Anxiety Disorders And Mormonism

ADAM was a one-day mental health conference. ADAM Conf was held on March 3rd, 2018 at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, Utah

Experts in anxiety from around the country joined local health-care practitioners, anxiety sufferers and religious leaders in sharing stories and effective treatment methods.

Talks & Panels

Obsessing About Morality: Being good without being certain

Jon Hershfield

Author of “When a Family Member has OCD”. Director of The OCD and Anxiety Center of Greater Baltimore. MFT.

OCD is characterized by unwanted intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and related repetitive behaviors (compulsions). At the core of OCD is the difficulty navigating uncertainty about the meaning of these thoughts. Some sufferers struggle to tolerate uncertainty about physical health or hygiene, but what do we do when we worry about our moral health, our inherent goodness as people? This talk will demystify moral scrupulosity, or the obsessive concern with one’s morality in the context of OCD.

Reid Wilson, PHd

Mastering the Anxiety Game: How and Why to Welcome Your Fears

Reid Wilson

Author of Stopping The Noise In Your Head, Founding Clinical Fellow of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)

Find out what research is showing us about how to handle worry, anxiety, and OCD. You will learn a simple, paradoxical strategy that you can apply moment-by-moment to respond to irrational fears, including how to “Step Back,” “Want It,” “Step Forward,” and “Be Cunning.”

Danna Hartline

Understanding and Managing Church Trauma

Danna Hartline

Danna is working on her master’s degree in psychology from California Southern University

This talk is for those who’ve experienced church bullying, spiritual abuse, or trauma. Learn about the important differences between trauma and offense, the various forms of church trauma, and research-based helps for healing, how to deal with the pain and anxiety so that you remain faithful, and how to help those who have been hurt by church members.

Jeff Gregson

Raising Anxiety Resilient Children

Jeff Gregson

Private practice clinical mental health counselor who specializes in the treatment of anxiety and depression.

Learn how to identify early signs of anxiety, how to avoid common pitfalls that feed anxiety, parenting techniques that are counter-intuitive but essential, the ABC’s of emotional health, ways to recognize healthy vs. destructive anxiety, and methods to help your child embrace failure as a means to success.

Tiffany Webster

Welcoming Imperfection

Tiffany Webster

Author of Embracing the Broken. Mother, wife, and public speaker who has struggled with depression and anxiety.

How can we manage our anxiety while still maintaining our roles, responsibilities, careers, and church callings? Learn to accept and embrace your imperfections, increase your self-esteem and self-confidence, and live your best life with an anxiety disorder in tow!


Reducing Anxiety Through Transforming Mormon Culture

Julie De Azevedo Hanks

Author of The Assertiveness Guide for Women & The Burnout Cure. Director of Wasatch Family Therapy. PhD.

Mormonism has inherited a model of social organization that creates and perpetuates anxiety. This presentation will outline how a shift from a dominator to a partnership model of social organization can move us from ranking to connection, from scarcity to abundance, and from fear to love. Eight principles of partnership families will be presented as a path to transforming Mormon culture and reducing cultural anxiety.


Embracing Faith, Overcoming OCD

Kyle Weir

PhD, LMFT. Professor. Author of Intimacy, Identity, and Ice Cream. Consultant. Associate Director of Fresno Family Counseling Center.

Scrupulosity (religious-oriented OCD) treatment typically involves exposure and response prevention that avoids religious discussion. This approach for treating LDS patients with scrupulosity counter-intuitively embraces discussion of doctrine as part of using CBT and ACT to treat scrupulosity.


Supporting vs. Enabling a Loved One with Anxiety

Amanda Ramirez

Amanda Ramirez, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at the Utah Center for Evidence Based Treatment.

This talk will review how to differentiate between enabling and supportive behaviors of anxiety sufferers within a family structure, specifically examining how to provide support without reinforcing ineffective behavior patterns. The benefits of family members in evidence-based therapy will be addressed.


Supporting vs. Enabling a Loved One with Anxiety

Tess Collet

Tess Collett is a Psychology Doctoral Candidate completing a practicum experience at Utah Center for Evidence Based Treatment.

This talk will review how to differentiate between enabling and supportive behaviors of anxiety sufferers within a family structure, specifically examining how to provide support without reinforcing ineffective behavior patterns. The benefits of family members in evidence-based therapy will be addressed.


Mindfulness Training For Religious Based Anxiety

Annabella Hagen

MSW, LSCW, RPT-S. Graduate of the Behavior Therapy Training Institute. Clinical Director of Mindset Family Therapy.

Are your religious beliefs creating anxiety in your life? When anxiety gets in the way of living your religion, it may feel like a storm is always around you. Learn how mindfulness skills, an essential component of ACT, can help you see your anxiety with a different set of glasses.

Types of Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

  • Carol Lundemo Moderator. LMHC, founder of Counseling for OCD & Anxiety Disorders in Seattle, WA
  • Jessica Flynn DBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Psychologist at the Utah Center for Evidence Based Treatment
  • Annabella Hagen ACT, Acceptance Commitment Therapy. Clinical director of Mindset Family Therapy
  • Brian Coombs ERP, Exposure Response Prevention. Director of the OCD Foundation of Utah
  • Paul Peterson CBT, Cognitive Behavior Therapy. LCSW, Director at OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Training Church Leaders to Support Anxiety Sufferers

  • Kurt Francom Moderator. Founder of Leading LDS.
  • Karen Redd LCMHC with a doctorate in Organizational Leadership
  • Bryan Young counselor, former member of a Bishopric, Sunday School & EQ presidencies
  • Rychen Jones anxiety and depression sufferer, former EQ president
  • Travis Isaacson recently released Bishop with OCD who has worked with others with OCD & anxiety
  • Kari Ferguson author of The OCD Mormon, RS & former Primary President

Living With Anxiety

  • Brian Coombs Moderator. MSW & CSW.
  • Kearis Jensen OCD thriver, early released missionary, mental health blogger
  • Cholena Soden lives with her husband, 5 kids, and OCD. Massage therapist, seminary teacher
  • Tinesha Zandemala lives with PTSD, BYU student, activist
  • Kassie Boothe lives with PTSD & OCD, recent grad of UVU, RS media specialist
  • Beth Farmer OCD sufferer, YW 2nd Counselor

Why should you attend?

If you or a loved one are suffering from debilitating anxiety this is a great way to find out how to get help from the world’s top experts. For mental health professionals and church leaders we hope you will attend to share what you’re doing right and to learn from others.


Who is Organizing this Conference?

Kari Ferguson is the author of The OCD Mormon: Finding Healing & Hope in the Midst of Anxiety. She started Mental Illness Matters with her husband Jamund to organize events that raise awareness about mental illness and bring sufferers together.