Our Story

Natasha

Our Founder

 

The Mormon Mental Health Association was founded in 2013 by Natasha Helfer.  Her vision was to have a professional organization that focused first on ethical best practices demanded by our professional codes and prioritized evidence-based practices in clinical work.  As a sex therapist certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), Natasha was particularly focused on promoting research-based clinical practices when it comes to issues that relate to sexuality.  

Natasha saw the damage that can be done when religious therapists make assumptions about common beliefs between therapist and client based on membership to the same church without being curious about the client’s individual beliefs.  Natasha also saw how counselors with no understanding of a client’s religious and cultural worldview can give inappropriate advice and lack the ability to pay attention to important nuances and cultural factors that relate to the problems clients present in therapy.

Her vision was to create a professional organization that would provide training to help clinicians improve their cultural competence. The organization would also provide a directory for clients to find providers who can understand the Mormon cultural influences and take a neutral stance on their beliefs and activities within the church. Ten years later, MMHA continues to grow.  We are proud of our roots and are excited about the future.

Mormon Mental Health Association: Who Are We and What Are We About?

Presented at the 2022 Sunstone Symposium

PRESENTERS:

Natasha Helfer, LCMFT, CST-S (she/her) Symmetry Solutions

Martin Erickson, PhD, LMFT (he/him) Progressive Paths Therapy

Kelly Furr, LMFT (she/her)

Jennifer White, LCSW (she/her)

I’ll Walk With You, I’ll Talk With You: A Conversation with the Mormon Mental Health Association Board

Presented at the 2022 Sunstone Symposium

ORGANIZER:

Kelly Furr, she/her

 

ABSTRACT:

The Mormon Mental Health Association(MMHA) and its providers are leaders in helping their clients work through social and emotional issues as they intersect with the LDS Church.  Current MMHA board members will discuss trends in Mormon mental health.   This will include their observations regarding the pain caused by differences in the institutional church’s vision of heaven and people’s lived experiences of what they desire heaven to be.  A Question and Answer period will follow the discussion by the board.

 

PRESENTERS:

Kelly Furr is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Utah, Arizona, and North Carolina and serves on the Mormon Mental Health Association board.  Her teletherapy practice focuses on mental health issues related to perfectionism.

 

Martin Erickson, Ph.D., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owns Progressive Paths Therapy, a group therapy practice located in Orem, Utah.  He serves as the president of the Mormon Mental Health Association.

 

Dr. David Greer received an MA and PsyD in Marital & Family Therapy from the California School of Professional Psychology. He maintains a private practice focused on Mormon couples and families, both in and out of the Church, and has served as a Board Member-at-Large for the Mormon Mental Health Association since 2021.

 

Jennifer White, LCSW, is a therapist who specializes in helping people with depression, anxiety, sexuality concerns, trauma, and faith transitions/journeys.  She works at Clearview Counseling & Assessment in Murray, UT and serves on the Mormon Mental Health Association board.