Podcast Episode, Breaking The Silence: EMDR How Can It Help?

Amanda Christenson was a guest on another episode of the podcast by Reach10, Breaking The Silence. She talks about how EMDR can help with trauma, shame, and even sexual addiction and betrayal trauma. We have three therapists trained in EMDR at Hope Therapy! Listen to this episode to see if you are interested in trying it.

Listen to the podcast here: https://reach10.org/emdr-how-can-it-help-with-overcoming-pornography-amanda-christenson/

To read research about the efficacy of EMDR, visit https://www.emdr.com/efficacy/

Hope Therapy: Treating Sexual Addiction

By: Katie Whiting

Hope Therapy specializes in treating sexual addicts and their betrayed partners. We utilize psychological education, trauma work, and real-life application to help clients with compulsive sexual behavior. We integrate 12-step addiction work with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment protocols and other therapeutic interventions to guide clients toward living a life of recovery and healing their relationships.

Psychological education: The more knowledge and understanding clients have, the more capable they are to heal and change their lives. Spending time learning about the addiction cycle, their personal triggers, and relapse-prevention plans will equip clients with tools to add to their toolboxes. When they are able to apply the knowledge gained, they aid themselves in successful lifelong recovery.

Trauma work: Addiction recovery focuses on trauma. Clients sexually act out to escape current and historic points of pain and shame. Completing a full disclosure, addressing experiences from childhood, and working through shame is the next phase of therapy work after psychoeducation. Utilizing the knowledge gained, clients heal from the traumas that have kept the addiction alive.

Real-life application: It is vital that clients leave therapy with life skills and resources they can lean on to live a life of recovery. Personal boundaries are vital to an addict’s recovery as well as knowing how to honor the boundaries of those around them. Clients are highly encouraged to attend a 12-step group outside of therapy and work the steps alongside what they experience in session. The most important tool and skill clients walk away from therapy with is the stronger ability to empathize with those around them and have healthy connections that are not based in sexuality.

The sexual addiction work we offer is thorough. Often for the client, it can feel like a second job, requiring lots of time outside of therapy to accomplish goals established. When clients fully apply themselves to the process, lasting change can be experienced. Ultimately, it is up to the client and how much they invest. We feel honored to be a part of clients’ healing journeys and know it is possible to live a life of recovery, constantly striving one day at a time to experience change and wholeness.

How to Cope with Trauma and Triggers with Katie Whiting

At a recent live presentation at our office in Spanish Fork, Utah, Katie shares how individuals can understand their trauma, triggers, and meaningful ways to cope. Katie is experienced at helping individuals and couples identify their traumas and how they can care for themselves.

Katie utilizes EMDR and Internal Family Systems when working with her clients to overcome their trauma.

How To Communicate as Couples with Iesha Gibbons

Recorded from a live event at Hope Therapy in Spanish Fork, Utah. Iesha shares how couples can communicate and better respond to each others needs in healthy and safe ways. This presentation isn’t just a great resource for couples, Iesha teaches ways on how we can all communicate in effective and safe ways.

ABC’s of Parenting

By Katie Whiting

Whether the kids are five or fifteen, using the ABC’s of parenting can help foster emotional intelligence in our children and help us respond to their emotional needs. This is one of the first techniques I teach and help parents to practice in working with their kids, no matter the reason they are coming in to see me.

A is for Acknowledgement: Here the parent’s role is to acknowledge either the emotion, the situation that has happened or both. Depending on the age of the child, parents ask the child to identify the emotion behind the situation or to describe what has happened. Children receive validation as they hear acknowledgement from parents about what they are experiencing behaviorally and more importantly, emotionally.

B is for Boundaries/rules: Often when parents or another adult steps in it is because something happened that was not okay, inappropriate or not acceptable. After validation, parents can establish or emphasize a family boundary or rule that the child needs to operate within. Children need to know what the limits are, otherwise they feel insecure about what is expected and their behavior reflects this confusion. Children thrive with healthy structure. It is the job of the adults in the child’s life to clearly communicate what is and is not okay in a non-shaming way.

C is for Choices: What options do children have to express their emotional needs within the bounds of the rules or boundaries of the family, the person, or social situation? If the child is older, parents can ask questions to have the child come up with a couple of different options. If the child is younger, parents can present the child with at least two options where they can express their emotions freely while respecting the boundary that has been set.

Example: Jonny (five year old) hit Mom after being told to pick up his toys.


Mom “Jonny, you just hit me, are you feeling angry?”

Jonny “Duh!”

Mom “What else are you feeling?”

Jonny “I want to play with my toys!”

Mom “Ah so you are feeling angry because you are not able to play with your toys right now.”


Mom “You can honor your anger. It is not okay to hit people. If you want to touch them, in this family, we ask permission before touching people.”

Jonny “But I want to punch something.”


Mom “If you want to punch something to express your anger you can punch a pillow or smash a banana in a Ziploc bag. Otherwise you can also express your anger by talking to me about what is going on. What do you want to do to express your anger?”

Jonny “Where is a pillow?”

This can be really quick and simple. If parents have or want to spend more time on the “A,” they can explore what that emotion is trying to tell the child and help them ask themselves, what is their emotional need? Doing this can help increase the child’s emotional intelligence and awareness. Going more in-depth with emotions can also create space to come up with creative “C” options. The role of emotions is often to bring attention to an unmet need, a boundary that has been crossed or an expectation that has not been met. As a child’s brain develops, parents can increase their child’s ability to communicate needs within effective boundaries, through utilizing the ABC’s of parenting.

For more parenting skills or to learn how to apply the ABC’s specifically to your family’s situation, give us a call to schedule an appointment with Katie Whiting. And look for a future post by Katie on an in-depth description of children’s emotional needs.

Improve Your Communication in Four Easy Steps

By Iesha Gibbons, AMFT

All couples have disagreements, arguments, and even fights. It’s just part of being in a long-term, committed relationship. But how can two people have a healthy disagreement, argument, or fight? What can they do? Healthy communication, while it looks differently for different couples, it generally involves listening to understand, speaking from your own perspective, self-awareness, and openly expressing your emotions.


            When disagreeing, arguing, or fighting with another person we all have the tendency to listen only enough to have information we can use to support our point. In our romantic relationships this can be damaging since we are not listening completely to the other person. We need to fight against this automatic tendency and try to listen to the other person. Listening to understand is not a complicated process. It simply means when another person is talking, we are focusing on what they are saying so we can be 100% sure we understand. That may mean that we need to not interrupt or be focused on what we are going to say next. We simply need to actively listen so we can fully understand and follow the other person. When we do so we can more accurately speak to what another person thinks or feels, and they feel understood. Our conversations will then be more productive because we are working together.

Speaking from your perspective

            The second part of having healthy communication involves speaking from your own perspective. This means you are saying what you think or feel and not speaking for another person. Instead of saying, “You think we should just blow all of our money” speaking from your own perspective would like, “It sounds to me like you want to spend all of our money”. Speaking from your own perspective allows you to express how you think, feel, or perceive another person without attacking them or telling them what they are doing. You are still saying what you want or need to say, just without hurting someone you care about in the process. Conversations will be more productive because you are expressing yourself and allowing the other person to do the same.

Self awareness

            Self-awareness is a vital ingredient in healthy communication. Self-awareness means just what it says: you are aware of yourself. In the context of communication, this means you know what you are thinking and feeling and are using that to help you have a productive conversation. Knowing your feelings means you are not caught off guard when you are angry or hurt by the other person. Instead, you recognize those feelings and use that information to help you express yourself. Knowing your thoughts means you recognize what your opinions and perspectives are, and you use this information to more clearly express yourself. Without self-awareness, we often let our emotions and thoughts control us instead of using this tool to helps us communicate.

Express emotion

            Effective communication often means that we can openly express our emotions to the other person. Emotions give us important information about how we are being impacted by others. Emotions also drive a lot of our interactions. When we are aware of these emotions, we can then openly express those to important people in our lives. This means that we tell others when we are hurt, angry, sad, or scared. When we name these emotions, they lose some of their control over us because we have acknowledged that they are there, and we are not fighting against them. When we tell another person what we are feeling they then have an idea what is going on for us. Without us telling others how we are feeling they will not have a very accurate idea because other people cannot read our minds. We must clue them in on how we are feeling. Once we do so they then have some idea how to proceed in the conversation. For instance, if we tell another person we are angry they might give us space to calm down before continuing a conversation that will only make us angrier. Healthy conversations require us to be open with another person, especially one we have a romantic connection with.

            Now, the next time you get into an argument, disagreement, or fight you know what you can do to have a healthier interaction. Keep in mind that these skills take practice to develop, so as you try to implement them in your relationship things might not change drastically at first. But the more you try to listen to understand, speak from your own perspective, be self-aware, and be open with your emotions the more connected you will feel, the easier conflicts will be to manage, and the happier you may be in your relationship.