Tuesday, October 30

Monday, October 29

Shenpa in Real Life

I feel shenpa when:

Other drivers cut in front of me without using their signal. When my head itches during a counseling session. When I read about republicans who care more about corporations than individuals. When individuals care more about issues than relationships. When democrats care more about rights than responsibilities. When I am labeled. When people tell me war is good for the economy. When church people care more about fuzziness than reality. When I have a headache. When I tell someone about a very personal experience, and they mock me behind my back. When I have a hangnail. When people care more about being funny than being polite. When someone tells me I need to do something differently. When I'm hungry and there's a tasty donut in front of me. When an 11 year-old boy in Sunday School answers all of my questions with "video games!" When I see a group of driving hooligans yell at an old man trying to cross a busy street. When I don't feel like studying. When someone else tells me what I believe.

Sunday, October 28

Duty to warn: A (fictional) counselor's dilemma

For my ethics class we have a presentation about an ethical dilemma. Here is the case we made up:

A counselor has been seeing a male, married client for two or three months. The client is suffering from extraordinary feelings of guilt and anxiety because he has been having an affair for eight years. He's been married for fourteen. The client and the counselor are both Christian, and even belong to the same denomination.

The counselor believes strongly in a Christian theory of completely confessing all of your sins, and in so doing, you will be redeemed. The counselor recommends this technique (and feels that he has a fellow Christian duty to promote this technique) to the client, who seems very hesitant. The counselor feels that the client will continue to suffer from guilt and anxiety until he confesses. The client finally agrees, and his wife comes in for a session, under the assumption that they will be discussing the state of the marriage.

At the counselor's gentle urging, the husband turns to the wife and tells her that he's been having an affair -- for eight years. At first the wife stares, shocked, as the husband tells her how he met the woman, how he has slowly fallen in love with her, how he still loves his wife their children, and how anxious, guilty, and worried he's been that she would find out.

The wife's eyes soon begin to narrow and she becomes very angry. In a low, trembling, angry voice, she asks him question after question: "How many times have you slept with her? Where do you do it? Do you talk about me to her? Does she know about me? Is she better in bed than me? Are you using condoms? Have you been tested? What does she do? Where does she work? WHERE DOES SHE LIVE? WHAT IS HER NAME?"

At this point, both the client and the therapist are beginning to get nervous, and are questioning whether this technique may have been a mistake. The client keeps darting his eyes nervously at the counselor, but the counselor nods as him, knowing he has to finish the technique, so the client gives his wife all the information, including the name and address.

At this point, the wife pulls out her cell phone and dials 411. In a clear voice, she asks for the address of the mistress. She writes it down on a notepad nearby. As she hangs up, the counselor and client stare at her at alarm. The client smiles sweetly: "I'm just going to pay her a little visit," she says. "She will not be sleeping with any more married men in the future."

The dilemmas are related to the duty to warn principle. Is the therapist responsible to warn the mistress? Did the wife really make a threat? In the past therapists have been responsible to warn the third party because of thier relationship with the client. But the wife is not the client, so is their no responsibility there?

Friday, October 26

Psychotherapy for Vampires, and Halloween

I like counseling at night--from about 7 pm on. For my program we have had to practice counseling each other using all of our sweet counseling skills. The sessions I did at night were way better. Maybe I was just more tired so I was not as discerning, but I enjoy it at night a lot more. Hopefully I can find another job that I can do during the day (adminstration, legal, teaching) and do counseling at night. Regardless, it's been a really neat experience just to practice counseling. One of my professors told me yesterday that I have already grown a lot in the last few months, which I didn't believe, but I still couldn't stop smiling about it for the next 30 minutes. : )

N and I finally came up with cheap halloween costumes (we have a church party, and one at school). She is going to be old school Avril Lavigne (is it possible for a twentysomething to be old school?). I am going to be Dr. House. We found a blazer and a cane, but I still need to work more on the attitude. And I need to stop shaving for a few days. And a bottle of Vicodin. LG is going to be a lion. He likes to growl. Lately he decided he likes to roll around too, but maybe he can be a rolling lion. He's already so cute I don't know how dressing him up as a lion will make him any cuter...

Tuesday, October 16

The Best Show Ever...along with all those other good shows

We're officially hooked on The Office. We would like to thank everyone who ever mentioned this show to us. It is kind of like getting a new pair of shoes that you're not so sure about at first--a little uncomfortable--but once you break them in you never want to stop wearing them (or watching it).

Saturday, October 13

Kirby on Birth Control

Probably my favorite columnist, Robert Kirby, just wrote an article about religion, thinking for oneself, and birth control. It's a great read for anyone who has felt unduly pressured to blindly follow anyone else. My favorite line: "I prefer to focus on the fact that I was once insecure enough to let someone pressure me into doing something that was, in point of fact, none of his business - and to never let it happen again."

Tuesday, October 9

My (and Senator Hatch's) socialist tendencies exposed

I can't say I was surprised at the S-CHIP veto, but it was disappointing. Does anyone know how many more votes they need for an override? I promise I'm not a socialist, but sometimes it feels like it. Hmmm. Take money from cigarette buyers and give it to insurance companies, and more kids get healthcare. Hmmm. Crazy idea. What do conservatives really have against it? Are all federal programs considered to be socialist? Public schools, interstate roads, NCLB...wait! NCLB is a federal program, started by Bush--so does that make Bush part-Socialist? Maybe the conservative states (sorry, Utah) should just drop out of the Union entirely and enjoy local government while the rest of our children (dang, that doesn't include my state) can enjoy these liberal health care programs.

Sunday, October 7

President Eyring gets knighted.

One of my personal heroes, Henry B. Eyring, is now in the Presidency of the Church. I’m happy God decided to listen to me on this. : ) There are not many people in the world who consistently make me feel more spiritual, closer to God, and give me more desire to be good than President Eyring.

If you're tired of the Mormon/Christian debate, don't read this

I'm writing on this never ending issue because I need some catharsis...

From an online debate this morning:
Christianity is based on an entirely different gospel than what Mormons teach. If you believe that you have the truth, then why are calling yourselves Christians. Do you believe that Mormonism is true? I believe Christianity is true, and I call myself a Christian because I believe in the truth about Christ from the Bible and the bible alone. You follow Mormonism that makes you a Mormon. Call it what it is, and stop trying to make yourselves look good to the rest of the world. If you believe in your "religion" than stop being ashamed of it. The Buddha followers call themselves Buddhists, Jehovah Witnesses call themselves Jehovah witnesses. The people that practice Catholicism call themselves Catholics. Call yourselves Mormons so that you can be distinguished from Christianity."

I loved Elder Holland’s talk yesterday. But of course, now the online debates are raging once again. WE ARE WORKING WITH TWO DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS HERE. The Mormon side says, “of course we’re Christian, we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.” The other side says, “no you're not, you don’t solely believe in the Bible, and you don’t accept the Trinity.” AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAGGGGHHHHH! I’m normally one to be patient with ongoing debates like this one but it’s driving me crazy.

The writer above appears to be Protestant. Why doesn’t she call herself that? And Catholics aren’t Christian? I thought they were. “Christian” is a big label to me. Just like “Buddhist” or “Muslim”. In my mind the argument is flawed. It is saying we should call ourselves “Mormon” because “Buddha followers call themselves Buddhists,” but the term “Mormon” is not on the same systemic level as "Buddhist" or "Christian.”

Really the only frustrating thing about this is the debate will not end because we are arguing past each other. We are not talking about the same thing. When you are debating with someone, it’s generally a good idea to make sure you’re talking about the same thing, isn’t it? So in a stretch toward peace on this issue, I concede that by the definition above (i.e. only read the Bible), I am not Christian. By my definition (try to follow Christ), I am. It all depends on your definition.

Is my argument on this issue flawed? Let me know! I'm curious. What do you think on this issue?

I suppose Pema would tell me I need to "stay" with my annoyed feelings on this issue, and learn to connect with others in the world who also feel annoyed.