Community Support from Parent

Over the years, I have been acquainted with Lisa Hansen and many of the staff at Flourish Counseling. They are present in and tirelessly assisting the LGBTQ community, their allies, and family members in the Utah area and beyond. I know that Flourish Counseling Services are needed now among the LGBTQ LDS community, more than ever before. I am so grateful that I can recommend Flourish Counseling Service to my community with complete confidence.

Karen Heath Penman Mother, Volunteer, Administrator of Transactive LDS, Wasatch Front Transgender Home Evening, and I’ll Walk With You LDS Parents of LGBT Children

Karen’s Full Statement & Experience:

“I’m the parent of a transgender son.  I wish that when my son came out 12 years ago (he was about 15 years old), that I could have had access to the services that Flourish Counseling provides.  At that time, there was nothing to help us on our journey. I contacted therapists to ask if they could help us, but the answer I got each time was that none knew how to help someone with a transgender child.  

Over the years, I have been acquainted with Lisa Hansen and many of the staff of Flourish Counseling.  They are present in and tirelessly assisting the LGBTQ community, their allies, and family members in the Utah area and beyond.  On many occasions, I have witnessed them either speak in an official capacity leading groups or offer assistance to organizations that provide support to the wider LDS/ex-LDS LGBTQ community and their family members. Many have participated in and offered support at Affirmation and North Star conferences and firesides (both are organizations for LGBTQ LDS).  

Members of the Flourish Counseling Services team have supported several of the social media support groups that I am an administrator for, including Transactive LDS (for transgender individuals and family members), Wasatch Front Transgender Family Home Evening, and I’ll Walk With You LDS Parents of LGBT Children.  These groups have helped thousands of LGBTQ people and their family members navigate this journey more healthily.

I have participated in group circle discussions led by Lisa Hansen for North Star Parents, many parents just finding out that they have a child who is LGBTQ or Same-Sex Attracted. Lisa has calmly talked these parents through their very raw feelings and emotions, always using compassion and Best Practices tools. Lisa and I were together when we learned of the death by suicide of two of our friends in the LGBTQ community, and we grieved together. Immediately, I saw her reaching out to help where she could, to try and manage the ripples that this devastating news can have on the community of LGBTQ individuals and family members.

Lisa Hansen, Laura Skaggs Dulin, and Brandon Jenson have presented group discussions on wellness and spirituality for our Wasatch Front Transgender Family Home Evenings.  They have helped these group members to thrive and achieve more self-acceptance and wholeness in their lives.

Through my volunteer work with both Affirmation and North Star youth tracks at their conferences, I have witnessed discussion circles led by Lisa with LGBTQ/SSA teens who are trying to come to terms with their sexual orientation or gender identity and the religious beliefs that they’ve been raised with.  She has helped them navigate handling relationships with peers, family members, and most importantly, their parents. She also has helped parents at these conferences process the comments their kids have bravely given. So many parents have found these sessions invaluable to helping their child moving forward.

I have participated with Lisa on the Utah Work Group for LGBTQ Suicide Prevention, a cause I know which is very important to her. Her one-on-one experience with LGBTQ individuals and knowledge has been invaluable on this task force.

I know that Flourish Counseling’s services are needed now among the LGBTQ LDS community, more than ever before.  Weekly, in just our Facebook group I’ll Walk With You LDS Parents of LGBT Children, we have dozens of parents reaching out for support and requesting to join for help navigating this new journey of being the parent of an LGBTQ child. One of the first questions many ask is where to find counseling services. I am so grateful that we can recommend Flourish Counseling Services to my community with complete confidence. It is my hope that they will be able to continue to provide affordable services to LGBTQ individuals and their families.  They are making a difference and saving lives.”

Sincerely,
Karen Heath Penman

Mother, Volunteer, and Administrator of Social Media Support Groups in the LDS LGBTQ Community