little boy will believe you! If he believes you, and such exchanges between you and him continue, I may find him in my office years later as a teenager or a grown man, wondering why he is such a failure and why he is never good enough.” I think sometimes we forget how very powerful words are. For example:
5 Min Read
February 09, 2019 03:42 PM MST
The older I get the more I realize life is an interesting journey. It is a journey that will consistently and constantly teach us if we are willing and open to learn in the areas of unconditional love and acceptance. When I was at Ricks College a long time ago, I met and fell in love with an amazing individual, Ivan. We dated until he left on his mission. Then we dated after he returned from his mission and before I left on my mission. After the missions we lost contact with each other. He went to Utah State and I went to Brigham Young University.
7 Min Read
January 12, 2019 02:40 PM MST
Often, in my field of mental health counseling, I am asked by parents, “How do I teach my children about sex as well as morality?” to which I respond, “You don’t.” To such a statement I usually get bewildered looks. I quickly reply, “You teach them healthy sexuality, which is morality.”
6 Min Read
December 15, 2018 05:15 PM MST
For many people the Christmas season is exciting and enjoyable as individuals engage in the hustle and bustle of varied festivities, and this is how we hope and want it to be. However, for some the Christmas season increases stress and can amplify feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, loneliness, hopelessness, and even feelings of suicide. Oftentimes it is hard for those who do not deal with mental health struggles to comprehend why a time of year that is supposed to be uplifting and fun can be dark and empty for many.
4 Min Read
November 10, 2018 11:45 AM MST
Through my association in the Church and also in my clinical office, I have had many individuals confidentially confide in me that they feel they just do not fit in the culture of the Church. The reasons for not fitting in have ranged from personal perspectives, sexual orientation, marital status, financial issues, cultural backgrounds, age, and status in life, just to name a few. As I have listened to these various concerns, all very valid for the person experiencing them, I have realized that for most of us not fitting in comes down to the very basic human need of feeling wanted and loved.
4 Min Read
November 06, 2018 02:00 PM MST
Oftentimes, as a practicing mental health professional, I am asked: when should a person see a clinical professional, seek the help of friends and family, or seek help from priesthood leadership in regards to medical mental health issues? I can say that from both a personal perspective and as a mental health counselor such questions are very complex, and it is important to be sensitive both to individual needs and the situation. Having said that, there are some very clear directives when mental health assistance should be considered. All of us at various times in our lives will face complex and difficult life situations that can bring sadness, loss, anxiety, confusion, and concern into our lives. More often than not, such situations and feelings are part of this mortal existence and can be worked through by the guidance, direction, and comfort from family, friends, and Church leadership.
3 Min Read
September 08, 2018 02:16 PM MDT
A few years ago I took up cycling, which I love. On one of my morning rides down the Provo trail, I found myself riding next to a cyclist who pedaled with his hands instead of his feet. As we pedaled, conversations were created, and when I felt a little more comfortable, I asked this individual, “So why do you pedal with your hands instead of your feet?” Now I am sure most individuals would have known the answer and would have never asked the question I asked that morning. Me, I was a little slow. Politely the man replied, “Because I am paralyzed from the waist down.” Luckily, my next words were so much better than my question as I complimented him for his cycling ability and determination.
5 Min Read
August 18, 2018 03:26 PM MDT
I remember many years ago, long before I had children, attending a religious lecture by a prominent religious scholar who taught at BYU. The topic of the lecture was agency. During the lecture, this religious professor indicated that most LDS parents only want their kids to get to a level three in personal faith development and not a level five. As soon as he said this, there was a rumble of protest in the audience, implying, “Of course we want our kids to get to level five.” Then the presenter went on to explain what he meant by a level five: "Level five means that you have the faith to allow your kids to find their own paths, to find their own testimonies, to ask hard questions, to wonder what they feel, struggle with personal beliefs, and on some occasions even choose to believe differently than you do.”
3 Min Read
August 04, 2018 12:05 PM MDT
Several years ago, I decided to leave the banking executive world to pursue a career as a mental health professional. I did this for two reasons: 1) I wanted to feel like I was doing more with my life than managing home loans and 2) I was inspired by the wise counsel of a dear friend who, when I asked her why she chose to be a psychologist, said, “There are many difficult things individuals have to go through in life, but they should not have to do it alone.”
3 Min Read
July 31, 2018 01:51 PM MDT
A few days ago, a beautiful young person met with me in my office. As we talked, this youth shared with me deep feelings of sadness, feelings of not measuring up, frustrations that they were not perfect, and worries that they were disappointing their parents.
4 Min Read
June 09, 2018 01:40 PM MDT
Several months ago, I received one of those phone calls most parents hope they never receive. This phone call arrived at three in the morning and began with, “Mom, I need to tell you something, and I need you to promise me you won’t get mad.” To such a statement I grabbed hold of the bed, said a quick prayer, and said, “Okay . . . what do you need to tell me?” My son then proceeded to tell me the mistake he had made.
4 Min Read
May 19, 2018 03:00 PM MDT
For the past 15 years, I have been involved in counseling individuals, couples, and families. In each of these settings, my life has been greatly blessed as I have marveled at the capacity of the immortal spirit to heal, develop, change, grow, and lead. During this time, I have observed several reoccurring themes that have been expressed by both individuals and couples. One critical reoccurring theme I wish to talk about is the topic of sexual intimacy.
7 Min Read