“Every woman that I talk to who’s around my age… don’t have the faith they once did, especially those of us, like me who were raised in the Church.” – Caitlin Olsen

Where organized religion goes, the need for therapy often follows. There’s no shortage of examples in which Christianity’s original pitch––to love and care for one another––has gotten corrupted by those delivering Jesus’ message. Now, the obvious choice, for me anyway, is to say, “Awww, hell no!” I mean, I did precisely that. I got out. I developed my spiritual practice beyond the church’s arbitrary rules and regs. And I never looked back.

But what if you’re called to fight for your faith? What if you believe that your generation is the breath of fresh air its stagnant lungs need? Or, what if you want to offer a safe space where other disillusioned faithful can ask WTAF? 

What if you’re all that. And a Mormon?

Caitlin Olsen is a trained therapist and mental health coach who offers expert guidance for the modern Mormon woman. So much of Caitlin’s story resonates, especially her struggles with mental health compounded by a global health crisis and a former US president who exploited the pandemic for political gain. 

Faith had provided comfort and company to Caitlin for most of her life. Then, she watched in horror as the former president fanned flames of conspiracy, repackaged bootstrapping myths, and sold the brew to conservative Evangelicals and Mormons. She stood in shock as the faith-based community she proudly belonged to pledged its loyalty to, as she says, an emperor with no clothes. 

Those four years shook Caitlin’s faith, forcing her to question her place within the Mormon Church. While she’s deeply self-aware and frank about challenging the religion’s cultish convictions and practices on Instagram, Caitlin still believes that there’s a place for faith in her life. “I love this religion. I am Christian. I believe in this doctrine, and this gospel and the community has always been a safe place for me because I check all those boxes,” she says, and she’s not alone. As an “insider” confidant, her coaching practice fills a niche. Clients don’t need to explain Mormonism or its more nuanced aspects to her; she gets it from the get-go.  

Our conversation reminds me that we can celebrate the values of a faith tradition and rejoice in its gospel if we’re called to do so. We can also love the promise of religion yet set out to make our spiritual way. Whatever our path, we have agency; we can challenge those that block our way or take a road less traveled.

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

The Shrink Next Door

Succession

Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man – Mary L. Trump, PhD

GUEST CONTACT INFO & BIO

Website

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Caitlin Olsen is a trained therapist, mental health coach, and lifelong Mormon. She runs group programs, creates self-paced courses, and works 1:1 with incredible coaching clients under her business, Caitlin Olsen Co. Her mission is to destigmatize mental health care, change some family trees for the better, and bring mental health to the forefront of Mormonism.


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