While you were getting new blog posts last week, I was overseas in London with my family (thank goodness for auto posting!). My husband had the opportunity to speak at a computer/programming conference in one of our most favorite cities in the world, so we all decided to join him!
But now we are back home, and life is getting back to normal, though I’m not sure what normal is for us these days. To be honest, sitting on the airplane to England after finishing our first Anxiety Disorders and Mormonism Conference was a bit weird. I felt really sad, like something I loved and enjoyed had died or completed, which I suppose it had.
ADAM CONF 2.0?
So, for those who are curious, we are planning to bring back ADAM Conf, only with a slightly different focus in the future—rather than Anxiety Disorders and Mormonism, it will be called “Anxiety Depression and Mormonism.”
Feedback included a wish to discuss depression more, and we hear that! Depression and anxiety disorders quite often go hand in hand, and we’re excited to expand the focus. The tentative date for ADAM Conf 2019 is Saturday, May 4, hopefully in Utah County. Definitely more details to come.
Youth ADAM CONF?
Feedback also included a desire to have a youth focus, and I love this. We are in the very early stages of planning a youth centered mental health conference, with perhaps a track for loved ones and parents as well. I’d love to have the first one (title TBA) in August 2018 in Utah County. I do strongly feel like this type of conference should and could go on the road, as it were, with regional events in places like the Bay Area, Idaho, the Northwest, DC area, Texas, Arizona, etc. If you are interested in having one in your area, let me know!
But for now, let’s get back to this year’s ADAM Conf. It was amazing! Thank you everyone who came and supported! We sold out the event, and even had people buying tickets and coming the day of the event. I hope that everyone had a great time; I’m sorry if I didn’t get to talk to you—I was running around on fumes, like a chicken with its head cut off!
The conference started strong with keynotes from Dr. Reid Wilson and Jon Hershfield.
Dr. Wilson spoke on “Mastering the Anxiety Game: How and Why to Welcome Your Fears.” If you’ve read Dr. Wilson’s book, Stopping the Noise in Your Head (which sold out in our bookstore!), you are probably familiar with Dr. Wilson’s idea that we should welcome and embrace our anxiety, training ourselves to want the discomfort. As we do so, Dr. Wilson says that we can eventually beat anxiety at its own game. Hearing him describe his method is also worthwhile.
Jon Hershfield similarly made many new fans and sold out his books in the bookstore too. He spoke about “Obsessing about Morality: Being Good Without Being Certain,” and focused on moral scrupulosity. He discussed how the brains of those with OCD and anxiety work slightly differently than others, as well as going into Mormon-specific moral concerns and obsessions. He spoke about the importance of going as close to the “line” as possible when doing ERP for moral scrupulosity while encouraging us to not cross our moral or religious beliefs in therapy.
Our final keynote, Dr. Julie Hanks, spoke on “Reducing Anxiety Through Transforming Mormon Culture.” She taught us about dominator and partnership models of social organization and went over the eight principles of partnership families, with the encouragement that, as we change how we run and function in our families, Mormonism will gradually transform into more of a partnership model of organization, thus reducing the anxiety that so often comes with our culture.
Select slides and video/audio clips are up on our website now, so feel free to check it out! Come back later in the week for more information on the breakouts and later on, the panels!