Tuesdays December 9 – January 27  7:45-9:15pm

Winter and the holidays can be a rough time of year.  This group will not only let participants get the support they need, there will be an educational component as well, learning scientifically proven methods to decrease depression and improve happiness.  Space is limited so do not wait.  Reserve your spot TODAY.  If using insurance, the cost will be $60 for each hour and a half group over the eight weeks – for a total cost of $480.  There is a cash discount available.  Participants paying out-of-pocket will be charged $50 per session for a total of $400. Those paying out-of-pocket, there is an early birds special paying only $40 per session for a total of $320. Early birds must pay (by 7pm on Friday, November 28th).  If going through insurance, E-mail frank at frank@saltlakementalhealth.com the following information that insurance benefits may be verified:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Name and customer service phone number of the insurance company
  • Member ID
  • Address
  • Name of the insured (if different from participant)
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CalendarThe schedule has been pretty tight for the last several months.  We are glad to announce that the schedule has loosened up a bit.  Once summer is over, the calendar once again fills to capacity.  So, if you’ve been thinking of making an appointment, now is the time to do so.  Talk to our receptionist, Cheryl by calling 877-476-6338, option 1.

Frank Clayton, Clinical Mental Health Counselor and President of Salt Lake Mental Health, Inc.

 

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Article on KSL.com
Mike and JanetSALT LAKE CITY — Four years ago I called my best friend, Michael. We’ve known each other since grade school and made a point to catch up at least once a month. When I asked how he was doing, he said “Same (stuff), different day.” He was at work. He told me about how he and his girlfriend, Janet, had gone out to dinner and thought how she might be “the one.”

Continue reading Six Things You Might Take For Granted

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It is easy to feel powerless against the recession. Headlines are rife with doom, and we have control of almost none of it: unemployment, the housing market and the national debt. In this constant stream of negativity, it is easy to focus on what we do not have control of and forget about what we do have control over.

How can one person feel worried sick while the next person is not? Why is one person depressed about the layoff while the next person is actually happy about it? The answer lies not in the circumstances but how we handle it.

I, myself, have been laid off during this recession, and I have struggled with depression and pessimism for most of my life (see “My Story: From Suicidal to The Happy Therapist“). Therefore I can deeply empathize with clients and students who tell me their story, which is usually peppered with words like “stuck,” “trapped” and “can’t.”

It is important to acknowledge sadness, hopelessness and worry. These feelings are not merely uncomfortable emotions — they are guideposts to feeling better; a divining rod to their belief system. In the very first class of Happiness 101, I tell students not to slap a plastic smiley face over their pain but to feel it and learn from it.

Positive psychology teaches that each emotion is feedback to us about our underlying belief system. It is here that we find choice and empowerment. For instance, if a man feels shame because he was swept away by the latest wave of layoffs, he might have an underlying belief like “If I am not providing for my family, I am a failure.” You will notice this belief statement leaves little room for extenuating circumstances — for instance high unemployment rates.

We do not have control over the world or national economy, but we do have control over our own belief system. In this example if the man replaced his belief with “As long as I am doing my best, I am okay,” instead of feeling shame, he might not only feel hope but possibly pride because his focus is on his efforts and not the outcome.

Whether suffering job loss, death of a loved one or a personal failure, we can always choose how we weather the storm. In his famous book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Nazi concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl wrote, “the last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

James Dean said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sail.” You might imagine that one person who believes he is helpless against the storm of the recession would have a very different feeling than the person who believes, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” (“Invictus,” William Ernest Henley)

After people have told their story and properly honored their feelings, they might be open to discussion about what they do have control over, rather than lamenting about what they do not. In the above example, this hard-working American had no control over being laid off. He can continue to apply for jobs but have no control over call-backs. He can do well in the interview but still not get the job.

Research has proven (Dan Gilbert, “Stumbling on Happiness”) that when people feel that they have no control, depression often follows. This is why it is important (at the appropriate time) to turn discussion toward what one does have control over.

In session, I challenge phrases like “I’m in a rock and a hard place,” “there’s nothing I can do” and “I am trapped.” Invariably I find that there are many choices — all at varying degrees of attractiveness.

For instance, the unemployed man might believe that his only option is to just keep applying for (local) jobs and pray that something comes through. When brainstorming, he might find several other options including: filing for bankruptcy, taking a job out of state, renting out the basement, filing for unemployment, asking for loans from friends, moving in with mom and dad and/or starting his own business. This man might find all of these options to be unsavory, but I have found that depression immediately begins to loosen its grip when we explore what is possible rather than lament over the lie that “there is no hope.”

We may not have control over the economy, but we do have control over our pessimism. If you believe that you are born pessimistic, I would like to point out that this too is a belief. Ironically if you believe yourself to be a born pessimist, you will behave accordingly, making no effort to change. Pessimism can not only poison one’s attitude toward braving the economic storm but it can adversely affect decisions that might have helped to pull you out of it.

For instance, if one says, “What’s the point in applying for the job? I’m not going to get it anyway” and he does not apply for the job, then his prediction comes true. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.” Hope is always a choice.

I have documented the progress of dozens of students and found that those who make the greatest progress are those who turn from hopeless to hopeful during the eight-week course. You can test your own level of optimism at www.authentichappiness.com and start improving your outlook by taking your cues from the father of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, in his book, “Learned Optimism.”

Cultivating optimism is just one of 12 scientifically proven happiness activites suggested by Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book, “The How of Happiness.” Others include:

  • Expressing gratitude
  • Practicing acts of kindness
  • Nurturing relationships
  • Savoring life’s joys
  • Practicing religion or spirituality

Focusing on these activities (which you do have control over) will help you to feel empowered. Focusing on what you do not have control over will likely lead you to feel helpless and disempowered. There is much in this world over which we have no control — including the recession — but we always have control over our own positive attitude. The Nazis could not take it from Viktor Frankl. The recession can not take it from you. You always have a choice.

Frank Clayton, LPC

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Salt Lake Mental Health is no longer accepting new clients.  If you wish to be put on our waiting list, please call 801-244-9049
between the hours of 11am and 5pm.  If you have previously been seen by Frank Clayton, you may contact our office to discuss the possibility of returning.

The decision to temporarily suspend accepting new clients is to ensure that current clients are given the opportunity to be put on the schedule in a timely manner and to guarantee that each person is given the best therapeutic experience possible.  If you wish to be notified when we will be again accepting new clients, feel free to contact our office, or E-mail me directly at

If you are in crisis, please call the UNI Crisis Line at 801-587-3000

Frank Clayton, owner and president of Salt Lake Mental Health, Inc.

 

 

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I bought a new guitar book today from B&N. It’s got some good stuff in it – Hit from yesterday and today (that sounds like a radio station tag line, doesn’t it? But it’s true). I had so much fun trying out different songs that two hours went by without me even noticing. I never thought that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” would find it’s way into a positive but it did. I laid the rhythm down with the looper then picked out the lead and played over the top of it. I would also include the fact that I appreciate living in a house (vs. an apartment or condo) so I can play it LOUD! That part is big enough to deserve it’s own positive though. “Flow”, by the way, is a term in Positive Psychology referring to enjoying something so much that you lose all track of time. What’s YOUR flow activity?

Frank Clayton LPC

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Saturday, September 15, 2012  2-5pm

Sugarhouse Park (1300 E. 2100 S.) Big Field Pavilion 

Utah has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.  Many people are not aware of this because people do not like to talk about it.  A big part of addressing the problem is to raise awareness and to educate.

The Happiness 101 team will be joining with thousands of people nationwide to walk in AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Community Walk to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and we would appreciate any support that you give for this worthwhile cause.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is at the forefront of research, education and prevention initiatives designed to reduce loss of life from suicide. With more than 33,000 lives lost each year in the U.S. and over one million worldwide, the importance of AFSP’s mission has never been greater, nor our work more urgent.

Any contribution will help the work of AFSP, and all donations are 100% tax deductible.

Donating online is safe and easy!   Please click here to register or donate.

Thanks

Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

Proud member of the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition

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In first-aid people are trained to be first responders.  In QPR, people are trained on specifically what to do when you a person admits that they are feeling suicidal.  Many people simply do not know what to do – anymore than they would know what to do if they had not received first aid training.

Suicide is a huge problem in the state of Utah and everyone pitching in to solve the problem is the way to go.  The more people trained in QPR, the more impact it will have on our state’s suicide rate.  Much more importantly, we can stop burying friends and loved ones.  As they say in the training, “suicide is the most preventable form of death” and now you can receive this training free of charge!

Join us for QPR /Suicide Prevention Training on Thursday, July 12, 2012 7-8:30pm at Kafeneio Coffeehouse (258 West 3300 South).  RSVP at our Facebook Event Page or via Meetup.com

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Article published in KSL by Frank Clayton, LPC

SANPETE COUNTY — As families gathered in the auditorium of North Sanpete High School in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, they began to discuss the recent rash of suicides in Sanpete County in December of 2011. The small gathering of people were able to recall six suicides in just the last three weeks. The consensus was swift and unanimous: “It has to stop.”

In record time, the small band of citizens planned a candlelight vigil to raise awareness of the growing problem in Sanpete County. Sisters volunteered to organize the vigil, a brother created a Facebook page, a therapist started a grief group and an army of one delivered flyers from one end of the county to the other. The press was contacted.

The mission: Break the silence. The message: Talk about suicide. Ask the question, “Are you suicidal?” Get help.

Utah needs a lot of it. Recently, the Center for Disease Control revealed that Utah ranks No. 1 in terms of the number of residents contemplating suicide. The Utah Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Program reported that Utah has the eighth highest rate of suicidefor adults in the nation, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for Utahns ages 15- 19.Therural areas have a significantly higher suicide rates: namely Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Tooele, Carbon, Emery, Weber and Morgan Counties as well as the Glendale, Ben Lomond and Tricounty areas.

The numbers are staggering, but the grief etched into the faces of those people at North Sanpete High School was overwhelming.

Two weeks later, I stood before the Main Library in Mt. Pleasant, adding my candle to the light of nearly 100 residents of Sanpete County. As with all tragedies, they want to know why — why are their loved ones dying? It’s a fair question with an unfair answer: We do not know.

What we do know is that suicide is preventable.

We know what to watch fordepression, drug or alcohol use, moodiness, irritability, giving away prized possessions, anger, isolation, recklessness and language indicating hopelessness, feeling trapped, and considering suicide as an option. We know that a person who takes their life has usually had a crisis within two weeks and is likely struggling with one or more problems with things like physical health, employment, finances, with the law or at school. We also know that there is often easy access to firearms and pills.

We know that help is a phone call away: 1-800- SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) and the Trevor Project hotline for LGBTQ teens at 866-488- 7386.

We also know that when one person takes their life, it can lead others to follow suit. A young woman at the candlelight vigil shared that she attempted suicide two weeks after her cousin died by suicide. She said, “I thought if he could do it, so could I.”

As counselor Monte Hauck said, “People simply don’t know how to handle things, so they try to take care of a problem the only way they could.”

It is true. When one is thinking of taking their own life, they might see it as the only option — the only way to make the pain stop. This is a result of what positive psychologists call a downward spiral. The further down the hole one goes, the fewer options they perceive — even though, objectively, there are many, many, many alternatives to suicide.

Science has revealed a shockingly simple antidote to the downward spiral: counting your blessings. When one is in the clutches of the downward spiral, pessimism is rampant. By identifying a few positives, one can start to realize that life is not so bad and there is hope. The journey of the upward spiral begins.

Research has proven the pull of an upward spiral to be just as powerful as a downward spiral. Using the “three good things” intervention, the father of positive psychology Martin Seligman helped 94 percent of his depressed participants rise from the level of severely depressed to either moderately or mildly depressed in only 15 days. Considering that this was the only intervention used in the study and that it takes only a few minutes a day, the results are nothing short of miraculous.

This exercise is a staple of Happiness 101, a class using methods proven by empirical research to restore hope, lift depression and offer alternatives to suicide. The free class —which is now awebinar, also offered free of charge to help reduce suicide in Utah — uses simple yet scientifically-proven methods and techniques to help those in the grips of depression see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. For instance, when one makes a pessimistic statement, using the technique of disputation quickly and easily loosens the grip of pessimism. If one thinks, “I’m doomed,” and that thought goes unchecked, then one will have the emotional experience of hopelessness. However, if one simply asks oneself, “Is that really true?” the dark clouds of pessimism are easily broken, allowing hope to shine through.

There is hope. Suicide is preventable. If you are thinking of suicide, please call 1-800-SUICIDE.

To view the article complete with related stories and comments, go to KSL.

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